Thursday, September 23, 2010

Magic, Mistakes, and Mike's Birthday!

A while ago, I posted about initiating a chore chart. We continue to have chore time daily. Most of the time, everyone does their duty with only minor complaints or lethargy. On occasion, however, one (or all) of the children puts forth a major fuss.

This week, we had a new response. As I helped Jadon with the dishes (his favorite chore, I think), Abby danced around in the hallway, making repeated requests for me to come check the state of the dining room floor. (Her responsibility for the day was sweeping.) At a break in the sink action, I told Abby that I was ready to check her work. Together, we turned the corner into the dining room.

I wasn't impressed. I could see mess all over the floor by the doorway, scraps of paper over near the computer, and crumbs as well as a big hunk of pizza crust under the table. I turned to Abby, and I'm sure my look said it all. She was smiling sheepishly.

"What did you do in here?" I asked.

"Oh, Mom. I don't really want to sweep today. I thought maybe if I wished it, the floor would get all clean. You know, like magic!"

We laughed. She did actually sweep the floor.

And I was reminded again how quick we can be to look for the quick and easy way. I thought about how some of the best things in life are really hard work--marriage, Christian discipleship, friendships, corporate worship, childbirth, adoption, parenting, etc. Sometimes, I find myself thinking that because something is good, it should be natural, and, by that, I generally mean magic. But sometimes the important things in life are hard.

In the NIV Bible, the phrase "make every effort" occurs 8 times. Look them up. We are supposed to work hard at everything from faith to relationships to learning. This is certainly not to negate God's grace. Our efforts must be inspired by and covered with and submersed in and filled with His grace, or else they are meaningless. Still, we can't presume it will be easy.

...And speaking of presumptions...

I have made a mistake.

And I'm not sure what will happen about it. It was a classic case of misunderstanding. I failed to think clearly through a certain situation, simply presuming I knew what was to happen. And I got it wrong. Furthermore, nobody caught my mistake until now. I expect to be presented with some options (or maybe just an ultimatum) within the next week. I would ask for your prayers that Mike and I would have wisdom in this matter. If appropriate, I will disclose more at a later time.

Finally, on a much happier note...

Today is Mike's 35th birthday!!! The kids helped bake a cake (that we enjoyed last night because Mike does have to work tonight). We celebrated our fantastic hubby/father who has had such a busy and remarkable year! He's the best!!!!!

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