Do you know how long it’s taken me to clean my room, put away laundry and organize that one kitchen cabinet that never stays still?
Single motherhood came early for me. My daughter was nine months old. It was just me with her in a one-bedroom apartment in a 175-unit building. I worked full-time at an office and I had her in day care during those hours.
Looking back on it, it was rough. I would scramble in the morning to prepare “fresh” formula and fight through the guilt of sending her to a place outside of home for 8 hours. Then, I would gently wake her little body, while still maneuvering her into a clean diaper and her day care outfit for the day. Tight budget meant there was no buying lunch. Out the door with my purse, my lunch bag, her baby bag with her lunch and snacks, a stroller to hasten the 60-foot walk to the car in the parking lot. The trash would have to wait. The dishes will have to stay.
Then it was a race to the day care. Plow through the heart-churning goodbye to her little face, and I’m lucky that she was distracted by something that morning and she won’t notice that I left. Again.
Head to the office, only to scamper to the card reader so that my supervisor saw that I was still only 5 minutes late instead of the usual 15. I get to my desk and I try to push out thoughts, wondering if I have enough gas to last me through the week. Good thing she doesn’t eat real food yet. I can survive on a ham sandwich for dinner and she can have spoons of cereal and fruit. How many jars do I have left? Maybe I can go to Target on my lunch time. I’m so tired. I’m tense, but I don’t know it. Life is hard.
It wasn’t until a few months ago (which is almost thirteen years later from the scene I just described), that I noticed I still had trauma from that time period. I have awful home habits because I kept resetting to the time when I couldn’t get to everything in the home because I was so frantic that she would get hurt. I would cut chores short. I would only do half of something or take days to put something away. I would literally “drop everything” just so I can see that she’s okay in the other room. Most times, I’d prefer to hold her than vacuum.
For my beloved home managers out there who are excellent at keeping a clean, organized, green-efficient home, I want to be like you when I grow up. But for now, this is where I am.
Recently, God brought up Luke 16:10, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” (KJV) Instead of feeling like a BH&G failure, the Lord gave me the comfort and reassurance that He has brought me to a place in my life where I CAN be faithful in those things that I would stumble over.
Jesus was never in a rush. He got to where He needed to go, at the appointed time. This verse usually spoke to me about responsibility, thoroughness of doing an excellent job, and fulfullling obligations (pounds fist on old wooden desk).
But this time, God calmed my heart with this same verse, as if to say, “Look how far I’ve brought you. Life doesn’t have to be so fast. You’re not alone in that one-bedroom apartment with an infant and a job that won’t cut you any slack. You are safe. In a new place. You are under my timing.”
This has been a simplistic and profound part of my healing. To learn that the Lord really is interested in every aspect of our lives, even the ones that we thought weren’t important to Him. Okay, so my house isn’t spotless and I’m still kind of a 9-yr old when it comes to laundry (although I’ve seen diligent 9yr olds), but isn’t this a meaningful beginning?
I pray that you ask God to give you calmness in your heart about those areas in your life that are under pressure. I pray that you can enjoy the permission and comfort that the Lord has given us to be faithful in the little things.