Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mopping the Floor

The wonderful gals over at Choosing Home have begun writing about a new topic each week, and asking their readers to join in. This week's topic is Children and Chores. Already there are some great articles over there that are worth checking out. These women are really something, and I am always blessed when I take the time to consider what God might be teaching me through them.

I've been pondering having my eldest girl, 26 mo., help around the house more for a few months now. I occasionally have her help me unload the dishwasher or get something for her baby sister, but generally that is to just keep her busy rather than to teach her anything or to really accomplish anything. The fact of the matter is though, it is beyond time to be more active in teaching her. I've been very complacent in the past, preferring to just let her do her own thing and running crowd control so I can do my own thing. This isn't good on so many levels. Not the least of which, she has decided her own thing is watching Veggie Tales, Nemo, Muppets, and Spider Man. I'm not against TV, but TV all day never did anyone any good. My mom reminds me I watched a lot of TV when I was her age but as soon as I learned to read couldn't care less about it, and that is well and good. But my mom had it a lot harder than I do and honestly I'm really wasting this gift of being able to stay home with my girls if all we ever do is watch TV. I'm not going to feel guilty over the occasional PJ day when we're sick with pre-packaged food and all day viewing, but it shouldn't be the norm.

Really, though, it isn't about the inherent benefits or evils of watching TV. It is about me and my Godliness. Or lack there of as of late. Let me lay it all out there for you. I want life to be easy. I want Motherhood to be easy. I want Christianity to be easy. And not easy as in "my yoke is easy and my burden is light" but easy as in a "get to have it my own spoiled, selfish way" sort of easy. I don't know when I came to the conclusion that life was somehow all about me and my pleasure and that I was somehow entitled to all the leisure time (read TV, computer, sleep) that I wanted, but as I am sure most of you know, that isn't how the life of a follower of Christ nor of a mother is supposed to be. It isn't about me. It isn't all about my children either. It is about my God. And in seeking after Him more diligently as of late He has truly shown me how sorely lacking I am.
The good news about all of this though is that none of it is fixed by my power or strength. I have been given that which I need for Godliness. This is good news indeed.

But what does all of this have to do with mopping floors? Am I really on topic here? Bear with me, I promise I am getting to it. In letting this self centeredness take root in my heart, I have also let it be planted in my daughters as well. Now, two year olds really don't need much encouragement to be self centered. They need parents who are willing to lay down their own life to fight against this wrong thinking. I can't expect my daughter to learn how to serve others if I am not modeling that myself. I can't expect her to know how to work hard if Mama doesn't show her. I can't expect her to obey me if I don't first obey God.

So that's where the mopping the floors comes in. The floors needed mopping. My daughter needed to not be in front of a video while I did it. So we mopped together, It was slightly unorthodox, but it got the job done. What's more, she had so much fun doing it. And I got to talk to her about how good it is to serve, and she got to experience it first hand.

Yesterday, when most of this first hit home, I went to my sweet first born angel, and explained to her that Mama had been being selfish lately and had been putting my own needs before those of the family. She smiled sweetly, said "ya" in her not really talking yet way, and then when I asked for her to forgive me she gave me a great big hug and kiss. It was one of the most perfect moments of my life.

So we didn't just mop floors yesterday, we were cleaning up a lot of things. Namely past sins and bad attitudes. I'm anticipating more cleaning to come- both in my heart and my daughters- as I die to myself and work alongside her to instruct her in the ways of God.


At August 26, 2006 12:07 PM, Anonymous lastpaige said...

Hmm . . . you were that fly on my wall the other day, weren't you?

Thank you,
Dying to my SELF too,
Mrs. L

At August 29, 2006 8:44 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

wow, really great post Tiffany! It's not about me??Bummer...Just kidding...thanks for the encouraging words and let me just say, I relate! I think I will get Elias to help me "weep" (sweep) tomorrow!

At September 04, 2006 8:16 PM, Blogger Tiffany said...

Hey Carrie! thanks.....I wish we could get the wee ones together to both "weep"....Of course mine seems to think the broom is a sword :) I won't say where she picked that up.


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