This has been quite the vexatious week. First it was the taxes. Not only does the U.S. government garner a ridiculous percentage of our income on a yearly basis, this time said sum was not quite sufficient. My husband and I watched incredulously as another large chunk of our change flew out the window and into the pockets of Uncle Sam.
Then it was the challenges of modern technology – a lap-top crash after a software update and a broken cell phone. The laptop visited an IT guru and was fixed in less than an hour. This only happened, however, after several hours of teeth gnashing and hair pulling by my husband in an attempt to restore the thing on his own. (I was unaware that deficiencies in technological prowess are a direct reflection of masculinity.) The cell phone could not be salvaged. This required an emergency trip to the phone store on what turned out to be the busiest night since Christmas (as stated by the gentleman who helped us). Buying a new phone and updating the contract took well over an hour. I shouldn’t whine too much about the cell phone issue, though. My phone was four years old, which is ancient in technology years. To replace it, I got a brand new toy with lots of bells and whistles.
To top things off, my husband is now away for a work retreat until the end of the week. This means that I am down a set of wheels – a huge issue with baseball games and practices, band concerts, and youth group meetings happening every night he is gone. What I really need is a vehicle that travels at the speed of light so that I can almost be in two places at once. Then I could get everyone where they need to go, allow them to stay the entire time, and pick them up at the end, relaxed and smiling. As it is, I’ll be driving all over Lancaster county like a crazy woman, popping TUMS, and grumbling (under my breath so the kids don’t hear) about rush hour traffic, work retreats, and taxes.
The purpose of that lengthy introduction is merely to set the stage for the real topic of the day. Life is life and it is usually difficult. Because of that fact, I thought I would focus on a frivolous and frothy question to take my mind off my troubles. I read Woman’s Day magazine often. It is cheap and informative. In each issue, a question is asked of the editors and directors and then some of the responses are printed. The question in the February 17, 2010 issue was “What warms your heart?” – probably in celebration of Valentine’s Day. The editors offered lots of great answers: sleeping babies, a beloved pet, doing volunteer work, etc. Since my own heart needs a little thawing after the trials of this week, I thought I would come up with a list of heart warmers unique to me. Please feel free to add your own ideas as well.
What warms your heart?
1. Baby Laughter – Those little belly laughs are absolutely contagious. Babies never laugh alone.
2. Elderly married couples who still really like each other – They touch, they joke, their eyes twinkle, they are tender toward each other, and they comfort one another. They talk with pleasure about one another and their life together. I hope that my husband and I have this kind of relationship in our later years. What an incredible source of joy.
3. Catching my children being kind to each other – This isn’t a rare occurrence in our home, but it I still take notice when it does happen.
4. Newborn animals in the spring – Lambs, goats, and calves frolicking in the pastures with their mamas nearby. What could possibly be more heartwarming?
5. A cat curled in my lap – There is just something so comforting about the body of a warm, purring cat.
6. My husband tucking me in at night – This little ritual started when we were first married and has carried through the years. It is such a tiny gesture and yet is a huge demonstration of love and servanthood to me.
7. Watching my family really enjoying the food I make – I like to cook and love to bake. Much of my pleasure comes from knowing that my family and friends are enjoying the things I’ve made.
8. Photos of my children when they were little – I thank God for the technology that allows us to capture brief moments in time on film that would be lost to our memory. Without photos, I may not have remembered that my son liked to tool around naked, on a little ride-on bike with a toy stethoscope around his neck.
9. Hearing my children spontaneously singing praise and worship songs – I love knowing that my kids can worship God on their own without any leading from me or anyone else.
10. Genuine compliments – Both the giving and receiving of compliments is just plain delightful.
Well now, I feel better already.