Live in the moment…
One Monday morning before heading off to a full day of ministry I was rapidly cleaning up the house from our family gathering on Sunday. After nine adults and six little ones (four years old and younger) spend the day playing, eating, drinking, laughing, shouting, and jumping, the house was, shall we say, dirty.
I loved every minute of it…well most of the minutes at least and honestly wouldn’t trade one second of the time I get to spend with any one of our family members even though I can get a bit stressed at times when things get broken or lost. I remind myself “less is more” and “things are just things” while people are treasures.
Anyway, for the first time since our six grandchildren entered the world, I had to go to work after family day! For those who’ve “worked” outside the home their entire life this is “standard issue” for you but for me, it was anything but “normal”. Though I’ve had part-time jobs and ministry positions without the title or pay along the way, I’ve worked full-time in the home since God gave us our first child.
The difference this time came with “no choice”. In the past, I could arrange my schedule, ask for time off, and make sure I had time to put my house back together after a joyous celebration. This time, I HAD to go into the office because it’s the busiest time of year in Church ministry with Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations added to an already busy schedule of teaching, planning, budgeting, and the like.
So I got up at 5 AM, got the coffee perking, laundry started, rugs hung outside, broom, vacuum, and mop out to get this house in perfect shape so I could concentrate on work when I got to the office. I did, however, take time to feel sorry for myself because I “had” to go to work. I engaged in a rather pitiful “pity” party all alone, thinking of days gone by when I could take all day to get my house back in order after family get-together’s. I tried to pacify myself by saying other women had done what I was doing their whole lives but that didn’t make me feel any better. I tried consoling myself by thinking about how privileged I am to have a ministry job where I enjoy “most” of my responsibilities.
Well, the pity party just put me into more of a “funk” – complaining (even if it’s just in your thoughts) doesn’t alleviate frustration. Psalm 77:3 “…I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed.” So I stopped “partying” and I got on with my plan to get the house cleaned up, get to work and be productive, get back home and bake a dessert before heading to our daughter’s volleyball banquet that evening. I was running around like a mad woman finding more to do every time I entered another room of the house. I got side tracked from what I was doing or going every time I saw dirt, crumbs, toys, fingerprints, or spills.
Then it happened. I was spraying the fingerprints on our mirrored closet door when I heard that still small voice of God, “Live in the moment!” Suddenly, I looked closely at the fingerprints before wiping them away and smiled. I saw the beautiful open-mouthed grin of my one-year old granddaughter as she gazed at herself in the mirror and then looked up at me with an even bigger smile! Ah, precious image.
While mopping my kitchen floor I heard the chatter of the four oldest grandchildren perched on the stools and chairs around the counter, eating, spilling, eating, spilling…and I smiled. While vacuuming crumbs in the living room I heard the giggles of the kids and the adults in the other room saying, “I don’t even want to know what’s going on in there; I don’t want to know what they are giggling about.” More smiles for me!
While cleaning up confetti, images of the kids flying around the living room, tossing the red mess in the air, laughing as they threw yet another handful, made me giggle out loud. Moving furniture so I could vacuum and discovering tiny plastic pegs and teddy bears that my youngest grandson flung in his exuberance to “throw” anything and everything brought more smiles and laughter to me as I “heard” his laughter in my mind.
Wiping the multitude of fingerprints off my I-pad brought more smiles and joy as I “saw” the oldest grandchildren all lined up on the couch doing puzzles, squirming, pushing, elbowing, and yes, even hitting each other now and then, but all the while, figuring out this thing called “getting along” and “sharing”.
Super gluing my porcelain bear figurines back together brought huge smiles to my face as I pictured my little granddaughter lining them all up, using different voices to have them talk to one another, moving them around as though they were real, using her imagination to the fullest, breaking off a piece here and there and saying to me, “I didn’t do it.” Haha!
Wiping the water drips and fingerprints off our refrigerator brought another flood of smiles as I replayed how proud my oldest grandson was to fill his own water cup from the dispenser. Then the two “babies” pulling on the doors, using their word, “this”, to get G’ma or Buma (my names to each of them) to give them string cheese or ice, two of their favorites.
Yep, I could go on and on with all the “moments” the Lord let me live that Monday morning as I cleaned! I forgot1 Corinthians 10:31 “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or WHATEVER you do, do all to the glory of God.” I set out to “get things done” and ended up being “undone”!
So, thank You Jesus for the reminder to “Live in the moment!”I almost missed all the great surprises; I almost missed the mental images; I almost missed the smiles that make me smile; I almost missed the privilege of cleaning; I almost missed the opportunity to be filled with joy! I almost forgot to live in the moment!