After two days away from home with the grandkids, then doctor appointments, grocery shopping, laundry, and errands, with my family sleeping in as usual, I had a quiet Saturday morning to catch up. So, while Bruce and Shaina slept, I cleaned the main level bathroom and the kitchen.
I was on my knees with my head in the oven (cleaning, not gassing myself!) when Shaina came downstairs to use the shower in the main level bathroom. I stopped long enough to put toothpaste on her toothbrush, to set out weather-appropriate, matching clothing for her to wear, and to admonish her to keep the bathroom clean.
While she showered, I finished shining the countertops and sweeping the floor. Shaina was now dressed and watching TV in the office, so I went into the bathroom to wash up.
Both drawers and the linen closet door were open. The countertops were strewn with manicure supplies. Towels clean and dirty, wet and dry-ish, were in a jumbled heap on the floor. As were dirty pajamas, a turtleneck, sweatshirt, robe, socks and slippers. (Shaina is the only person I know who sleeps in four layers of clothing.) A large puddle of water left evidence that she hadn’t tucked in the shower curtain. A spent shampoo bottle was also on the floor, toothpaste was all over the sink, the toilet paper roll was empty, the toilet full.
I couldn’t even complete a thought. Everywhere I looked… All that I had done… Undone. Trashed. Oh my… Time… Precious… Wasted.
Sighing deeply, I plunged the toilet, closed the drawers, picked up the towels and clothing and headed for the laundry room with at least two loads in my arms. Shaina was now at the kitchen snack bar, spilled milk and peanut butter were all over the counter, cookie crumbs on the floor.
As I opened my mouth to speak, I found myself thinking, “For 34 years I have cleaned up after this child. I am tired! Lord, when will this all end? When? Haven’t I paid my dues?”
Sensing my displeasure, Shaina gave me a disarming grin and said brightly, “Hi!” And she held out her medicine box and signed, “Medicine. Help. Please.”
“My child,” God said, putting a firm hand on my shoulder: “What exactly do you want? Last night you shared your worries about Shaina’s heart condition and asked that I keep her safe. Do you not appreciate what you have been given?”
I smiled at my daughter and doled out her four morning pills. “You look pretty today! What can I get you to go with your cookies and milk for breakfast?”
Forgive me Lord for expecting perfection in exchange for all my imperfections, for not acknowledging the mission field that you have placed before me, and for not serving my family with joy and gratitude. Every day with them, with you, is a day of miracles. I thank you and I worship you.
We cannot escape from our daily routine, because it will go with us wherever we go…. God must be sought and found in the things of our world. By regarding our daily duties as something performed for the honour and glory of God, we can convert what was hitherto soul-killing monotony, to a living worship of God in all our actions. Everyday life must become itself our prayer. — Karl Rahner