After a long day, I retreated for a nice, quiet bath.
All by myself. At last. A hard-earned bit of “me time.”
Interruption No. 1: My son Isaiah got up for a post-bedtime run to the potty. I heard the frantic steps-in-place by the door and knew I had better hurry. I threw a towel and swung upon the door so he would, you know, make it in time.
After that was over, I carefully relocked the door and settled in for a good soak.
Interruption No. 2: I heard the sound of tiny feet rushing back and forth in the cabinet under the sink.
My heart raced and sunk at the same time.
That’s right, mice.
Gone was the leisurely soak.
My eyes scanned for crevices that a mouse could squeeze through.
My gaze locked on a gap between the tub and a plumbing fixture and I realized that water had probably leaked under the tub.
And then I surmised that the leak had coincided with the mouse steps.
And then, as the mouse steps got more frantic and loud, I realized the mouse might be running around right under me (as in under the bathtub).
Now my bath turned into a race to get all the soap off as fast as possible.
Then the mouse steps got louder and louder until it sounded like a waterfall of gushing water. It sounded like a pipe had burst right on the other side of the wall.
Was the bathtub water pouring out by the toilet? Into the kitchen?
I got up, grabbed a towel, and gingerly pushed a stool over and stepped onto it to have a look. I braced myself for the sight of a family of rats dancing around in an ever-deepening lake on my floor.
I saw nothing.
It all became clear.
It was rain. The “mouse steps” had been nothing more than the sound of a few scattered drops. The gushing water was a downpour hitting the tin roof and skylight above me.
I had to smile. At least it’d make a good story.
Recently Jake and I watched a marriage series by Francis and Lisa Chan.
It was excellent in a “clear the air” kind of way.
The main idea is that marriage should be put in the perspective of eternity.
That is, marriage won’t last forever, but we will.
Sounds weird, but stay with me.
Instead of keeping a running tally of how well (or how not well) a spouse is meeting my needs or how much I’m sacrificing (which, of course, should be reciprocated), they encouraged people to serve like Jesus who was, I hate to say it, often taken for granted and extremely self-sacrificial.
One thing I don’t think they were saying is that you should stuff anger about serving or unmet needs — just that if marriage is working right, people can serve each other without keeping score.
Which really lines up with a Scripture passage that but has been hugely convicting to me lately.
“Love is patient. Love is kind.”
(Inwardly wince. Kind of lacking in the patience area lately toward my husband and children. And no patience = no kindness).
“It is never jealous or envious”
(Not even when your husband is leaving for work and you would give anything to be in the car and going somewhere instead?)
“Love does not demand its own way.”
(Except that we all know that my way is the only way. Or at least y’all should know that by now)
“It is not irritable or touchy.”
(Not even in the middle of the night when a child has just thrown up?)
“It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.”
(Oh I notice. And I’ve made an unfortunate habit of filing it away of “stuff to talk about after the kids go to bed”…)
Joking aside, my little bathtub episode just demonstrates how something so small can get blown up so quickly. In a moment, it has captured all of my attention and emotion. And then it turns out to be nothing whatsoever.
I guess what I’m trying to say is I want to learn to love better. And start to learn to just laugh about the little stuff.
Life is too short, and eternity is too long, for anything less.