Friday, December 28, 2012

My Statement

The name of my first book is God Has Better Things to do Than My Laundry.  I clarify that it’s my first book so that you won’t think that I am an expert by any stretch of the imagination.  This body of work is far from what The Notebook was to Nicholas Sparks.  As you will notice the first word in the title of my book is God.  It seems that there is some confusion by people that I have never met and maybe even by some I have as to what this book is about.

I am here to clarify for you.  This book is about our lives, my life to be more specific about it, although perhaps there are those that can identify with what I write about.  Perhaps you have been where I have; you have experienced much of the same things that I have.  I happen to be a Christian.  I believe in the Father and I believe in the Son.  I believe that Jesus came down and died on a cross for me and not just for me but for you also.  I believe it even though I cannot see it, but I have to challenge you to look at the faces of your children and the sunset on a warm summer day and try to explain it any other way.  My belief in God is talked about in my book.  God is a headliner in the title of my book.  God made the mere possibility of the book a thought in my head and He is the one who made it possible. 

I do not claim to be a professional.  I do not even claim to be good.  I write not for the fame of those who have come before me but because to not write seems an impossibility.  Because if I don’t write I will never get to say all I have to say.  Because If I don’t write no one will know necessarily how much I love my family and how very much I love my God.  As has been established I am not a public speaker.  I’m not one to witness to the masses on a stage or even to a classroom, but I will type my thoughts and express myself with words on a page.

If you are expecting a Bible study you won’t find it on the pages of my book.  If you are expecting a work of great fiction or for me to not talk about God you will be severely disappointed in my book.  My book is not even something I wanted to share with the public at large.  It was an idea, a dream, a little something that maybe I might attempt someday.  That someday happened and while I am thankful for the opportunities that God has presented me with, I am at a loss as to handle people who don’t get it.  Maybe because I don’t get it, I don’t get the plan, I haven’t been filled in as it were to what God has planned with all of this and why on earth He would choose me to carry this out.  I only know that I am trying very hard to be obedient whether I “get it” or not. 

The thing is although this book is about me, the project really isn't.  This isn't about me, it’s about God.  It’s about His plan, His timing, His work, His will for me.  Whatever that looks like, that’s it.  There is no clear end in the book because it’s ongoing.  This work He is doing is ongoing.  My life as it were continues and has continued even in times when I thought for sure that it wouldn't and couldn't and shouldn't.  It has and it will until God deems it differently.  Until then I will continue to write what He gives me to put on a page.  I will type out the stories of our family and I will watch as it all unfolds as words on a page.

You don’t have to read it.  You don’t even have to like it.  But if you cannot type out the name of God I can only hope that maybe something will speak to you in the message He has given me to convey.  If not then I am sorry you chose a book with the first word of the title being God.  I don’t understand your thinking.  But I am a believer and I will never apologize to anyone for whom or what I am.  Take it or leave it, I am who I am and I won’t apologize to anyone for that either.  Why should I?  I am the daughter of a King and He doesn't make mistakes.

Monday, December 24, 2012

It's NOT the end of the world, but what about Christmas?

According to the Mayan calendar I shouldn't be typing on my computer today.  The end of the world should have happened on December 21, 2012.  The speculation surrounding that date has been made into movies, some were scared to send their children to school.   Meanwhile, the schools here were canceled due to weather and a lack of power at one of the schools.  We didn't rejoice, in fact my teenagers were pretty distraught.  They had hoped to finish up their final exams that day.  That day may go down in history as the first day that my children were NOT excited about a snow day.

I have to ask the question:  Were you concerned?  In our house we made jokes.  I also informed my children that if Jesus did decide to come back on that day I was ready.  I operate under what I know to be fact.  The Bible says that no man knows when the coming will be.  The Mayans were not told before the Son.  That’s a fact.  The Mayans probably got tired of calendar making and instead started working on something else.  I have no idea what happened, maybe they thought it would be funny to mess with a future generation they wouldn't be around to see, and just stopped. 

