Friday, January 27, 2012

I Don't Want a Clean House

It looks like it's been about two years since my last blog post.  A lot has happened in those two years - most notably, I gave birth to another precious baby girl named Parker Lane.  Parker is sweet and social, spunky and fearless, and has the best sense of humor of any baby I've ever seen.  That girl enjoys a good laugh!  Marin has blossomed as a big sister, and nothing brings me greater joy than watching the two of them love on each other.

Clearly, life has changed in many ways since I last posted.  One of the changes seems to be that maintaining a clean house is no longer within my grasp.  I should birdwalk for a moment here to share something about myself - I LOVE to clean.  I don't just love the end result, but I love the process itself.  I'm not such a fan of picking up clutter, but once that's done and it's time to bust out the Comet, I'm a happy camper!  There's something great about restoring order to places of disorder, and something soothing about working hard and seeing an immediate result.  Often times in my life when too many things seem out of my control, I break out the cleaning supplies and exert control over my small sphere of influence.  As I scrub, I am reenergized by the act of bringing order out of chaos.  Come to think of it, maybe there's something holy about cleaning.  Maybe being made in God's image, I too find joy in the creativity involved in bringing order out of chaos.  While cleaning a bathroom sink isn't exactly akin to separating light from darkness or making the stars, I guess it's my own small way of participating in the pleasure God derives from bringing about order.  Well, I think I've made my point here - I love to clean! And, of course, I love to sit on the couch at the end of the day and marvel at my spotless abode.

Well, those days are gone.  Now everywhere I look, there is a job waiting to be done.  Crumbs scattered on the floor from the last meal, a hamper full of laundry taunting me from every bedroom, a diaper to be changed, and the toys - oh, the toys!  An endless trail of toys that reappears behind me as I make my way through the house trying to pick them up.  Chaos.

The other day, standing in the midst of a disastrous kitchen, I exclaimed, "All I want is a clean house!!!"

And the moment the words escaped my lips, I knew it wasn't true.

Yes, a clean house would be great, and I will undoubtedly continue to dedicate much of each day vainly striving toward that end so that my family doesn't live in the midst of chaos.  But that's not what I really want.  The crumbs on the floor remind me that I have recently shared a meal with my children and that we are blessed with enough food to eat three meals (and two snacks!) a day.  Although laundry is my nemesis, hampers full of clothes serve as a reminder that my girls are well cared for through surprise shopping sprees by grandparents and hand-me-downs from friends .  The diapers to be changed mean that I am just at the beginning of a life-long relationship with two beautiful little people who have so many new discoveries ahead of them.  The endless trail of toys means that I have two sweet little girls roaming my house, exploring their world and delighting in their developing imaginations.  The mess around me is evidence that I am in the midst of a grand adventure as I work alongside the love of my life to raise precious babies into loving, Christ-like adults.

At the end of each day when I sit on [read: collapse onto] my couch, I don't want to marvel at how clean my house is.  I want to know that my children went to bed feeling that they had been seen today, that I had truly listened to them, that they are fully known and loved exactly as they are.  I want to marvel at the small miraculous moments that dotted my day like wildflowers on a Fredericksburg hillside.

And if my kitchen happens to be spotless, that's just a bonus.


BECKY said...

Its almost freaky that you blogged today because i ran across your blog this week in my reader and visited it and read a few of your 2 year old blog posts thinking, hmmm, its a shame she hasnt written in so long because i enjoy reading this. Then, as if reading my mind, you blogged after all that time! Weird!

Gina said...

Welcome back! And such a wonderful post. Amen, sister!! :)

Brooke said...

LOVED this post!

tw said...

Becky, that is so crazy!
Thanks, girls! It's fun to be writing again! :)