This story begins four days ago, on Saturday. Saturdays are lazy, no-work days at my house. Toys come out to stay out, laundry piles up, and dishes fill the sink.
Then Sunday morning rolls around. The sink is already full, so breakfast dishes remain on the table. After breakfast, pajamas land on kitchen chairs, beds, floors, and the couch. Same thing for towels. Multiple changes of church clothes means that we've now added clean pants, dresses, and tights to the dirty pajamas and wet towels. A blow-dryer, brush, comb, toothbrushes, and assorted barrettes and bows complete the Sunday morning destruction.
Sunday afternoon brings its own tornado. As we walk in the door, Bibles and coloring sheets are dropped on the island. Saturday's left-overs are re-heated for lunch, and the dirty breakfast dishes get transferred from table to counter. (Remember, the sink is full.) Church clothes come off, PJ's go on, and there's a mad rush to feed two sleepy girls before nap. Because we sit with the girls as they go to sleep, the lunch dishes remain on the table.
UK is playing in the SEC championship game Sunday afternoon, so the house neglect continues. Then we go back to church for Bible study. Afterwards, lunch dishes are pushed aside and Arby's provides supper.
Monday morning finds me holding an unusually cranky toddler. Even sans fever, I know something is wrong and that afternoon we're off to the pediatrician. And since our pediatrician's office is near a Panera and a Target (and we're not contagious), we make a day out of the trip.
On Tuesday my big girl goes to preschool, and I head to the grocery with my baby. This day brings a lot of sunshine and a minor disappointment, so we head outdoors to soothe our souls. We come in for naps then head right back out into the Sonshine again.
Which brings me to last night. My husband walks into a house of chaos. (Okay, so maybe I've picked up a little over the last four days, but still...there are three-day-old dishes in my sink! Ugh.) I apologize for the mess, feeling terribly guilty that I've let things spiral out of control, and start to explain, "It was just so nice out today..."
He looks around at the piles of dishes and replies, "I love it."
Even typing it makes me smile. My expectations (keep a clean house) were not his expectations (enjoy our girls).
Thinking about it this morning, as I finally gave the kitchen its long-overdue cleaning, triggered thoughts of God. I wonder how many times I project my own expectations onto God, thinking if I am disappointed in myself He must be disappointed in me too. I wonder how many times I go to Him with, "Lord, I'm sorry I didn't do such-and-such," and His reply is, "You did exactly what you should have done. I love it. And I love you." I wonder.
"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men I would not be a servant of Christ" (Gal 1:10). I think "men" includes myself.
Lord, help me let go of any unnecessary expectations of myself and help me to see myself the way you see me. Show me only what I must do to please You. Amen.