'Do small things with great love.' I chose this little quote by Mother Teresa for my 2013 Cranny calendar. It's simple, profound, and devastatingly wonderful. I know that last part sounds odd, so let me explain. A few days ago, I experienced something that I will likely never be able to forget. I made my little boy sad. And, he told me so. We were working on an art project. He was wiggly and impatient. Paint went everywhere, except for where it should have gone, and my patience had run dry.
His hand prints, that were supposed to be antlers, looked like, well, not antlers, and I didn't like it. But Graeme? He was thrilled! "Mommy, I did a great job on my project!" he said, as he danced around, making more paint-laced footprints on my kitchen floor. "No. This was not a good job." I said, as I led him into the half bathroom to wash up. "You kept moving your hands when I said to keep them still and you kept touching the walls and getting paint on them and...." I stopped as he let out a little cry and said, "mommy, I'm sad". And in that moment, it was as if God reached down into my half bathroom, the one with black and brown paint splotches all over the sink, and broke my heart in two.
I apologized, asked forgiveness, and explained to Graeme that, when I said those words, I was caring more about a clean floor than I was about being kind and loving. I hugged him and he went off to play with his cars. But me? I stood there trying to pick up the pieces. I sat down on the couch to think, pray, and read, and ended up at Ephesians 5, all the while watching Graeme out of the corner of my eye. Was he okay? Would he forget?
"Walk in love." The words poured over my devastated heart like water on a desert floor. I journaled: "What does that really mean? Jesus, I need you to break into my heart and show me how to love. I don't know how to love. I don't love my children and my husband with your love. This morning, my heart was crushed as I realized the damage done to my little Graeme-bear's heart over an art project. I'm disgusted at my lack of love towards him. And, really, who am I kidding? This lack of love towards my 'loved ones' stems from an original lack of love towards Christ. In him is love. In Christ. Oh to be found in Christ. To be found and known in the love of Christ Jesus. 'Do small things with great love.' Jesus, thank you for forgiveness. Help me to be found and known in the love of Jesus."
And then, I knew. I knew exactly what quote I wanted on that calendar. I wanted it not just because I liked it, but because every time I see it hanging in my home, I will be reminded of my great need for The Love, the one who makes every small and great act of love possible.
p.s. Thank you for letting me share a few Thanksgiving snippets too.
p.s.s. You can buy the 2013 Cranny calendar here.
p.s.s.s. If you make a purchase from my Etsy shop this weekend, you'll receive one of these calendars for free!