In our house we have entered into a new season where all of my children are now in the double digits. So basically we have a house full of teens (pre-teens and a teenager.)
In this new season I am experiencing this whole new world that now includes….socks!
Everywhere there are socks.
Socks on the floors.
Socks on the couch.
Socks buried in the couch.
Socks in the kitchen. (Yuck!)
Socks in the hallway.
Socks on the coffee table.
Socks are basically found in every corner of the house except for the laundry basket.
These aren’t your regular fabric-softened-just-out-the-dryer socks. No, these are your yucky-crusted-smelly socks.
Sometimes I’ll just be sitting on the couch with my nose all crinkled up and thinking to myself “What’s that smell?” Then I’ll look down and see a sock.
This is all new in our house. I often find myself yelling across the house telling my kiddos to pick up their socks! I can only guess it comes with this new “teen season” we are in, because I’ve never had to deal with random socks lying around the house before now.
At least, not at this level.
Usually I am yelling at them to pick up their jackets, or their blankets, or their jedi robes…but not socks!
I honestly feel like my days are spent walking around the house picking up socks in order to maintain cleanliness in the house.
It’s frustrating because it feels like common sense to just take your socks off at the door and shove them into your shoes. Or take them off in your bedroom, or the bathroom. Or if you take them off anywhere in the house then put them in the dirty clothes basket.
Maintaining the cleanliness of my house has now just been taken to a whole new level with these socks. I feel like I am putting in more work to maintain a clean home than I was 6 months ago!
My husband is now at a new fire station with a new officer. His officer gave him a list of his expectations for everyone stationed at the fire house. One of those expectations is basically they should be a low maintenance firefighter for their officer.
This new expectation my husband was given through his officer got me thinking, these random socks lying around the house is frustrating to me because it’s high maintenance.
In fact it’s a waste of my time having to train my children how to pick up their socks after themselves. I shouldn’t have to do this. Not to mention all of the other responsibilities I have as a wife, mom, and writer.
I just want to scream at them: “I changed your diapers for three years of your life, why can’t you just pick up your socks?!?!”
I honestly have no idea why my children insist on testing my love for them by seeing if I will pick up their bacteria infested socks. But I shouldn’t have to prove I love them in that way, like I said before there were the days before potty training, and not to mention the very fact that I gave birth to them, which should be proof enough that I LOVE THEM.
But in my frustration I had to ask myself, “Am I high maintenance Christian?”
Is God up there wondering why He has to continuously prove His love to me? Because He knows I am always asking Him to. I am ashamed to admit it, truly.Whenever adversity comes, I want God to prove His love for me because I doubt Him.
I know I am not a low maintenance Christian all the time.
When I was a teenager myself I would definitely admit that I was a high maintenance person. My husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, knew it.
Everybody knew it.I thought about being a low maintenance person, but I chose not to because to me high maintenance meant I got more attention.
Every parenting book in the world will tell you that if your child (or in my case teenager) is acting out, or is being high maintenance, then they are just seeking attention from you even if it is bad attention.
I don’t know if my sock problem is a way for my children to get my attention, but I will say when my children are confident in my love for them my house feels pretty low maintenance.
The same is true for me. Whether it comes to my relationship with God, or even my husband, if I am confident of their love for me, I become a pretty low maintenance woman.
The moment I start wondering if I am going to do something to lose God’s love for me, I begin to do things to make Him pay attention to me.
I think we can go through this Christian walk looking for the next feel-good-moment, or that next spiritual high.
Then when we get bored, and we don’t have to worry about everything, or their isn’t another mountain to climb, we lose our way a little bit.
When a pillar of fire isn’t guiding us we wonder if God has left us in the wilderness to starve. (Exodus 16:3)
A low maintenance Christian doesn’t worry as much about what the futures holds, or if they are going to lose God’s love.
When we are low maintenance we are in the prime state of simply living a life of obedience and integrity.
A low maintenance Christian knows they control nothing, and therefore trust God with everything!
As I learn to be a low maintenance Christian I begin to take my husband’s advice: “Just do your job and trust God.”
Really, all we have control over are the choices that we make in any given moment, even then we do not determine the outcome.
I remember telling a friend once that the most hardest thing for me to accept about my husband’s chronic illness was the fact that there was nothing I could do to make him better, outside of prayer and believing God for a miracle.
I couldn’t be “good enough” in order to make him better, or even to prevent his illness from getting worse.
But also in knowing that truth, it released this burden off my chest in that I really couldn’t have done anything to prevent it either. It also frees me from having to carry the burden of making sure everything is OK, and I just get to be the person God created me to be.
I don’t need God to heal my husband in order to prove that He still loves me. Honestly, I have experienced God’s goodness in just waking up every morning and seeing my husband become who God created HIM to be, in spite of the disease he has to live with every single day of his life.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times when we need to bear one another’s burdens & allow Holy Spirit to comfort us.
I am often reminded what a blessing each and every day truly is, and I praise God for the days, weeks, months, and years that I have been given the opportunity to live with my husband and three children. My days aren’t spent wondering if God loves me, and then only finding confirmation in the next big thing that comes my way.
Being a low maintenance woman does not mean we become robots with no emotion or feeling. It means we are taking responsibility for our roles when it comes to relationships and tasks, and we are trusting God to fill in the gaps
When we are low maintenance we are confident in our day-to-day and we don’t need another big moment to define our relationship with God.
So many of us want to do bigger and better things, we all want to do more.
Just like the rich young ruler, he needed yet another notch in his spiritual belt in order to feel like he was spiritual enough to gain eternal life.
It wasn’t his money that made it impossible for him to inherit the kingdom of God, it was the constant need to be validated and to be reassured of his place in the kingdom.
I’m just not going there anymore.
We just need to find our confidence in His promises, and His promises are found in His word.
This season of life may be full of socks, but it is also a season of learning what life is truly about, and how I can grow in my relationship with the Lord. So today I am thankful for my house full of tweens and teens, and of course, socks.
Thank you Lord for the lessons you teach me in the small of every ordinary day.
No matter what Christmas was for us in the past, it seems like every year it has the opportunity, and the possibility, to be something completely different and brand new. That’s what Jesus brought with Him as He was born into this world; He brought with Him a clean slate, a fresh start, and something brand new to our lives and to our faith.
Today I invite you to come and take this imperfect advent journey with me to discover the beauty of the good and perfect gifts God has given us through His Son Jesus. Let us journey together to discover what those gifts are, how we can receive those gifts, and most importantly the importance of being a good steward of those gifts.