"My children will remember what a great mom I am," I thought. "We will do crafts, a few chores, bake cinnamon bread and take a frozen trek around our yard. Then they'll nap and I'll pay bills."
I did not anticipate the ridiculous amount of time I would spend messing around with photoshop. Nor did I consider how much laundry I had to fold.
"Good thing I never mentioned crafts or baking to the children."
After lunch and clean-up (more tasks that took longer than they should have) we started suiting up for an outside adventure. "What a great chance to take pictures of nature's beauty! Let's look for today's Love picture outside, kids!"
Turns out, not everyone wanted to go outside.
But they went. "They are going to have fun whether they want to or not!"
Turns out, not everyone had a good attitude or a good time.
And the snow scenes didn't take my breath away. No, that was accomplished by lugging a weary and cold toddler atop my 8 month pregnant belly as I trudged on the ice-under-snow-in-the-cold-wind.
The pictures look like we had fun (you can see them on my facebook page) but I didn't really "see" the love I was looking for. There were some examples of love: Sammy loving the pets by feeding them, Norah loving her sister by pulling her sled, Willa loving her mommy by not complaining, Weston loving... well, um... the outdoors? But really, it wasn't the special write-a-book-about-what-a-great-mom experience I hoped for. And really, I should have known better; two of my children have been sick this past week, they probably shouldn't have been outside so long.
Needless to say, the frozen trek wore most of us (including me) out too much to carry on with any more activities besides napping.
But after naps, when I went to retrieve Willa from her bed... I saw this picture out the window. It was the beautiful love I was looking for today. Something I couldn't create or manipulate. I could only try to record the moment through the dirty glass in my upstairs hall. How much God loves us: He not only prepares our paths and orders our days, but He surrounds us with loveliness.
I know this sunset was not just for me. I'm not the center of the world. I'm not even the best mother in the world... this peaceful sunset was there because God wanted it, because it sang a silent song of praise to Him.
Love humbles us when we're proud.