Monday, November 25, 2013
I Should be Cleaning, or Should I?
The part that was most challenging for me is that I had a small taste of freedom, and a near perfectly clean home was my norm. In a way I do miss that. Who wouldn't? We raised seven children to adulthood. We have 12 grandchildren and one more on the way. We were shifting gears where our focus would be more off our children and more on ourselves and our grandchildren. It was a welcome change of pace.
Then, we were thrown our first curve ball. It's one we're ever thankful we caught! Thanks to that unexpected jag in the road we now find ourselves proud parents of a soon to be four-year-old. After seven children raising one was like a vacation...seriously. Life was still slow paced, and we were taking time to smell the roses, and the scent of a very comfortably clean home. Active homeschooling was still years in the future. This was our time.
Enter curve ball number two, and three if you will. Apparently, God has a lot of confidence in our ability to rear children. We now find ourselves the proud parents of an eight-and-a-half-year-old, and a soon to be three-year-old. Biologically they are our grandchildren, but legally we are their guardians. We now find ourselves neck deep in homeschooling, and child rearing. Thankfully, we are entering the other side of potty training. (Two at once I might add!) Through their presence in our lives God has been teaching me what is truly most important in life.
Having a spotless home is not even in the top 10. Who knew? (Yes, I am saying this tongue-in-cheek.)
These past few months have been extremely stressful for our family. More stressful even than becoming a teen mother. (I'll save that story another time.) But, seriously, I never thought anything could ever top that. Welcome to adulthood, a full contact sport! The girls have now been with us a full year, and our family experienced some boat rocking that unsettled us all for a bit. We're now coming out the other side, and recovery is taking some time. Schedules have been thrown off, and many messes have been made. We're working on finding our center again.
With the inclusion of two new young souls in our home there came a lot of lessons to learn. Most of them had to do with ourselves. You know? The you that exists deep down inside. For me, the current state of my home would always dictate a lot in my life. It dictated how I felt about myself. It would dictate to me my success or failure as a wife and mother. It dictated to me whether or not I had time to spend with my children. It dictated to me when I got up in the morning and went to bed at night. It dictated to me whether or not I had company. That's a whole lot of control to give to a house.
So, I took it back!
Now, my children come first. The dishes can wait. When my friends come over they may see a basket of laundry around, the counter may have dirty dishes stacked on it, the family room will surely be littered with toys, and in all likelihood my floors will be in need of a good sweeping. Be sure to help yourself to the broom in the corner. (wink-wink) However, my perspective has changed. I can look at my messy house and tell that I have been making time for things that matter for eternity, not just the moment. I no longer get up early to sweep the floors, or pick up the family room. If this mamma rises before the sun it's to spend time with her creator, and maybe throw another log on the fire. I don't even sweep up the wood mess right away. Gasp! Now, I can look at my messy home, especially when it's a little past lived-in, and see that I have been up to something good. I am investing my time in what matters most. That makes everything sparkle!
My List of Top 10 Things MORE Important than a Clean House:
10. A Happy House
9. A Healthy Family
8. A Means of Supporting our Family
7. Fresh Air, and Time to Enjoy It
6. Freedom to Home Educate
5. Freedom to Worship
4. Time with Friends
3. Time with Children
2. Time with My Husband
1. Time with God
Those are things that surely matter most.