I stood in the bathroom the other morning, my hair still dripping, and saw the cobwebs in the corners. Standing on my tiptoes, I swiped a washcloth along the walls, scrubbing away the evidence of my neglect.
I should be more organized. More scheduled. Have a calendar somewhere that I can write, “clean bathroom” and actually remember to look at it and accomplish it that day.
Instead of finding a calendar, I just rolled the washcloth into the pile of dirty laundry and lugged it to the bedroom where the over/under machine sits in the corner. At least the laundry is caught up, I think– until I open the lid and realize I started a load yesterday and forgot about it.
Sometimes I just run out of time and memory space.
I need to make a list. A list of all the thing I should accomplish today. A list of what I should do tomorrow. A grocery list. Revamp the budget. Fill notebooks with all the thoughts racing through my head so I can maybe remember one of them for longer than two seconds.
“Look!” The squeal lifts my head and I see her, this precious new daughter of mine, holding a dangling earthworm. She is giggling, thrilled to play in dirt and catch creatures. “Can I keep it, Mommy?”
“No,” I say with a shake of my head, “you may not. But you’re welcome to play with it for as long as you would like.”
I look at her, the way her feet dart from one thing to the next, water dripping from her flip flops. The worm is already forgotten, left to escape into a new burrow.
We get in the car, go visit the cousins with their dancing eyes and full-blown smiles. The five kids race around and I sit with my sister-in-law and we chat about life and talk about all the things we need to accomplish.
We wander home as the sun is begins to set. It streaks across the sky, sending pink and orange and purple reflections in every direction. I remember just a few nights before, sitting on the wide front porch at a friend’s house, watching as my girl raced through the shadows and caught fireflies. The jar swinging from her side sparkled. The field’s danced as though God was sprinkling them with glitter.
Before that we were in the garden, hoeing and wiping away sweat that trickled down our backs. We picked our first radishes, all brilliant red and crisp white. “I wish it was harvest time,” my-girl said, her brown eyes wide with excitement. “We’d pick everything in the garden and…” I couldn’t hear the rest of her sentence because she was off racing past the maples with the dog.
That night we tucked her in with a jar of fireflies as a nightlight.
It’s true that I need to make a list. Because spring is dissolving into summer and soon summer will stumble into fall and before I know it, the few short years I have will be piled up together, all a memory. But if I take the time to write them down, to inscribe the memories onto paper, maybe someday my child will look back and realize how precious and beautiful life was.
I want my bathroom to be clean, my laundry done, my floors swept. But more than that, I want to take time to embrace what God has given me today. I want to acknowledge Him in each part.
And I never want to forget the way we sing together, our whole family, as we drive down the road. Daddy making up silly rhyming songs that send his daughter into stitches of laughter.
Or the mornings around the breakfast table with eggs and homefries and the book of Proverbs.
Or nights kneeling beside the bed, whispering prayers, and the way we sing about love and bushels and pecks and hugs right around the neck.
And when I think about it, the cobwebs in the bathroom don’t even deserve a place on my list.