There are not many television commercials which have left me a better person for having watched them! But there was one, a cotton commercial aired many years ago, which did just that.
The scene was in a somewhat messy master bedroom. A mother and father were getting ready for what looked like a special night out. The father was dressed in a suit and the mother wore a beautiful black dress. They were smiling playfully at each other as the wife finished putting on her jewelry.
The couple shared the scene with two other characters. Two young girls, dressed in pink pajamas, were jumping wildly on the bed. They were leaping and laughing happily as their hair bounced and the bed covers wrinkled messily.
The viewer then saw the parents stop – and look at the girls. Their loving gaze seemed to say, “The most exclusive restaurant in the world could not compare to the joy of home and family!” The commercial was silent except for the sound of laughter – until the end, when the announcer simply said, “Look around. THIS is the good stuff.”
As I mentioned, that commercial left a lasting impression on me. At a time when busyness seemed to consume me, it brought the proper focus into my hurried life. From that point on – I did just as it said. I looked around.
I looked at my bouncy, energetic children. I looked at my toy-strewn home. I looked at my smiling, hungry husband. I looked at what was now ‘beautiful chaos’ and thought, “April. This really IS the good stuff!” I had an epiphany of sorts of which I am still grateful for – even these many years later.
I learned to look at life differently. I learned to put on rose colored glasses and see the goodness and sweetness that my role as a wife and mother offered me! I learned to filter out the ‘things’ of life and focus on the people (tall and tiny) in it! At times the glasses fell off, and my tunnel vision again became fixed squarely on my lengthy to-do list, the continuous cycle of laundry and dishes, and the stresses of running a home. However, my vision always improved as I figuratively reached for those glasses and again set them firmly upon my nose.
Tiny fingerprints soon became something I dreaded wiping off. Little shoes became treasures. Scribbled drawings, rooms coated in baby powder (with the powder-white toddler adorably holding the evidence), lipsticked cheeks and peanut butter chins were now decisively and deliberately imprinted in my memory to keep forever – and cherish today!
I learned to take mental snapshots of little hands tugging at my shirt as I folded the laundry. I memorized the picture of Daddy reading to our small children all squished up together on their toddler bed. I kept a mental sound bite of the 56 times my name (or rather “Mommy”) was said in the short 7-minute ride to the store. I learned to stop, gaze, listen – and love the moment I was in!
The Family – A Proclamation to the World states, “Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children.” I can think of no other commandment that would bring me more joy!
The FAMILY is the good stuff of life! Nothing else is as fulfilling! Nothing else is as satisfying! Nothing else is as rewarding! Nothing else is as meaningful! I wouldn’t trade all the sacrifice, stress and headaches for all the smiles, cuddles, and slobbery kisses that I have been blessed to experience! Nothing can compare to the joy that is felt and the love that is experienced…..in the family.
My name is April McMurtrey. I am a lover of ballet, books, and BBC movies! I am married to the most wonderful man in the world, which always makes me feel bad for all the other women! I have 3 amazing (but I’m biased – no, actually, it’s true!) teenagers – two strapping sons and a delightful daughter!
I believe in and feel passionate about the gospel of Jesus Christ and desperately look forward to the time when my husband and I can serve a full-time mission! However, that will have to wait. For now we are desperately enjoying being parents!
I love to blog! I love church! I love singing in the car – loudly! I am your average, every day, run of the mill, middle-aged woman who finds joy in God and family.