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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Control (01/30/06)

TITLE: Walking theTightrope
By Joanne Malley


I’m a well-trained multi-tasker and control freak. I can tidy up a home faster than anyone can say, “Swiffer.”

I’m also a housewife to one darling professional channel surfer, and mother to two simply adorable offspring who leave trails wherever they go. The amount of work they generate can surpass a total remodel of the Biltmore Estate.

I may sometimes complain, but after all is said and done, I’m known as one to bask in the glow of a spotless home. However, cleaning up after my family is as stressful as walking a tightrope and as enjoyable as eyebrow waxing and childbirth combined.

Recently, while accomplishing some chores, I balanced my fifth load of folded laundry in my two arms. Never mind the collection of dirty socks I held under my chin and the newspapers I balanced on my head. I even managed to hold a dust cloth with the only two free fingers of my right hand. I looked like a circus freak as I performed those duties all at once with double-jointed ease. All I needed was a tight rope, a unicycle, and a monkey on my back and those clowns at the circus would have nothing on me.

I know if I ever tire of my thrilling stay-at-home career, I’ll have a place with Ringling Brothers. They’d hire me in a heartbeat. I could be immediately spotted in a crowd from my dopey, glazed-over, “I’m a frustrated housewife” look and the ringmaster would offer me a job out of pity.

Pity’s not such a bad thing sometimes.

So what if the downside is the elephant dung I’d have to deal with. At least I wouldn’t have to clean it up. It’ll be a welcome reprieve from the mess I always have at home. I’d even get paid!

As the moments ticked by, the option was beginning to look mighty attractive.

While I proudly performed my balancing act, sarcasm rolled off my tongue and got the better of me. I blurted to my husband. “Oh…don’t worry, dear…I’ve got it -- I don’t need any help…really. It’s all under control.”

Of course, it was under control. I always saw to it. No one could quadruple task like I could. But, a little help when and where I wanted it would be great…and I’d like it yesterday, please.

My husband was watching television and I knew that what I just said was wasted on a deaf, comatose guy. He didn’t even have the courtesy to grunt or say “Yes, dear” in response. A strange phenomenon occurs when he becomes one with the television. Intrusive voices mysteriously render his ears useless. It just wasn’t worth the bother of repeating myself. Anyway, I needed the extra breath and energy to make it through the house as a contortionist.

While I allowed him his mini-vacation away from reality on the recliner, I neatly tucked the laundry away while I dusted every furniture surface I passed. I pondered how I’d continue to keep up with the daily grind and the mess my family of four makes on a daily basis, and how he’s the one in the recliner.

Go figure.

Anyway, I love my family to pieces and even feel blessed to care for them, but I’m beginning to realize that keeping it all under control is a feat too difficult for just one person.

Just then, the “aha” moment hit me and knocked the newspapers clear off my head. Thankful for the relief of pressure from the huge stack, my brain was then able to receive proper blood flow and process the fact that God’s the One who wants the control. He’s the One who would rather tidy up all the issues that I try to handle myself. I’ve been interfering with His job more often than not.

Shame on me.

I find myself in control of the house, the finances, the kids and the worries that can often go along with them. Not to mention, the past, the future and the present moment. I should enjoy the fact that God wants to handle all things and that I should just take a load off without that darn Swiffer and a cleaning schedule in my hand to distract me.

As I soaked in my newest revelation, I wondered if God could also be my free ticket out of housework. And, more importantly…does He do windows?

Perhaps, there’s no better time to join the circus.

After all, God’s got everything under control!

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This article has been read 1085 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Amanda D'costa02/08/06
Hello friend,
How true this is! We try to take control over everything in our life. If only we'd trust in Jesus! And by the way, if there's a paid vacancy at the circus, I'll join you. I'm a 'house wife' with two kids and a T.V. addict for a husband (who, I must say is the clown in our home circus. Our kids just adore him!)
Keep up the good work. Jesus loves you very very much.
Lynda Schultz 02/08/06
Windows…? What windows? Very nicely done.
Ann Grover02/11/06
Well written. I was drawn in, held on until the end, to see how the dilemma was solved. It was satisfying in that the answer is simple... but not easy.
Jan Ackerson 02/11/06
Your 4th paragraph is great! Nice voice, very witty and charming.
Lynda Lee Schab 02/11/06
Ah, Jo. This entry is so YOU! I would have guessed even if I hadn't read your hint. :-) Wonderful, witty writing as always. I thoroughly enjoyed it. But I think I saw a little dust in paragraph two (put away the dust rag - I was just kidding LOL)
You were right, I pegged ya right away. Good writing as always.(:
Linda Watson Owen02/11/06
This is a really cute one, Jo! Can't say I've ever been in your shoes though. A little dust doesn't bother me (until company's coming! LOL) and I've got a hubby who pitches right in, always has (Thank you, MIL!). You've done a great job on this entertaining and enlightening entry!!
Beth Muehlhausen02/12/06
R-E-L-A-X....! There's no dust in heaven, and if this life is all about preparing for eternity, then why practice DUSTING?!?!

Cute entry w/ a good point.
John Hunt02/13/06
You are a kindred spirit with my wife, Jo. Great article!
Remember: I'm in my happy place, I'm in my happy place.
Always a pleasure to read your work.
Amy Michelle Wiley 02/13/06
Great job, Jo! Hehe, I love the line, "Does He do windows?" LOL
Val Clark02/18/06
Finally made it to your entry, Jo! Still got a smile on my face. Oh, boy, have I been there and done that! I'm with Amy for favourite lines. Thanks for this enlightening and enjoyable read, Soooo good to hear your'voice' again. Yeggy.