“And you shall do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord, that it may be well with you…” ~ Deuteronomy 6:18
Every morning, after blow-drying my hair, I get down on the floor with a damp paper towel and wipe up the loose hair that has been blown around. One morning, as I wiped along the baseboards and reached into the corners, I chuckled to myself as I realized that I was ‘reaching out to the four corners’ like the Bible tells us to do. The Bible isn’t referring to cleaning floors, though. It’s telling us to take the Good News of Jesus to all the world. As I reached into the four corners of our bathroom and prided myself on what I was doing, I heard God speak through my own thoughts to say, “Yes, you’re reaching out to the four corners, but you’re not taking care of where you are!” What? He was right! I’d been reaching out to the corners, wiping along baseboards, and cleaning all around me, but was failing to clean the very center of the floor where I was! As this realization hit me, a greater realization hit even harder. God wasn’t speaking to me about my bathroom floor. He was talking about my life!
I’d gotten so busy with activities at church and my boys’ schools (reaching out to the four corners), that I wasn’t taking care of where I was (my responsibilities to my husband and children at home). How could I? I was hardly ever home. A stay-at-home Mom? What was that? I’d dubbed myself the ‘van go’ mom because I was always on-the-go in our mini-van. I’d gotten involved with Bible study, choir, helped with children’s activites at church and school, attended meetings, and often jumped in to help wherever help was needed. These were all good things to do, but in my efforts to reach out to the four corners, I was failing to take care of where I was. I was so busy tending to the needs of others, that I wasn’t tending to my own family!
In that moment, while crouched down on the bathroom floor, God put me in my place…and my place was at home. God had given me a marriage, home, and family. Those were to be my first priorites —and in that order. God needs to be first; marriage second; and children third. God showed me that at times the world around me will be my mission field, but my most important mission work was right at home!
Today’s world makes us think we need to be super-parents who do it all. For a while, I was doing it all. In fact, there were times when I was quite proud of myself for all I’d managed to squeeze into my days. What I didn’t realize was that by squeezing everything else in, I was squeezing my family out. And aren’t they what it’s all about?
Dear God, Thank You for dragging me away from the crazy busyness that was taking over my life and keeping me from those whom I love the most, my husband and children. Thank You for helping me keep a better balance between family and outside commitments. Doing so has relieved stress in our household, given me more time to be with my family, and makes it so much easier to tend to them and their needs. It’s also given me more time to devote to You and the work You lead me to do. Life is good, Lord. Thank You! Amen.