Taking Care



Day Eleven: Take good care. Whatever that care might look like. Sometimes, romance is just being there for your person. 

I dropped Geo off for his morning class and headed down to the church to touch bases with our church administrator. Get a feel for how Sunday went–just a quick check in before heading back home to my day jobs. Since we were iced/snowed in this Sunday,  I had left instructions with staff for all my kiddos to use their activity bags (stuffed with fun things to color, a snack, stickers!) if I didn’t make it down the hill to teach Sunday School. 

Clearly, I didn’t. 

So, I was a little surprised to find our Sunday School classroom trashed. Art supplies everywhere — small children had clearly been making things in the space last Sunday when they should have been hanging out with their parents using their activity bags. 

Which, for the record, I’m typically cool about. The kids know they’re allowed to use the craft supplies just so long as they put everything back. I’m  more than happy to let you play and create when I’m not there: but I’m not keen on picking up your messes. We’ve had this conversation. More than once. And as a church, we have this conversation every February: we call it Stewardship! 

And as if it was not enough, I walked into the girl’s bathroom and found my feet sticking to the floor. Oh, the ewww factor. The more I looked around the space, the more I knew that it needed some real care.   It’s not my job to clean those spaces, but it was clear those spaces needed some love.

After talking with our administrator, I headed home and told IZ, “I’m so peeved at the moment, but it would be a really good idea if I went back and cleaned right now. I just hate to strand you at work.” 

“It’s OK, you should go. You clean better when you’re angry anyhow.”

Oh, did I mention I clean best when I’m angry? Yeah, I do. 

Here’s the thing, I had plans for today. Plans for my job job, plans for Mirieo and this blog, plans that did not involve deep cleaning a public bathroom and classroom at church. 

But I also knew that these things needed to be done and well, I might as well do it now when I’m motivated.

As IZ shooed me out the door, I realized: sometimes plans fall through. And sometimes, true love is about taking good care of the people and things in your life.  

Caring for a church and the children in it: even when they trash rooms when  they shouldn’t.

Caring for a loved one and making room for them to do the important things to them, even when it doesn’t fit your agenda. Saying, “GO!” when it would be better for you if they stayed.

It’s now 3 pm. The girl’s bathroom is less sticky. My classroom is picked up (thanks to the lovely ministerial staff who saw the problem and fixed it for me). I’m a bit spent from all the cleaning and if I’m honest, all I really want right now is a Starbucks. 

As Valentine’s Day approaches we are all focused on the beautiful — and so we should be. Cards and flowers and poetry, these are the things we cherish. These are the gestures of love. I’m not a skeptic, I think these gestures have staying power. It’s why we keep doing them: they work!

But I also treasure that romantic gesture of being “seen”. Of having someone understand what is important to me (even if it’s being a bit OCD about a bathroom at church!) and supporting me. 

When that same person can say, “Really? You just need a Starbucks?” — well, that might just be love in a paper cup. 

How do you take care of the ones you love? 


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