Muffin Pans and Banners
Last night I received a picture from my youngest daughter of a banner with my name signed by her. The banner was signed in honor of me at her annual Light the Night cancer walk. I smiled and shook my head when I received her message—how does she do it all? Soccer mom, ballet mom, supportive wife, church worker, household financial contributor, and wonderful daughter!!!
I know what kind of a week she has had, and yet she still is going strong, just like the Energizer Bunny…probably stronger.
Not too long ago I was at her house on a Friday evening. And truthfully, I don’t know on that particular Friday night just how strong she was going, but she was still going none the less.
I need to give a shout out to both of my girls in that they have an endless amount of “Doingness”—with a capital D (my word.) Both of my girls are like the Energizer Bunny. Even when all else are at rest, they are still marching and beating their drums in the wee hours in order to complete their intended tasks, as if on a marching and beating assignment.
But as I reflect on this particular Friday, I am recalling the catch phrase, push through, that my youngest said to me a year or so ago when I was visiting. I do want to give you a bit of the back story of this night. I was not just visiting her, but assisting her in a project with a sensitive, important deadline. We had already had an extremely busy day. The evening continued, just as eventfully, and I was fading fast.
At last, we had the kids in bed and were finally calmly sipping coffee, drinking skim milk, and eating chocolate chip muffins that we had made. The day was drawing quickly to its close—for me. Whatever we had left in disarray around the house could be straightened in the morning.
I was fine, perfectly fine, with the few dirty dishes remaining on the counter, as well as a few dirty glasses left in the den.
The dirty muffin pan on my daughter’s stove top did not produce in me any great anxiety as it sat there unwashed. On the other hand, rinsing it and loading it in the dishwasher would not have given me any great sense of peace either. I was totally neutral when it came to the muffin pan. All household chores could wait for the dawn of a another new, busy, eventful day. I knew that if I waited, I (as the proverbial Energizer Bunny’s assistant) would be recharged and ready for action again after a good 6 hours of sleep.
But then to my surprise…my daughter started getting the kitchen ready for the morning. Yes, she gathered all the dishes up, loaded them in the dishwasher, and the race was on again!!!! Yet, it was not her tasks that were worth noting that night, but rather her words to me. “Mom, sometimes you have to just push through.”
What I have to appreciate about these words is not their familiar reference to perseverance, endurance, and stamina. I know these words and their meaning. Most of us claim to live out these words in our faith and our lives over the long haul.
But it’s often the moments at hand that we are going through that are the places where we lose our push. It’s the push to do the simple things…like finishing the next chapter of our Bible reading, placing the mail in its proper bin, or returning the scissors to the drawer at the end of the craft project…and yes, even washing the muffin pan that very night in order to make for a clean beginning the next day.
See, it is not about unprecedented organization and complicated time management, but rather push through. It’s tough when we are tired and want to stop. We really don’t want to push anything anywhere, much less keep pushing through our present moment of tiredness. I left her kitchen that night—her clean kitchen—with a smile.
I still smile even now, wondering how her kitchen really looks tonight. With her last push through came not just a clean kitchen, but a clean end to our day. More importantly and rewardingly came a fresh new beginning of the day to come. We would begin again, not saddled with the leftovers of what remained from the night before.
Sometimes we think the push through is about the challenge of finishing. From her, I gleaned it was more about the fresh, shining, beginning. It wasn’t about the close of that evening, but the beginning of our new morning.
I ponder my own two precious daughters and their lives and their births. What if when my doctor said “Push,” I said, “No, not any more. There will be tomorrow, another day, and I am tired now.” No, I pushed at that moment! I chose to push through to a fresh, shining, beginning of "something wonderful."
One of those "wonderful somethings" 32 years later signed my name, and then walked in my honor at a cancer walk on a week that was bursting with busyness for her. For most of us, the week would have been impossible to navigate through, but she succeeded. I have learned from her that our victory is not just because we are determined to persevere to the end, but because we are also determined to push through the moment!!!! If we want to be victorious, with a respectable finish, we should strive for a more respectable start as well! Blessings, Mimi (AKA Anne)
1 Corinthians 9:24 "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run? But only one gets the prize. Run in such a way as to get the prize."