I stand in the early morning kitchen and wrap my hands around a warm mug. The children are still nestled. For the moment, I'm glad. Nestled is a good, good thing.
It's cold. Crazy cold. Schools- and-activities-closed-and-cancelled cold. Can't- walk-the-dogs-or-send-the-boys-out-to-play cold. Don't-go-anywhere-unless-you-have-to cold.
It would usually be a dream come true, really. I love this togetherness. The family, minus dad and a big brother who braved the cold to go to work, sharing time. Sharing space. Being close.
Only it didn't live out as romantically as I'd hoped. The past two days were less than lovely.
"Mom, Gabe took my action figure!"
"Mom, Zay crumpled the bristles of my paintbrush."
"Mom, Samuel better run fast because he lost my book and now he's mine!"
Harmony frayed over an unkind spoken word and there was a small-fisted altercation in the dining room. Gabe pounded "Bear Dance" on the piano until it became a war chant and it pulled the children and greyhounds to a wild frenzy. Zay began to bellow because someone pressed a piece of blue painter's tape over plaything Woody cowboy's toothy grin. Living close brought friction and the friction brought an undesired kind of heat...
And togetherness became a place where we need a little prayer...
Father, help us to love one another well. Help us to be thoughtful with our actions and words. Help us to offer forgiveness freely.Help us to live close, to be close, with blessing and grace.
I hear movement overhead and know that the crew is awake. Soon the stairwell carries voices and footfalls - the music of sweet life.
So far, so good.
But I breathe deep and reach for the coffee pot anyway.
It may be a two-cup day.
Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. II Corinthians 13:11 ESV