How can one jar of peanut-butter cause so much trouble?
No kidding, that’s what I wanted to know too.
Because apparently it was A Big Problem and he made that quite clear.
My husband was fed up with the sticky, slimy mess dripping down the sides of the peanut-butter jar and insisted we put a stop to the madness.
“Why can’t we keep this jar clean?! There’s no reason we should live like this and it’s driving me nuts!” He didn’t yell, but I could tell by his tone that he really meant it.
Oh, but there was a very good reason as far as I was concerned and protested against his somewhat ridiculous request.
Actually, there were eight good reasons. You see we have these things called children and one mother can’t be on top of everything!
Why so unreasonable? So demanding?
Now on his behalf, I have to tell you that my husband is not a complainer.
He doesn’t make negative remarks about my cooking. He doesn’t complain about having to throw on his robe in the morning and search for the essential items in the laundry room (oops! meant to fold and put those away…). He’s even good about patiently sitting in the car and waiting for me to get out the door. And that can be a pretty long wait sometimes.
But the goopy peanut-butter container? That just about does him in.
So how many of you moms can I count on to side with me on this one?
I mean, we have a bunch of kids and they all make their own peanut-butter sandwiches. Even the three young boys. Let’s face it – it’s a sticky, slimy world we live in.
And I basically communicated to him . . . .
Sorry. But that’s just the way it has to be.
That we were going to have to learn to live with it. That he was asking the impossible. And I left him in the kitchen feeling quite justified in my defensive and huffy response.
Except for one thing . . . .
Epiphany in the Parlor
I left the kitchen to recover and regroup in our front sitting room – our “parlor” as we call it and my very favorite room in the house.
It’s a special place.
The Parlor has pretty pillows, a tea tray, and a clear glass (yes, that would be GLASS) coffee table.
The kids are not allowed to eat in this room.
Or have their electronic gadgets.
No Legos, dirty socks, or rollerblades are permitted in the Parlor. Happy sigh.
I love this room.
Now wait! Are you beginning to wonder how it is that I can keep an entire room looking pristine even though we have all these children? With a glass coffee table, no less??
Well. It’s because it’s important to me, of course. Really important.
But I can’t keep the peanut-butter jar wiped down?
Yeah, that’s the question that got to me too.
You see, I have this tendency to take my priorities very seriously. And this room is one of those.
Not only that, but when the rest of my family do their best to keep it the way I like it?
It makes me happy.
I feel respected.
Maybe even loved.
I know. It’s a small thing. So maybe you don’t see why it’s a big deal to me.
But it kinda is.
If at all possible.
So maybe I don’t understand why all the fuss over the sloppy peanut-butter jar.
But if it’s important to him?
Makes him happy?
Maybe even loved…?
Then I can do this small thing.
In fact, I’m determined to have the cleanest peanut-butter jar in town.
And if you ever find yourself anywhere near our area, I hope you’ll stop by ’cause I’d love to make you a peanut-butter sandwich. Or have that youngest son of ours make you one. He makes the best.
But there should be a nice place for you to sit in the parlor.
And you’ll be sure to admire the amazingly spotless peanut-butter container, won’t you?
Because he sure does.
He likes it that way.
But better than that?
He loves me.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~ Philippians 2:4
In His grace,
*Parlor photo is with thanks to Allison Harp