Clutter sets me on edge, yet that is only how my house can be described on this day. Stale Sunchips fall to the floor as I fold a blanket and carefully place it back to it’s rightful position on the loveseat. I tell myself that who ever thought throw pillows were a good idea, didn’t have three boys that liked to actually throw them. A pink plastic necklace, Gameboy pieces, popcorn kernels and Thomas the train are all tucked under the coffee table - none of which were placed there by Yours Truly.
The mess stresses me out and my arms begin to itch. Jordin Sparks voice is singing in my head. “This is my now… ” It’s driving me crazy!
Baby Kobe toddles along behind me, crying his heart out, my three-year-old wants a popsicle, my almost five-year-old wonders if she can have a “cherry thingy”, while my eight-year-old, Tyler, watches the chaos. I wonder what thoughts are going through his head.
“No, Amy, you can’t have a cough drop… and get off the counter!” I reach for Corey’s popsicle and toss it back into the freezer, taking note that it’s only 8:30 in the morning. He melts into a wailing heap on the floor, right next to a sticky glob of yogurt that he had dropped at breakfast. I scratch my elbows harder, and the itch is spreading to my back.
“This is my now, and I am breathing in the moment.” Jordin is still singing. Taking a mental note to mop the floor - at least under Corey‘s chair -I turn to shove a pile of laundry into the washer, while glaring at the spilled laundry soap in the corner. I scratch my arms and my neck.
So… this is my now. I don’t really want to breathe in the moment. It doesn’t smell very good in here, yet, I am living the life that so many look at with disdain. I am a tired mother of four. My legs are hairy, my house is a mess, I haven’t had time to brush my teeth this morning, and flies are taking up residence on my sticky windows.
True, this is my now. And true, I can comfort myself with the old cliché’s that the kids will be grown and gone before I know it. (Scratch…scratch.) Enjoy them while they’re young. (Scratch)
Cliché’s do little to comfort me. Right now the only thought that consoles me is that I get to leave the kids and go in for jury duty on Wednesday morning.
I want a clean house… happy children… smooth legs.
I don’t want to look back on this time of my life as five years of rainy Mondays. I don’t want to feel like I am just trying to survive until naptime. I want to live the abundant life that Jesus said He has for me! Thankfully, God is showing me that as a mother, quite often, I am rigid and just too blasted serious. It’s hard for me to admit that. (How will the work get done if I don’t do it?)
I’m learning that I suffer from tunnel vision. I focus on what needs to get done and get frustrated at four of the best gifts God’s ever given me when they change my plans. I realize that my focus needs some adjustment. Even Jordin is trying to tell me that when she sings “I look around, can’t believe the love I see!”
So I stop.
I ignore the dryer buzzer.
I look past the streaks on the windows.
I open my eyes for the first time this morning and really see my children. I join them on the floor and we line up trucks for a while. Was it a half hour or ten minutes? I don’t know, who‘s keeping track? We laugh and giggle. We eat popsicles… after all, they’re sugar-free.
The children are happier. They just wanted some mommy time. Tyler and Amy watch as I make a countdown-to-Amy’s-birthday poster, then we set the timer and race to clean up the living room. They think it’s a fun game and I’m glad the itching is going away. Corey tells me I’m his sweetheart, while Kobe rubs my knees. I think he likes how prickly my legs feel. After a while, I’ll leave them to their play and get back to work. During naptime, I’ll take a long hot shower, but until then, I’m busy! I’m living in the moment and loving it.