If you are a mom or know one you probably have heard yourself or one saying such phrases: "Why is the floor sticky, Momma needs a helper, I need someone to take out the recycling, someone to take out the garbage and why is the floor sticky!". Other popular phrases are: I have told you 1,000 times not too do that, eat with your face over the plate, your pants are not a napkin, who took this out and didn't put it away, I just cleaned that, were you born in a barn, don't forget to scrub feet/face/hands, did you hear me...and I am sure there are many, many more go to statements we mommas use to get our point across.
I was nicely requesting help today after making a large breakfast for my family (I say requesting because I found myself saying the phrases above momma needs...except all of them right in a row just as typed). You see, I had spent the previous day sweeping, scrubbing a floor via good ole fashioned hand and knee scrubbing, scrubbing the bathroom floor the same way, washing clothes- folding and putting away and any other mom related tasks that came up. So I had big intentions, still after being a mom for 18 years, you would think I would have learned by now. But no, I still had big intentions... you know the dream; that once a mom cleans it should stay that way...did I mention I have 3 boys and 2 animals and a husband? So back to my dream, couldn't the house stay clean just for one whole day? No, it won't no matter what tricks I have tried it never stays, I know now this is just a sign of good living and I have had choices over the years; laugh at it or get mad. Why, because a full home is the sign of a happy home, gratitude is more than dirt deep after all.
My husband ended up ending my sentence and I found myself laughing. So after my "the floor is sticky, momma needs a helper, I need someone to take out the recycling, someone to take out the garbage and why is the floor sticky!" My husband gently and humorously added "and someone to get out of my way". He gets me. Some days I struggle with what I really want, do I want you out of my way, do I want you to stop dipping your hands into the food on the stove or oven and testing it and just sit down, or do I want you to help me cook. Do I want you to help with the laundry or might I worry you will screw it up so I will just do it myself. Do I want some support and someone to talk to or do I want to be alone. I don't even know sometimes...it must be hard to live with me, at times a greater percentage than I can realize I am sure! Maybe it is just me that is torn at times with what I want...it depends on the day and honestly my level of anxiety about getting things done or the level of perfection I place on myself and others, then once the things on my "list" are done I would like them to stay done. Hmmmmm, not too much to ask is it? I have found my anxiety is directly influenced by my time spent focusing in on the problems or worse yet the "probability that a problem may occur".
When you can laugh and look around at the perspective of things anxiety has a funny was of dissipating...yes, we are raising a new generation, the next leaders or followers. We are either loving our husbands or becoming the living flesh of the bible verse about the nagging wife...you know the one that says it is better to live on the roof of the house than with a nagging wife, sigh (Proverbs 21:9). My family doesn't need to hear bitterness.
Truly this time I did request help very nicely I was a bit proud of myself for once, but it helped me to see the bigger picture of the home and what my part is, rather, what standard my habits paint for my family. My family and my Lord could care less if the rushing around gets the "sticky gone" in my home and it miraculously stays gone. Jesus didn't walk around delivering housewives from "sticky", Martha wasn't healed from sticky floors but she was asked to be more like Mary who was sitting at Jesus feet whether on a sticky floor or not!
That day I found myself nervously watching the floor as plates flew, syrup bottles moved faster than rush hour traffic, kids ate as they ran around, conversation went on as I was still at the stove preparing and serving...all this hectic-ness and my heart was trying to get a few moments to sit with my family and enjoy some time with them. But still nervously watching the floor with syrup and hash browns already decorating it...my husbands side of the table lovingly dotted with syrup already as my blood curdled as he said "whoops"...
I decided to let it all go when my husband said what he said...really, I had company and I was not alone and that is truly what my heart wants. Home is being filled with light and goodness. Home is about who is there. Is Jesus present? If Jesus were present at my home, would the conversation at the table keep my eyes on the scraps falling, syrup dripping or on the amazing conversation with the King. My job in Christ is to treat my family the way Christ honors me, giving others the attention and patience they each deserve. Each day I have a chance to send my family to the roof or draw them to conversations with the King. I will chose sticky joy over sticky anxiety anytime....but I need to pay attention to where my attention goes. I can be present and not home, not filled with Christ's goodness or I can be present and lit up with the moment, living in it and not around it. What am I stuck on...as annoying as it is to clean up the entire household and find that one spot with your sock after everything was put in order and you tried so hard to assure it stays that way...it is beyond our control and instead shouldn't we fight for sticky joy? I am going to fight to keep joy stuck to my heart and mind and not allow it scrubbed off in my battles. Fight to remember to look for moments and not at my agendas...after all the lights are on and I want to be here.
I would love to hear your comments on what phrases you have said to your family!