Some might say that I’ve always been rather…particular. And they wouldn’t be wrong. I like to do things a certain way, to keep things organized and clean. When I married my hairy Italian, I noticed that he does not have a certain way of doing things - there is no compulsion to clean or organize. To be frank, he is Clutter and Crumbs on two legs. For many years, the very sight of sandwich crumbs on the counter would send me over the edge.
And then we had kids.
Now, I find myself living with Clutter and Crumbs, Breaks-A-Lot, Queen Dirty Clothes, Captain Chaos, and Sir Chucks-Everything. Do you want to know what I found on my kitchen counter the other day? No, not sandwich crumbs. Poop. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. I don’t know who. But someone put a quarter size poop chunk next to my sink. It looked like chocolate. (I didn’t taste it, against all impulses begging me to lick it up before someone else claimed it!)
Not only is their poop on my counter, but there’s mud on my walls (every wall, to be exact), matchbox cars scattered across all the floors, crumbs, crusted/sour milk spills, boogers, jelly, ink, toothpaste, urine, sand from the sandbox, and a plethora of unidentified stains and crunchies giving our furniture the “textured” look you see on ceilings or on 1970’s wallpaper.
Let me tell you, if sandwich crumbs set me on edge, do you have any idea what stepping in urine while wearing socks does to a particular person like myself? I have literally found myself shaking with frustration. Shaking. Sometimes there are no words that will come out. Just tremors and some dampness around my eyes.
I wonder if this is how Jesus felt when he realized he’d chosen 12 rather flawed individuals to surround himself with for the duration of his ministry? I wonder if Simon Peter left the fish bones all over the boat floor, or if John pulled the same dirty robe out of his hamper each day to wear to the synagogue? Judas could’ve been breaking everything while James ran amok and Thomas just sat in the corner throwing everything he could get his hands on.
Ok, so maybe their flaws were a bit different… but I’m guessing Jesus got pretty miffed at them for their ridiculous doubting and lying and cheating and questioning. I wonder, did Christ get to the point where he shook like me? In his human state and in an attempt not to smack them upside their heads, did he shake with frustration?
Guys, these are the questions I have for my Lord when I get to Heaven. That, and why does poop have to look so much like chocolate…. You know, the deep things.
Anyways, because these kids are practically giving me seizures these days, I’ve had to find some coping strategies to help me continue that strive for sanity:
1) I organize the toy bins after everyone goes to sleep. Why? Who the heck knows. The bins will be in disarray the second little feet hit the floors in the morning, but I seem to rest better knowing that the bins are, for the moment, sorted.
2) I throw their things into the yard. Why? Because I’m passive aggressive and Jesus hasn’t taken this particular wheel yet. And because it feels amazing. If you’ve been asked to clean it and don’t, then it is up to you to find it on our 40-acres come daylight. I don’t truly care which way this one falls most days, but throwing things is great therapy….. Oh my gosh, I just realized. The baby gets it from me! (Mind. Blown.)
3) I clean the kitchen set and organize it like a real kitchen. Why? Because cleaning is my therapy. (No, I am not playing, I am coping!) And because it’s the only kitchen that I can manage to keep clean these days! So, I put all the non-perishable items in the shopping cart, the perishable items (plastic perishables??) in the bin like it’s a deep freezer, and the beverages and condiments go in the fridge.
But yesterday I opened the refrigerator door (the fake refrigerator door) and found a cell phone (a fake cell phone) and I literally bellowed, “Who in the WORLD puts a cell phone in the fridge??” before realizing that I had completely lost my marbles.
Moving on… I then organize the plates (stacking them in size order), cups, bowls, and silverware. I rearrange the tea pot, coffee pot, skillets, and pot holders. And then, for the final step, I pick out food items that would go together in a casserole or roast and put them in the slow cooker on the stove.
I don’t know why. But it makes me happy.
I wonder if Jesus had a kitchen set to help him unwind?
Another question for the Big Guy.