My shout-out today goes to Sarah Bessey and her fantastic post about Rice Krispies and holy work. Here’s a quick sample…
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Now I don’t know if you’ve ever had the misfortune to have to clean up wet Rice Krispies but if not, I’ll offer this piece of advice: you cannot sweep them up, you cannot vacuum them up, you cannot wipe them up. No, Rice Krispies turn to a gluey substance which adheres to whatever surface it finds and instead of cleaning them up by those attempts, you only smear them. Ask me how I know. No, no, instead, you must pick them up one at a time, bit by bit, and only then can you wash the floor properly. Unless you want your feet to stick to the floor or you wish to burn the house down (which I considered for a moment), you must pick up every single Rice Krispie individually and only then wash the floor.
I began to get angry as I picked up those Rice Krispies. Oh, properly angry! Not at the tinies who created the mess – those messes can’t be helped when one is tiny, they’re part of the deal – but rather at the fact that this was my life. This was just one more daily indignity to the joyous and difficult and yet sometimes monotonous unending routine of caring for small children.
I muttered to myself under that kitchen table about how I was too smart for this. Oh, I did: I was too special for this! Surely someone else could do this work, someone else should be doing this work! After all, I was creative and capable! I was well educated! I used to manage budgets of $14 million dollars! I used to wear high heels and create marketing campaigns! Then my repressed struggling artist side entered the dialogue and ranted quietly about how I was meant to be writing! I was meant to have creative space to, well, create! Who could create anything or write anything while in the middle of diapers and bath times and housework? I am too creative for this! I am meant to be a writer not a maid!
I bet C.S. Lewis never had to clean up cereal.
And then that little evangelical hero complex in me joined the chorus: I was meant to change the world! I was meant to be someone! To lead! To be set apart! To tell people about Jesus, right? To be a hero in the kingdom of God! And instead here I was doing menial work that was contributing nothing to the world.
It would be funny if I hadn’t actually believed the… Read More