Wipe It On Your Pants

March 23, 2010


By Elizabeth Norman


That's what I told Austin as we patched holes in sheetrock and painted last week during our Spring Break Mission. We were using caulk to fill small nail holes before painting and our caulk gun kept putting out more caulk than we could use, faster than we could use it, so we kept ending up with it all over our fingers. And since there was no rag to be found, the only APPROPRIATE place to wipe our hands clean, of course, was our pants! After his look of shock passed, he and I did just that--a small sacrifice for a noble task! For the next hour we caulked and wiped with big fat smiles on our faces! A bond in the making!


This a.m., since I'm just going to be working at home, I put on those same pants (they have now been through the laundry) and have a sweet reminder (caulk isn't easily removed from clothing) of that day of serving alongside a very special kid, doing very special work for our Most Special God. That sticky glob of caulk on my jeans is now a treasure!


What if I hadn't? What if I'd been too uptight to use my "work jeans" for such an ucky chore? What if I had insisted on running to the other apartment in search of a rag? What if I had scolded Austin for soiling his jeans? What if I had let the moment go the other way? What a waste, that's what! It's kind of like that country song: I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance. I could have missed the mess, but I'd have had to miss the moment. So, now I have caulk on my jeans--so what? I'm thankful! Thankful for the opportunity to roll up my sleeves, get my jeans dirty, realign my priorities and my thinking... and stay close to the God I love, serving him alongside some of my favorite people in the whole world, our kids!


Do you ever do that! Do you ever get your panties/boxers in a wad over stupid stuff? Unimportant stuff? Are you missing out on opportunities with your kids because you're too busy keeping order, being clean, or "appropriate?" I know I do! Let's take a close look. Lets' be brutally honest. Let's take a risk and show our kids a more playful side, a more real side, a less uptight mom and dad. Let's get some caulk on our pants and see what happens!


In this spirit, I think I'll serve bagels on china this p.m.--just to keep things in proper perspective.


A recovering uptight mom,