The light in my kitchen

I have a light over my kitchen sink.  It’s a long fluorescent bulb and since we bought our house 10 years ago, we have never once changed the bulb.  We have changed every other light bulb multiple times in a decade.  But that one has remained steady and true.  This time of year, I use it the most.  Sometimes I need it for seeing well to scrub dishes after dinner when it’s dark as night by 6 p.m.  Most times I leave it on in the evenings and mornings because that one light produces enough light to light up the kitchen and dining room and even serves as a decent light source for our living room.  It’s just the right amount of light to see by but isn’t blinding to eyes that haven’t yet adjusted to light.

The light over my kitchen sink isn't fancy, but it's bright, steady and true -- just as I want to be.

Monday night, for example, the light came in handy when my daughter woke us up in the middle of the night sick with the same stomach virus her brother had just gotten over days before. She was a miserable little girl.  Once we took care of cleaning needs and got her through the first part of it, I sent my husband back to bed (one of us needed sleep and he still had work to do even from his home office the next day).  Lexiana and I settled into the living room.  I spread a blanket on the floor, set her up with her pillow, a blanket and a bucket.  I had turned on the light over the kitchen sink.  It gave us just enough light to see by in the living room but not so much that we couldn’t sleep.  It gave us just enough light to see by when we made numerous trips down the hall to the bathroom and back.

As I stretched out on the couch for a 20-minute snooze between times of having to get up with her, I thought about that light.  And I thought about the day ahead.  And I thought about how tired I was.  And I wondered how I’d get through the day.  Because one thing I knew for sure is that this sick day wasn’t about me.  It couldn’t be.  No kid wants her mom moaning and groaning and griping when she’s the one who is sick.  So I prayed.  I prayed for strength through the night.  I prayed for energy to keep getting up and to keep dealing with laundry and all that comes with such an icky virus.  I prayed to stay well to take care of my family.  If I somehow beat the odds and missed the germs from my son, I feel like beating the odds and missing the germs the second time around is almost impossible.  But I need to first take care of my family.  And so I prayed.  I wanted to be like that light.  I want to shine light into the darkness and stay steady and true even when everything around me is dark.

I know it sounds profound for a 5 a.m. thought process in the midst of a stomach virus, but evidently I wax poetic at these times.  And evidently God doesn’t sleep through them either.  (Of course!)  I felt Him gently reminding me that He can keep me shining and give me the strength to keep going when I need it most to take care of my family.  And I needed His strength.  My beautiful daughter was horribly miserable and she has quite a low tolerance for misery.  She doesn’t take well to not feeling.  (Who does really?)  There are lots of tears and whining and moaning.  I most certainly need help to continue being loving sometimes in the midst of that.  I know she doesn’t feel well.  I know she truly is miserable and that helps.  But divine help also reminds me that love is patient.  Love is patient.  And I love her more than life itself, so I am patient.

As for my girl, she’s over the worst of the virus and working to regain her strength through some much loathed naps.  She had her first sips of Sprite and was sorely unimpressed.  She was quite anxious for water.  As for the kitchen light, it still shines steady and true and lights our house just enough at just the right times.  Evidently it will now also serve as a reminder to me to remain steady and true through the grace of God.

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