Monday, May 31, 2010


Last night, we stumbled into the house, tired, dirty, and happy, after a day of playing at Grandma's house. I dropped my purse and diaper bag on the counter and pressed the blinking answering machine light.

"Hi, guys! This is your long lost friends from Idaho driving through town. Can we stay at your house tonight?...Maybe you're out of town...Well, if we can't stay there, we'll figure something out...Um...Call us, okay?"

Of course! I thought with delight. These really are lifelong friends, and any chance to visit was truly a gift to us.

Then, I took a moment to evaluate my surroundings, and the doubts started popping up.

After hours of pulling weeds with my mother, there were layers of dirt and grime now firmly stuck to the sunscreen I had so carefully lathered on my skin. The kitchen counters were littered with mail piles, homeschool papers, and a now-cool waffle iron. My kids started to take their shoes off and I watched in dismay as tablespoons of dirt came out of the shoes as well.

What to do? What to do FIRST?!?!

So, I prayed (while I started a Speed Wash of guest-bed linens).

A disjointed prayer about our home being God's home, and might He give me His priorities...might I remember that the real ME doesn't depend on how pretty I look to late-night friends or how clean my house appears...

As is always the case when we bring our hearts, however insecure or distracted, to our Father, He answered tenderly. I boast in Him, not myself, when I say that I gladly picked up Magna-Tiles and blanket tents and showered three little ones and pajama-ed kids and gave evening snacks and....well, you get the point.

By the time our dear friends arrived, Real Gil had come home from a long day of work, we had kissed little ones good night, and made up the guest bed together.

My smile was genuine as we passed around long-overdue hugs. Sitting at the kitchen table, we laughed together until we were actually crying. Then, we went to bed.

I crawled into bed energized. How is that possible after the long day I had? I know the answer at last!

Because I had not done the work.

He had.

I just got to go along for the ride, abiding in Him, just like He tells me to. "I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in Him, he bears much fruit. For without Me, you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

The results of not doing so are clear: you can do nothing. And the results of abiding are just as sure - the bearing of much fruit.

Like peace and joy.

And gratitude.

As my eyes shut last night, Real Gil's breathing deep beside me, I prayed another disjointed prayer.

Thanking Him for the gracious gift of a guest bedroom, the gift of friends who know they can call us at the last minute, and the best gift of all - Jesus, who meets all of our needs for security and approval and recognition so that we don't need to seek those from others.

Today, we watched them drive away, all of us waving and laughing at their departing antics. The breeze moved lightly as we shouted final well-wishes, made our way inside the now-too-quiet house.

I sighed and smiled at Gil.

"That was fun."

He nodded in understanding.

The adventures of resting in Jesus are not passive; they are active and dynamic and rewarding. And fun.



Kim said...

Wow, I really needed to read this post. I love having people over and thrive on social interaction, but I hardly ever do it because I'm so psycho about the house being spotless and delicious food prepared that it's just not worth the stress. You're right though. If a dirty house prevents us from enjoying the company of friends, something is really wrong and is probably something to sincerely pray about. Thanks for this post... and here's to imperfection!

Karen said...

So glad we have an approachable God who wants nothing more than our imperfections, not because He likes us that way but because He ALONE can transform them. So, here's to imperfections, Kim! :)