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  • Kelli Rae Wilson

it wasn't that lovely

Sometimes a picture makes it look better than it really was.

We had our annual Valentine's "I LOVE YOU" dinner. I was so excited all week and we even had extra guests to share our love with. I planned it on the evening our oldest daughter and my husband arrived home from an out-of-state college visit. The little kids waited all day and were anxious and hungry. I wanted to explode with love and yet was also very tired.

The night before I was home alone with the kids and a pipe froze and broke. Water leaked down into the ceiling from the attic and the fire detectors went off. I have no idea how to work our fire detectors or how to fix a leaking pipe. As I went off to bed my oldest son started becoming frantic over his ear having immense pain. In our home we have had several ear drums burst...this was very different. He moaned and groaned and cried all night. He is nine years old and needed to sleep next to me, he never really slept. We awoke early after two hours of sleep and my plans of dressing-up the kids in their “Valentiney” outfits, for church, was ruined. We went straight to the Urgent Care. His ear drum was bulging. The doctor said it was more painful than if it erupted. I left praying it would erupt quickly. I came home from the doctor to find out another pipe had broke and the leaking was worse.

I still anxiously planned for our Valentine's Dinner.

I got the table and Valentine's all set out. I bundled up all 5 kids (we had an extra one) and drove in a minor snow storm to pick-up our annual heart shaped pizza. Dinner was all set-up and ready for when they arrived home from the airport. This time though it was not the mood or the setting I had expected. It was not as calm as the other dinners. As we prepared to sit down my boy who was on pain meds for his ear.....puked, I happened to catch it with my hands just in time. After I cleaned us both off he sat at the table with a green puke bowl (because he insisted he didn't want to miss out). We had waited so late that our family was melting and it was not a lovely dinner anymore. The baby was upset, one child was being naughty, while another child was very excited to tell the reasons he loved his siblings {we go around the table and every person says one reason they love the other’s character}.

Then, my 'hangy' husband blurts out, "just do your ‘I love you thing’ quick”, as if he was in a rush. My face could have told the full story of how angry that made me. I was fuming.. to settle the mood I put the baby down and when I came back the kids had opened their Valentine’s. of my children complained about the prize they received. My biggest pet peeve is to receive food or a gift and complain about it. Gratitude is sooo important to me and it comes from me not wanting my kids to be entitled or spoiled. We practice this with the little kids. We practice before birthday's and Christmas not complaining about food or gifts. So this made me even more upset.

I was pushed over the edge...I was done. I excused myself from the table and resorted to my room. I do not allow my children to pout but I do allow them to go to their rooms. So, I decided, I am going to my room. It has been over a year since I have been upset enough to go to my room. In fact, I remember the last time I did it and even remember why. It's very rear that my family is not all in the same room together if we are in the house together. Within a few seconds someone was standing next to my bed. It was the one coming to apologize for complaining. Of course, I forgive and held no grudge. We were able to have a little lesson in that moment as well. His heart was broken for knowing he complained in a moment when someone was giving out of love to him. That someone was me. His gratitude and heart for other's starts on how he treats me. I was thankful he was able to see that and feel that so he can see it toward others.

As I laid there for my 5 minute mommy time-out, I realized this is silly. Why so much pressure? Yes, it did teach my complainer to have empathy as he apologized and really learned to hold his tongue next time. But, my family can tell eachother they love each other tomorrow too.

I joke that my love language is ALL the love languages. ha! I love to give and receive, serve and affirm. I love to hear my people tell each other why they love each other and I love them to build one-another up.

Soon, I was back down stairs and my husband and I agreed to do the "I Love you dinner" the next morning. Even though it wasn’t on Valentine’s Day or during our original “I Love you dinner”, the compliments of my loved ones being spoken about each other seemed even better than the other years as we ate at Cracker Barrel the next morning. We were clear minded, rested, and the ear drum had erupted in the night so my oldest boy was already feeling better.

oh yes..I also was able to dress my Koko-bear up in her Valentin-ey dress too :-)

Philippians 2:13-15…for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or complaining; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,…

1 thessalonians 5:11, Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.


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