It can simply wait.
Those dishes? Or the pillows that fell off the couch? Or the Lincoln Logs that need to go back in the box? Or the mirror that needs to be wiped? Or the laundry that should be switched?
That can wait.
Yesterday was our first day back to our homeschool routine. I had spent hours the day before planning the week — with a hand drawn chart (no fancy charts for me) — so I was ready to go. We had our agenda. The kids were eager. As was I, despite that awful aching back and shoulder that pestered me throughout the day.
But, I had to fight myself.
Many times I had to stop from doing just that one thing. I’d see a couple of dishes and want to take care of them — while my kids would wait. Or I’d feel myself frustrated over the blankets on the floor. Or I’d tell them I’ll be right back and just spend what I thought was a couple minutes picking up stray legos in the boys’ room.
I made myself wait.
We have times during our day dedicated to chores and cleaning. I knew they were there, and yet I wanted to take care of everything and have the house closer to perfect.
But I waited.
This is terribly challenging for me. Yet, I knew that I was to focus on them, and the weather cycle, and those division problems, and that literature, and reading to my little ones. They trump. They are simply more important than quick washing those dishes + folding the laundry + just a short vacuum + one quick phone call = time away from them. When we as a family work together doing our chores and tidying it only takes 30 minutes. Why on earth was I trying to pull myself from my kiddos to clean?
There is contentment found in waiting.
After about 8 times of battling myself and forcing myself back to the table I began to feel flooded with relief. I didn’t realize how much I used busy work to pull me away from the real important. I’d make excuses in my head — what if someone comes over? or I can’t function with 4 dirty dishes on the counter — and yet they were just excuses to avoid doing the hard work.
Hard work that is fruitful. And beautiful.
This work involved me sitting beside them. Laughing as we read together, marveling as we drop vinegar on certain rocks which causes a reaction causing them to bubble, have encouraging words as my seven year old works hard on reading, playing trains over and over.
And gradually this work made my heart content.
I was content to let my “busy” agenda go.
And then they were content.