I’m embarassed to stay that this is what my house looked like today…
Seriously, every surface in every room is covered with stuff and dust and crumbs and it is so. not. cool.
By about 11 am I was approaching a minor meltdown. Everything seemed to need to be done at once. The washer and dryer needed to be emptied and a new load of laundry started- that is, if we want to wear actual clothes tomorrow. (And the answer to that, despite my three-year-old’s personal opinion, is yes, yes we do.) Dishes were piled in the sink, baby bottles waiting to be cleaned, sterilised and filled up again. There was no food in the house and lunchtime was rapidly approaching- however, the car needed to be emptied before we could go shopping. And it was raining. Meanwhile, the baby was ready for a feed, the toddler was ready to be entertained, and important phone calls needed to be made.
Just as I was about to launch into a sadly well-practised rant about how none of this would have happened if we were a bit more organised and, of course, listened to me more, I heard a voice…It was her.
The reality is, none of this would of happened if we hadn’t arrived home the night before from a week-long trip to Europe. Granted it was terrible timing, but last week we had the opportunity to go and see some countries we hadn’t seen before. Our daughter explored forests, played with kids from all over the world, and connected with some beloved Bible stories for the first time. My husband led and inspired a fantastic youth programme at an international family conference. And I fulfilled a dream of connecting with a bit of family history. All in all, a pretty awesome week- and for some stupid reason, I felt like I wanted more. And the ability to do five things at once.
I’m currently re-reading a book on my shelf called The Cloister Walk, which is the memoir of a poet and author who spends some time as artist-in-residence at a Benedictine monastery. She observes, ‘The Benedictines, more than any other people I know, insist that there is time in each day for prayer, for work, for study, and for play.’ What a blissful thought. Somewhere over the years I’ve forgotten to make time for three out of the four, and it’s incredibly liberating to think that it might just be ok if I did. It may even be better than ok. As the author writes, ‘Over and over, the Rule [of St. Benedict] calls us to be more mindful of the little things, even as it reminds us of the big picture, allowing us a glimpse of who we can be when we remember to love.’
Love. That’s what I forgot to do. When I stopped and remembered it, and the fact that everything on my to-do list is a byproduct of some seriously quality family time, my day turned around.
The dishes can wait.