Wednesday, September 19, 2007

You Know What They Say About Spilled Milk

I’m wearing two small stickers today: a kitty cat and a leopard. Jack came and put them on my sweater and said, “These are for you, Mommy. One is for doing a good job in the garden, and one is for taking good care of us.”

Moments like that make me even more thankful for this short, magical season of life at home with two little ones. Mind you, it doesn’t always feel so short. Or so magical.

Yesterday it seemed like every single thing I tried to do either took forever or was undone by Sophie the minute my back was turned. I’d been up since 5:30 and before it was even midmorning I was feeling weighed down. When I checked the clock at 9:25, I was sure that we’d be on the way to the grocery store five minutes later, but I was still trying to get out the door at 9:45. (With Jack at nursery in the mornings, it was just me and Sophie! This should not be a problem.)

Finally, everything was ready. Keys in hand, I was just about to scoop Sophie up and carry her to the car. Oops, I’d forgotten to get a sippy cup of milk to ensure a more cooperative toddler on our adventure up and down the aisles at Sainsbury’s. I went back to the kitchen, poured milk into the mug, put the mug into the microwave, checked over my grocery list while it heated, then reached to get the mug and... I still don’t know exactly what happened, but suddenly I was surrounded (and had been splashed) by warm milk. What a mess! At first I just stood there and stared at that crazy puddle of milk. I think I even said out loud: You’ve got to be kidding! It had been one thing after another all morning, and now this. I closed my eyes. (Breathe in. Breathe out.)

After a long moment of absolute stillness, I turned to the kitchen sink for a sponge and happened to glance out the window. The sun was shining, and the bright, happy colors of a few late-summer flowers peeked at me from the garden. In the next room, I heard my baby-not-really-a-baby- anymore playing happily on the floor. And just like that, the frenzy was gone. That dark, ominous I’m-only-as-good-as-my-to-do-list-is-done cloud was gone. I felt lighter, freer, and I was smiling. In fact, I laughed -- mainly at myself for getting so worked up about such inconsequential things and then at how good my life truly is.

By the time the milk was cleaned up, I was a new woman. Relaxed instead of stressed. Grateful instead of frustrated. The rest of the day can be described by one simple word: FUN! I played with the kids, read lots of stories, sang lots of songs. Matt came home to a sink full of dishes, a basket full of laundry and toys e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e, but he also came home to a really happy family. What I've got to remember is that it doesn’t matter whether I feel successful or not. In the eyes of the ones who matter, I’m doing a good job.

And I’ve got the stickers to prove it.

* * * * * *
A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. (Proverbs 14:1 NLT)

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. (Psalm 42:11 NIV)

(Jesus said) “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me -- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 The Message)

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father encourage you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. (2 Thessalonians 2:16 NCV)


John and Maureen said...

Ok Laura, I'm convicted. I have been kinda working at home this Sept and I keep doing all the things that need to be done around the house and missing some real moments just having fun and letting Alex make a mess. Though Alex did say, "Good horsey" to me a few times this week.
Your bro, John

Anonymous said...

Keep those stickers forever!

turtlemama said...

Isn't it amazing how a single moment can turn a day like that around?

Love your blog.

Sarah (Lisa's friend)