Sunday, December 14, 2014

The house is a mess because I was listening to God

Today's sermon at church was about the story of Mary and how an angel came to her and told her she was going to give birth to the Savior and Mary was all like, "What the hell? How can that be? I'm young and unwed. I'm a virgin!" But then she humbly accepts her calling, despite it not at all being what she had planned for her life and she's worried she might not be up for it. 

I can totally relate to Mary. I'm a freakin' nube third-grade-girls' basketball coach whose training consists of reading library books on the subject. Children's library books. The adult books on the subject give me a panic attack. Thank God the team is full of kiddos who have more faith in me than I do in myself.

But we're not talking about me, wait, are we? I was telling Mary's story, not mine, wasn't I? That's what I love about the sermons at church: how our pastors turn them into relatable stories we can use in our daily lives. 

Mary assessed her situation and decided to wing it--like the Angel--and just go with it. Serve God and all the people of the world in whichever way and in whatever time you find yourself, even if you feel crippled with self-doubt and you know you're imperfect and the only thing you know for sure is you're going to fuck something up at some point, but you just keep winging it and trusting the energy to flow through you without getting stopped up with your plans.

Or something like that. I'm paraphrasing. Don't worry. It's not a terribly sweary church.

On the drive home I started to plan the rest of my day. Will's at work, unavailable to bail me out of my housework duties, as usual. I'd like to say Will and I have an equal marriage, but I'd be totally lying. He does WAY more housework than I do. But in my defense, he cares about tidiness more than I do, and we have one housekeeping rule in our house: if it bugs you, you get to clean it.

I have an exception tolerance to mess, so poor Will is the primary caretaker of hearth and home. 

I try my best to help out, but it's difficult for me to pay attention to the mess when I feel like there is so much more to life than order. It's like the lawn. I just don't get lawns. Why go to the trouble to water and mow and fertizize and aerate and all the other maintenace you commit to when you care about your lawn. Why not just let your yard go wild? If you want to work in the yard, plant a garden so you can at least grow your own food. Leave the leaves to the detritivores, the nuts to the squirrels, and the dirt to the earth.

But today the house is such a mess it's even bugging me, the Mom who not only has a high tolerance for my own mess but who thinks messy rooms enrich creative minds. It's a hodgepodge theory I made up from my own experiences of having a messy room and Einstein's excellent quip about tidy desks:


So I'm sitting in my car, waiting for the red light to change to green, and I start planning what I'm going to do when I get home.

1. dishes

2. put away laundry

3. sweep and mop the floor

4. clean the bathroom, yes, even the toilet (yikes!)

5. clean off the piano and arrange Christmas decorations on it, or, clean off the piano and take a picture of it and post an ad on Craigslist to sell the freaking monstrosity that's hogging all the square footage of our tiny living room

6. give the dogs a bath

7. roast those root veggies you bought last week before the go bad and your husband reminds you of how much money you waste buying healthy foods you forget to cook

8. oh yeah, then, you might as well make dinner while you're at it

This was the plan running through my head. What I hadn't taken into consideration is how much time I had to check off all these things on my mental to-do list. I had four hours before we had to leave for a Christmas party. I'd need time to shower after getting dirty doing all this housework. And I was majorly jonesin' to blog.

I stepped into the door and saw the empty mop bucket that had been sitting there since last night when I first decided I HAD to mop the floor. Instead, I chatted with friends online and with my husband and daughter in person and stuffed myself with pizza and went to bed. I had kept busy all day at the library, so despite my plans to do some housework, my body told me to relax and enjoy myself. 

This is great, this Jesusy stuff. I always used to blame myself for my innate procrastination and laziness. Now, when Will gets home from work and sees the empty mop bucket still waiting for me to quit slacking, I can say, forgive me, but I was called to write a blog post. The house is a mess because I was listening to God.