I am not proud, but there have been moments in my Christian life when I have cried over the dust on my baseboards, the spills on my carpet and the crumbs on the countertop.
Cleanliness is next to godliness and serving a God of order where my favorite things to say about keeping a tidy home.
But something has happened to me.
I thank God because He is before all things and in Him every single thing holds together. Even those tiny crumbs.
What happened to me is something I never would have imaged could happen to me. What happened to me was something that happens to a lot of people, I simply had my fourth child and now I do not have time to care about the crumbs on the countertop.
I saw the crumbs on the countertop just this week and then the dust on my nightstand and the piles of folded laundry sitting out in the laundry room left sitting out and not put away.
I noticed the meal planning board with it’s good intentions but meals which were never made.
I tried to figure out when my life started to unravel from my idol of order and it all comes back to having that fourth child.
I thought about my love of the order and cleanliness and then I thought about my kids. My three sons and that fourth child, my only daughter.
Yes. I am overwhelmed by the constant need for me to tend to something.
But I am thankful.
I am thankful for the gift which God has graciously given to me in having a fourth child.
The gift I needed, where I came to the end of myself and my abilities and ultimately all I had was dependance upon something much Greater than me.
That fourth child, in all her lovely wonder, pushed me to a place where I found the end of myself and the need for a God who is before all things, and in Whom all things hold together.
That fourth child has given me the greatest gift. The realization that I don’t need to have every crumb wiped up and every baseboard completely dusted. The realization that every single moment will not be picture perfect and my hands are more full than I could have ever dreamed.
I see the crumbs on the countertop and although they still make me a tiny bit crazy, thanks be to God for helping me see the other things around me which are more important. The lives He has given to me to love and care for and the ability to let go of the spills, the crumbs and the dust.
That fourth child has helped me see that loving, caring and tending is greater than cleaning or dusting or tidying.
Thank you God for that fourth child, for bringing me to the end of myself and for finding a place where it is not me running this ship, but You, You holding it all together and graciously showing me the way.
Thank you God for the gift of seeing crumbs on the countertop less and being involved in the lives of my children more.
I couldn’t have come to the end of myself without the graciousness of God. I am thankful for that fourth child. Abundantly. Even if I can’t keep the order around here like I wish I could.