Cleaning Up 8,726 Times

I clenched my fists and answered the girls in my sing-songiest voice–the one I use instead of an exasperated shouting voice. We’ve had the same dialogue 8,726 times. It goes something like this:

Me: Okay, girls it is time to clean up ______ (fill in with the toy of the day)

Girls: Oooooohkay

Me: Thank you (ignoring their reluctance)

— Girls diligently take care of 3% of the mess–

Girls: It looks clean, doesn’t it, mommy?

Me: Well….not really; you have a good start. But I still see (list 15-20 clearly visible items)

After several reviews & lists of what still needs to be cared for I am frustrated and choosing my words slowly & carefully as to avoid words I will regret.

Yesterday, these shenanigans went on as usual while the girls attempted to disassemble the beach towel forts they had made poolside. And, mommas, I actually walked away and asked myself, “Why am I doing this? Why am I torturing all of us?” We all know I could clean up this mess by myself in 6 minutes and everyone would be happier.

And, mommas, if you’re hoping that this post is one with the magic steps for getting your kiddos to clean up, you will be sorely disappointed. What I do hope you’ll find in this post is the reason not to grow weary.

By no mistake, yesterday, I viewed, Wellness Witness’s video in which I was reminded that God’s purpose is greater than my preferences. So, momma, my preference would be to let the girls go play somewhere else, where I quietly clean up their mess and move on with the evening.

My preference would be not to wake up early in order to spend time in the Word prior to my babies waking.

My preference would be to ignore the hundreds of little injuries that seem to occur in the hearts of my girls throughout the day, rather than slowing down to walk through their hurts & hangups with them.

But, mommas, God’s purpose is greater than our preferences! His purpose for our people is that they would know Him and make Him known. And, I am called to help equip them for God’s purposes–they are in training in our homes, mommas.  If we don’t help them walk through quick and complete obedience when it comes to cleaning up play forts, how do we expect they’ll be ready for obeying their Father when He calls them out of their comfort zones for His purposes?

His purpose is so much greater than our preferences.  So, mommas, do not grow weary–don’t let your preferences get in the way of leaning into the work of training our people for His purpose.

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