Monday, July 7, 2008

Crumbs

It's beautiful here in Georgia today. The heatwave of the last couple months has finally broken and the blistering oppression of the sun has softened into a gentle enveloping warmth. I had almost forgotten what a friend it's embrace can be. Last night's long awaited rains have left everything misty, and bushes sparkle with drying raindrops. On days like today, it's hard for me to imagine that anyone could question the existence of God. My own heart reaches for someone to thank for the beauty that seems suddenly intrinsic in everything around me. And I offer a private benediction to my Father, one that is long past due. In the calm of this morning, the things I am thankful for suddenly seem limitless. A list too long to number.

I come inside to sit at my kitchen table, as I do every morning. Wrapping my hands around the warmth of my favorite coffee cup I look wearily at the crumbs and spills trailed across the table. The worship of the moment before begins to fade as I feel a well-known irritation start to creep into my consciousness.

Suddenly I am hit with a pang of awareness and remorse at the grumbling I engage in each day.

Everyday.

How can I sit at this table each morning and see the crumbs waiting to be cleaned, and not the five other seats that will, later that day, be filled by people I love? People (my husband, my children) I prayed for long before we ever met. Each of them an answer to a prayer. How can I walk into this kitchen and grumble? How is it I see only the peeling wallpaper and dirty cabinets and not notice that everywhere, stashed in every nook and corner are fragments of the love my life is full of:

A coffeemaker my mother gave me for Christmas even though it was over her budget. Because I really wanted it.

A highchair where my two babies ate each meal. Milestones were reached in that chair and some may yet be.

A pottery bowl on my counter, carried back from Germany by my dearest friend when she came back home where she belonged.

A fridge wallpapered with photographs of smiling friends, and children. Beautiful children, I have been blessed enough to love. And artwork drawn by little people with clumsy hands. And hearts still too young to know hate or unforgiveness.

Wineglasses I bought to host a celebration for a friend who just found out she would be a mother.

A little indoor grill my husband, my lover, my harbor, uses to make his lunch every single day.

A needlepoint picture it took my friend two years to make, just for me.

Dishes waiting to be washed from a meal I never once had to worry would be sufficient to feed my family.

A calendar, overflowing with appointments, lunch dates, meetings, practices and rehearsals, each of them representing, a passion, a need, a desire, a talent of the people who carry my heart in their pockets.

And everywhere I look, greasy gray smudges. A finger here. A palm there. By the entryway door an entire hand has left it's mark. A tiny hand. One I hold so often in my own because it's too small to walk alone.

And crumbs.

Crumbs from a late night snack my daughter ate with her friend, while they giggled together; and I watched them with a smile and the wistful memory of the unbridled joy of being eleven.

Lord forgive me for walking into this room. This sanctum of our family. This shrine to the chaotic beauty you have filled our lives with, and seeing only crumbs.

********
Originally posted September, 2007.

I know most of you read this post the first time, but I spent the day today frustrated and snapping at my children because they wouldn't give me any peace to get done the things I wanted. Practical things that seem petty in retrospect. I just kept wishing they would 'leave me alone' long enough to get something accomplished. Grumbling. Then, when I was looking for something to repost for today I came across this post.

How many times must I learn the same lesson?

10 comments:

karen said...

Thank you...I needed exactly this reminder today!

Kyla said...

Probably as many times as the rest of us...almost daily. ;)

RAY AND TINA said...

I JUST LOVE YOUR WRITING. I WISH I COULD FIND WORDS LIKE YOU. YOU ALWAYS KNOW HOW TO MAKE EVERYTHING SOUND WONDERFUL. I TOO NEED A DAILY REMINDER OF JUST HOW BLESSED I AM WHEN IT COMES TO MY CHILDREN. IT IS SO HARD SOMETIMES WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE THEY ARE DOING EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER TO DO WHAT THEY KNOW WRONG. WE JUST HAVE TO REMIND OURSELVES THAT ITS ALL PART OF GROWING UP. HANG IN THERE, YOU ARE NEVER ALONE. LOVE YA SIS!

spaz said...

This is a daily struggle for me too. I get agitated by a wet towel on the floor or any mess that needs to be cleaned up. If I had a nickel for every time a sigh of impatience escaped my lips. I needed to read this today. I need to keep a constant guard on my mouth and the attitude of my heart. Eph. 4:2

Darlene said...

I tend to wake up in a good mood then to get all grumpy. I have complained so much that my sunshine thinks she can do nothing right. OUCH! this hurts and makes me realize I need to step back and embrace the most important things not that cleaning up is not important, but, you can let it rule you if you are not careful. My sunshine is now 18 and I just realize this week how I have let her down in the words I have used through out her life. Do I want my grandchildren someday to go through this? No way. I am trying to change and hopefully, she will see that I am not perfect and forgive me.
Thanks for the reminder to enjoy her being home. she leave in Aug. for college and our lives will be so different.
Blessings,
Darlene

Laurel Wreath said...

"How many times must I learn the same lesson?"

(insert big sigh) because I ask myself that a lot lately. Thank you for this re-post. My attitude has not been the best, I know it, but have had difficulty changing it. I needed to read this.

Beck said...

Some days I AM grateful and filled with love and other days I'm just a big grumbling misanthrope and I probably can't have the first without the second....
This was LOVELY.

Christine said...

i needed this today as i look at the filth in my house and try to "get things done."

i think i need to remember the blessings inm y life for once.

thank you, joy.

Lisa writes... said...

I loved this one the first time around, and love it still. Thanks for re-posting.

Michelle DiMaio said...

This is so my life! With three little ones turning 1, 3, and 5 this summer, I am surrounded by crumbs of every type imaginable! Thank you for helping me remember the blessings they represent.