Thursday, August 22, 2013

Martha Martha Martha

What is it with laundry rooms? Or in my case, laundry hovels. It's the one space I can't seem to keep nicey-nice.

Well, maybe not the one space. There are other areas in my home where you might also find an empty chapstick tube, seven bobby pins, a feather, and a Luna bar wrapper all in one square foot of space.

The only difference is I'll (eventually) do something about it when the stuff is found on the fourth stair going up. Or around the bathroom trash can. Or in my fridge.

But the laundry room? Takes months. I once kept staring at a lone mitten that lost its way after unpacking from a glorious Canadian ski trip in Whistler. Eh, let's be realistic - more like coming home after a trip through Costco's frigid walk-in refrigerator. (Guess I was holding out for the lost mitten to show up.)

It's no big deal, really. Maybe it's those Hoarder shows that have me spooked. Or maybe the new and trendy concept of minimalism - clean, uncluttered, sparse, calm - is the reason I'm over analyzing laundry room spaces.

I recently read an article about it - "Steps you can take to start down the minimal road." It all sounded good to me. But when the author explained how, after her kitchen got a simplified, modern makeover, her non-peaceful laundry room really started to bug...I then decided her case falls under the "it takes money to live like you have none" train of thought, and I moved on.

Though I will say, super put-together people fascinate me. How doooo they do it? As far as I'm concerned, magic powers are involved. It's like, nothing gets in the way of keeping their house company-ready at all times. Nothing. No amount of candy bars, Instagram sneaky-peakies, Target runs. Not even sleep gets in the way of keeping a house like this:

(I don't know, though. That plant thing on the right side of the room screams clutter. They may want to seriously reconsider the stress it's putting on their family's thought processes.)

Okay. Alright. So I'm not a minimalist. And Biblically speaking, I'm not much of a Martha. You know the story. Martha and Mary - two sisters, friends with Jesus. And one day, Martha was busy serving and cleaning when Jesus stopped by. And she got upset because Mary was busy not being busy, preferring to sit and visit with Jesus. Martha even complained to him about it: "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" (Luke 10:38-40) That gutsy girl!

And what'd Jesus do? What he's good at - showed compassion and lovingly corrected: "Martha, Martha, are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed - or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42)

Looks like we've got two good attributes going on here - Martha's orderly nature and Mary's relational nature. Definitely not a "wrong vs. right" thing as much as it is an "important vs. necessary" thing.

Soooo, I'm with a friend is better than picking up that dried-out baby wipe  peeking out from under the end table? I'm thinking yes. Though, I suppose I could do both. But whether I start taking steps down the chic-contemporary "minimal road" or the heart-warming relational road, I can certainly tell you that neither one will be passing through my laundry room.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Funny Shmunny

I often have this fantasy where I'm holding a "Hi Mom!" sign on the streets of New York, standing in a line-up of people behind Today Show's Matt Lauer and Al Roker.

This fantasy usually takes place in the Fall, and I'm wearing a jewel-toned scarf and brand-new lipstick. My look, of course, complete with a fancy coffee in my non-sign-holding hand and the latest in lace-up boots on my two feet. (Did I mention I'm also humming a tune I seem to vaguely remember from early childhood? "Who can turn the world on with her smile...")

And right after Mr. Roker says, "Temps sure did drop last night, giving us this beautiful, crisp New York morning," he turns around and asks me something like, "Whereabouts are you from?" Or "Who are you with today?" (More like, "Who did you drag here today?" if my husband came with me. Not a Today Show kind of guy.)

But here is where my fantasy comes to an abrupt halt, for I cannot imagine myself saying a single thing interesting or witty or charming. Sure I'd give an overly-excited, "That'd be Orange County, California, Al!" sort of reply. But how would I jazz it up? I'm not very good on-the-spot. Funny takes time.

It all began in the sixth grade. A radio station promised the 106th caller tickets to see The Jets in concert at Magic Mountain. So I called in. My cousin got a blank cassette ready and was prepared to push "record" if I got through. Sure enough, I got through. And it got recorded.

Hearing it back, I remember not liking the way I responded to the DJ's comments and questions and innuendoes: "Hi. What? Huh? No. Way. This is Molly. Really? Really? Um. Um. Wow. Neato. Neato. Neato."

I sounded very eleven, you see. But why shouldn't I have? I was eleven. Problem is, almost 30 years later, I fear Al Roker would also get an eleven-year-old version of me.

Or is it possible that age has nothing to do it? Maybe that's just the way I am under pressure? So what if on-the-spot Molly isn't all that funny. And who cares if it takes me 17 minutes after-the-fact to come up with something clever. I'll just save it for a blog, and call it a day.

Besides, since when is being funny a requirement when answering Al Roker's questions? Whose approval am I living for, anyway?

I heard it said that self-esteem is based upon what you think the most important person in your life thinks about you. And since I shouldn't give Al Roker and the entire United States of America the privilege of being M.I.P. in my life, it'd be much easier if I daily made Jesus that person, for his Word says I am lovable (John 3:16), capable (2 Peter 1:3), valuable (Luke 12:6), forgivable (Psalm 103:12), and usable (Ephesians 4:12).

So although my Today-Show-street-crowd dreams remain the same, I might as well move forward in the fantasy - heading straight through Al Roker's interview and right into the studio itself, where I'm then asked to replace the replacements for Katie Couric. (Where was I? Oh yes, "Your gonna make it after all!")