On accomplishments, community, and clean bathrooms

Since today is Friday, I did the dishes, washed the laundry, vacuumed, made a bowl of popcorn for the boys to have after school, and cleaned the bathrooms. It never ceases to bring me great satisfaction when I see things clean, put in their right place, and so on. It actually fills my cup with joy.

While cleaning the boys’ shower/tub I started thinking of the different kinds of relationships my family has and with whom. By all accounts we are blessed with people who love us and relate well to us. We are a quirky bunch so it can take a bit of time, but it’s always a good thing to see those we love and know they love us back.

One of the things that “takes some getting used to” is learning about my family’s priorities. In a world where the shiny new car in the two-car garage, the annual trips to someplace warm and sandy, mean that you’ve “made it”– we don’t fit. My husband and I have made choices in our marriage and in our parenting to put each other and our boys first. And to many, it doesn’t make sense at all, which tends to dampen the chances of building good relationships with people we care about and who matter to us.

The thing is, in a world where accomplishments and accolades matter so much we have forgotten what matters most. People. It isn’t the “who do you know” so much as “how well do they know you and you know them” that should matter.

Jesus didn’t say He had come to give us shiny cars, diamond rings, and trips to Hawaii, that was never the end goal. It was to give us life, and give it to us “abundantly” (John 10:10), not to show off to others, but to point others to Christ.

In all of these crazy steps of faith my family and I have taken we never questioned what others were going to say– generally speaking when you step off the “acceptable” pay people will tell you what they think anyway. We did know that the whole goal was to follow Christ and when He says “go” we want to go –even when it doesn’t make sense.

In the end, when I say that I delight in a clean home, ready at a moment’s notice to welcome those we love and hold dear, but I don’t care if my hair is done or my make-up is just so and especially if my jeans are “in fashion” –it isn’t a slight on those who care about those things– it just means my accomplishments are based on whether or not you are comfortable on my couch.  That you know you can spend the night because our conversations have gone late into the night and the fact that you forgot your toothbrush and may have “dragon breath” in the morning is the least of my worries.

My accomplishment list in the end is simple:  to make sure you know you are loved.  And if I have a clean bathroom too, then it’s a gold star kind of day.

About gretchenr17

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Writer, farmer, fellow sojourner... at every turn I learn a bit more about God's wild mercies.
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