Friday, December 22, 2017


Clean the house - the litany of chores in my head always starts with clean the house. Three little words and so dang much work. Some days this is the list - at other times of year - Christmas for example - this is just the barest glimpse of the tip of a million things that must be done. And it is daunting.

I make lists.

I fret.

I schedule.

I fret.

There are items on the list I love - baking and decorating rate among the top. But it is so hard to get there since it starts with "clean the house." There are many hands, feet, & paws tracking in and trailing debris at an alarming rate. Vacuuming to do. And let us not forget the mountains of laundry that mock me from assorted baskets. There is shopping and wrapping, and gift making. And there are beds to strip - clean sheets are an apparent requirement for the birth of Christ. There are school performances to attend - and toilets to scour in case Santa needs a pit stop I guess.

It's a wonder I don't freeze into a catatonic state of panic. But I trudge through the lists. And I fret.

I've pondered this need to have my house in perfect order for the Eve of Christmas. Will the kids refuse to open gifts if there are unmade beds? Will the cookies be less delicious if the laundry is not folded? Of course not, but here I am - burdened by the guilt that I am not the perfect mom.

And I blame the Parable of the Ten Virgins - from the Bible. I sorely want to avoid being the foolish one, the one whose lamp has gone out with no oil and is incapable of meeting the bridegroom. I want to be ready. I want to be worthy. But I think - at least I dearly hope - that God is not judging my worth on my ability to juggle motherhood, working, and housekeeping. So, I am going to try to let it go. I am going to try not to panic because the dog did not get into the groomer.

Let us be determined to remember that we try to prepare our hearts for this day all year long - in the kind acts we show to others and the care we take of those we love. Let us remember that Christmas is a celebration of love and not a final judgement on how much our houses sparkle or how much like Pintrest our crafts turn out because I fail there, for certain every dang time. Those we love will cherish the day, even if our cookies have burnt bottoms. And maybe that is the kindness we need to show ourselves.

Merry Christmas!