The kids left for school and I already felt defeated for the day. I looked in on their rooms with not an ounce of patience left, and just felt like crying. Will they ever get it? Will they ever put the toys back, and hang the coats, throw away the trash, and make the beds? (If my parents are reading this right now, they are laughing, I'm sure, exclaiming a resounding NO! NO, THEY WON'T!) I get that they are young. I get that my standards are higher than they should be for children of their age (sometimes). I get that I need to give them grace where they are at. I get that I need to continue to expect them to be responsible for their things, while being a servant leader in showing them how. It's that last part that hit me when I was standing in front of their rooms.
Being a servant leader. Huh.
Every couple of months, I do a major overhaul of the kids rooms. I dread it, but it has to be done or we'd have scrap paper and craft projects flowing out the window over a matter of time. I realized this morning that it was time for this to happen again. I just didn't want to do it. I loathe doing it.
Enter in The Gospel.
I stood there realizing I needed to "preach the Gospel to myself" on this one, or else the rest of the day would continue in the pattern of this mornings events. But how? What does the truth of what Jesus did for me, and continues to do for me, have to do with my kids lack of ability to clean? It took me about 2 seconds to put it together. Here it is.... cliche as it may be ...
How often is my heart in a bigger mess than my kids rooms? How many times does God ask me to clean it, and instead of cleaning, I shove everything under the bed? How many times do I say I like my mess, because if I were to put it away, I'd just get it all back out again anyway - so I may as well leave it out? (An argument my kids have actually tried to use with me.) How many times do I just flat out ignore him? How many times do I go to clean my mess, only to just sit there playing in and making it worse instead? Then Jesus, in a way that only Jesus can, comes in and cleans it out for me when it's just too much for me to do myself. Every now and then when He's done, I realize that things went missing that I may never miss again, and other times that I desire to have my mess back. Every time, Jesus is laying down his life for me. In the mess of my life - Jesus died for me. He served me. He made me white (clean) as snow. He gives me grace for where I am today, while guiding me in how to do better next time. He gives me victory, and he forgives my failures. And sometimes he even lets me live in my mess, as much as it bothers and hurts him. Thankfully, not for very long.
So this is what I'm choosing to do today for my kids. I will be a servant leader by just doing it for them. They will come home and see how it should look. It will serve as a template for the next time their dad asks them to, "make it look like how mom had it." (I love hearing him say that to the kids. It works for about 2 days, but still....) I will die to my selfish and angry spirit that says this isn't fair. It's not my mess. I will love my children by sweeping through their mess. I will apologize to my sons this afternoon. I will remove some of the problems (aka: crafts and broken toys) knowing it is better for them to just have less (thus less to clean). I will do this for them because Jesus did it for me .... and does everyday. He cleans up after me more often than I realize.
I know. I majorly over thought the mundane. Aaron will come home laughing at me, I'm sure of it. But mom's, I'm gonna encourage you with this ..... sometimes pushing through the mundane means over thinking it a bit. We're called to have joy in all we do. How often do you have joy in the mundane? Hopefully often. But when you feel the other extreme (as I did this morning)....over think it. Remember what Jesus did for you, and how it relates to the task before you. What do you need to over think today?
If you really want to talk about it - you can find me in the kids rooms.
***Afterthought. So, mundane is kinda a big word for me. I went to dictionary.com to make sure I was using it in the right sense. I began to giggle as I read the definition. :
1. of or pertaining to this world or earth as contrasted with heaven; worldly; earthly: mundane affairs.
Messy rooms contrasted with heaven. Yup. I used the word in the right sense. Not sure I've ever used a word more properly. :)