Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Saturday Morning Monster

I've been married twelve years today.  I'm so blessed and thrilled to be celebrating a happy marriage with the man who chased the long-lived question, "How will you know when you find the one?" away forever.  I'm so happy about so many things.  I'm so happy I'm not still living that question.  I'm so happy that I'm not the ball of insecurity I was in our early marriage.  I'm so happy that our boys who are eleven and a half months apart are 8 and 9, not 1 and 2 (as cute as they were). 

I'm especially happy to have something to celebrate today, when otherwise I might still be sulking over my monsterhood yesterday morning...I started working at my Church when school started.  So, now the housecleaning that was done incrementally throughout the week, is saved up for one special day.  Saturday.  First thoughts of Saturday bring warm fuzzies with thoughts of sleeping in, breakfast together, and lazing about.  Sleeping in and breakfast together are still going great.  But, after breakfast, things go south.  After the first couple of times it happened, I realized that I had omitted my morning prayer.  Ohhhhhh, that must be the problem.  Attempting to clean the house before prayer is certain disaster. 

So yesterday, I took all the time I needed to pray well before heading down the bumpy-old-stinky-road of cleaning the house.  When I left my prayer spot, I was filled with great resolve to maintain my peace and patience throughout, and promptly made my first error.  I entered my son's room.  The hot zone.  Ground zero.  Utter chaos of dirty clothes, legos, papers, markers, army guys, tanks, cups, shoes, and the like. 

I cleared a spot, called the troops in, and began to give orders, "pick this up", "put those in there", "throw that away".  And then it happens.  Explanations start rolling in of who didn't put what where, things get shoved under the bed, little people start laying in the middle of the floor, and all manner of things happen that cannot defined as the only acceptable response - prompt obedience. 

This now-working mother suddenly values her Saturday mornings a great deal, and when she realizes that she's the only one, she loses it.  Her humanity finds a quiet corner to hide in while her anger and frustration take over, leaving her shaking on the inside and turning to stone on the outside.  I am either barking or silent, but "pissed off" in every form.  My language morphs into that which would befit a mild-tongued sailor.  Apparently, I used the word "crap" quite profusely, a little bit of "damn", and a "pissed off" when I was discussing my frustration with my husband.  Sadly, I got generous feedback on my language later in the day from my son. 

It took hours to recover, and another Saturday morning needs to be redeemed by yours truly.  Happy marriage aside, my husband said he'd rather live in a dirty house than with me on these Saturday mornings.  I don't blame him.  If I could live in a perpetually dirty house, I would too!  But, I can't.  I have a threshold.  A threshold which turns out to be the amount of dirt/clutter/dog hair that accrues in a week's time.  Since prayer wasn't enough to rid me of myself (although, many times it is), we made a new plan.  Until I can handle it in a more sane and ladylike manner, I will tackle everything else, but that room.  He can go in there.

It is humbling that something so simple as a messy room can still reduce me to tears and a potty mouth.  As I continue to tackle the spiritual life and pursue helping others in theirs, I am reminded that I will never be above living an earthly life.  I am a human, and this is where I live.  On earth.  With others.  And their stuff. 

...We are not angels but have bodies, and it is madness for us to want to become angels while we are still on earth...Come what may, the great thing is to embrace the Cross.  The Lord was deprived of all consolation and forsaken in His trials.  Let us not forsake Him; His hand will help us to rise better than our own efforts...                           St. Teresa of Avila     

Dear Heavenly Father of Parents and Children with Messy Rooms,

Thank you for another day to know, love, and serve You.  Thank you for my husband, and every wedding anniversary including today's.  Please forgive me for my selfishness, impatience, and ingratitude.  Thank you for the phone call while writing this post, thanking me for sharing my children, from someone who misses theirs.  Thank you for opportunities to see what I can still be without your grace.  Humbling, though they are. Thank you that Your Hand will help us to rise better than our own efforts.  Please give me, and all parents, the grace to see the gift of our children, including the messes that often surround them.  Finally, thank you for opportunities to redeem lost time.  Please give me the grace to recognize and make the most of them.  Amen.


  1. Thank you Heidi for writing this as this has been a huge struggle for me since we moved this summer... Just stuff not in its right place and momma constantly bitter for having to put it up or grumpy because of the mess. Thank you for sharing your struggle and how you are moving past it. Bless you dear!!!

    1. Bless you, Cecilia! Your smile continually blesses me, and it is SO good to know you are human, too! One of the reasons I wanted to write about it is because we don't have the privelege of seeing others struggle, and we're in it together!