Monday, April 16, 2007

My Perfect Household

*Updated: Sorry guys, I messed up when I entered the blog challenge, and I didn't link directly to this post. I just linked to my blog...DUH! So...I'm making this a "sticky post" and it will remain the top post until the challenge is over. So, if you are looking for new posts...you'll have to scroll down.

This article is my submission to the blog challenge sponsored by Art Bookbindery, "Empowering Writers to Self Publish."




This is a true statement...I promise.

Yesterday at about 12:30 or so in the afternoon. I was finishing up shining the kitchen sink. My mother had come and taken the girl to ballet class. Number one boy was busy shining everything he could find made out of stainless steel with the stainless steel polish; trash can, oven, dishwasher, toaster. Number 3 boy was in his room napping. And number 2 boy was sitting quietly on the couch reading his Bible because he had already finished the dusting.

I'm not kidding. It's true. Do you envy me? Do you think that I have a pretty great bunch of kids and a smooth-running life?

Let's rewind this picture...

It's 11:00. My mother is knocking at the door. I'm still running the vacuum over the middles of the carpet (no time to do the edges). The kids are daydreaming instead of picking up the toys, mail, books, etc. that are in the way of the vacuum. The girl is still looking for her shoes. The baby is screaming for attention. And the kitchen is a huge nightmare.

Rewind some more...

It's 10:30 and my mother is due in 30 minutes. The bathroom is still not finished being cleaned, there is JUNK all over the living room. Everything needs to be dusted and vacuumed. The kitchen sink, counters and table are filled with dirty dishes from the weekend's cake extravaganza, and the morning's breakfast. The kitchen floor is just a mite sticky in places with scattered cereal and a sippy cup or two strewn about. There are 3 trash bags in the kitchen waiting to be taken to the outside trash can. And there is a laundry basket or two with clothes waiting to be folded, as well as three with folded laundry waiting to be put away sitting on the living room floor. Oh, and let's not forget all the Easter baskets, candy, toys etc. piled on the couch waiting to find a home somewhere in this tiny, little, house.

Rewind one more time...

It's 10:00. The shrieking can be heard for miles! "COME ON GUYS!!!! I FORGOT!!! GRANDMA'S ON HER WAY OVER HERE AND THIS PLACE IS TRASHED!!!! B! CLEAN THE BATHROOM!! J! PICK UP IN THE HALLWAY!! M! GET DRESSED FOR BALLET!! D! PUT THAT DOWN!!! D!! GET OUT OF THERE!!! D!!! LEAVE THAT ALONE!!!

On second thought, let's fast forward back to 12:30. The dishes are finished. The floor has been swept and mopped. The living room has been dusted and vacuumed. The counters and table have been wiped clean. The sink has been shined. B has shined everything made of stainless steel in the house just because he wanted to make it look nice -- I didn't even ask him to. J has informed me that he was so interested in his Bible story, that he read ahead and is now 2 days ahead in his reading. The girl has just returned from ballet class with hugs and kisses for her mom. And the baby boy is still napping peacefully in his room.

You see, I could paint you two very different pictures of life in my house. Both would be accurate, but neither would tell the whole story. I thought a lot about this when I got a response to this year's Christmas letter from an old school friend. She said to me, "It sounds like you got everything you ever wanted." I thought for just one second about the house that's too small for 6 people, a school, and a bakery. I thought about car repairs needed. I considered medical bills that needed to be paid. I thought of things we'd like to buy but can't afford. Then I thought again...

This time I thought about four healthy, beautiful, children who think I'm the greatest mom ever. I thought about a husband who acknowledges (quite readily I might add) that I am not perfect while proclaiming that I am perfect for him. I thought of a house that we can afford to pay the mortgage on. I thought of the van I drive that my husband traded work to get for me so it didn't take any money out of our pockets. (The van with leather seats, front and rear AC, and a 13 inch TV with VCR installed in the ceiling.) I thought of the school books and software programs littering my kitchen where I teach my children rather than sending them off to strangers every day. I thought of the cake pans, icing tips, decorator bags, and thousands of accessories I have that allow me to be creative and make beautiful cakes and cookies for my friends while earning a little extra money on the side.

I thought of all these things and I realized that my old friend was right. All I had ever wanted to be was a wife, a mother, and a teacher with the chance to use my creative talents to make beautiful things. I have achieved all I ever wanted in life. So, let's not linger on the 10:00am to 12:30pm times in our lives. Let's instead, follow the advice of Philippians 4:8 and think only on those things that are noble and pure and true...

I do have a great bunch of kids. And I do have a great life.

GOD IS GOOD!

3 comments:

The Preacher's Wife said...

I am hushed. That was so wonderful!! Love it, love it, love it...And you are right...aren't we blessed??

Karen said...

Speechless. That was a priceless post. I hope you frame it or bind it or do something with it to keep. Your kids will want/need to read this when they are older.

C said...

ok, OKAAAAAY. powerful post. i guess i was supposed to read it several times each time i checked for a NEW post, this one was still at the top. i could write a parallel myself... will we look with grateful eyes or burdened eyes when we reflect upon our day? you got me. several times. love ya, mel. in more ways than one.