Thursday, May 19, 2011

The parable of the clean spoon.

This morning I saw a life lesson reflected in a clean spoon I was washing. It was icky...not four-days-old icky, but covered with some food of some kind, something that I expected to scrub for a bit, but with just a few passes with the scrub brush, it was gone and looked like new. It struck me how simple that simple, that something I'd thought would take a few minutes and some effort to make right again was taken care of so quickly, and to better results than I'd thought. There's definitely a washed-in-the-blood reference to be made there, but in the moment it was more a call to...contentment? Hard to figure out how I got there, but in one silly clean spoon, I found joy. It was one of those moments where things just slid easily into all the right grooves, and me doing these things -- being a mom, trying to live clutter-free, keeping things simple, putting a value on hard work and a little bit of effort before to save giant issues later -- felt worth it. And beyond that, made me feel a lot closer to these my goals than I usually do!! Hooray!!! Thank you, Jesus.

Then this afternoon I found this blog/website called Homestead Happenings. It's a Christian homeschooling mom of 8 who gardens, grinds her own flour, makes her own soap/shampoo/laundry detergent (and sells it on her little Crystal's Country Store website, no less), and finds time for website maintenance and a monthly newsletter. And I think......are you kidding me??? I have four kids and I often feel like I'm losing my mind! How does she get 8 kids AND the organic living AND the writing career?!?! It's not fair. [insert pouting lip and stomp of foot] However, in my defense, she doesn't have two sets of parents living with her...and I think some of her kids may not live at home anymore...she did mention a grandson.

But. Lately I've been thinking about turning my desires to be an expert at something...inward. I need to be an expert at my own family, raising my own kids, keeping my home (not my house) in order. And I've been thinking about paying more attention to my days...making sure I'm not getting so in the habit of trying to clean and organize that I totally miss something that's finally been organized successfully! When I walk into my kitchen, I see a clean kitchen table! That's no smnall feat, and nothing to be overlooked. Sometimes I even see bare counters and I think, "whoa...step back..." Things ARE getting accomplished, and I don't want to miss them. And I REALLY have to stop being in the mindset of "well, when I finally get the house clean I'll have all this time to spend with them..." because you and I both know that day never comes, but the day WILL come when they won't be in my house to enjoy it being clean OR messy.

Wake up, Carrie. Enjoy cleaning and organizing and let yourself thrive on order when possible, but don't let it blind you to your children asking to play with you, which they won't do for much longer.

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