(This photo has nothing to do with the post, but it depicts one of those blissful moments that help make up for the not-so-blissful times...)
The other Sunday I wrestled through my church meeting with five children. This included a baby who woke up earlier than usual and was far past-due for a nap. A three year old that had too much energy. Two sisters wanting to argue for an hour straight and an eight year old who kept asking such questions as, “How much longer?” and “Is anyone coming over tonight?”
My patience was almost gone. But as I was trying to settle my fussy baby, I couldn’t help but notice a single lady sitting right by me thoughtfully taking notes while the speaker spoke. Notes!? I was barely even aware of what the speaker was talking about, but note-taking? At that moment, being able to take notes, and internalize the speaker’s message seemed luxurious. As I felt a brief pang of envy, I momentarily day dreamed about such luxuries as sitting alone in a meeting and feeling motivated and inspired rather than feeling frustrated and weary.
My daydream was soon interrupted by my questioning son, “What are we having for dinner today?” With gritted teeth and an expression that implied, ‘Do not ask any more questions,’ I whispered, “We’re having homemade hamburgers.” (We have our ‘Sunday meal’ on Mondays.) Luke’s eyes lit up, a little giggle escaped and a louder-than-appropriate voice said an exaggerated, “YYEEESSSSSS.” And then as my pickiest eater child, he added, “Don’t change your mind, ok?”
I smiled. I even let out a little giggle myself. My frustration and my weariness dissipated, I looked over at the note-taking lady with different eyes. Now I felt a brief pang of envy for her, I felt badly that she didn’t have someone to tell “We’re having homemade hamburgers” to.
A few hours later, when the dinner preparation was beginning, I realized I had forgotten to buy hamburger buns. The all too familiar frustrating and weary thoughts were about to return, but as I contemplated changing the menu, I remembered the excited plea “Don’t change your mind, ok?”
As seven members of my family sat around the table eating homemade hamburgers on less than fresh, slightly freezer burned hamburger buns, I smiled. I looked at the kitchen counter scattered with dishes and hamburger fixings, I glanced at the high chair with a feeding-himself-one –year- old-disaster, and I glanced at the other faces, happily eating and talking. I was enjoying a very simple, brief moment of happiness and joy. I knew in that moment that sitting alone in a meeting, internalizing a speaker’s message, even taking notes, is a luxury I’m happy to forgo for now.
Even, if it includes stale hamburger buns once in a while.
Also published, here.