"I will lift up my eyes to the hills--From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.--Psalms 121:1-2
I don't mind staying busy but as we all know, a woman's work is never done.
I've never been a domestic goddess. I'm more of a dysfunctional diva. I don't mind too much clutter and I don't mind dust bunnies dancing at my feet. I can get so
lost in a story that I forget where I am and what day it is. But when I finally
shut down my computer and blink, I see the clutter of life everywhere. And then I
get stressed about the mess. Like a lot of women, I work two jobs, three if you
count the occasional home made dinner and the actual mopping of the kitchen floor.
I write books by day and I moonlight as a freelance magazine reporter by night (and that includes weekends).
In between those two jobs, I try to maintain my household. But I tell you, some days I fall back on a set of rules I created to give to a friend who was fretting
about not being able to do it all. Here are some of those rules:
1. House work--Sweep the room with a glance. (got that one from Mae West)
2. Feeding your family--The best thing to make for dinner is reservations. (Can't remember where I found that one.)
3. Laundry--Wal-Mart has new clothes available all the time. Just go and buy more!
4. Something nice for Sunday night dinner--Chocolate works every time!
5. Quality time--Does grunting while you're searching for Cheetoes in the pantry count?
Of course, I'm not that bad. I manage to have time for my family, church, friends and even the cat. But there are times when I've had enough of the clutter and the mess. Then I have to stop writing and start purging and cleaning. That mound of laundry has finally hit the roof; the dirty dishes are now the only dishes in the house, and even the cat has taken to pushing at the dust bunnies just for fun. It's time to clean house. Once I get started, I become obsessed with getting everything in order. And the order only lasts a fleeting moment, but it makes me feel better.
I like to clean house before I leave for a trip so when I arrive home, I'll feel as if I'm still in a hotel and the maid just left. I like to clean house if my husband has been away, so that when he comes home he won't think I've been out shopping all weekend. Okay, maybe I have done some shopping but cleaning the house distracts him from figuring that out! And I love to clean house for a party or just because it settles me and helps me get away from brain fatigue.
The point of all of this is that we all have times when we feel overwhelmed and cluttered about life, times when we wonder what will happen next. In these scary economic times, I try not to complain. If I have a pile of laundry, that means I have clothes to wear. If I have a sink full of dishes, that means I have food to eat and a nice kitchen to eat in. If I have the clutter of books and magazines and newspapers, that means I am blessed to be able to read and learn and grow. If I have a pet who trusts me and loves me no matter what, that means I know the meaning of unconditional love. And if I have a family that is willing to eat pizza now and then so Mom can work, that means I am one very blessed person.
And that means I am "busy blessed." Busy blessed is much better than being lonely and not so blessed. Busy blessed means that my hands are not idle, that my mind is constantly getting some exercise and that I have a family to cherish and friends with whom I can laugh and the hope of a good tomorrow. We can worry about all of these things--dust, dishes, laundry and clutter. But I have found that it will all be there, no matter what I do. So I try to take it as it comes and roll with the punches. We can worry about what we did or didn't do yesterday and we can worry about what might or might not come tomorrow, but today, for this moment in time, we can look up at our home, at our family, at our pets and out into our beautiful, diverse world and know that all the clutter we worry about--death, destruction, war, economics and politics, crimes and storms--these things will always be out there and we will find a way to work around all of our worries--if we lift up our eyes to the hills and know that God in in control. I'm so glad that I'm busy blessed and that the messiness of my life can't overtake the blessings of my life. And I can smile as I hear my son unloading the dishwasher downstairs. Now if he'd just clean his bathroom!