As my mom did, I'm making an effort to include Caroline in the kitchen early and often. Every evening she sits in her high chair and judges the way my 1 tablespoon of butter measures more like 1 1/2 tablespoons. One day she'll appreciate my generosity.
Because I believe in the 5-second rule (and I'm also terrified that Cody wore his work boots across the kitchen to grab an Angus Journal in the living room without me knowing), I try to pick up her discarded toys as quickly as I can.
Then blow them off.
Or rinse them off.
Or put them in the "to boil" pile.
Maybe because my mind runs in several different directions often,
or perhaps because something is heavy on my heart at all times,
each night as I prepare dinner for our family
I think of a message that
I want to share with you.
I have a tattered relationship with a friend that is in desperate need of repair. Each time I reach out, they make it clear that they want little to nothing to do with me. It weighs on me daily, and strangely each time that I'm in the kitchen and Caroline throws a toy to the ground without any regard to the hard, dirty farmhouse floor resting at the bottom of her tiny force, I think about that friend and our discarded friendship.
In my true (ignorant) I'm a good person and you hurt my feelings fashion, the first (3) times my friend told me to leave them alone I took it quite personally. Then I got mad.
Their loss. I thought.
I'm a nice person. I thought.
We've had a great time over the years. I remembered.
Then I had a conversation with someone else that changed my perspective. I told this person (my not-paid-enough-pseudo-counselor) that I feel like one of the objects so thoughtlessly tossed aside; perhaps that's why I'm so quick to pick up every toy. Or spoon. Or spaghetti strainer. Or book. Or teether. Or mixing bowl. Or anything on the ground.
And I was quickly reminded that I'm not just a toy on the ground.
I was quickly reminded that everyone is facing a battle that we know nothing about.
I was reminded that everyone is facing a battle that we know nothing about.
Everyone is facing a battle that we know nothing about.
Those last three lines were not typos. I hope you read, read and re-read them.
Instead of showing frustration, I'll show my friend love, as Jesus has shown me (John 15:12). I'll love my friend in the way that Caroline loves each toy once I wash it off and present it to her again. Each time, she is excited to see it, as though it's a brand new toy she's never seen before. Her excitement and appreciation is admirable.
If you have a friend in need, don't give up. Don't stop reaching out to them because they act as though they want you to go away. Don't get offended because you're the last person they want to spend time with. It isn't always about you. Don't be discouraged because they're bothered that you check on them. Seasons of life affect people differently, and in the long run I can promise you the effort of caring you put into the relationship will not be something you regret.
Tonight I'll cook dinner with CJ in the high chair and CS in the barn.
I'll pick up the discarded toy and the strainer and the spoon and the bowl and the teether and more.
Later at night I'll lay my head down on my pillow thinking of - and praying for - the friend that would rather I go away than bother them again.
And I'll commit to loving them through the storm.
And I'll hope that you do the same for your friend
that came to mind as you read this blog.
Also, Jesus doesn't judge the state of my kitchen floor and you probably shouldn't, either.
Only my mother is warranted to do that.