Cleanliness vs. Godliness

Yesterday for FHE I gave Luke and Isabel chore charts. Everyday they need to clean their rooms and feed the cats, after that they can ask me for a chore that they can get paid for. The charts are on the fridge and they are in charge of putting the stickers on etc. Today they were happy to do it and I hope it doesn't wear off. Next FHE lesson will have to be on tithing. In MOPS today the kids had a story teller come and tell them Thanksgiving stories. We had a speaker, Marshall Allen, a writer for the Las Vegas Sun, come and teach us how to write a good Christmas letter. Very informative. Afterward we wrote Christmas cards to boys in Juvenile detention. But my favorite was a poem shared in the opening of our MOPS meeting.  The author is Laurie Lovejoy Hilliard and Sharon Lovejoy Autry from the book, Mom...and Loving It!


If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place,

But have not love, I am a housekeeper-not a homemaker.

If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements,

But have not love, my children learn cleanliness-not godliness.

Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh.

Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.

Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.

Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.

Love is present through the trials.

Love reprimands, reproves, and is responsive.

Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, runs with the child,

then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.

Love is the key that opens salvation's message to a child's heart.

Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection,

Now I glory in God's perfection of my child.

As a mother, there is much I must teach my child,

But the greatest of all is love.

I know, I know, it is a little cheesy, but so true in my life right now. Yesterday everything was SUCH a mess from coming home from vacation and leaving Joey home alone for a while (kidding Joey...but not really.) Laundry everywhere, crumbs on the floor, goo on the counters, GROSS. Luke and Isabel wanted to play the card game Old Maid with me. I am not nor ever was a perfectionist or a neat freak, but it was so difficult to just let everything sit while I played that game with them. It is always especially difficult to just sit and read a book to Sylvia when I always have a million things to do, but I need to.