It wasn't the end of the world but is it the end of Christmas as we know it?  All over the world people are finishing their Christmas shopping and wrapping in preparation for the big day.  We count gifts and make sure that we have enough for everyone; we think to be sure we haven’t left anyone out.  We get together with family and some members don’t even speak to each other.  Some go into debt in an effort to provide their children with the best possible Christmas and for what?  What does Christmas mean?  I hear people asking for specific gifts.  “Johnny wants a pair of jeans but they must come from the Buckle because otherwise he won’t wear them.”  “Sally wants Ugg boots.”  “Fred wants a flat screen TV.”  Seriously, I have to ask myself what happened to Christmas? 

In a manger thousands of years ago a Savior was born with no crib for a bed.  He was wrapped in swaddling cloths and placed in a manger.  No heat, no air conditioning, no Pampers, no layette, no hospital staff, no sterile conditions did our Savior have for a beginning.  No He was born in a barn with farm animals and the smell of well…farm animals.  Do you get it?  Did Mary have a baby shower?  Did the mother of our Savior, a teenage girl, get the things she would need to care for a newborn?  No.  She was visited by three Wise Men who brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  What was she supposed to do with that?  They rejoiced.  They celebrated the birth of the Son of God. 

What are we celebrating?  We get together with our families and we exchange gifts and sometimes we don’t exchange words.  We don’t even see them the rest of the year.  We make no effort.  We buy them gifts and send them on their way and think that covers us for the rest of the year.  Is this of God?  Is this what God intended for us to do in celebration of the greatest gift known to mankind?  I hardly think so.  I am not saying we shouldn't get together with our families.  I am not even saying we shouldn't exchange gifts.  What I am saying is this:  Can we do those things and remember the purpose?  Can we do those things and remember why we celebrate in the first place?  Or have we become so commercialized that we can’t even remember why? 

I don’t want to go through the motions.  I don’t want to get so wrapped up in the things of this world that I have forgotten who gave them to me to begin with.  I don’t want to forget the true meaning of Christmas.  I want to REJOICE for our Savior was born.  In ALL things rejoice.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I have never been able to figure out how one chooses just one thing to be thankful for each day.  In addition, I get that people want to express their thanksgiving the week or month of Thanksgiving on all the social networks for the world to see.  But I find myself wondering about the rest of the year. 

I think it is great to be thankful in November.  Keep being thankful clear ‘til New Years is over (when you haven’t kept up with the resolutions and you find that cake still tastes good in February.  I say be thankful for cake too).  My intent here is not to downplay any of it, but to ask the question that plagues me: What about the rest of the year?  Are you thankful then, too?  Are you conscious of the fact on June fifth what a blessing it is to wake up that day? 

I went through a bit of a spiritual overhaul at some point.  I made a conscious decision to be thankful and find the blessings in everyday life.  Good day or bad, whether I was running late or had a stomach issue, no matter if there was sunshine or rain, I will recognize that I wasn’t promised to live that day and that no matter what, I will be thankful.  I would hope that in talking to me, especially when you’re asking me about my family and friends, you would see my eyes light up when I speak about them.  I would hope that when you ask me about the journey God has set me on, you would notice the sheer awe I have about God’s decision to use me.  I am well aware of the fact that I am no one special and that there are others more qualified to do what I do, and yet here I sit shaking my head, tears flowing, because He chose me.  Me?  I am ill-equipped, I stumble over my words, I am weepy and I fail to be somebody anyone would choose for work of great importance.  I have often wondered what others see when they meet me. What I want others to see when they meet me, is my thankfulness and love for God’s blessings in my life.  What do I want for?  I am blessed beyond measure. To choose just one thing per day to be thankful for would be impossible.  I could no sooner choose a star from the sky or a book from my shelf.  I don’t know if I can even choose something to be unthankful for, although it may be easier. 

But even then, what would I choose?  My gray hair?  I don’t think so; I earned every one of those silver sparklers! I do have hair color, so who am I to complain?  Should I choose my stretch marks, which my loving children recommended I buy cream to get rid of?  I earned each of those too, carrying three of the best blessings God ever granted to me.  How about the extra pounds?  Even those I enjoyed gaining. Sure, I could do without them, and I am getting close to being annoyed enough to start shedding them … but whose fault were they?  The bakers of the world or the Mexican food restaurant I enjoy so much?  Food is not necessarily something to be unthankful for; it’s more something to take control of.  Arguing with the kids?  Nope. I argued with my mother until some of her last days, and I miss it.  Arguing is better than indifference any day.  Disagreements can spark learning and understanding.  Even for those,  I am thankful.

