But this was one of those days that there was too much noise and not enough silence. Not the external kind-the nagging static that keeps up a constant inner rumble that goes like this. "If you lie here reading too long before showering and dressing, the likelihood that there will be some disaster requiring a quick retreat into the street will increase a hundredfold." As I was imagining myself out there in my ratty pj's and not enough undergarments, I dropped my book and didn't want to get up and lie back down again, plus my neck was starting to hurt. I promised myself I could sit back down afterward with a nice cup of coffee, and that was bribery enough. The only problem was that, once in the shower, I saw the bathroom needed scrubbing, and on the way back to my room, I spotted the dirty laundry pile in the hallway, and if that wasn't enough, upon opening my door, I saw with new eyes the accumulating piles of papers and (yes) books...sigh. I hadn't even gone downstairs yet.
Most days I can take the daily to do list in stride and can reason with the noisy demanding tyrant in my mind, by talking with God, going to a daily mass if possible, praying the rosary and getting the priorities of the universe in order. And the inner quietness that results is nothing short of a symphony. A quiet one.
I learned many years ago that if I focus on the Lord, He will keep me focused on the best thing on any given day. The best thing is rarely a thing and almost always a person. Most days those persons are my kids. Yes there will always be the washing, cooking, the dreaded shopping--but if I have not forgotten God, somehow, I can do that stuff, be present to the people around me, and still get a chunk of time to read my book. Is it magical? Sometimes. Mostly it isn't, it is me learning that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Following Him in the little workings of my day brings a peace and settled calm that helps things to flow. Fighting against Him and wanting my own priorities, served up in my own way, brings that sluggish, feet- in- the- mud feeling. As I am frequently a person with cement between the ears, I relearn this all the time. Thankfully, He is patient and forbearing.
Here are two reasons to be faithful to my vocation.
Today's snippet of hilarity is brought to you by--"The Things that happen when the floor is freshly scrubbed", otherwise known as Murphy's Third Law of Kitchen Floors.
Last week was Rachael's seventeenth birthday (Rachael pictured above looking very grown up indeed) (Ben just turned fifteen, if you can believe that--) and I scrubbed and polished the sticky, take- the -flip- flop-right- off- your- foot, kitchen floor. It looked good for a day or two. Enter the Willing-to-help-in-Any-Way Husband. I asked if he would put some sugar in the jug of iced tea, the kind with the little spout at the bottom. Of course, no problem! Well, except this problem. After the sugar is added, he put it in the freezer to chill quickly, and closed the door. I thank whatever heavenly force that prompted him to open the door a few minutes later and see that the freezer door had pushed the cute and handy little spout, holding it open for roughly half the tea to flow out into the bottom of the freezer. He good-naturedly proceeded to clean it up, but not before a fair amount of sugary tea found its way to the now only somewhat shiny floor. (this is time number two that this exact thing happened to him-- he was officially relieved of tea-duty).
Fast forward to today, the floor by now has suffered many other injustices, but it is not all the way back to the barnyard state yet, so as I mentioned before, I tore myself away from my book and scrubbed it up again.( I have extensive experience with the Law of the Freshly Scrubbed floor. Over the years my shiny floors have attracted such things as, a knocked over ten pound bag of sugar, a toddler "helping" mix up a batch of banana bread batter that somehow flew off the counter, clouds of flour, and of course, the ultimate magnet, the Sticky Drink). As we sat at the table after dinner, my charming husband gallantly offered to make the after dinner pot of coffee. He did so while telling jokes, but my eye was on him putting things on the edge of the counter. The coffee basket (thankfully still empty) first, and then the entire large container of coffee itself, perched half on and half off the counter. I yelled out, in defense of my floor, interrupting one of the jokes, and again! Saved. Whew. So while the coffee is gurgling along, I retreat to the computer and he decides to take out the trash, (not his favorite job, whose favorite anything ever involves handling trash?) Next thing I know there is yelling. I have forgotten to properly empty out the box of pancake mix before putting it in the recycling bin. He is apparently wearing what puffed out of the bottom of the box while he crushed it to fit more neatly in the bin. (We are very ardent recyclers). The kids took the brunt of the blame. I said nothing. He later confessed he realized I had been the pancake chef over the weekend.( which I am proud of, they were good). After all was said and done, you know it--the Law of the Freshly Scrubbed Floor had its way after all. Just goes to show you that you really can't argue with one of the really intent lessons of housecleaning. It is never done.