This Abundant Life

This Abundant Life
"I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." - John 10:10

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pleasure in the Midst of Chaos

In my mind's eye, there is this picture of a not-too-fussy, but very neat and clean house with folded laundry in all the closets and weeks of dinners stocked in the freezer. The only mess that greets you in the bathroom is a wayward toothbrush or a haphazardly placed hand towel. Sure, the master bedroom has a toy, here or there, and some men's slippers placed where they do not belong, but it looks and feels peaceful and intimate. The only dishes in the sink are a couple of plates from the last meal, that didn't quite make it into the dishwasher.

In this home, children run and play and laugh...and their mother laughs with them. She's not in the Kitchen washing dishes that should have been done hours before. She isn't on her hands and knees by the foot of the highchair cleaning up what can only be described as an entire meal. She is not scrubbing a filthy toilet or folding basket after basket of laundry. It's all done.

But, there-in lies the problem. My Mind's Eye LIES.

My children only want to play hide and seek when our king-size bed (and the dinning room table) is covered with mounds of clean laundry, just waiting to be put away. My little ones only want to do face-painting or marker-using after the basket of blocks (and the basket of dirty towels) have already been dumped out and scattered throughout, not only, the toy room and living room...but also the kitchen and hallway.

In their opinion, the absolute ideal time to have a dance party is when I am, literally, in the middle of trying to make my very first pie, ever, and the kitchen looks like someone came in and took out every dish and measuring utensil, all the dry ingredients possible and every kind of dairy from the refrigerator, and just threw it all over the place.

And here, again, is the problem with my Mind's Eye. My Mind's Eye says I should play with my children when things are serene and quite lovely...and taken care of. I should not stop to play with them when, should someone be taking a rolling video of our surroundings, I would be found to be an entirely unfit mother, raising her children in utter filth and squalor.

I want the Target commercial. I want the Pinterest snapshot. I want the Real Simple Magazine cover. Then I'll play.

But, if I wait for these...I never play.

Lord, give me the courage to enjoy the Joy. Give me the energy to be diligent in working hard to keep my home as comfortable as possible...and the peace to be okay when it is not that way. Give me a Mind's Eye that sees the beauty in the Babies and sees that their smiles and laughter are, in no way, hindered by the banana on the leg of the living room chair.


Aaron and Jean said...

Well said Jenn. I too am learning to let go of the "perfectly kept house." It can't be done and I don't want to miss out on all those fun memories with my kids. And I certainly don't want my kids only memories of me to be of cleaning the house. Thanks for the reminder to live in the moment and enjoy our little people. They won't be little for much longer. :)

Mimi/Mom/Christy said...

... Ohhhh how I remember! ... Precious, precious, joy and angst all muddled together...

Anonymous said...

So lovely famliy you have!!I love you and your famliy.Beautiful as a dram.

Wish you all the best.everyday.

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