So to answer those who may wonder why, even though I write, yet I don’t participate in a “thankful a day” social media plan: yes, I am thankful.  Abundantly so.  The amount of thankfulness in my heart is overflowing.  When you give each day to God and ask him to bless it, how could your heart not be thankful?  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Almonds, Malfunctions, and Oops I Did it Again

The last week or so has been pretty big.  We took our oldest daughter to visit a college and then we celebrated our next in line with a birthday dinner.  

As we climbed in bed and snuggled in for the night, my husband and I were talking about the day.  My skin has been really dry, so I commented that perhaps I should take some vitamin E, which he found to be amusing, because I rarely remember to take any vitamins.  (Fortunately, I don’t have any health issues that require me to take medicine regularly, as I would forget to take those too.) He asked me if my grandma had recommended that I take a vitamin E.  I said no, but it seemed likely that she would be the person who would say that. 

As a child, when I would spend the night at grandma’s, the next morning I would have a vitamin C, a vitamin E, and an almond waiting with my breakfast.  My husband then asked, “Why an almond?  Like a peanut?” 
To which I replied, “No. Like an ALMOND.” 
He said, “Well, I didn't know if you meant like the nut, or something else.” 
I replied, “I didn't realize that almonds came in any other form!” and began to giggle. 
He then said that he was done with the conversation, and I giggled myself to sleep.   

This week at work I had a wardrobe malfunction. My first thought was, I wonder how Janet Jackson would handle this situation.  I mention her only because of the area in which I was having the malfunction. While I didn't actually reveal any skin, I did happen to notice that I was a little more, let’s say, comfortable than I should have been.  I looked down and noticed that one side was hanging a bit lower than the other side.  (At which point the song “Do your ears hang low, do they wobble to and fro” played in my head.)  The problem was that I had no time to go and try to figure out the problem.  I chose to ignore it and to stay busy, that way no one would be able to notice that anything was out of sorts. 

After going to lunch with a friend, and then to the store (I kept my coat on), I got home where I could properly investigate.  The bra that I had chosen in the dark that morning was already having issues.  One wire in, one wire out, then somewhere in the course of the day, the strap broke too.  Not came undone --  as it was a convertible bra that could be switched around --- no, it just plain broke.  This was the straw that broke the bra’s strap, and it was retired to the trash.  I will be shopping for a new favorite very soon. 
I asked the teacher I work with the next day if she had noticed my wardrobe malfunction.  She hadn't.  Which leaves me with the question:  Which is worse: having a wardrobe malfunction of this magnitude, or having one, but no one can tell?  Think about it.

I injured myself twice in the past two weeks, both times while attempting to prepare dinner.   The first time I couldn't find the can opener that should have been in the counter top kitchen tool spinny thing  (the technical name for it).  I proceeded to go searching through drawers to find it, and  sliced open my thumb on an apple corer (it’s sharp without its cover, which is probably also hiding in the drawer). Then I whacked the top of my hand on the corner of the counter, so I got to go to school with a round bandage on my hand; you know, the kind you would put over a wart  (Hello granny, can I help you?) 

So as you can see, I’m very gifted when it comes to food preparation and all things domestic.  Not.  Shall we discuss how I keep putting clothes in the dryer, in an attempt to remove wrinkles from our clothes, because if I use the iron, I will burn myself?  I am incapable of ironing without causing bodily harm.  This would also be why I have short hair, so I don’t have to go near a curling iron.

Friday at school while walking out to the playground for recess with the children, I tripped and fell.  There is a place in the sidewalk that is uneven, a fact I am aware of and have made a mental note of.  Friday however, as I was walking out with my head turned, telling the children I would help them zip up their coats, I tripped over the raised-up sidewalk.  While they were asking me if I was OK, the only thing I could think was, “Mr. Kimble, are you all right?” (From Kindergarten Cop, “It’s not a tumor!”) 
I did manage to pick myself up and finish out recess duty.  After the children were safely in their classroom again, I informed the teacher that I had fallen and would be going to take care of that.  I went to the office to tell the social worker that I had fallen down, and that I would require a bandage.  She took me to the nurse’s office, and on the way there, poked her head into the principal’s office to inform him of my mishap.  He told her to get some Neosporin. 

