I hear the front door slam and make a mental note to lock it when I finish my grass-clean up so dirty feet will be forced to find another entry. Hopefully one without light carpet to stain.
It's been the kind of Saturday I always say I want for my children.
No hurry up and get in the van.
No setting up lawn chair camp on the sidelines of yet another soccer field.
No baseball practices or piano lessons.
Just sunshine and backyard play.
Lemonade slurping and popsicle licking.
Shoes cast aside and toes set free.
Baby dolls slung over shoulders and sand pies mixed to soothe their hungry plastic cries.
Bicycle races on the driveway and catch me if you can chases across the grass.
So why do I feel so grumpy as I crawl across the kitchen floor on my knees and scrub the sticky puddle of lemonade that drizzled off the countertop when my eight-year-old generously served her little siblings a cool drink while I was switching the laundry from washing machine to dryer?
Why do I feel frazzled and drained when the day has unfolded deliciously slow and long?
Why do the sand toys scattered across the backyard like a hopscotch board and the scooters abandoned on the play house steps and the squirt guns hung on the tree limbs with bright red yarn threaten to push me over an invisible edge?
Why do the muddy flip flops at the deck door make me want to holler like a cranky toddler?
Or at least toss my mop rag across the room in pouty protest.
The sound of padding feet interrupt my grumbling. I see his mud-frosted toes before I hear his voice.
I turn toward my littlest boy, his windblown hair crowned with a filthy John Deere cap and an assortment of wayward wood chips. Splats of sand cling to the sweat beads poke-a-dotting his forehead and his green eyes dance with five-year-old delight.
"Can I have some more lemonade?"
I nod wordlessly and take one more wet swipe across the kitchen floor before I rise.
Josh watches as I rinse the dirty mop cloth in the kitchen sink, grass pooling like a green whirlwind on the edge of the drain.
"He could have just given us dirt, right Mom? Dirt without grass to hold it down."
He peers out the window and sighs contentedly.
"But He gave us dirt and grass. Didn't He, Mom?"
I lift my eyes from the grungy sink.
Glance out the kitchen window at the glorious carpet of green.
And remember the words I'd read not long ago as I'd sat waiting in the pick-up-lane at school.
Thankfulness is more than an act. It's an orientation. It's a reframing of reality- not in some whistling-in-the-dark way but in a fixing-our-eyes-on-what-is-unseen way.
Hannah is dangling from the top of the swing set like a monkey in a tree top while Maggie is crouched on her haunches, stirring sand soup in a bright orange bucket and chattering non-stop to her big sister.
My husband is still shoveling mulch in the flower beds, his grey t-shirt stained from sweat and hard work. And my eleven-year-old is dribbling a soccer ball across the sun-streaked lawn.
Peering through my new frame I see it clearly now- the grass blowing in the breeze, each blade bending and swaying in its own unabashed hallelujah.
Hallelujah to the Unseen One.
Joshua hugs my knees and races to join his sisters in the back yard.
Barefooted I follow, grateful for the One who grows emerald grass on top of all that dirt;
awed by the Hand that heaps grace on top of a mama made from dust.
The Overflow: Then God said, "Let the land produce plants. Let them bear their own seeds. And let there be trees on the land that bear fruit with seeds in it. Let each kind of plant or tree have its own kind of seeds." And that's exactly what happened. The land produced plants. Each kind of plant had its own kind of seeds. The land produced trees that bore fruit with seeds in it. Each kind of tree had its own kind of seeds. God saw that it was good. -Genesis 1:11-12
1072. A park filled with squealing second graders.. end of the school year picnic
1073. Hannah in her pink batting helmet- all smiles!
1074. A backyard filled with giggling fifth-grade girls armed with squirt guns and giggles.
1075. Sharing a cup of coffee and my heart on the porch with a wise friend.
1076. The aroma of freshly-mowed grass
1077. Sat. morning slow down- no alarm clock or waiting school bus.
1078. Joshua tiptoeing in our bedroom at 6:30 A.M. dressed in his John Deere work shirt- "Dad, are you ready for yard work?"
1079. Clumps of grass on the kitchen floor- lavish grace in disguise
Linking again with Ann and these lovely grace seekers: l.l. for on, in, and around mondays, laura for playdates with god, ruth at the better mom, and jen for soli deo gloria