Purple Toothbrush

Purple ToothbrushI opened the drawer on the right side of the bathroom vanity to retrieve my purple toothbrush and tube of Crest.

That’s strange, I thought. My toothbrush is wet. Maybe the summer humidity is causing it to hold moisture. I brushed my teeth and finished dressing for work.

At bedtime, I made an intentional check of my toothbrush. It was wet! Baffled, I brushed my teeth and crawled into bed beside my husband Tim.

The next morning Tim and I were struggling to get ready for work at the same time in the tiny bathroom. And that’s when I saw it—he took the purple toothbrush from the drawer and proceeded to put toothpaste on it.

“Stop right there!” I yelled.

“What?” he asked, a bit startled.

“What do you think you are doing? That’s my toothbrush!” I almost screamed.

“No, it’s not,” Tim argued. “The purple one is mine and the orange one is yours.”

“No! No! No! No! No! The purple one is mine and the orange one is yours! How long have you been using the purple one?” I cringed as I waited for his answer.

He chuckled. “Ever since we moved into this house three months ago.”

I snatched the purple toothbrush from his hand and threw it in the drawer. (Not that I ever intended to use it again.) I grabbed the orange toothbrush and shook it in his face. I couldn’t think of anything to say so I just grunted. I yanked open the drawer on the left side of the vanity.

“Your toothbrush is to be kept in the left drawer from this day forward. Never even think about opening the right drawer. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?” I spoke with great intentionality.

Tim laughed. HE LAUGHED! I don’t care how many years you’ve been married; some things are just not meant to be shared.

Think of someone whose home was once crowded and lively with family, but is now empty and quiet. Share something with them today—a bouquet of flowers, a phone call, a fishing trip, a surprise visit, a lunch out, or a purple toothbrush (new, of course).

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God said, “It’s not good for the Man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18 MSG).

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The Dreaded Family Christmas Celebration

Deck the halls and jingle the bells! It’s time for THE DREADED FAMILY CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION. Your Uncle Bill will be highly obnoxious, as usual. Your cousin’s five kids will run wild and unattended. Your Grandpa Joe will tell the story that he has told eighty-five times before. Your mother-in-law will be critical of your every move, including your technique for carving the ham. Your stomach muscles will draw up and twist into the shape of a beautiful Christmas bow.

Here’s a crazy thought… What if YOU could change the experience for everybody? What if YOUR PRESENCE could make the event better? What if YOU could set the temperature for the family gathering rather than just react to it?

Think of it like being a THERMOSTAT instead of a THERMOMETER.

  • A THERMOMETER REACTS to the temperature in the room. It assesses the situation and then records the temperature. If it’s 68 degrees in the room, the thermometer will say 68. Whatever is happening in the room determines what the thermometer will do.
  • A THERMOSTAT SETS the temperature in the room. It assesses the situation and then takes action to change the temperature, if it is not accurate. If it’s 68 degrees in the room and it’s supposed to be 70, the thermostat will cause the heating unit to kick on. The thermostat determines what will happen in the room.

          So try this… When you arrive at your family Christmas celebration, assess the situation. Is the temperature accurate? What’s missing? Love? Joy? Peace? Then, be a thermostat and do what you can to set the temperature to a pleasant level.

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“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV).

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!