When she couldn't find it, he came in and wanted to see the area in question, which was my knee.  (I then started doing a mental calculation as to the last time I shaved my legs.  I am married and it is cold.  I knew it wasn't that morning.)  He then proceeded to bandage my hairy knee, himself.  He didn't notice the hair, though, I’m pretty sure, as he was simultaneously talking to a student, and the social worker, who commented that I was biting my jacket and shaking.  The good news is I can now bend my knee, so Christmas shopping should not be a problem.

So my first accident report was on me, which is par for the course. 
I find all of it quite amusing.  I am accident-prone obviously, but I am also very blessed. Even with all the silliness that is my life, it all makes sense to me because I know I’m in the right spot with all the right people. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

This is 40...Well...Me at 40

I’m 40.  When did that happen?  I mean, I know the date of my birthday.  I know it happened, I just cannot figure out when I got to be so old. 

When I was a kid, I remember having to go to bed at 9 p.m.  I remember having to be home before dark.  I remember wishing time would pass faster so I could have my driver’s license, and today, my daughter was driving ME around.  Granted, I was telling her to stay in her lines like she was coloring and to remember the brake, but still, she was driving me, and not the other way around.

I used to dream of the day when I would leave home.  I would go to Chicago, live in the big city, and never come home again.  I would be very chic and I would have lots of friends and ride in taxis.  When I was a teenager, I don’t think I ever aged in my imagination past twenty I didn’t dream of turning 21 because I was never interested in drinking.  Up until the second semester of my senior year, I didn’t fantasize of having a husband and children either, but that changed when I met my future husband. Then I did dream of being married.  (The children part came shortly after we got married when he looked at me crosswise and I got pregnant.)

I don’t think anyone dreams of what life will be like at forty.  Teenagers don’t think, “When I’m forty, I’m going to … sail around the world.” Or “When I’m forty I’m going to learn how to play backgammon.” It’s just not done. 

This is forty.  My hair is short.  My hair has been short for a while now, but in my family when we women get old, we cut our hair.  I have now been every size between a size 3 to a 16.  There are parts of my body that have fallen and need extra support to stay up.  There is a side of my hair that grows faster and thicker than the other and the opposite side the back tends to flip up.  I wonder if my freckles are still considered freckles, or if they will become age spots.  My eyebrows no longer grow like they used to; only random strays here and there that I can pluck out myself.  Spandex is my friend.  I use Clinique but wonder if I shouldn’t be using Oil of Olay (AKA, Oil of Old Lady) instead. 

I say the phrase “Well, how ‘bout that!” all the time now.  I have surpassed sounding like my mother and have gone straight to sounding like my grandmother.  I think that makes me an overachiever, doesn’t it? 
My daughter, had she had a less dramatic mother, should have her license by now.  She doesn’t, because I have been too afraid to let her drive me around.  I’m getting a little better about it.  Maybe when she is seventeen, I will even let her drive at night or when it rains… or maybe not.  I may need a little longer.  She may need a little longer.  My middle child is right behind her; she will have driver’s ed next summer.  And she was just learning how to ride a bike last week.  OK, I know it was a minute ago. 

My baby?  My baby is going to be in double digits.  DOUBLE DIGITS!  He’s my baby.  I know I was rocking him to sleep just yesterday.  Today I turn around and I am only a head taller than he is.  Granted I’m not especially tall, but still. 

In the blink of an eye, it’s not me learning to drive, and it isn’t me dreaming of leaving home and going off to college, or even just driving to the mall alone.

My dreams are more along the lines of going up the stairs without my knees creaking.  Wondering how long I can go between coloring my hair.  If I don’t color my hair, how long until my entire head is grey?  Will I be 45?  50? 60?  Will I be doing commercials for urinary incontinence?  If I work at the school long enough, will it be “grandma hugs” I give the children, or will I still be able to give mommy hugs when I’m old enough to be a grandma?    

