Pastor Sean has been preaching from Ecclesiastes on enjoying the process. It's something we've been thinking about and discussing among the youth ministry leadership. Today I got so much housekeeping caught up and it was delightful to be in the process of doing so. Not doing so for the last while had its good sides and bad sides. Frustration in the increasing mess around the house is one of the downsides of doing other things. Housework is always the default priority around here. However, it's so often just the default and not the main priority, and other things come first for so many other reasons. Housekeeping suffers much of the time!
Gardening comes first when the weather is good because good weather is so hard to come by until summer and if things aren't done now, they can't be so easily done later; the weeds are bigger and when soil is delivered for our garden (Kenny's truck is broken down, so it will have to wait), we need the area ready: clear of rocks, concrete post anchors, and play area chips, and spread with lime and other stuff to soften the clay below.
Hospitality comes first when there's someone who needs to come over or be encouraged or have a meal. That just makes sense, and you can't say vacuuming and going through drawers is more important; besides it has its own built-in reward of relationship-building.
Homeschooling comes first most any school day, and even though most of our known world is on Spring Break, we're trying to work through it so we can take days off when they're back in school; that in spite of Chemistry being at the absolute peak of my ability to comprehend and think. If it were an option, Spring Break would ace out Chemistry for the rest of the year.
Sickness comes first because if you don't take care of it, it can degenerate into pneumonia or something, and besides other things just aren't as important. Katie was the focus of that earlier this week, and thankfully she's much better now.
Painting comes first when I have the opportunity, the paint and tools, and the room cleared out all at the same time. So Tim's room finally got painted a week ago after being here almost 3 years. It was in dire need; he had torn off some of the baseball wallpaper strip so I took off the rest of it, and underneath was the jagged top edge of green paint that came halfway up the wall. Also there were many repairs that had to be made to the wall because of the previous owners' destructive boy who had wrecked the plaster and also pinned all sorts of posters all over the place. It was one perforated wall! It was transformed with stain-sealing primer, plaster, and a coat of paint. It's amazing the delight that comes from returning a room to the peace of neutral cream-colored paint.
So today when we treated the day like a Saturday, I went through all my clothes and weeded things out; did a sinkful of hand-wash dishes; pulled a lot of weeds and sprayed some harder ones; trimmed some awful groundcover and swept the driveway, porch and front walk; swept the kitchen and entryway; washed a bunch of laundry and folded it; and matched a bunch of accumulated socks. You know I did a bunch of more miscellaneous stuff too but that's what comes to mind. It sounds like a lot to me. I'm not even done for the day. I feel really wonderful, if a little sore. Enjoying the process is better than a day in Hawaii, I'm convinced. Okay, so I've never been there. Maybe I'd better never go.
Ecclesiastes 2:24-28 There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God. For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?
For to a person who is good in His sight, He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting, so that he may give to one who is good in God's sight. This too is vanity and striving after wind.