You're probably wondering about the daughter Isabella loves to clean-she comes by it honestly. I am a shameless clean freak. One morning I was working away in the kitchen while she had the mop I'd left out overnight to dry. And I look over to check on her and my then-7-month-old son, and say the five words I never thought I'd say as a parent, "Isabella, don't mop your brother!" He didn't mind, and she just wanted to make sure he was sparkly. So welcome to my world!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Where am I going and why am I in this handbasket?

This was half of my children's room one day. You can imagine that the other half looks pretty much the same. I spend most of my days as a tidy stay-at-home mom keeping trying to keep everything in order. I am forever bending over picking up sippy cups, toy cars, dried Cheerios, socks (my children refuse to keep them on unless absolutely necessary), capless markers, books and what-have-you off the floor. At night, before we start our bedtime routine, I march the kids around the house with a plastic shopping cart picking up stray toys. Then I can relax at peace and cleanliness when I'm "off duty."

But one day, some time into the four hundred twelfth one that we'd been inside because of ice and snow, on a day that I had been sick and lain on the couch, a day that I was tired and just not wanting to keep everything neat and tidy, I let it all go. I didn't walk around picking things up. I got off the couch long enough to make meals, leaving a culinary hurricane in my wake. So that night, I walked the kids down to their room. We skipped cleaning up. We skipped bath time. We skipped brushing teeth. We skipped picking up their room, putting jammies on, reading stories and the million requests for drinks/a snack/more stories/a certain CD and anything else that the kids do to push back bedtime. I dragged past the kitchen, dishes in the sink, pots on the stove, food packages on the counters. In the living room I stepped over piles of popcorn and broken pretzels, DVD cases (it was movie night), throw pillows, blankets, socks, more toy cars, necklaces, used Kleenexes (seriously?), and wooden blocks (I curse the day my husband asked for ONE THOUSAND blocks for Christmas. I am convinced that by night's end there are a mere 50 left in the box). I looked around and thought Forget it. I caveman-walked down the hall and flopped into bed. (My darling husband came home later and cleaned it all up. It was like the old shoemaker who had elves doing his work at night. My husband said he was glad for a way to serve me-I think he was secretly excited that I was messy.)

And then it got me to thinking about God, which lots of mothering things do.

Colossians 1: 17 says "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." As much as I am critical in holding all things together in my home, Christ is infinitely more in control. He has the whole universe to deal with. What would happen if He just let it all go for one day? What if He simply released the bonds in a water molecule? My chemist father tells me that water is unique in that, unlike most substances that are more dense as a solid than a liquid, water is the opposite. If God chose to make water like everything else, all sources of fresh water would freeze from the top down and kill aquatic life as we know it. If God chose not to hold all things together, we would cease to exist. God could remove one microscopic piece in our cells and we would die immediately. God could get lazy about gravity and everything in the universe would float out into space.

But God is always holding it together-isn't that comforting? Ever at work, ever in control. On the days we don't feel like it, God is still at work. There is no day that He doesn't "feel like it," no days that He gives up, or lets go. God does not grow weary, even though He's always at work. There will never be a day when God isn't there to provide comfort, peace, and strength. And boy do we as moms need that!

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