Ketching up

I just spent the last 1/2 hour on my hands and knees in my kitchen. It was not a planned event.

This morning, I was enjoying some quiet time in the Word and was meditating on Philippians 3 :12

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

Now, here it is in the Message Version:

I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

My friends, this morning I was quite sure the Lord was speaking to me- Janna, right there in my bed with this verse. I was pumped up. It was perfect for my Monday. I could conquer the world! I could stay calm and collected! I could at least conquer the laundry, right?   I was desperate to hear the voice of Someone cheering me on today. “You can do it, Janna!” I have lists and lists of things to do this week and still needed to accomplish our regular weekly routine items.

And then life happened.

I needed to stay in the room of son #3 to make sure he cleaned it to my specifications (not his!) I even decided I’d let him sleep in his sleeping bag all week to help him with his morning clean up goals. It took a lot longer than I had hoped and the “no breakfast until your room is done” rule doesn’t really matter to this skinny, could-care-less-about-eating boy. While we were spending such a grand time together, I needed to have him try on some clothes. The boy has no dressy pants. This is a problem. The dressy khaki’s I had hanging with his blazer, dress shirt and tie were no where near his size. Nuts! Adding dress pants to my list, I moved on with other activities.

Enter son #1, aka, “Mr. I know, Mom.” This guy knows EVERYTHING already. He already knew why I was entering his room and walking toward the closet and he already knew how everything in there would fit him. He already knew he had a dress outfit. Really? Tell me why your slacks are falling down to your knees? Last year, (before he played football) these pants were actually a bit snug around the waist. Now, they were a no-go. A belt would just make them look ridiculous. We tried on a pair of “I hate those, Mom” khakis. They were also loose, but wearable with a belt. I can actually check his name off of the “dress clothes” list.

Our final boy installment is son #2. I had (or so I thought) prepared this young man for this very event days ago.  “Hayden, you know I am going to come into your closet in a few days and look for dress clothes, right? Am I going to find any kind of surprises in there?” “Oh no, Mom…I have checked it all out, and it’s clean-really clean.” That should have been my clue. Really clean.  I entered the room. It was clean. I entered the closet. Also clean. We tried on clothes.  Again, the first pair of pants were a “no.” We had success with the second pair.  Now comes the interesting part: Son #3 has the tiniest little closet. There is barely room for his clothes – certainly no room for the Rubbermaids of Too Big clothes. These are stored in Son #2’s closet.  I opened up the first box, looking for a pair of pants that would fit our youngest. No pants in the box. I opened the second box. What should I find, but a box filled with DIRTY CLOTHES belonging to our middle guy. Yes, he had lovingly shoved them in a Rubbermaid of too-small-for-him clothes and then placed them atop another Rubbermaid on the shelf. I had to breathe deeply. Like I was in labor. It was all I could do not to scream. Didn’t he know I was done with the laundry?

Fast forward to dinner. My man is not home. It’s just me and the boys. This means it’s crazyfood night. I had tuna salad. They had chicken burgers. I served them with a smile and went to the other room to grab my glass of water. Somewhere during that brief moment. One of my children went to the fridge to grab the industrial sized jug of ketchup out of the fridge to decorate his burger. If you have spent a meal with us, you’ll know exactly who I am writing about. If you haven’t, I’ll give you three guesses and a hint: he’s a bit forgetful with the laundry…. So he is retrieving the 4,000 gallon plastic tub of red stuff and somehow (he said later on, bewildered) somehow it slipped from his hands. Have you ever seen the aftermath of a Sam’s Club Ketchup when it’s dropped on the floor? We have. This was not our first time. It stains. It splatters. It has the ability to reach tight corners and crevices you never knew existed. It gets under things like appliances, rugs and magically under the cute little buns of brothers sitting on chairs. (I still don’t know how that happened.)

My precious, miracle middle son stood there in the kitchen with ketchup dripping from him saying “I’m sorry, Mom, I don’t know how that happened.” He was frozen.  I muttered something about wasting the ketchup and had him change his clothes. Well, they all need to change. (I told you, it reached faaaaaaar). I began to get on my hands and knees and scoop it up. After I scooped, I got a wet cloth and wiped. And then it was time to invite my special friend, Mr. Bleach.  The grout was pinkish orange. I kneeled again and as I did so, I remembered my special time this morning…

I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

I bleached and wiped and pressed on. I forgave. I smiled. I thought about how I had longed to have just one child in my belly when I couldn’t get pregnant. I thanked the Giver of Life. I loved on my little boys. I reached forward to take hold…



6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Christina
    Mar 22, 2010 @ 21:05:39

    I have tears….


  2. Mary Allen
    Mar 22, 2010 @ 21:54:05

    Tears! You are so inspiring! You are a blessing to my family also!


  3. Glenda Faber
    Mar 23, 2010 @ 08:27:41

    well said girl, don’t you love it? God is testing me on that one all the time!! you are great


    • Lauren
      Mar 24, 2010 @ 07:56:44


      I just love you! Wow! I love how HE gave you the grace to give to them! I so relate to all the messes and rubbermaids and ketsup bottles! But my reaction is usually loud and unfriendly to these interruptions!
      Thank you for the inspiration this morning, friend.


  4. Kay Barnard
    Mar 24, 2010 @ 07:31:24

    Wow, that story brought back so many memories. There is always adventures raising boys. Way to go keeping your cool!!! Thanks for sharing. Isn’t the Lord wonderful!! He gives us peace & strength to go through each days adventure . He knows exactly what we need & when we need it. Keep loving those wonderful boys. They will grow up to be fine men sooner then you think. Love you!!!


  5. Janna
    Mar 25, 2010 @ 09:08:05

    Thanks!!! You all made me smile!



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