Joy to the World, Even though My House Isn’t Clean!

“May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!” Romans 5:13 (The Message)

By: Kerri Young

I decided a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to invite some of my good friends (including the authors from this very blog) over to hopefully enjoy a Christmas brunch. It seemed like a great idea at the time (doesn’t it always?), because I rarely get to see these ladies and I needed a really good reason to clean my house (as if the prospect of my in-laws coming in three weeks isn’t enough!). And therein lies the problem. My house isn’t going to be clean…at least, not as clean as I’d probably like.

Remember Monday’s blog about my gassy little man? Well, for some reason unbeknownst to me, he has had crazy, painful gas and all he has wanted for a good portion of the last two days and nights is to be held or nursed. (No, I haven’t eaten any dairy or chocolate or onions or garlic or tree nuts.) So, naturally, I have obliged him. Because I love him and because this, too, shall pass… all too quickly.

I can get frustrated (and I have just because I don’t understand what is causing his little tummy so much trouble) and stress out that I have sticky spots on my kitchen floor, or piles of papers cluttering up the counter or stacks of folded laundry waiting to be returned to its rightful home accumulating in my bedroom. Alternatively, I can console my sweet littlest man for a while and then build a train track for my other little man (who has been oh-so-patient with baby brother consuming my time) and trust that my friends really don’t care if there is dust on my ceiling fans.

How about you? Are you entertaining for the holidays? Are you stressing out because people—maybe even in-laws—are coming to your house and you have so much to do that you can’t fit it all in? Breathe in. Breathe out. It’s easy to forget to savor all these priceless moments and before we know it another Christmas season is over; or worse yet, our kids grow up and are too big to hold and don’t want us to play tea party or trains with them anymore. Forget the sticky spots on your floor. Forget the stack of mail and school papers that need to be gone through and clothes that need to be put away. They will keep. (Trust me; that laundry is going nowhere and those sticky spots will reappear as quickly as you wipe them up.) Enjoy your family and be proud of your messy house as you delight in the wonder of this season and its splendor. If you do, I bet anyone who comes to your house will be so taken in by your peace and joy that they won’t even notice anything else (at least, that’s what I’m hoping!) =)

Here’s a poem you have probably seen, but it is a good reminder for me because it somehow always makes me feel better.

Babies Don’t Keep
By Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,
Lullabye, rockaby, lullabye loo.
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo,
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo,
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs;

Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

 

 

 

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