"I think I am stuck in a negative place about Luke," I shared with my husband.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I am working really hard to say the right things but I'm thinking all these really critical thoughts. I don't want to feel that way about him."
"So don't. He's a great kid."
Once again, Mr. Cut-to-the-Chase makes it clear. I let that percolate in the back of my brain for the rest of the day then prayed about it in the morning. I prayed that God show me all of my son's goodness. I prayed that I would see my son's light and sweetness shining brighter than all the things that frustrated me. "I know you made him perfect, Lord. You designed him for a purpose. Help me to guide him toward that. Help me to see all the incredible beauty in him."
I got ready then we all headed outside to do some science experiments about wind. "I'll be right back!" My son yelled as he ran inside. Frustrated that he was leaving at the beginning of a lesson, I sighed. But then I was reminded of my prayer and waited to react.
"Here you go guys!" He said with a broad smile. "It's so hot that I thought everybody could use a popscicle!"
Time and time again throughout the day, I saw his kind and generous spirit. He got a snack and a glass of milk for me while I went through my email. He offered to read books to his sister when I was busy teaching Drew. And at the end of the day, he helped his brother when I couldn't.
"Drew, I know you're sad about going to bed, love. But it's time," I said gently.
"But why does Lukey get to stay up?!" He wailed from the bottom bunk.
"Because he took a nap this afternoon and he isn't tired just yet." Even as I gave the reason, I knew it would just lead to more arguing, more crying. "Bud, I love you. Get some rest." I started to walk away, hoping that would take the wind out of his sails.
I felt a small tap on my leg. "Mommy, is it okay if I go talk to him for a minute?" Luke asked.
"Sure, bud." I watched as he climbed into bed next to his brother.
"Drew, I love you," he said quietly. "I promise you won't be alone long. See this clock? When it says 8:00, I will be here with you. It's okay. Everything is okay."
"Okay, Lukey. G'night."
I have realized that my husband is right. How we see the people we love is a choice. We can see them through eyes of love or we can focus on their faults. I am not saying that we can let bad behavior or rudeness or hurtful things slide; I am simply saying that when they do happen, we can give that person the benefit of the doubt. We can reach across the aisle and try to understand from their perspective. We can look for their goodness and all the joy they bring to our lives. I am so thankful for the reminder.
Is there someone in your life that is bugging you? Ask God to help you see the light they bring to their lives. Look for it. Embrace it and be thankful for it.