As a child I loved Shel Silverstein books. I would read some of my favorite poems so often I practically had them memorized. A particular favorite was, “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out”. Does anyone remember this writing? I still have the page in my book with a book mark from the 5th grade!
The story goes, Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout would not take the garbage out. It piled up, up, and up. Her father screamed, her friends stopped playing, and the neighbors moved. Finally she decided to take the garbage out. The author states, “but then, of course, it was too late… The garbage reached across the state, from New York to the Golden Gate. And there, in the garbage she did hate, Poor Sarah met an awful fate, That I cannot right now relate. Because the hour is much too late. But children, remember Sarah Stout And always take the garbage out!”
Silly. Such a silly, silly, silly story. Ha. Y’all I feel like Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout right now. And mine doesn’t smell like garbage, but it is piling up everywhere. From one end of this house to the other. There is stuff everywhere! Eleven years of marriage, seven years in the same house, four kids, two dogs, cat, hermit crab. AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Moving is making me question my whole existence!
I have gone through wondering if I am a secret hoarder? Questioned why I have all this stuff? Why do Americans collect? What is really important? If I haven’t used it in two years, will I really ever use it again? When these decorating shows have a final reveal how come you never see a cell phone plug or random junk on the nightstand?
Right now, I don’t enjoy my current home. I feel unorganized and crazy. I can’t really clean up. Isn’t life the same way? Over time we consistently pack in so much stuff that we lose focus on the important. Motherhood is busy. It is the busiest job I have ever held. There are no lunch breaks. Work doesn’t end at 5 pm and resume the next morning at 8 am. It is constant. There are soccer practice and games, school, church, homework, projects, the never ending cycle of feeding these children, bath time, laundry, cleaning up…. the list is endless! Just when you think you have possibly reached the end of the list, oh wait! The laundry has piled up again.
I struggle friends. I go through seasons of not meditating enough. Not praying enough. Not reading the Word enough. Not worshipping enough. Not (fill in the blank) enough. I am not talking about a legalistic approach to Jesus. He is not a checklist. I am in a relationship with my Savior. I am talking about filling my life with so much stuff, I don’t enjoy my current situation and I have pushed Jesus to the back corner. Tell me I am not alone!
The simple verse from Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God” quickly comes to mind. More often than not, we have to BE STILL. This is so hard as a mother. I am convinced that we literally get strength in the stillness. In those moments we hear and begin to recognize that still small voice. The voice that reassures us we are doing a great job. The voice that reminds us He loves us. The voice that calms the raging sea. The voice that creates. The voice that heals. The voice that protects. The voice that is our Father.
Listen to me beautiful mother….be still and KNOW that you are amazing and God is proud of you.