San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers

In the Middle of the Night

Shocking as this may seem, there is actually something I hate more than cleaning the house.

Going to bed.

Chris is not a night owl. At about 10:30, he is just done. Like someone flipped a switch. This is kind of awful for me, because I come alive at night. My brain starts whirling and I want to do things and write things and make things and… everything!

The problem is, we’ve always BELIEVED in going to bed at the same time. When we are counseling a bride and groom-to-be, that’s the advice we dispense. And I still agree with it in concept.

But since we’re currently sharing a room with a baby, going to bed at the same time has lost it’s glossy sheen a bit. I mean, you can’t even have a whispered conversation for fear of waking someone.

So we’ve broken our own rule a couple of times recently.

Now, I won’t stay up after Chris has gone to bed to watch a movie or anything trivial like that. Mainly because then he would judge me. It’s completely mystifying to him why anyone would want to stay awake past 11 at night. But if I burn the midnight oil to do something productive, then he’s way less judgey.

Remember how I mentioned that I hate to clean the house? Our current summer-break status hasn’t been helpful to me in that area. There are just so many distractions! Loud, talkative distractions that seem to always need lunch.

So the other night, when I suggested I stay up late and get some cleaning in, Chris toned down his “I fail to see why anyone in their right mind wouldn’t want to sleep at a conventional time.”

nightCLEANINGOnce he went to bed, I put a TV show on my laptop and scrubbed the kitchen from top to bottom (except inside the fridge, because that’s not a job to take on lightly). It was great! And the situation was potentially enhanced by how ALONE I was (Again, summer vacation. It’s an introvert killer.)

But I’m not going to lie, I probably cleaned the kitchen better than I ever would in the daytime. Just to avoid going to bed.

That is how much I like staying up late.

I mean, this could be a new housecleaning motivator. The procrastinator in me is awesome at doing something, anything, to put off doing the thing I hate the most. So if avoiding bedtime gets my house clean, it’s a win/win.

Except the waking up… the waking up the next morning is so hard to do.

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San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers

Just for Company

I’m so not a “cleany”.

I mean, some people keep their houses clean so they will be clean. You know, “a clean house is a happy house…” la la la. What I’m trying to say is, they clean their houses for THEMSELVES.

Yes, weird I know.

I clean my house because the landlord is stopping by. Or my kids have a playdate. Or Chris’ family is coming to stay for the weekend. Or we’re having church in our living room (this is every week, so…).

In other words, I clean my house for other people. If push came to shove and no one was coming over for a few weeks, I MIGHT clean my house just to make my husband happy or something. But still… it’d be for other people. Because personally, I don’t care that much.

OK, so here ‘s my dilemma: I’m really tempted to “Jesus juke” my own blog here. Normally I hate a Jesus juke… but it is MY blog, so I can do what I want. Ahhhhh… OK, I’ll go for it!

So you know how I just said I only clean my house when other people are going to see it?

Yeah. So I think often we Christians (and really, everyone) walk out life dictated by what other people will see.

I’m not really talking about sin, because you know, sin is bad anytime. No, it’s more the other stuff.

Like praying. We have a way to pray in front of other people that I doubt most of us use in private. In Bible Study Group, we’re all, “Oh most gracious Heavenly Father…” but in private, it’s more of, “God please help me…” And really, which is a more authentic prayer?

We just like to make things sound so pretty and nice. And glossy.

For example, in our home we read a Bible story to our kids every night… or almost every night. When we aren’t getting them in bed at 10 PM. But I get all stressed out when I hear other parents talk about doing “Family Devotions.” I have pictures of them preparing lesson plans, complete with a flannelgraph and appropriate memory verses. And then my wise husband says, “Babe. We do ‘devotions’ with our kids. We pray with them every night and read them a Bible story.” And I’m all like, “Oh. That’s all there is to it?”

Because my version doesn’t seem as glamorous to me. But it’s real.

I guess I don’t want to live in a pretty, glossy way that leaves others feeling slightly inadequate. I’d so much rather serve Jesus in a way that is genuinely me, even if it’s a little rough around the edges.

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Slave Labor

Yesterday was a beautiful day at our house…

Whenever I’m in the throes of mothering toddlers, my Pastor’s wife assures me that it only gets better. She says that when they are teenagers, you can put them to work! Another family I know has several adopted children. Now that the children are teens, their parents tease them that the reason they were adopted was to have somebody to do all the chores.

All of this has conditioned me to look forward to the day when I no longer wait on children hand and foot, but instead they wait on me! I’ve very excited about this plan.

The other day, I saw the first fruits of my future life of ease! I had spilled some uncooked rice on the floor and Isaiah walked in and exclaimed, “Oh no! Look at all the mess! Mommy, did you do that on assident?” I assured him I hadn’t made the mess on purpose and then said, “Can you help Mommy clean it up?” He gave a very cheerful, but emphatic “no!”, but I was not to be deterred. I got the vacuum, attached the hose, and turned it on. Pretty quickly, he discovered that sucking up rice was actually fun. He got every last grain.

We were so inspired by the beauty of our son cleaning up a mess he hadn’t made, Chris took it a step further and taught him how to start the dishwasher. The slave labor has begun!

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