I start back in the office on Tuesday. This week has included a trip to see both parents, mixed together with a trip to the Museum of Natural History in D.C. as well as trip to N.J. to visit friends and a trip in NYC with both families.
I have also been working on that to do list I think every person has; it is entitled something like "The Things I Will Do Someday When I Have Time." Our bedroom is now a color other than white. The bookshelves that I have owned for nearly 10 years are now organized for the first time in their existence. My refrigerator is cleaner and whiter than I have ever experienced it. The day that I got into deep cleaning the kitchen and reorganizing some cabinets, my daughter got into the cleaning act with gusto. Before nap, she straigthened up the porch toys, her bedroom, and her brother's bedroom. When she awoke, she found me scrubbing the refrigerator. She joined in and scrubbed the faces of cabinets and spent a lot of time on the fronts of the washer and dryer.
I have spent several days over this month doing cleaning and organizing stuff. How do I know that it is starting to affect truly my children? The night of the great kitchen cleaning, I put Jacob to bed and said to Shannon "would you like to watch a little TV before bed?" Her answer? "No mommy, let's clean!"
Hard to refuse that kind of offer. So we did more.
I have been thinking about what is at the root of my cleaning and organizing. It is rather unlike me. But I think I might actually be changing. (My husband even laughed and commented it would take some getting used to.) These past few years have been a time of mental transition for me. The transition has been from being future and forward focused to being present and right now focused. This is rooted in the point of life I am now in- married, a mom of the two children I planned, five years beyond my divinity degree, serving as the pastor of a great church family. It also about having a more contemplative spiritual focus of being present in the moment.
I have spent a lot of my life preparing for and looking forward to the future. Now, my life has arrived, so to speak. Not that it had never arrived before. I just did not acknowledge it as such. (I would have been a much better contemplative if I could have learned to do so much earlier.)
I think perhaps my straightening and organizing is at a deeper level about settling into this thing called life, making myself comfortable. After all, I hope to be here a while. By that I mean not only life in general, but specifically life in Chesapeake City as the UM pastor in this community, with these God given friends and family.
So, here's to clean bookcases and sparkling white appliances. May God use them to bless.