Sometimes, in the chaos of everyday life —- babies with sudden fevers, having to miss Wednesday morning Bible study and evening church because of said child with fever, a toddler’s leaky diaper that is the cause of an unfortunate chain of events during breakfast (please note, it was not the simple kind of leak that a little napkin and a Clorox wipe can handle. It was a whole process) —- a spiral of haplessness will cause that moment where you mentally — just.cannot. All the above will directly involve your dear husband as he heads out the door for a busy day at work, with half of his head bitten off.
When stress is insurmountable, when my frustration has reached its cap, or when that hapless spiral has fully enveloped me into its chaotic tumble, I clean.
After my sweet little (fevery) baby had been laid down for his nap, I gathered up my other two children for a morning of backyard cleaning. All the trash and junk that has been noticed for the last few days (months) suddenly needed to be taken care of, so with white kitchen trash bags in tow and our weekly memory work for CC playing loudly, we began The Clean-Up.
30 minutes later, somewhere between our history sentence about Hinduism in India and our song about 3rd declension Latin noun endings, I switched over to my “From the Inside Out – Hillsong United” Pandora station.
By this time we had made our way into our mess of a garden. We picked tomatoes and various types of peppers, weeded out (almost) forgotten about garden beds, trimmed out-of-control Crepe Myrtles bushes and a Honeysuckle vine, and planted some onions. When all was said and done, there was a large garbage container full of remnants from our busy and full morning of work.
By the time I dragged, with heavy breath, the large garbage container to edge of the curb, I had noticed a significant change of heart and spirit. I no longer was clouded over with anxiousness and I no longer was ready to snap at anything that looked over at me cross-eyed. I finally felt a soothing sense of calm and peace.
And it was not brought on because of all the cleaning, it was from something bigger and greater.
During our little morning of manual labor, some rich conversation happened. Maybe this said conversation was only from that of a five year old child and his 2 year old tag-along, but it was just what my heart needed. God often uses the likes of inspiring authors such as Ann Voskamp or talented artists such as Lauren Daigle to reach my heart and draw me closer to Him…today He used my sweet little children.
It was our little conversations today that reminded me of the journey of joy and thankfulness that I am on – the one that is bringing me to that moment of complete surrender to all that is His.
“Mom, I love picking fresh tomatoes. It is just the best. Holds up tomato “Look, Mom, this tomato reminds me of a sunset – the yellow and red colors in it. I love sunsets, just like you do Mom.”
“Mom, working with you is the best. I am so glad we get to do stuff together. Miss Priss mumbles her agreement.”
“Look, you can find Roly Poly’s in the fall! Let’s grab the playground for them…you are right, Mom…fall is the best time of the year.”
“Mom! As new song begins on my Pandora station I love this song! We sing this at church, remember! Begins to sing”.
Through these and other conversations this morning, I was reminded about the joy that is found in – the simple, the amazing, and the sacred. From little hands working in the dirt and a bowl full of tomatoes and peppers to watching Roly Poly’s “play” and seeing the joy of a child’s heart as he finds excitement in singing a song of worship to a God his little heart is beginning to understand and love more and more every day.
I go to bed tonight with a heart of thankfulness, with a spirit of surrender and with the comfort of a God who loves me and draws me near. And now…my husband is home. So, off I go to cuddle and make up for the send off he received earlier today.