Today, my knight in shining armor took time during his lunch break to help his damsel in distress. He fixed my vacuum cleaner. Changed the belt, cleaned all the parts, made it as good as new. I was thrilled and let him know it.
Unfortunately, I found out about 30 seconds into vacuuming our living room that this freshly maintenanced vacuum cleaner was able to suck up a bouncy ball hiding underneath the couch. Only, I didn't find out until this evening that it was my daughter's beloved bouncy ball. I just heard a terrible noise, saw smoke coming out of the cleaner, and smelled something burning. I looked and, sure enough, no belt. Broken. After only 30 seconds.
My knight and shining armor? Back at work. Me? Alone with a broken vacuum and 2 kids in the house.
One of said kids asks "Why is there all that smoke coming out of the vacuum?"
Boy, I was ready for an answer! "That's what happens when children leave their toys out and don't pick up like they're supposed to," I replied in that Proverbs 31-way ("...in her mouth is the law of kindness").
Well, maybe not quite so kindly. In fact, not kindly at all. Broke that law completely.
My 2 daughters got the "pick up after yourselves" lecture for the 102nd time. I'm sure it's going to stick this time.
Of course, a few minutes later after I cooled down (it took the vacuum cleaner a considerably longer period to cool), I apologized to my 2 daughters for how I responded. I let them know I wasn't upset with them as much as I was at the whole situation. I don't know if it helped much.
Why would such a little thing bug me so much? It's just a vacuum cleaner. It's just a dirty floor (that's needed vacuuming for a week and a half). I've been better lately at stopping to think what is really important. Sadly, I failed today. I voted that my house being cleaned was more important than my children's feelings; more important than making sure I have the right character. How can I convince them not to murmur & complain when I do exactly that when things don't go MY way?
Again, I take a lesson from previously mentioned knight. I told him about it when he came home. He smiles and says "life happens" and takes 5 of the children (including 2 daughters) to Wal-Mart to buy a new belt. He came home and fixed the vacuum, again helping his damsel.
Again, I was thankful - for the repair and for the example.
Tomorrow's another day. Something's bound to go wrong. I pray my response will be right.