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“Calm Down, Mom”

Do you ever have those days when you are dead set on a path and plan for the day, and you get waylaid before you even step out your bedroom door?  Today was one of those days.  I completely forgot my daily habit of asking the Lord to have His way in my day. I was so set on accomplishing one particular thing today that I didn’t leave room for much else.

I do A LOT of cooking for my family.  It is very important to me that we don’t eat a lot of processed “convenience” foods.  I cook and bake from scratch, and I try to leave a lot of ready-to-go things in the fridge for easy snacks and lunches.  I spend the majority of my days in the kitchen.  In fact, I rarely stop cooking long enough to really give my kitchen a good cleaning.  So, I decided today was the day.  I even got up early to get a head start.  Looking back I can almost laugh.  This morning though, I was getting upset.  My oldest son still lives with us while he prepares for the mission field. He currently has a job working at the same place my husband does, however, he has been sick this week.  This morning he decided to call an advice nurse, and guess who’s help he needed?  Then, we had to get Dad involved because we got new insurance cards, but somehow Mom didn’t get one and the advice nurse was asking for numbers.  It turned into a complicated ordeal involving emails, scanning, and printing and by the end of it I was ready to start throwing things.  I’m just being real, folks.  I’m a real, imperfect person.  In my mind I’m thinking, “Can’t they just leave me alone long enough to get the kitchen cleaned?  Grrrrr!”  I’m laughing at my ridiculousness now, but I wasn’t laughing then.

I knew it was going to take me a good part of the day to get my fairly good-sized kitchen clean, and these interruptions weren’t helping.  Then there was my daughter, who is not a morning person and even once she’s up, I think molasses moves faster than she does.  She walks into the kitchen, wrapped up in a blanket, with her hair flying every which way and heads straight for the pantry.  Excuse me?!  We at least comb our hair and brush our teeth before gracing others with our presence and she knows this.  She’s going through another “testing the limits” stage (does that stage every really end?) and I know she’s just waiting to see if I’ll say anything or if she’ll be able to get away with stumbling into the kitchen looking like she stuck her finger in an electrical socket.  I send her straight back to the bathroom, where she proceeds to take half an hour to brush her teeth and comb her hair.  It turns out she decided to get dressed as well, then got sidetracked.  Something that happens often around here.

So, instead of spending an uninterrupted morning cleaning the kitchen, I was helping my son, texting with my husband, prodding my daughter along with her morning routine, and being very frustrated in the process.  I should know better by now.  First off, my daughter RARELY sails through her morning routine and chores all on her own.  Secondly, I know from experience that when I focus only on my agenda, I get frustrated by the interruptions.  There’s much more peace in being open to other things that come into my day – being a little more flexible with my agenda and a little more open to helping others with theirs.  After all, serving my family is my job as “Mom”, and I am my husbands helpmate.  These are things the Lord has called me to and I need to remember my priorities.  As it turned out, I got about half of my kitchen cleaned.  Not what I wanted, but better than nothing.  It was much more important that I got to help my son with his missionary application, visit with my husband at lunch time, make sure my daughter got her school work done and to piano lessons on time, and enjoy a little family time at dinner before my husband dashed off to his bowling league.

These are the things that are really important – relationships.  My son will be off in another country in about seven months, if all goes as planned.  My daughter will be a teenager before I know it, and we are never promised tomorrow.  I want to enjoy these people who interrupt my plans and disrupt my agenda, as long as I possibly can.  I want sweet memories, not regrets of time ill spent.  The kitchen will be there long after all the babies have flown the nest for good.  And it will be cleaner because I won’t be cooking as much, which may sometimes make me sad and in those moments I will need happy memories to fall back on, not regrets.

I’m glad the frustration was short-lived today (helped in part by my son encouraging me to calm down when he saw the stress building) and I was able to enjoy the rest of my day, being open to whatever the Lord had for me.  Even though my kitchen is not spotless (it never is anyway), it was a nice day after all, spent peacefully with people I love.  😊💕

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