Sunday started out pretty badly. I had been sick all week with a head cold and the resulting headache. The kids woke me up way too early for a weekend morning. (Some of my kids wake up at the crack of dawn every day, no matter the season or day of the week. They should have been born on a dairy farm!) Mike left early to take care of his church responsibilities.
Two of my daughters got into a fight about which one of them was going to wear a certain dress. When I took the dress away, there was more weeping and wailing. One of them proclaimed that she was going to look for another family, to which I lovingly replied, “Good! People are just lining up to adopt little girls who fight with their sisters and don’t keep their bedroom clean.” It was the perfect response if my intent was to emotionally scar her for life
Joshua, who was already bathed and dressed for church, occupied himself in the refrigerator by pulling out a carton of two and a half dozen eggs and tap dancing all over them. Then, both he and Meggie were disruptive and uncooperative during church.
After we finally got home, I begged the kids to tidy up the place. While they were “cheerfully” and “willingly” cleaning, I answered a phone call from a friend asking me if Meggie was supposed to still be at church. Yes, I left another child behind. Well I technically just left her there with her father who would be there for a few more hours. Meggie and the diaper bag were sitting right outside the door to the bishop’s office.
It was kind of a dark and cloudy day, both literally and figuratively. But those days often contain some of the most brilliant silver linings. For instance, there was a thunderstorm. I love thunderstorms! Friends smiled at me, hugged me and offered words of encouragement. Most of them did not even know that I was having a bad day. Being strengthened and buoyed up by the love and goodness of others is one of the joys of Sunday. After church my friend Cherie sent over some Advil in a baggy. I didn’t ask her to do this. She just knew I had a headache and was showing concern. And then there was Lindsey who brought Meggie home to me without any judgment on my mothering skills, but with love and a desire to serve me.
We got to attend a wonderful Christmas fireside, which I always enjoy. And after Mike got home, our whole family ate popcorn and drank hot cocoa and read some of my favorite Christmas stories by the light of the Christmas tree. I don’t know if it is possible to read “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry or “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” by Barbara Robinson without feeling deep joy, especially if you are creating a shared memory with those you love most.
Sometimes the dark and cloudy days bring the best blessings because they really accentuate the silver linings in life. Silver linings and tender mercies are ever present, but the contrast of headaches, bickering and broken eggs makes them even more pronounced!