“…speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ Himself, who is the head.” Ephesians 4:15
I’ve been struck with the realization that I want to grow up. You may have assumed that I had already grown up since I’m a 41-year-old (cringe) pastor’s wife with 4 kids, one of whom will technically become an adult next month. (Cue token baby and senior pictures!) It is precisely this milestone that has prompted this crisis to grow up myself. In order to determine if one HAS grown up, there must be some sort of standard that defines it. What makes me feel like I haven’t grown up?
- A pile of mail hiding behind a cabinet door that’s been waiting to be opened and dealt with for… (ahem)… too long. Don’t judge.
- The struggle to get to the mud room closet rack to hang my coat up that lately just ends with me tossing it over the back of my dining room chair because I fear I might break a limb if I DID actually make it to the closet rod.
- The Christmas ornaments covering the desk waiting to be packed away. (It’s January 22nd. Not yet Valentine’s, so it’s not a personal record or anything, but still!)
- And OH so much more!
In my mind, grown-ups are on top of the mail and bills, keep the mudroom walk-able, and change out seasonal décor as the seasons pass. Grown-ups keep the dishes clean, counters clear and wiped, and the laundry… not overflowing. These are things I have yet to conquer. My guess at this point, is that I will not conquer them until there are fewer mess-makers and laundry wearers. But, everyone tells me that I will then just wish for it all back… so, what’re ya gonna do?!?!
Well, I’ll tell ya what I’m gonna do. I’m going to TRY a little harder before that 18th birthday rolls around in a month! With today’s snowday and the bonus of it being Pastor Honey’s day off, the dishes are done, the counters are wiped, and we’re several laundry loads closer to being on top of it. I opened all the mail during the football game last night and have only 3 more bills to pay. (I know, I’m trying not to hyper-extend my shoulder as I pat myself on the back!!!)
Perhaps you’re wondering WHY I feel this sudden pressure to “grow up”? I guess partially it’s that I’d like to be able to focus on HER and not on all my undone tasks and homemaking inadequacies. Second, I’d like her to remember me as “on top of things” and remember our home… not as it so frequently actually is. I’d like to feel that at the “at-home” portion of our parenting we “finished strong”, if you will. I’d like to be a good example- like the ones who set the standard in my own mind. Which reminds me that in the end, it’s my spiritual example that is truly the most important, even though my deep-seated fears revolve around housekeeping and management. So, as I attempt to finish the dishes each night and run a load of laundry every day, I pray, “Lord, let her hear me praying and praising, see me reading and worshipping. Let THOSE be the things she actually remembers.”
I might also pray, “May I be grown up in my faith – may I grow up into Christ – and may that PLEASE rub off on my housekeeping, especially if cleanliness truly IS next to godliness!!!”
The reality is, she turns 18 in one month. Her graduation is in just 4 months. The big move to college looms large at 7 months. Seven. Months. Doesn’t seem like a very long time to fill in any gaps we might have left or for me to fill in the gaps I have left! But it will be the time we are given. I’ll try to make the most of it. And hopefully by the time we deliver her to her dormitory, I’ll be grown up enough to release her fully into the Lord’s capable hands and trust that we are both grown up into Him enough for the next season. And, if the house wasn’t clean when she moved out, I’ll work really hard to get it extra clean by Thanksgiving!
What do YOU think of as the standard of acting “grown up” and who set that standard for you? Is it harder for you to be grown up in your faith or grown up in everyday responsibilities and why?