August 2011: Sweet Defeat
This entry was posted on Jun 09 2012, by Tina and is filed under Newsletter Archive
Walls! Steps! and a SLIDE! Oh my! The Texas heat can’t stop the progress being made every day on the new Family Camp site. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for the latest pictures and updates.
by Dawn Gonzalez
I turn up the news and change the sheets at 6:30 in the morning because there isn’t anyone still snug in beds here. My kids are at youth camp, chaperoned by their pastor-dad, and I don’t have to creep around quiet in the dark while a family sleeps this summer morn. A family of five minus four leaves me and the dog oddly alone and unsure of what to do with all the tidy quiet.
I used to enjoy being left behind to read, and think, and be still. But that was before children, a decade and a half ago. Although I remember who that woman was back then, I don’t really know her anymore. Distance measured in time made us strangers—surprising strangers.
I washed the dishes before I left for work: a saucepan from steamed milk for my coffee, two spoons, and last night’s water glass. They looked lonely in the sink, and I couldn’t bear it, so I rinsed warm suds and left the sink a stark empty.
As long as I can remember, my goal for every day is to somehow win the battle of mounting dirty dishes in a perpetually cluttered kitchen. Today, there’s easy victory before 7:30 am.
The chaos and clutter, my supposed opponent all these years, today surprises me as an old friend, one I miss seeing in my empty sink. I look around at my achieved victory: the kitchen table pristine, the quiet washing machine.
Victory is empty.
I never knew it would be. I can’t wait until my full life returns in stuffed suitcases, sunburns, and revived spirits, to fill my home and my washing machine with the mess that is my life.
I think I prefer defeat, full as it is, over empty victory—any day and every day.
I can only wonder if I will still embrace defeat and stop fighting the age-old battle once they get home. Somehow, I doubt it.
Lord, please don’t let me get used to this clean house. Amen.
Dawn Gonzalez is a blogger who writes about family and faith in The High Calling Network. Learn more about The High Calling and find a link to Dawn’s blog, Everyday Ordinary Dawnings on the Family Camp Blog.
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