Thursday, April 26, 2012

In the Abundace of Dirt...

The day started off with a flurry.

A phone call,
visitors expected,
only an hour to make a path through the toys/gear/shoes/papers/dirt/debris.

Beloved friends coming by make my day....... and send me into a tailspin.

As I whisk through the house setting things in order, I suddenly notice the dust
so thick I could write a message in it with my finger.  With all my fingers.
On both hands. At the same time.

And I knew there were cobwebs hanging there, but that many?  Jeeper's they're long!
Where are the spiders responsible for such engineering feats? 

When was the last time we cleaned the toilet, and how did I not notice the jam
sticking to the side of my counter.  Never mind the fingerprints covering every glass
surface and don't even bother about the mop-desperate floor... but
Why are there hairbands in that pile of dust in the corner?  Who will sweep that?
Fill that? Move that?  Put that away? ?  ?  ?

Worried-worried, furrowed brow, in my mind I am somewhere else.  Wondering what
part of my dusty life my friend will see.  Am I really worried that she'll see it? 
Or am I embarrassed that it's there?

I move quicker than a spinning top.  Brushing through every thing - every person - in my path.
Don't get in my way!

Now's my chance!  Gather some perspective while there's still time and hold onto it!

I call my children into the room where I slow my pace, dusting the piano with more
deliberate motion than fervor.  I think before I open my mouth again, but when I do,
I hear my own voice speaking softly.

"Children,"  I say
"Children, Please forgive me for being in a hurry, for being grouchy, for being... bossy.

We have the pleasure of guests in a short while, and that is an honor.  I am thinking that
we want to enjoy them, and to bless them when they come into our home.
But you are them most important to me, and enjoying you is more important than making
things look just right for them.

No amount of surface-cleaning a stinky old grave can make it smell pretty.  
What's on the inside of our hearts, MY heart, is going to show through.  
I want to show a true picture.
If there are dust bunnies popping out from under the couch, that will be okay with me
because I want our home to be full of joyful fellowship between each of us!  
I refuse to behave poorly to you guys in order to impress someone else, so let's ask 
the Lord to prepare our hearts for enjoying each other and blessing our friends!"

Smiles and forgiveness, and a good lesson I learned before it was too late today.
A hard and humbling lesson. 

Hard because I want everything to look serene.

Humbling because my children know me. 
They know the truth - whether the truth is beautiful or not. 

Humbling because I have to throw my pride away and enjoy coffee in the shadow of cobwebs.

Good, because if the secret of our household is that grace and peace, truth, joyful hearts, and
glorious fellowship reside in the abundance of dirt...
we've got it.


Jana said...

Oh my. This might be one of my favorite posts of all time. THAT was real. That was humbling (because I've thought the same thoughts). That was encouraging. That was a bit of my friend in words! Thank you!

Cinnamon said...

Can I bring some of my cobwebs over when the Lord works out a visit for us? I'll bring some tea, some laughter, loads of children, plenty of action and side splitting giggling deep into the night :-)

Love your perspective. Love your sweet family. Love you my friend!


Morgan said...

Thank you for being so real and for being such an encouragement. I'm so thankful that I'm not the only one that has a messy house or that sometimes gets caught up cleaning it for guests and forgets to honor my children. You're SO right, treating them with love and gentleness is so much more important. Reminding myself... :)

SarahS said...

What a wonderful post Analene. Thank you so much for your transparency. Through you honesty you've shared wonderful wisdom!

I love you friend :)

Photo Momma said...

Thanks for being real. And thanks for setting the example for the rest of us...

C'est l'abeille said...

"No amount of surface-cleaning a stinky old grave can make it smell pretty.
What's on the inside of our hearts, MY heart, is going to show through.
I want to show a true picture."
What a good picture that paints to ALL of us... whether we have a houseful of children or not. Too often, I have found myself bossing my husband around when we have guests coming... I want my heart to show through... ESPECIALLY to my husband!
Thanks for the reminder!