In one of my earliest moments of rebellion, I asked Mama why did I have to iron Daddy's handkerchiefs if he was going to stuff it in his pocket and use it to blow his nose on. Let's call it a bent towards efficiency, not lazy, rebellious kid. My Aunt Betty was nuts for a lot of reasons, but one of them was for ironing her sheets and nightgowns. Whew! At least Mama didn't go down that road.
My brother, Buddy, was a great influence on my life, not always for good reasons. But one thing he did was learn to iron. When Mama asked him why, he told her, "Because I may not have you or the girls (my sister, Nancy, and I), or a wife to do it for me." What a liberated guy! Consequently, I have stalwartly refused to iron for Tom for lo, these many years.
One day Mama came by while I was ironing and wanted to know why I wasn't "crimping" the sleeves on the dress like I was supposed to. Blank stare, then rebellion kicked in again. "Mama, I'd rather spend more time with Mary than her clothes. She'll look just fine and she really doesn't care if the sleeves are crimped. And by the way, that's also the reason I don't polish her walkers (white leather high tops) after every time she wears them."
Holy guacamole! Now it was Mama's turn to have a blank stare. Don't get me wrong, I didn't say it harshly or disrespectfully, but I knew what was important to me, and it wasn't spending more time on laundry than my precious baby.
I was ironing curtains last week. Every summer I launder all the curtains in the house. It was kind of a Mama thing until Tom told me that he appreciated the way it made our house look and feel. That's important to me, too, and that he feels the same way. But it started me to thinking about other things I do out of habit instead of importance, kind of a priorities check up.
I don't mean brushing my teeth or not leaving dirty dishes on the counter. Getting hung up on dumb things like making sure the towels are folded a certain way (because that's how we had to fold them to fit in the linen closet in our house when I was six). I'm all about having an orderly desk, but seriously, as long as we can find what we need and the door closes, who cares what the linen closet looks like?
Tom and I are also all about good stewardship. We believe we should take care of what God has blessed us with, houses, cars, stuff . . . kids, family, friends. But He also blessed us in order for us to enjoy those blessings, not fret over them.
Do you have any habits that make you ask yourself, once in awhile, "Who does that anymore?" I'm not sure I can always differentiate between being OCD and being a good steward, can you? Where do you draw the line?
2 In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.