We've all heard the humble, though pungent, onion used as an illustrative tool for many a point. With all those layers, it is just ripe for comparison! I'll spare you another analogy with the over-used onion but instead, I'd like to consider layers of another sort.
My October has been busy, as evidenced by my absence from this keyboard. In the past flurry of weeks, the calendar full of events was layered in heaps upon my days, like the clothes on the floor in the laundry room.
My husband's shirts and pants are in there, soiled from long days with patients, and reminding me to pull them out for the dry cleaner. (I praise God for this small indulgence!) He is a good, hard working man, and I thank God for him. I need to make sure he knows it.
My boys had many trips to the soccer field, and their sweaty socks (in little irritating, smelly wads) and dirty T-shirts, inside-out game jerseys and grass-stained shin guards prompt me to pray for their safety on the field. This week the tournaments start and even as I type I wonder how we'll fit dinner in. Something tells me my slow-cooker will work hard this week! Also in their layer of grubbies I find the clothes my ten year-old wore on the field trip last Thursday. I got to go along on this one (thanks to my mom, who took the day off and, as my husband put it, allowed me to be in two places at once!) When my son thanked her for making my part of the trip possible, he told her it wouldn't have been as much fun without me. Sniff sniff and all smiles...that was a golden mom moment. I still feel the glow inside me!
My little one has dribbly shirts and dirty knees and sodden onesies in the heap and I remember that the poor boy has been traipsing around after us all for the past few weeks with a great little toddler smile, and a wonderful sweetness. There is nothing terrible about this two year-old lately and I thank God for his joyful participation and his cute chatter. What a trooper! Note to self: plan his 2-year birthday party (something quiet and special with just the six of us?)...it will be here in a week!
Another laundry layer is pink and soft and peppered with doll clothes as well. (she insists on changing the baby doll clothes and thinks they must be washed :0) My daughter had her first field trip last week and, though we shivered our way through a cold, wet orchard, her soggy fleece jacket reminds me that the cold "forced" us to sip hot chocolate and snuggle even closer on the wagon, and it was a special, memorable first for her.
My workout clothes are in there, but not enough of them, reminding me that now that my schedule is about to clear a bit ( I hope...just after soccer skids to a halt), I need to get on that treadmill more than every couple of days. I am thankful for my sweet friend who reminds me that exercise is for my good, but I am not a slave to it! "The Sabbath was made for man; man was not made for the Sabbath..."
Layers of towels remind me of bubble baths for curly headed little ones and quick showers for boys who are literally growing up overnight. There are socks, hinting that our twelve feet are getting colder as the temperatures drop. I won't complain about that. I love fall and resolve to get out and do my walk outside more often.
When the layers of clothes and linens have made their way through the washer and the dryer, I am out of laundry soap, low on Bounce sheets, and my house smells fresh and warm. There is three dollars and twenty seven cents jingling in the Pizza Money jar and a plastic hair clip, two army men, a toy car, a rubber band, and two now-illegible receipts on the dryer and a soggy pull-up in the garbage can (just in case you wondered, when you wash one of those things, your machine will be full of what resembles little piles of wet snow, but it is not nearly as much fun as that sounds).
As I type and remember that past couple of weeks, I have propped my feet on a stool and the keyboard on my lap. It is not hard to spend so much time with you today because, frankly, I can't muster the energy to get up now that I've finally sat down! Praise God from Whom all blessings flow! The big missions week at church, for which much of my time these weeks was commandeered, went well. My to-do list is full of check marks, and onward I go. At the moment, while two and four year-old heads slumber, the layers are thin and gentle. The trickle of the fish tank filter carries on a low conversation with the murmering dishwasher. The dog softly snores near me as if she is beat from her busy life as well. The filmy dust taunts me, but I say let the last layers stay a while longer while I linger here and wonder what layers fill your lives today?
I challenge you, along with myself so I had better sit up a little straighter, to peel back a few of your layers and examine them. While I am first to admit that life really is daily and it is, by necessity, full of layers that may not seem to have any eternal significance, I desire to make even the grubbiest layers count. God's mercies are new every morning and I am certain He knows I need them to face the moments that can so swiftly become overwhelming mounds, just like the laundry. Do you trust Him with it all? Do I? I pray that we go about our days, doing what must be done, but also ready to spot the spectacular in the mundane, and relish each layer as part of the rich fabric of our lives.