This canvas has been 6 different colors with 100 different sketches; I couldn't decide what I wanted prominently displayed in our living room. I had elaborate ideas of a big family portrait, a grand modge podge of hymns & scriptures, a collage of good words, a giant fabric flower, a doughnut; the ideas were endless. I needed a big thing the kids would see every day, staring at them with a colorful reminder of something wonderful.
So I thought about it. What do I want my kids to know. To do. Every day.
Pick up their socks.
Use a tissue.
Yup. That was it. But on a grander scale.
We're nice because we're happy. We're happy because we're loved. We feel loved when someone's nice.
Love one another. As simple as that.
Deep, but not really.
Because when she's upset she lost the spelling bee to that boy...again...she can be happy for him. And when he's disappointed that girl didn't come watch his game, he can give her the benefit of the doubt. And when he watches his friends embarrass that kid, he'll tell them to knock it off. Because when their little brother ruins their lego house, they can invite him to build a castle. And when we feel mad, we can be nice. And when we feel alone, we can remember.
It's a difficult concept for our selfish selves.
So that's what it became.
A big, simple reminder of something wonderful.
"As I have loved you, love one another."
Hanging over the piano.