March 27, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Posted in family, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

laundry waiting to be folded

I’ve not written anything in a while.   Mostly because I feel like I’m ‘supposed’ to say only happy and hopeful things here.      And recently, I’ve just decided to go with the Thumper philosophy of “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” But……

Spring is here and that means mud.   It means the snow melts revealing a whole winter’s worth of dog poop scattered around the yard.   And speaking of poop, the cows down the road have been doing the same thing all winter and that warm spring wind blows it juuuuust right………..

It means projects, ball games, play practice, prom and academic fairs.   It means getting that college app mailed off for one kid, helping the other one with her (different) college registration day and helping another one plan the wedding that’s only 17 weeks away!   All while picking out a preschool and potty training too.    And no matter what time of year it is, life always means laundry.

Not that I don’t love my job here at home.   I work for the best people ever, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.   But sometimes I have a hard time feeling like I do it well.   I’ve subscribed to Southern Living and Traditional Home for way too long and that crazy standard of ‘beauty-and-peace-topped-off-with-homemade-pies’ is a big rub.    It contributes to an exhausting, uneasy feeling of failure that’s hard to shake.

But it’s not just those “Gone With the Wind-esque” magazines that get me.   I read other ‘mom blogs’ and some of these women are incredible.   They’re creative.   Some have craft ideas and field trip suggestions.   Others poetically draw my soul to the quiet whisper of God.    Some moms maybe even keep their kitchen floor clean and I’ll bet their roots don’t show.   In my fantasies, this is my life:


But in reality…… , this is more our style:

crammed, over-stuffed and choking

And, yes ~ I get freaked out by household clutter and rust stains in the sinks and JUNK in the garage.   And the roach I found munching on a whole bag of mini-marshmallows in my teenager’s bathroom drawer (?!?!)  just put me over the edge today.

Some days I can be pretty surly about it all.   But…. today, thanks to a friend’s facebook status, I got some serious Biblical comfort and perspective.    It pointed out Proverbs 14:4  [which, honestly, I can’t say I’ve ever noticed before].   But – I’m tellin’ ya –  it was written for harried, overworked, slightly o.c.d. moms like myself who get easily mired up in the chaos.   It says:

“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.”

Now I know the analogy breaks down a little, but it still soothes this (sometimes) quivering soul.   This manger is NOT clean.   That’s for sure.   But all too often I lose sight of the reality that I’m in the middle of some truly abundant crops!    Of course my life isn’t perfect and tidy.

It’s a chaotic, holy mess.

Oh God – keep me aware of the crop and give me a heart to embrace the ox and all that comes with it as we bring in the harvest around here!



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  1. To an incredible mom…
    I want you to know that I never forget what an amazing mom you’ve been for those sweet boys. On days when I sit and look at my pictures and see the faces of all the kids that are stuck without real homes and my heart breaks, I can breathe a sigh of relief and know that at least Zach and Phillip have something better. That there are families like yours that have stepped into the crazy, unknown world that is adoption and risk messy houses and marshmallow munching roaches for the sake of a child. So, thank you for what you have given up for those little boys!

  2. …and for the rest of your kids too mom. we are all blessed by you and your strong efforts to parent us. ministry is tough!

  3. You are doing what matters most. No one else can be the mother of your children. It is a high and holy calling! In the end, your children won’t remember how clean and tidy your home was, but they will remember a home where their mom was engaged with them and available to them.

  4. Thanks for the Proverb Lisa,
    I was going to make myself sort through the clothes I have had on a chair for…well I am not saying how many days but I think I will leave them just one more and not worry about it. The last few weeks I have been telling myself “my house would be clean if we didn’t have a family or by all means if we didn’t live in it”. Not to mention the smell of Jag’s poop could compete with a stable any day.

  5. Totally, completely, fully relate.

    That verse has become a household motto. Seriously. I am so with you! We may not be able to see the fruits yet, but those “oxen” are doing something in our lives (we all know it sure isn’t clean laundry…something better!)

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