Well, we had a wedding this weekend and also managed to cram in a whole bunch of life and love and family and such in around it.
It is way more than I could possibly put into words worth reading on this second “Monday” of the last week of May, so here is us, cleaned up and looking our bestest and then I am going to kick off this short week with a story of how last Thursday went down.
Because we had a rough start, to say the least.
I was up north for the day and Joel seemed particularly sad that his mommy had headed off to work.
He went and got a blanket and pillow and all the stuffed animals he could haul in one trip and set up camp on the family room floor.
I just assumed he was tired and extra sad because his daddy was out of town and mom had worked a full day Tuesday as well, so I just gave him his space.
A short time later, he produced evidence….literally…that he was not just missing his parents but was also harboring a virus.
A virus that he released on the carpet just a few feet from the tile floor….so I cleaned up the first of several messes and set about tending our little guy whilst keeping his sister from bodily injury as she seems to climb on everything and is attracted to all things potentially dangerous.
It was a long day, and the poor little guy was just miserable.
After the boys got home from school, I sent them outside to play and hopefully avoid whatever Joel was sharing with Caroline who would.not.stay.out.of.his.face.
I would run to the door to check on them between hugs for Joel, switching loads laundry and pulling Caroline off of tall furniture and away from her beloved JoJo.
At one point, Graham called in from the garage to let me know a school friend had ridden his bike down to shoot baskets.
I went out to confirm with his buddy that mom was aware of his visit, when Joel appeared at the door calling for us.
I found him sitting on the step, asking if I could get Landon’s attention so he could tell him he was sick.
Have I mentioned before that Joel is my Achilles’ Heel?
I don’t know what it is about the combination of his face and personality, but the little guy melts me to putty.
I was not sure how much sympathy this second grader was going to be able to muster, but I asked him if he could come see Joel and God bless him, he did.
With raw tears forcing him to strain to get the words out, Joel spouted out in two short sentences the account of his battle with the flu that day.
I held my breath to see what kind of response he would get, and thanked God with my whole heart when Graham’s friend listened sweetly, nodded his head and agreed that is not fun and hoped he felt better.
The two older boys went off to play as I scooped our little wounded soldier back up and carried him to the couch for more cartoons.
And I learned two things about us humans from that.
There is a need in us to tell our painful stories to someone.
And there is a grace gift when that someone just listens.
Not trying to fix or analyze or compare their own woundings…just a quiet presence to stand willingly in the face of someone else’s misery and receive it with kindness.
There is a whole lot of pain out there around us and a whole lot of pain inside us at times.
Finding the right balance of sharing our woes and receiving that of others is an effort we might prayerfully seek to maintain in the midst of a loud and antagonistic world.
Blessed, truly, are the peacemakers <3