The Remedy for a Level One Tiff


Yesterday, Brandon and I had a tiff. A spat. A squabble. Or whatever other cutesy word you use for a minor altercation. If I had to rate its severity, I’d put it at a level one. Something like, “What? Why did you make that face?”

“I didn’t make a face. I’m just reading my dragon book.” (He didn’t really say that. But, that’s what he was doing, and I just want to take this opportunity to make fun of his fantasy fiction habit.)

“Yes, you did make a face! You made a mean face. Do you know how many poops I’ve changed today? DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY POOPS I’VE CHANGED TODAY!!!???”

You know, a tiff.

The point is, I was annoyed over nothing. Brooklyn’s poopy diaper percentage was slightly above her daily average and Ever had been Mommy-mommy-mommy-mommy-mommy-look-mommy-mommy-hey-mommy-mommy-ing me more than usual and I didn’t feel loved/hugged/appreciated enough. Woe is me.

So, Brandon held his breath and changed a poop while I tiptoed in my little huff upstairs and snuck into my bed. I thought if I was quiet enough, maybe I could sneak away from all the pooping and the mommy-mommy-mommy-ing and soak up a moment of quiet. I wanted time to let my standard every-woman-every-day annoyance really fester.

No faces. No poops. No noise.

I don’t think three seconds went by before my oldest started calling, “Mommy? Mommy! Mommy?”


I heard her little feet springing her up the stairs - boing - boing - boing - boing. I kept my eyes shut, knowing she’d find me as soon as she rounded the corner, but hoping she’d think I was already asleep.

“Here, Mom,” she said, all nonchalant as she threw something at me.

I felt something light land on my chest.

She continued, “I brought you some Bible verses.”

I looked down and found this little lamb magnet she’d made at school last week. I had snuck away seeking solace, and she came in to deliver what I really needed. I couldn’t stop laughing over the perfect timing and abnormal delivery.

“Want to read them with me?” she said.

“I trust in Your Word.” - Psalm 119:42

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” - John 14:6

“The Lord is my helper. I will not fear.” - Hebrews 13:6

These life-giving, supernatural words, glued onto a crayon-colored lamb flooded me with grace. Happy laughter, even! God’s Word was hand delivered to me in my moment of selfishness. By my five-year-old baby. On a popsicle stick sheep magnet.

It’s amazing.

And it's frustrating. That I still fret over trifles. People I love near and far are crying out to God over weighty things. Real problems. Real pains. Things like cancer and brain trauma and level 10 marriage tiffs. I’m searching for a daughter in China who, right now, is motherless and fatherless and hungry. And I’m here “needing a minute.”

In the past, my daughter’s scripture sheep toss might have felt like an attack, pricking me right in a sinful place and making me feel unworthy of this life, unworthy of my family’s love, unworthy of my status of God’s adored daughter.

But, see, this scripture sheep was covered in words that have come alive in my life. Words that have convicted me, instructed me, corrected me (2 Timothy 3:16).

The Lord is my help. Jesus is my life. The Lamb of God has taken away the sins of the world. God looks on my level one tiff with level ten love.

His Word being frisbee thrown onto my chest in fridge magnet form wasn’t an accusation; it was a gift. It was a “Wake up, Scarlet, and remember who you are. Remember who I made you to be. Remember how deep and how wide and how high is My love for you.”

I remembered. And then I was grateful for my daughter as she celebrated the success of her sheep. And for my husband as he discarded diaper number infinity. And for my Savior who does all things well.

I might need a Kleenex.

I definitely need wipies.