If that isn’t enough when I take the kids out for recess at school I yell at them to stay off the grass and stay on the sidewalk till we get onto the playground.  I ask my children if they were born in barns.  I have said to them to close the door I don’t want to heat/air condition the outdoors.  I have become one of the biggest cliché’s in motherhood.  This last weekend I went on a date with my husband and I reached over with a napkin to wipe his face.  (This did not earn me any favors.  He was a bit put out with me for that one.)

Where did the time go?  When I was younger the time seemed to pass so slowly.  I thought I would never get grown.  Now I’m grown and all I want is for time to slow down.  It seems to pass so quickly.  Days run over each other.  Weeks are suddenly months that are gone and years are gone in a blink.  I look in the mirror and I see wrinkles that weren’t there before.  I look at my children and I am looking up instead of down to look into their eyes.  Even the cats seem to be aging rapidly. 

We start out and we think we have so much time to do so many things.  The fact is we don’t know how much time we have and the older we get the less we have left.  We have to decide how we are going to spend what we have.  I think I will spend mine enjoying the teenagers telling me I’m old.   I will love it when I get to repay the favor someday.  I will keep searching for the perfect hair color, refuse to grow my hair out to wear buns, avoid skirts, skorts, and dresses that go well with aprons.  I will keep blowing bubbles when I chew gum and enjoy every jam session when I’m home alone.  Maybe I will need depends someday but doesn’t that just mean I get to dance longer without stopping to go “gotta go gotta go gotta go right now.”?  The sun shines brighter when you look at every day as a gift. 

Maybe forty won’t be so bad, after all I have a new haircut, I am narrowing in on the best hair color, and I can make big bubbles even with Trident gum.  The upside is I’m old enough I don’t have to apologize for enjoying it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mow the Yard, Maybe

I really love the song Call Me Maybe.  I feel better about that fact now that I know that I am not actually old enough to be the artist’s mother.  (Thanks to Wikipedia)  The song’s lyrics don’t really apply to me, so I thought it would be fun to try a rewrite of the catchy hit.  This way it applies to my life and makes a little bit more sense for me to sing it.  I also added a few notes and rewrites of my rewrites for your amusement.

Mow the Yard, Maybe

I threw a ball and it fell                       (Of course it fell, have you seen me throw a ball?)   
Where it landed I can’t tell                  (Tall grass?  Nearsightedness?  Combination?)
I looked to my kid as it fell                  (He should have been watching)
And now it’s in my way                       (Kind of like the swings on the swing set)
I might find it in a ditch                         (Which wouldn’t be so bad because I’m scared to mow the ditch.)
With small toys and trash scattered amiss      (What?)
I didn’t want to look for this                        (You got that right!)
But now it’s in my way
The ball’s bounce wasn’t holdin                  (Hello, I’m Heather and I’m not sporty.)
The tall grass is all that’s showin                  (Good news!  No dandelions!)
Hot day wind was blowin                           (It was dusty) 
Where do you think it went don’t be lazy      (Get over here and help me!)
Hey it rained this morning and this is crazy   (Is it?  Is it really?)
But I’ll get my mower and mow already        (You are welcome neighborhood watch dogs.)
It’s hard to look right at my yard I’ve been lazy        (Nearsighted, remember?)      
But I’ll get my mower and mow it maybe            (I wonder if we have gas?)
Hey it rained this morning and this is crazy
But here’s my mower, so mow the yard maybe      (You volunteered right?)
And all the other neighbors mowed already          (Of course they did.  Overachievers!)
So I’ll get my mower and mow maybe                (I’ll do it myself.)
You took your time helping to find the ball          (Slow poke)
It took no time to mow at all                          (I was singing and dancing so it was fun.)
You gave me no help at all                 (Was it my singing or the dancing that deterred you?)
So still it’s in my way                               (I’ll just mow around it.)
My skin got sun burned and pealed            (Aloe please?)
In the sun and the pain is real                         (Ouch!)
I didn’t know I would feel it                          (I’m quick)
But now the pain is in my way                       (Again aloe?)
The ball’s bounce wasn’t holdin                     (yeah yeah)
The tall grass is all that’s showin
Hot day wind was blowin
Where do you think it went I’ve been so lazy?
Hey it rained this morning and this is crazy
But I’ll get my mower and mow already
It’s hard to look right at my yard I’ve been so lazy
But I’ll get my mower and mow it maybe
Hey it rained this morning and this is crazy
But here’s my mower, so mow the yard maybe
And all the other neighbors mowed already
So I’ll get my mower and mow maybe
Before I mowed my yard                               Before I mowed my yard
The grass was so tall                                       It looked so bad
The grass was so tall                                       It looked so bad
The grass was so so tall                                   It looked so so bad
Before I mowed my yard                               Before I mowed my yard
The grass was so tall                                       It looked so bad
And you should know that                             And you should know that
It was so so tall                                               It looked so so bad
Tall tall tall                                                      Bad, bad, bad
It’s hard to look right at my yard I’ve been so lazy
But here’s my mower, so mow the yard maybe
Hey it rained this morning and this is crazy
But I’ll get my mower and mow already
And all the other neighbors mowed already
So I’ll get my mower and mow maybe
Before I mowed my yard
The grass was so tall
The grass was so tall
The grass was so so tall
Before I mowed my yard
The grass was so tall
And you should know that
So mow my yard, maybe

