This photo was taken after a week of being home with both kids having a stomach virus. My house was far from clean. The only thing I did was vacuum. I sent this accidentally to my mom, (was trying to send to my hubby to show that the boys were both playing! For the first time all week!) and she said, “Wow! Your house looks so clean!” I laughed. My house is far from clean, and I confessed that that’s not how it really looks when I went over later to visit. She told me, “Isn’t it funny how a picture can make something look beautiful and nice when in reality it wasn’t all that nice?”
It made me think. As I left her house with my kids and went back into my house, I kept pondering this and I had a sudden prayer.
“Lord, let my kids remember our home, our family and our lives like the picture of my home.”
In the picture, the stains on the couch weren’t zoomed in on, the places where the paint on the floor is chipping off weren’t the focus, the pile of dirty dishes wasn’t at the center of the room. I’m not saying I want my kids to be in denial of any bad, traumatic, or ugly things they have witnessed. Our lives have already been filled with what seems to be more than our fair share of pain and loss. But my prayer is that when they look back at their childhood, our family, our home, that they will see a bigger picture. That they will remember laughter, reading books, mommy cooking their favorite foods, daddy coming home from work on Saturdays with their favorite snacks and ready to play, bedtime prayers. That when they look back, they will see the beauty first.
The other day I got an email from my Google photos saying I missed a video they had made. It was entitled, “they grow up too fast.” It was a video of my oldest son from about 1 to his current age (4, almost 5). As I watched the video, I felt the magic of him growing and learning. Saying words, doing sign language, jumping in puddles, dancing, eating birthday cake. Know what I didn’t see? I didn’t see the awful home we were living in at the time. I didn’t see the almost bare cupboards. I didn’t see the stress I was carrying. I didn’t see any of the bad. I know it was there, but the pure joy of my boy growing cast its bright light over any shadow there was.
My prayer is that the love of Christ and the love of our family will shine its light bright enough to cover any shadow of pain and loss my children have and will encounter. Because love covers a multitude of sins. I have this hope. And I have this hope for you as well.