Dusty blue chalk footprints lead inside from the front door and around the corner, marring the glossy cleanness of last week's labors. It's no crime scene mystery, though. I sat on the threshold and watched my youngest son make those steps, me saying nothing in complaint as he skipped light-footed, unaware of the cloud of blue that rose up behind him from the dark planks and swirled visible in the brightness of late afternoon sun .
Somewhere beyond the prints is a happy little boy--running outdoors, free from coats, hats, socks in the eighty-degree sun of spring (?).
I grab camera first, wet rag second.
It's a learning process, this trying to find the beautiful gifts God sends in the midst of chaos. These footprints, they are a gift, reminding me of beautiful little feet that I have been entrusted with to grow in time, likely to his daddy's size 13 or larger.
Likewise, the mirror in the hall may seem like proof of my imperfections as a house cleaner. But looked at from another angle, it's just more evidence of the three beautiful ones who live...who really live life to the fullest within these walls.
Smudged by a thousand fingers and noses that have stopped to glimpse an imaginary life as a monkey, honeybee, or fireman--the mirror shows them not only who they are, but who they can become if I'll extend them the freedom to be a little unsure and messy.
Many days, I only see the mess, not the beauty. I fight feelings of failure and inadequacy when I don't measure up to the perfection I once owned.
Now, toys litter the floor, the laundry is left unfolded or still in piles waiting to be put up, and dust bunnies reproduce, well, like dust bunnies, despite my best efforts to vacuum them away.
I fail shamefully...more than you know...to look beyond what is obvious to the beautiful gifts God has provided for such a time as this.
But when I change my focus, when I slow down to really look for Him, I can find Him.