So much fun to write, I would like to insert that this week we mowed first.  We felt like rock stars for an entire four hours.  Then the neighbors came home and went to work on their yards.  Those four hours were AWESOME!  We celebrated our small victory with ice cream.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

An Overly Dramatic Teen and a Sermon on the Bed

My first book’s subtitle is “And Other Observations from an Overly Dramatic Mom,” so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that my teenage girls are overly dramatic as well.  The most recent instance happened with my middle child, as she was upset about someone who had answered a question for her.  She had been to youth group and someone asked a question.  She didn’t respond quickly enough so someone answered for her to the best of their ability.  Because the answer was not fully correct, she felt it wasn’t that person’s place to answer for her. 

It’s partly her fault, anyway. She has a bad habit of not answering direct questions.  Don’t expect a response from her unless she is in the mood to talk.  If she isn’t in the mood, she tends to stare at you like you just dropped down from another planet, like she thinks 1) you are stupid for not calling ahead to ask her a question or 2) for showing up to talk to her in the first place.  Imagine how this goes over when she is in trouble and I am disciplining her.  I have explained to her many times that she needs to be quicker with her answers.  I also explained that she was being excessively dramatic about the situation, and it wasn’t really that big of a deal. 

High school is punishment enough for a quiet kid.  In my effort to get my quiet girls to open up and blossom into the lovely ladies I know they must be (deep down where only God and I can see), I have them go to Youth Group.  They are put into small groups and are really expected to open up and share with others.  In my mind, which is really just a playground for all sorts of mayhem, I think this is good. 

When I am giving my sermons on the bed, I tend to tell stories about my own experiences and I also like to give a math lesson.  Although math is not my strong suit, I am delighted when I am able to do quick math on the fly.  I have explained to my children that high school is only 180 days per year. There are 365 days in a year total, and really in the greater scheme of things, high school isn’t that long of a time in your life. So they shouldn’t get so worked up about things.  One day they will blink, and it will be over. At that point, they will look in the mirror and try to figure out how they got to be so old as to have teenagers themselves. (Something I do daily.) 

I started a new job this year, so in trying to explain that it’s OK to talk to new or different people, I told her about my job.  How I didn’t know what I was getting into necessarily, but I had heard different things, so I had a starting point.  Truth be told, I knew names, but only the names of a few of the people in the building.  It can be just as hard for an adult as it is for a young person to make new friends.  The secret, I told her, was that you have to understand just one key point about all people.  ALL people are just trying to find their way in the world.  Some are better at it than others, but the fact is that we are all alike in our humanness, and in our humanness none of us is perfect.  As soon as you get that part of reality, it makes it a lot easier to talk to people.

