My name is Preslaysa, and I am a neat freak. Being a neat freak can be a troublesome trait when you have small children.
My neat-freakness was exposed this week when I volunteered in the children’s ministry during my weekly Bible Study Fellowship outing. They sent me to the four-five year old room where the kiddos happily stamped their papers with blue ink.
Can you believe my dismay when I noticed they also stamped the table?
If my children did this at home, I would have flipped. Actually, I know my children would have done the same thing which is why I purchase washable paint, washable crayons, washable markers, washable water (kidding about the washable water part).
The ink in the 4-5 year old room, however, wasn’t washable. I tried to scrub it off. It remained. The stains on an otherwise perfect surface irked me.
The teacher in the room took one look at the table, smiled and said: “Looks like we have a job to do.” Then she laughed, a pure joyous laugh.
My mind got all tangled up. How is she happy in the midst of this disaster?
But it taught me a lesson. I need to go with the flow with my children, and not get so upset when their childlike antics sully my plans…or my house.
When I get up in the morning, I usually feel like the clock is ticking. I have a ‘to do’ list to tackle and a precious few hours to tackle it: weekly chores, dishes, exercise, laundry, updating checkbook, making calls, responding to emails, getting in my writing quota, doing the day’s lesson with the kiddos, etc. At the end of the day, I’m usually tuckered out from my race against the clock.
I’ve realized that I plan my days to leave little room for mishaps, and small children are cute little packages filled with mishaps.
They’ve taught me the importance of grace. And they’ve shown me how beautiful ink stains can be.