Life…it's meant to be good. I'd like to say I was better at this, but frankly, it's a huge struggle for me.
“This” meaning being okay with the mess of life, that is.
Today, I begged a cleaning company to venture out to the farm to scrub only God knows what out of my showers and tubs. Then, I pleaded with them to scrub the smoothie off the window, the poop off the crib, and the stains out of the kitchen sink.
I threw in a load of laundry before I fled the house and was tempted to throw a lit match in the doorway behind me.
Wouldn't it just be easier to start over sometimes?
Yes, friends, I'm afraid that life IS messy. Parenting is messy. Farming is messy. Working at home is messy. Marriage is messy. It's all just a big ‘ol slippery, boogery, emotional, rushed mess.
And yes, there are moments of incredibly pure beauty amongst the mess. Moments were you can be tempted to thing “Man, I got this. Look at my house! It's (pretty) clean! Look at my kids! They're (pretty) behaved!) Look at my checkbook! It's (almost) balanced. And check out my progress! I've (almost) arrived!”
And then your family continues to exist for another 3.1982 minutes and it all proceeds to fall apart once again. At which point, I usually pout and weep and cry to the heavens.
And then, the Lord reminds me of something very important:
Life is not meant to be finished. It's meant to be good.
Tisk, tisk, tisk… wait one second though. Good doesn't mean easy. Good doesn't mean relaxed and full of lovely things. Good doesn't mean peaceful circumstances.
Good means finding rest in Christ's sufficiency and finding peace despite our circumstances. Because, like a frying pan on the back of a head, let's face it: circumstances are hard and they always will be.
Whether it's disobedient children. A sick farm animal. A van who's door won't stay shut so you have to kick it and in turn, it tests your holiness daily.
The other day, one of my children (who shall remain nameless) picked their nose and wiped the booger on the newly cleaned bathroom mirror. Friends, that's life. That's circumstance.
And what matters a thousand times more than my clean mirror is the spirit of peace that I'm sharing with those around me.
Does Mom throw a fit and shout and get angry at me for wiping a booger on the bathroom mirror? Or does she smile, kindly remind me that boogers are for tissues and not to be wiped on things (fun as it may be), and correct while still maintaining fellowship within our relationship?
How do I want my children to approach the circumstances of life? Pissed off that things are difficult, hard, messy, broken, and ‘unfair'? Or do I want them to recognize that Christ has accomplished all necessary work, our to-do list is eternally finished, and that while the struggles of this earth are real, they are ordained and orchestrated by a Sovereign, Holy, Good God who loves us more than we could ever imagine?
Do we celebrate in the grace and sufficiency of the gospel? Or is my head so far up my laundry shoot that I've lost all perspective of the important things in this world?
You know what matters a zillion times more than my children growing up in a perfectly clean, organized home? Growing up in a loving home. Growing up with a Mom who is peaceful.
Hence the cleaning crew.
Many are capable of cleaning my showers. But only I am capable of being a mother to my children and a wife to my husband.
I tend to be one of those sick individuals who does a lot better with order and free space. I'm not a clear minded mother or a wife with a dirty house. So, I did a powerful thing: I delegated.
I'm sure many of you aren't nearly as anal or psychopathic as I am. More power to you. I wish it didn't bother me so much. But with the dirt of a farm, the mess of three children, and a very small house, it tends to cause mini-implosions that give me gray hairs and wrinkles. And I'm too young for that nonsense.
Shaye, it's not meant to be finished. It's not meant to be perfectly organized. It's not meant to be easy. So when you hit your elbow on the fridge door and spill that gigantic glass of raw milk that you just poured (on the floor that you just mopped, no doubt), rest easy, my dear.
Keep the four letter words to yourself.
Little eyes are watching you… learning how to respond to heartache, pain, frustration, and obstacles.
It's meant to be good. Reflect God's goodness. Reflect patience. Reflect mercy. Reflect the work accomplished by Christ and the inexplicable joy that comes with knowing him as Lord.
Even if you have to see that reflection in a mirror smeared with boogers.