Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Grape Juice Experiment

     Your friends will be arriving in one hour. You are just finishing up prep on your gourmet meal. You have set a beautiful table. You quickly vacuum the floor, fluff the couch pillows, and hide the remaining dirty dishes in the dishwasher. You dash to your room to put on a clean cuter shirt, brush your teeth, and touch up your make-up. Your guests are at the door. You graciously invite them in. You begin a delicious and lovely meal. You are happy and interested in your guests, sincerely asking about family, work, and hobbies. In the middle of an amusing story your guest bumps over his glass of grape juice. You jump up, “Let me get you a towel.” Your guest, with pink cheeks and soggy pants is apologizing profusely. You begin to assure them, “don’t worry about it, really, we have three kids and things like this happen all the time.” The mess and embarrassment is wiped away with love and some rags. Dinner resumes and is finished with cheerfulness and soggy pants. When the evening is over you are tired but satisfied with a successful night.
     Now rewind. You just got home from work, the kids are hungry and you are tired. You throw on your lounge pants and t-shirt, and whip out some cans of soup and crackers. The kids are whining and you are in deep thought over what a wreck the house is in when your child bumps his glass of grape juice. It spills everywhere. Words are flying out of your mouth at an unstoppable pace, “What were you thinking? Why did you leave your glass on the edge? We are never going to get this stain out!” You impatiently command your child to get a rag and clean it up. The frustration is building. You have a choice to make. The situation can escalate, the evening fall to shambles or love, patience and forgiveness can endure. Do they not deserve such kindness from you?
Oh the moments like these, and oh how we wish we could take them back. These moments present themselves in numerous ways everyday. Do we treat our families as if they are hindering our world, as if we are martyrs in our own homes, or do we treat them as if they are diamonds in the rough, full of spectacular and sensational potential? Do we treat them like our honored guests above?      
     Our family is our world and is deserving of our best love. They are our diamonds in the rough. How then do we show them that they are vital to us, that they are number one and more important than anything or anyone? I suggest first trying the Grape Juice Experiment. The formula is simple. It is simply the idea that when situations arise with your family, you think to yourself, “Am I treating my family better than my friends? When I act this way do they know I love them?” Then adjust your actions accordingly.     
     I remember when my sweet kiddo fell and scraped her knee. I verified she was okay and told her she would be fine. I sent her on her way and resumed my previous activity. Later on that same day the neighbor girl poked a stick under her finger. I quickly sympathized (because of course everyone knows how bad that hurts,) used my finest first aid skills, and topped it off with double band-aids just to make sure it would stay. The guilt over took me when I realized I had taken better physical and mental care of the neighbor than of my own daughter. I obviously failed the grape juice experiment.    
     I recently turned off the Wii while my son was playing and an explosion occurred. My son was very upset. I kept my cool and spoke kindly. I explained why I had turned off the wii and administered a discipline. During his discipline I called him sweetheart, and he was baffled. “Why did you call me sweetheart when I’m in trouble?” he asked. I told him, “even though you did something wrong I still love you, and still enjoy you. You have to learn that actions have consequences but even when you make mistakes I will always love you.” I would say that was a grape juice experiment success.

     Try the Grape juice experiment this week, show love to the ones you love the most and find your diamonds in the rough. Let me know how it goes! If you like what you read pass this on to your friends and family. (


  1. Awesome. I love your insights. By the way, your website is (not familIES.)

    BLOG MORE! Keep me thinking!

  2. Thanks. This is the premise of my book. Glad you found it thought provoking.

  3. Whenever I used to rush around cleaning up the house when company was coming, Dad would always remind me..."if it's good enough for the family, it's good enough for company." I'm thinking he may have been encouraging me to always keep it good enough for family.

    I know it's not quite the same thing, but the same idea.