The laundry room overflows with clothes. The office desk is full of papers and “stuff”. The kitchen counter is full of mail and a few smudges. Things are scattered here and there. The bookcases were cleaned out at Christmas, but now again running over with books I got at the half-price book store, and I don’t make the time to read.
I know for many of you this would send you into a cleaning frenzy, and sometimes it does me also. It has been a hard year subbing, staying up with my Bible study, leading a facebook group through the study at MelissaTaylor.Org, losing my mom and cleaning out her house after her being ill for 18 years, trying to sell all her personal stuff, clean out Dad’s three sheds as well as the house, and at the same time keep two yards mowed that are 35 minutes apart and take care of bills for two households.
I know we are all busy – life is just busy and for all of us it is a different set of circumstances. Life is unpredictable and sometimes just hard especially if you are dealing with a health issue, elderly parents, or a special-needs child.
Last week we were at Mom’s every day trying to get ready for a garage/estate sale. One of my sisters suggested we all needed to get together more and it should be at my house. Well you know my “Martha” self kicked in but I could not do anything about it and Martha was saying there will not be any time to clean. No, no, no! I was at Mom’s all day, every day and by the time I got home in the evening and got some dinner and a few clothes washed I was tired. But then my “Mary” self kicked in, I sit at Jesus’ feet on Thursday morning thinking about the true meaning of family, and what I should be doing and realized I needed to focus on what is really important and that is not my messes.
Do you take your family for granted? I do! I am really good with my kids and our mother-in-law, but we stay so busy we leave family out for the most part except for special occasions (Christmas, Thanksgiving, graduations, Easter, Birthdays, etc.). Soooo I decided I didn’t have to be Martha and they were not coming here to see my house, but me. I do not want to miss the moments that really matter. I want to spend time with family, some of whom could be gone today or tomorrow. We never know what tomorrow holds. After losing Mom this year unexpectedly, our fathers also unexpectedly and two nephews, you come to realize how life can change in an instant.
Today is July 1, a new day and today I have decided to let some of it go. I want to jump in the pool with my husband when he gets home after dinner but I think it would be a little chilly with this unexpected cold front in Texas on July 1. Today I am making some “me time” too. That is something I seldom do – so I am going to pause this afternoon and read some historical fiction and leave the messes for tomorrow. I did get stuff cleaned up off the top of the dryer and yes I am working on that desk for an hour and two loads of clothes are done. Maybe I will get outside and water and trim after lunch and then read.
Do you crave organization/cleanliness in your house? I find I do – it is just hard with so many responsibilities. I want simplicity and organization and I am finding I am doing a better job of throwing out and donating. I brought eight glasses from Mom’s house so I took six out of the pantry. I have lost a little weight so I am boxing up clothes that are too big to take to a drop box and donate.
When it comes to messes or to make dinner for a friend who just had a baby and leave the dishes on the counter, I am at a stage where the friend comes first. Family comes first. The dishes will stay, but life goes by, we lose loved ones and we can never get a single day with them back. Have you lost a loved one or loved ones? Do you have regrets?
Have you rushed through your days just looking forward to them to end? Have you longed for some quiet time just wishing your children would play so you could get the house clean. or perhaps sit with Jesus? Friends I want to tell you those precious moments go by quickly. Those nights you did not savor with a new born when you were being awakened to feed. Those moments they wanted to sit in your lap and you were too busy to stop and hold them, hug them, read to them. Those moments the adult children invited you to do something and you could not find the time. Those times you don’t want to answer the phone to talk to a loved one because you are busy. Those visits to visit your grandparents or parents when they are lonely. Those moments you can never get back – only memories – are you making them moments to savor, precious moments to remember?
Be careful that someday you don’t regret that you were more worried about the laundry then sitting to read a story or to get off the computer to be with your children. And speaking of computers, how many times do I go out to eat and see a couple both texting, or a young lady with what appears to be her grandmother ignoring her and texting. Can we not put our phones and ipads down for a short meal to love on our loved ones? It breaks my heart when I see this.
The truth of the matter is that someday you will have quiet moments and peace and time to yourself. You will be remembering the moments with children, family and friends who have either grown up, moved out, or are no longer with you. Are you making the moments – both bad and good – matter??? Stop and play with the kids. Go meet a friend for lunch with your phone turned off. Send an email or text to brighten someone’s day, but even better call them and spend some time chatting rather than that quick text.
Yesterday we had around twenty-five family members here for lunch. Do you know I never heard anyone say you need to clean, look at those weeds in that one flower bed, the house needs some paint, the pool needs remodeling? What I heard was that peanut butter cup ice cream was amazing, loved that brisket, I need the recipe for those salads, love your new kitchen, let’s do this every year, your dog is so cute and fun, your house is beautiful and thanks.
So to friends and family I want you to know that a mess at my house means that I am busy with what really matters and that is savoring the moments with you, finding some “me time” for me and being like Mary and sitting at Jesus’ feet.