I surveyed the kitchen with a twinkle in my eye. It was one of those rare days when homeschooling had gone surprisingly well. Considering it was an unseasonably sunny Texas day and the balmy warmth beckoned all parties to distraction, I marveled at the healthy pace of both progress and cooperative behavior. I had gotten dinner on the table at a reasonable hour and now, with a bit of my own sweat and help from one of the older kids, the kitchen counters sparkled. As I ducked my head into the bathroom shared by the three boys, I noted with delight that it did not look vandalized on this particular evening. I reveled in one of those rare moments this side of heaven that reveal golden flashes of feminine genius.
With a spring in my step, I practically skipped into the hallway, looking forward to bedtime with my little boys. Maybe the impromptu date night my husband had suggested was a good idea since it was still shy of the 8 o’clock hour. I entered the boys dimly lit room and nestled up to my son to snuggle and pray. “Mom, you smell sooo good, just like…warm, spicy soup..” (We had not had soup for dinner…). He delivered this heartfelt utterance with all the earnest affection intended to give me the joy of receiving a purely genuine compliment. I just couldn’t help laughing and admitting to myself that I might just need a few moments of refreshing personal time (including a shower!) before heading out with my date.
Amidst all the teaching, serving, cooking, cleaning, and training, I had, in fact, lost sight of myself. Yes, today had been thrilling in my mini-universe. All the areas under my care had functioned beautifully. I felt like maybe I was beginning to finally get the hang of this! Maybe arrival was right around the corner. But then there was that little matter of showering. There was an apparent need to grow in the area of balancing the needs of my personhood with my other responsibilities. Perfection this side of heaven? No, not hardly. But how abundant are the opportunities to “press on toward the goal” of excellence, while simultaneously embracing the prolific lessons of humility and personal growth! How grateful I was that today’s little “compliment” was given with so much love and affection – with a little bit of unintended humor in the mix!
“I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14-15).