Flames flicker across the quartered wood chunks placed just so inside the Jotul. From a safe distance away, wide eyes peer through the pane framed by cast iron arches. Ezra, ready but not willing to fall asleep, blinks and notices a bright truck in his periphery. He jumps into action, arms flailing in circular motions as his feet kick the walker toward the toy. As I sit, lulled by the fire licking logs, the jolt from sudden activity stirs my mind awake. It's then that I notice how warm the room has become and I peel off a layer to cool down.
There have been so many instances in my life in which I have felt the startling blush that arises from miscommunication, lack of attention, or inharmonious priorities. When conflict arises, I have a tendency to clam up and avoid the topic as long as possible. This habit has led to heated debates when whirlwind emotions no longer contain themselves. How many times have I been in controversial conversation and left thinking of the perfect thing to say half a day later! How many times have I opened my mouth to solve the dilemma with words of forgiveness only to convulse in sob after sob after sob! How many times have I heaped blame upon another's head only to have my own faults gnaw at me later!
So, I stop and peel off that sticky layer in prayer to cool down. Then, I pinpoint a hard-to-find positive in the situation, which usually falls just outside my view. And, let the refinement begin, reminding myself that I'm not the only one that feels too warm standing by a woodstove.
Friend, are you trying to huff out glowing embers only to find the flames fanned by your efforts? Take a moment to sit and sigh and search for a positive solution that reminds you others in the situation may be feeling just as warm as you.