rice krispiesphoto © 2006 Carla de Souza Campos | more info (via: Wylio)

Man, Rice Krispies can just bring out the worst in me sometimes.  I was wiping up crumbs on the floor after breakfast, my knees hard on the laminate floor. Wiping in circles, capturing every stray bit of cereal scattered by tinies eating too fast and then leaping from chairs to help by carrying their own dishes to the dishwasher but – BAM – the bowl hit the floor. I hate Rice Krispies because they’re just terrible to wipe up off the floor, all smear-y and sticky like glue.

And here is how it went, mutter, mutter, muttering under my breath with a few good eye rolls thrown in:

I have a university education.
I used to manage a marketing budget of $14 million.
I used to wear high heels and now I want a latte. A latte!
Will I ever drink my coffee when it’s hot? Never again!
I am smart. Come on!
How did I end up here, wiping floors?
Isn’t there someone else that could be doing this?
Maybe we can get a maid (we can’t afford a maid).
Because I am too good to wipe up the floor.
That’s a job for someone else to do.
Who? I don’t know. Someone other than me.
I am above this kind of menial labour.
Someone not as smart as me, maybe.
Smart people shouldn’t have to clean their own messes up.
We should be free to, I don’t know, think. And maybe create.
Think of important things and do important things
and anything is more important than wiping up Rice Krisipes – AGAIN.

Some small door must have been open in my soul because, I swear to you, I heard the voice of God and it sounded something like this:

Oh, reeeeeeeeeeeally?

Back on my haunches, dishcloth in hand and I’m stung by the socio-economic snobbishness and spoiled-brattiness inherent in that internal 3 minute tirade.  I should be humbled not by the work I’m doing but by my own heart. My own selfishness rising up again like somehow I think that I am above my own messes, above living my own life, above the holy work of this. Since when is it not sacred to care for others? Maybe the world would agree with my original tirade but the life I’ve chosen says that the least is where we begin, being a servant is the height of accomplishment.

And maybe it’s not sexy and no one is inspired by me here on my kneecaps wiping up breakfast but now I’m inspired. And it may not always be long heart-to-hearts and great mountaintop moments but the discipline of family is the discipline of servanthood, isn’t it? It’s just as important as the work I do else and outside.

And the truth is that if I meet one more good pastor’s kid with a broken heart and Daddy/Mummy-issues, I may scream so I’ll be here and teach and train and laugh and play and pray because this is my one shot at this thing.

This is not a job for someone else to do, it is sacred because it’s my life and it’s their life and they will remember there was joy here in this family instead of muttering resentment and eye rolling on the kitchen floor after breakfast.

post signature

In which we are not invisible
In which I promise not to call myself fat
thank you for sharing...
  • Pin this page1
  • 4
  • Jen

    Great Post! We are all guilty of those moments and believe me I would love to blame the Rice Crispies too! 

  • True story: My freshman year at university (1938, if I recall) I was wild about this girl: flaming red hair and beautiful beyond words. I somehow talked her into a date. When I picked her up she got into the car, flustered because her mother was ill and she had cleaned house all day. She let loose with a mini-rant that ended with “There’s nothing feminine about scrubbing floors, Ray”

    The spell was broken. It was our only date. I think she went on to become a psychologist–so she could help people.

  • Ok…I’m scraping silly putty, but same “I can’t believe I’m doing this” attitude applies. You captured it. This week I just keep repeating monastery of motherhood over and over in my head. God has given me this amazing opportunity to serve, constantly and often thanklessly….It’s sacred. So true. Thanks for the honestly and the reminder.

    • I love that phrase, Jenn – Monastery of Motherhood. I love how you’re bringing it up with us and living it out.

  • “above living my own life” I love that! This is my life, and I need to embrace life fully, the fun and fullfilling, and the drab and repetetive. Oh, and for the record I hate rice crispies too, how can they even be nutritious when they turn into glue when wet? Ick!

  • Sarah R

    I am really glad someone spilled the Rice Krispies!  I really needed to read this today.  Truthfully, you are one of the smartest people I know.

  • if I meet one more good pastor’s kid with a broken heart and Daddy/Mummy-issues, I may scream

    Ouch. That’s me! This whole thing was a good reminder of how I need to look at my life and house work.

  • BecomingCrunchy

    I really love your posts… 🙂

    You made me think…I haven’t often had the idea that I’m too smart for housework (though I’ve had that attitude about other things) – but I DO feel like I should be thanked for it. All the time. And I don’t think that’s right either.

    So thank you for the reminder and yet another amazing, thought provoking post.

  • Such a great post! I loved it. It reminded me of my new favorite quote by Oswald Chambers:

    “We have the idea that God is going to do some exceptional thing, that He is preparing and fitting us for some extraordinary thing by and by, but as we go on in grace we find that God is glorifying Himself here and now, in the present minute….We learn to sing in the ordinary days and ways.” (from “My Utmost For His Highest”)

    Thank you for “singing” in the ordinary acts of cleaning of messes and all the rest! You are constantly challenging and inspiring me.

    • Oh, that is fantastic, Kendra – thank you so much for sharing that. 

  • Anne J.

    It’s always about the attitude, isn’t it?  Thanks for the reminder.

  • KathleenBasi

    Oh, Sarah, this is all of us. I start every day with the best of intentions but it never takes long before I’m ticked off and resentful about SOMETHING. This is a good post to read first thing in the morning, before my kids get up today.

  • oh. man. 
    SO good. 
    been there, felt that. 

  • Been there. Every inch of this post.

    Thanks for sharing your flawed, beautiful heart.

  • Diana Trautwein

    For me, it was Cheerios – my kids weren’t big fans of Rice Krispies – thank God! (except in that gooey marshmallowed format).  Or it was yet another round of laundry, especially when pockets contained treasures that my restless fingers somehow missed.  Or grocery shopping with 3 tired little ones.  Or any one of one million other exhausting, repetitive jobs.  And most of the time – not perfect – but most of the time – by the grace of God, I, too,  heard an, “Oh, reeeeeally” and was reminded that there really is no better job in this world than raising up little ones to love life, family and Jesus.  But sometimes it sure was ridiculously exhausting. And eye rolls were a fave.  Still workin’ on that one.

  • Hank

    You should ask Brian if he thinks cleaning up Rice Krispies after breakfast is sexy and see what he says.  You may get a whole new perspective on life……Just sayin’  🙂

  • I hear you.  But, I never wore heals to work & I’m not that smart.  But, similar thoughts apply.
    My oldest has started this thing where she regularly tells me I need to clean stuff.  “Mom, it is dirty here, you’d better clean this!”  It makes my blood boil.  I so badly want to tell her that I am not a maid.  (And I often do tell her.  Not proud of that.)

  • Pingback: In Which I Tell You How Much I Love Sarah Bessey()