It was one of those mornings when everything and everyone was clicking. In my world that meant both kids got up (out of the bed in a semi-conscious state) and got ready in time. Plus, we had milk in the fridge, gas in the car and coffee was brewing. Even better, it was valentine’s day so I placed little candy goodies on the table for the kids complete with festive decor and construction paper hearts. (I never get to use construction paper anymore since the kids are older. I felt deprived and needed to use the stash of it I still have in the closet.)
The kids were excited when they saw their goodies and sang my praises as the best mom ever. Ok, that last part only happened in my head but they were happy, nonetheless. And then I announced we were going to the dentist instead of school. Even then, things were still going well as the little darlings realized they would be missing first period and maybe part of second. They were already texting their friends as we walked out the door. Evidently missing class is enviable among their friends even if it means a trip to the dentist.
As the kids were nestled in the chairs with their respective dental hygienists, I bounced from room to room checking on them, looking at x-rays and making small talk about them since neither could speak.
“Yes, she’s 15 now and beautiful. We’ve already bought the security system…Yes I know he’s getting big. He played football this year.”
And then… I got irritated. Shocking, I know.
The sweet hygienist began to ask me if I’d found a job yet. When I replied that I was still looking, she mentioned that at least my house must be spotless. She must not have noticed the color draining from my face and added that I must be getting lots of projects done and my family had to be eating yummy gourmet meals seven days a week. Um…. Not exactly.
I mumbled some sort of reply about the importance of a crock pot, the sanitary condition of my home and the fact that completed projects were overrated. I did feel compelled to add that my children were quite involved in school activities and sports. I even listed the community and church groups we supported. I suppose showing her my weekly calendar to prove I had wisely allocated time and resources to lots of worthy causes was overkill, but by then I was quickly spiraling out of control. Visions of self burning midnight oil to complete every project on mental “to do” list suddenly filled my mind. I suddenly longed for my cape which I left at home in the closet. At a time like this! Grrr.
When sweet girlie asked if we could go to Chick Fil A across town for breakfast versus Dunkin Donuts, I flipped out.
“No! I can’t waste a minute getting you to school. I must accomplish something vitally important to the success of world peace this very morning so you must eat the crackers we have in the car and drink water from the fountain at school. As soon as I drop you off, I’m racing home to re-do the entire house, cook meals for the neighborhood and create a non-profit organization supporting some worthwhile cause I’ll figure out on the way home. Come on…hurry!”
One hundred deep breaths and two episodes of biting the kids head off later, I got breakfast for my kids. I even returned to the school after dropping them off with candy for the 4th period valentine’s party girlie forgot about. I started dinner and then took time to have a lunch date with my hubby. On the way to meet him, I thought about the pressure moms (and dads) place on themselves every single day. It’s silly but it’s real and it can be debilitating if left untreated. But that’s where humor and the Word come in.
I laughed at myself and my latest episode of mother-of-the-year-itis. I felt great about my world until someone unintentionally made me feel like I hadn’t done enough or hadn’t been as productive and effective as I should have been. It was really kinda funny when the sting and tension wore off. If we do the best we can every day to provide for our families, then we’ve done enough. And if we put God first each day, He said he would help us with everything else. I often think about the story of Mary and Martha in the book of Luke. When Martha was scurrying about busy with chores and Mary was simply at the feet of Jesus, Jesus said Mary was the one who understood what was important. So being still and quiet in the presence of God is more important that anything else. And if I seek Him first, He will help me prioritize everything else. Letting Him help me organize my day is far more important than seeing how many projects I can accomplish in one day. Doing that may mean I miss the one thing that He wants me to do. That sounds a whole lot better than setting the world record for the most laundry done in a day!
At the Home of Martha and Mary
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)