July 23, 2010

Help in the Trenches

OK, so this post isn't as dramatic as it sounds. But in an effort to remember and give God honor when He provides; I thought I'd share:

I can't say that I'm the most hospitable person around. Not because I don't like people--I LOVE people! I intensely relish listening to the life stories of those I know...and ones I've just met. Unfortunately, I (selfishly) get caught up in feeling like the house isn't ready, presentable, or clean enough. It's my constant struggle.

In the spirit of  my last post, I had been whining to God about, "getting my act together," and having people over more often. But, then also feeling completely overwhelmed with figuring the logistics of that out. I know! It's not rocket science. But, it feels like it to me.

 Now bare with me: We have new neighbors across the street. We love them! They have three young girls. They've been coming over lately to play with the three olders. The oldest girl talks. She talks a lot. And, I think she's the cutest thing EVER. She is constantly volunteering her mom to babysit, or run errands for me. It's really funny. She tells me stories about the death of their family dog, places they've lived, school adventures, and all kinds of things that are important to a girl her age. When she comes over, I've just sat and talked to her. Enjoying her facial expressions. Her oh-so-wise understanding of the world. And I can't help but remember, CRYSTAL CLEARLY how I felt and thought at that age. I felt so...old. And, I remember how good it felt, when someone, especially an adult, treated my like an equal. And, listened. I'm pretty sure she feels too mature to play with Lincoln and Jack--even though they are about the same age.

Listening. That's what I had been doing. However, earlier this week...I was a stressed out mama! Sunday was hectic. And, we had a lot of catching up to do around the house (always). When the girls started walking over to play with the boys. I thought, "They are going to see our messy house and tell their mom all about it!" Yes. That's how immature and petty I am. We invited them in, and I told the girls they were welcome to play...but that I had to do some cleaning around them. The oldest (we'll just call her, "Gabbie") said,

"Oh Mrs. Deem, I can help. I love to help other people. Sometimes I'm not as good at helping at home...because you know, it's boring. BUT really, I can vacuum. I can sweep. I can watch the kids. I know I'm not really old enough, but you know...I can help!" She exuberated out in a single breath. (No. "Exuberated," is not a word. It should be.)

  "Oh, that's OK. You just chill and have fun." I said.

I started vacuuming, but found it hard to get anything done, because Gabbie was following me around.

"Are you sure? Here, I'll clean the girl's room. That way when you get to the hallway, you can vacuum there, too." She dashed off. This is how we carried on for about 15 minutes. I would start a new project, and she would buzz around me, talking, talking and always...talking. And, eventually she would give herself a job. Finally I said, "Hey, if you really want to help, why don't you vacuum the living room?" She lit up like a glowworm.

I'm not sure how much work she actually did. But, I know this: my kids were entertained. I was entertained. And, even more...I had a little companion. The house actually got cleaned! Gabbie hung out for about 2 hours. And, I got more done by the prodding of a 9-year-old...than I'd gotten done the whole week before.

The thing is; all the hours before that child came over, I had only contemplated how hopeless and  ridiculously repetitive running a house was. After she left I thought, "Hey! Wow. I actually got the house clean!" YAY me!  Then I felt a gentle nudging. Like God was saying, "I told you I would provide for you. I told you I would take care of you. I know the number of hairs on your head. I know when a sparrow falls. And...I died for you. Open your heart--you silly girl. Let Me, and the help I send--in."

Maybe I'm being a little melodramatic. But I'm really thankful for our new neighbors. And, that God doesn't forget me. Even when it comes to vacuuming.

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