Ten days away. On a very small island in the Caribbean with my husband of eight years.
Three children later, a long overdue honeymoon occurs. We eat. We drink. We are merry.
Much more on this later, but yesterday we return with of course, no ease back into the life of three children aged seven and under. Not that I don’t adore my offspring but the laid-back atmosphere of a small Caribbean island does not my kitchen mirror.
Once the initial honeymoon of having mom and dad back was complete, it was back to sibling bickering and protests over who gets more Webkinz time.
It might be a long summer.
So to add to the bedlam, we decided that today would be the perfect day to pick up that kitten our friend’s cat birthed six weeks ago.
Yes, it’s true that I have had a rule of nothing else that poops to be allowed in my home but…
The rule has been lifted as I am forced to give my seven year old, animal-obsessed-to-the-point-that-she-wants-to-be-a-vet-tomorrow daughter the chance to care for this cat.
And yes, I also made sure she understood this meant daily cleaning of the litterbox.
One litter box, food bowls, kitty chow, a litter mat, and a renaming (the original name of “Buttercup” didn’t seem to fit a male cat very well) later, Luke the kitten has officially become a Snapp.
You may recall that we have an eight year old yellow Labrador Retriever who we adore living among us as well.
However, this newcomer and this old-timer are having trouble seeing eye-to-eye. Literally and figuratively.
So as I found myself trying to soothingly cajole Luke from under the couch as a curious Ellie looked-on, it occurred to me that this is so similar to what happens in the human realm as well.
Luke being much smaller and very likely intimidated by a dog ten times his size, retreated under shelter and hissed and growled. He sounded tough – heck, I was a little scared of him myself until I realized that he weighs roughly two pounds soaking wet.
The poor little kitten was petrified so he did what comes naturally – he found safety and defended himself.
Which led me to realize that we aren’t so different from the animal kingdom.
When backed into a corner, it’s often our natural inclination to come out swinging. To defend our actions. To talk louder or just plain avoid an issue that needs to be discussed because, to be blunt, we’re scared you-know-what-less.
Instead of hissing and growling, what would happen if instead we chose to walk towards each other – perhaps a little timidly but still towards nonetheless, and seek peace?
What if instead of avoiding the stuff that makes us squirm, we work through it and choose relationship instead?
Prostrate on the floor trying to serve as the mediator between these two diabolically-opposed beings, it takes my breath away to experience yet another moment that He has woven a message He wants me to hear through the everyday mundane.
Perhaps Brother Lawrence was on to something.
So on this Multitude Monday, I thank God for:
721. Teaching me through the mundane
722. Eyes to see and ears to hear – at least in that moment
723. Your grace and your abundant mercy when I misstep so very often
724. The desire to choose relationship
725. Ten glorious days away on an almost deserted island with a total hunk
726. New friends that made it even more fun
727. Rum punch
728. Pina coladas
729. Five extra pounds but…
730. Cancelled out by the squeals and joy from the three when we returned.
This week may we all just simply choose relationship.
Is there someone you need to make peace with?
Go. In humility.
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. – Matthew 5:23-24