I also shared that I was given a bag of Hershey Hugs from the teacher I work with, and that I often walk down the hallway on my way to make copies and hand some out to people.  Some of them I know better than others, but I think that everyone can use a hug now and then.  Why not go up to people and hand them a chocolate hug, and wish them a good day?  If I arrive at my building early,  I go room to room and drop a hug on everyone’s desk.  When I’m not early, I pass them out to those I pass in the hall. 

I may or may not ever be a part of the group that is already there, as some of them have worked together for years. But even so, how much better is it to smile and say hello or hand someone a chocolate hug, than to go through the halls worrying about fitting in?  I don’t concern myself with that stuff anymore. 

I explained to my daughter that it doesn’t matter if I fit in. What matters is if I’m doing a good job and I’m bringing glory to God.  The way I figure it, if she goes to school and she smiles and talks to whomever she comes in contact with, and she is right with God, everything else will fall into place. 

She said that if the Mayans were correct and the end of the world comes this year, high school isn’t going to matter much.  I told her that I don’t believe that the Mayans were privy to when Jesus was going to come back and take us to heaven, but even if they were, it’s a much better use of her time to live each day as God has intended, than to worry about what anyone else thinks of her. 

And if the Mayans were correct (and not just tired of writing and counting as I suspect), then what a great day it will be when we do get to go to heaven and be at home with our Father at last.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dust, A Sexy Appliance, and God Cleans My Soul

I read somewhere that “dust gives a home a warm fuzzy feeling.”  Now, if I’m being truthful, I probably read that on Facebook or Pinterest.  I was thinking of this statement as we spent our Labor Day weekend cleaning our home.  I mean, serious cleaning. We emptied out bedrooms and swept, dusted, and rearranged.  We carried out bags of trash and things to give away.  The bedrooms look great!  Today we were given an extra day off school, due to fog.  With that extra time, we finished the last bedroom, then I proceeded to clean my office to the level of tolerable, and rearrange the man cave. When that was done, I mowed the yard. 

The reason this all came about was that the level of dust in this house probably could have blanketed a third-world country.  The dust and cat hair under the beds alone was so bad; you would have thought we had a Yeti living here. 

I’m not sure how this happens.  We are relatively clean people.  We sweep, but we sweep what we can see.  Actually, my daughter sweeps; it’s her chore.  My son, who is nine, is in charge of dusting.  That may be a clue in this mystery.  I’m not even going to get into what may be happening in the bathrooms, as I haven’t gotten that far yet.  My other daughter is in charge of cleaning those.  My job, aside from my day job, cooking all the food, and the running kids around, is laundry and mopping.  The laundry gets done.  The mopping is sketchy.  I need to work on that.  Or maybe I could trade with the boy and do the dusting, and try him out on the mopping?  Hmm… I may be on to something here.

I read in a book once about a house that was self-cleaning.  Imagine, a self-cleaning house.  It probably involves some technology that I won’t figure out. Just this year, we bought a stove with a self-cleaning oven, and I don’t know how to use it yet.  I will tell you that I am a huge fan of the flat top cooking area.  That is also my job to clean and it is a breeze compared to the other stove.  It is also stainless steel, and I’m pretty sure it is the sexiest kitchen appliance around.  That was my comment to my husband when it was delivered.  “That is the sexiest appliance I’ve ever seen.”  (So I don’t get out much; sue me.) 

It feels so nice when things are cleaned up around the house, don’t you think? I try to keep things clean, but inevitably I will find a cobweb or some dust somewhere that I missed. Something always happens and the clean house isn’t so clean anymore. The cats will come in and shed all over the freshly-swept carpet. Kids tromp through the house with their friends, and in just moments, leave a trail of dirty dishes, food wrappers, half-opened backpacks and Legos in their wake.

I think it feels that way with life sometimes too. You are going along just fine, then there is some dust or a cobweb that happens to dirty things up. As often as I try to clean up my soul, I can’t get it ever completely done. Just like I can clean the house and it just gets dirty again, I can attend worship and listen to worship music, but I cannot get rid of the cobwebs and dust in my soul; not forever. Only God can do that.

Only when we give ourselves over to Him completely can we feel truly cleaned up and free. I’m so glad I can count on my God to cover that part. Because the cat just shed on the floor again, and I have my hands full.