Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cleaning Up... Again!

There comes a point in time when I can no longer identify the food stains on the floor, and I know that I must do a thorough cleaning and mop up the mess.  Last week, our family took turns having the flu, so there was an awful lot of laying around, feeling tired, and looking the other way when someone spilled their cereal or a piece of peanut-butter toast went face down on the floor, under the table.

So this morning, knowing that we would have company tonight for my husbands birthday, I decided to clean the kitchen "for real".

I ignored the children's school-work, instead content with the fact that they were happily playing together - using their imaginations.

I swept, I wiped walls, and I mopped the floor until every splotch and smear was removed.  The table sparkled, the floors were damp but clean and the dishes were all either being washed in the dishwasher, or put away!  Ahhhh.... for a few moments I basked in the simple pleasure of cleanliness.

One hour later...

Salt and food coloring drippings from our craft made a trail from table to sink.

My 3 year old had peed on the floor.

Two children decided to fight over a bowl of sticky dipping sauce from our lunch (mmm... somosas!) and it resulted in splatters all over the two children, all over the table, and all over the floor!

"Why do I bother to mop!??!!!" I said (or maybe yelled or shrieked or perhaps wailed out) to the children.  My heart was pounding, my eyes bulged out, my blood was boiling and my frustration over-the-top!

With a deep sigh, I told the kids "Don't move a muscle!" as their clothing and bare arms glistened with dripping sauce; forming puddles and spots all over the now unclean floor.

I grabbed a dishcloth, wiped them clean and sent them to change.

My floor was sticky.

My life, somehow became undone as I battled the emotions that I've been seeking to contain and control.

I don't want to be angry.  I don't want to "cry over spilled milk", as they say.

But it never seems to end....

And I wondered, for a moment, what it feels like to be Father God, looking down on this mess of a world.

He sees every broken heart, every lonely soul, every angry thought, every desperate action.

He sees all of my mistakes and failings as a mother, wife, friend... but never says to me "Why do I bother to clean you up???"

Instead, "His mercies are new every morning." (Lamentations 3:23)

His "righteousness like the waves of the sea", washing over me; again and again - no matter how many times I fail. (Isaiah 48:18)

I'm humbled by a God whose love never fails, or dries up, or gives up on me.  It continues, and I can always depend upon it; like I know that the sun will rise tomorrow, and the next day, and next week, and next year...

As I am renewed and empowered by this grace and mercy, I have strength to mop the floor again...

But, concerning all my adorable little mess-makers... I'm pretty sure it's naptime.


No comments: