So, I often catch myself writing about an experience that took my breath or brought me to my knees, but what I'm going to share with you today brought me to tears. I don't mean closet crying tears, I mean instant, drop to the ground, praying to Jesus tears.
"But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard--things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely"~ Galatians 5:22-23
I was offered a job babysitting my little sister, which is a daunting task for anyone who was wondering. She has atttttitude..and not just four year old attitude, but grown women attitude. She is four and a very smart little girl. I love her to pieces, but sometimes I want to tear my own hair out. That's all beside the point, let's get to the real story.
It was 7:00 am in the morning, I had just gotten done playing four softball games the day before, I was burnt to a crisp, tired, hungry, and in need of a shower. She rolled over in bed, kicked my burnt shoulders, and stated in her best sassy voice "Leeeaaa, it is time to get uupp!." I told her "Sweetie, please give sissy a couple more minutes of sleep," but she was relentless. She whooped and hollered until I peeled back the sheets and sauntered up the carpet covered stairs.
I made her a bowl of cereal, cut her an apple, and slide it across the table, but she wasn't having it. All she wanted was cartoons, so I flipped on Dragon Tales, while her freshly made bowl of cereal became soggy and her apples became brown. I could tell my day was going to be long and my patience tested.
Cartoons satisfied her for ten minutes, then she wanted a movie, at this point I was looking for anyway to please her. Soon after the movie was over I could tell she was ready to play outside, so that is where we went. She drug all the toys out of the bin, played with each one for about two minutes, then left them askew while we drew with chalk all over the driveway. She ran up to me, tugged on my shirt and stated "Lea, it is snack time." I was home alone and being bossed around by a four year old. I knew she didn't eat any breakfast and by this time she was most likely hungry. So, we ate yogurt on the front porch.
After lunch, which followed shortly after snack, I saw the same pair of tired eyes that woke me up and I thought that maybe nap time was approaching. Oh boy, was I mistaken. No, it was NOT naptime. Let's see how much patience I can muster, before I literally pull my own hair out. She kicked and screamed and did anything but hear what I was saying.
"A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire."~Proverbs 15:1
After the post-lunch "fun", my family came home and we all ate dinner together and my sister was beginning to show how tired she really was. She was getting upset over the small things and getting quite cranking. So, I decided it was bath and jammies for her.
I ran a hot bath, with minimal bubbles and she threw off her dirty dress and stepped in the bath. I slid my feet in the bath and found a sudden bliss, as if I hadn't sat in years. In that moment I threw my head back and rejoiced. My Lord had given me the strength to power through a day that felt like years.
I'm not even to the good part yet.
As I stepped over the little girl to grab shampoo she looked up at me and said "Lea, I love you. You love me too?" I lost it. I really tried to conceal the tears that slid down my face, but they came down. While washing her hair I said "Yes, I will always love you so much. No matter what you do I will love you."
And that's when you know that love can be completely unconditional. Forever love.
Love and Live Simply,