“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
—1 Corinthians 13:13
Our two older sons, ages 7 and 9, expressed some curiosity regarding Leap Year and this “extra day” it brings.
“How does that work? We get a whole extra day?”
“What happens if you’re born on Leap Day? Do you get a birthday party only every four years??”
“What are we supposed to do with the extra day?”
“Mom, this is crazy, a whole other day of school??”
I mean, this whole extra day has thrown them for a loop. So earlier in February, we decided just what we can do with this gift of 24 hours this year. We can certainly spend this time spreading extra love.
It’s a whole extra day to be a blessing; it’s a whole extra day to show someone you care; it’s a whole extra day to practice kindness; and it’s a whole extra day to love someone really well.
And this year’s Leap Day falls on a Saturday, a precious day off from school. Gently, I added the suggestion that it’s a whole extra day to try to serve our community, to pick up trash at a local park, to visit someone who is alone, or to do an extra chore around the house without being asked, or best of all, to play with the youngest brother and make his day so bright.
Reeling from all the talk of love this month, we will spend today loving—loving our family and loving others.
“Let all that you do be done in love.”
—1 Corinthians 16:14
One school day morning last week, I was back in my room getting ready for the day, and our youngest son decided to pour himself a big bowl of Fruit Loops cereal. When I came back into the kitchen, he sat at the dining table, with a bowl overflowing with the colorful circles and quite full of milk.
“I did it all myself, mom!” he exclaimed.
Our seven-year-old gently spoke, “Well actually he spilled the milk everywhere, but don’t worry, mom, I cleaned it all up.” After his statement, he went back to eating his cinnamon toast.
I could tell that milk had in fact been wiped up from the kitchen counter, lower cabinets, and tile floor. And I was awestruck that I had not heard a peep during this ordeal.
I said, “Yes, this is how you show love, son. A beautiful act of voluntary kindness toward your brother and toward your mom.”
I pray these little actions from time to time build up their hearts and increase their desire to serve and to love others widely.
We will see what all opportunities today brings, as well as what opportunities come up in March and throughout the rest of the year. And no matter if it seems like extra time or time that passes too quickly, I pray that our entire family will engage each day and each act with the greatest gift of all. Love.