The mud marks swaggered boldly across the gold carpet, marched around the freshly washed kitchen tile, meandered down the hall, stopped at the bathroom sink—then ended in scattered clods of earth on the porch and down the front steps. It all must have happened in the space of my quick dash to a “borrowing neighbor.”
“Joel! Jo-el Da-vid!” I called. My mother-mind had quickly assessed to which culprit the mud marks belonged: the great house despoiler, Joel David Mains. Two small figures came bounding joyously from the back yard, their snowsuits besotted and begrimed—my son and his pal Georgie. Georgie is five, but in stature he is eight, causing him to lope and stumble like an adolescent puppy
“What have you been doing?” I demanded.
“Playing in the back yard,” came the reply.
“No! No! What have you been doing in my house? There’s mud from front to back!” I cried.
Innocently, both boys checked their boots. All four were huge clods of clay properly cemented to moldering fall leaves.
“It was Georgie,” maintained the ever-loyal Joel. “It was Joel,” countered Georgie, a little slower on the draw.
Obviously chagrined by a mother who would make so much over such a minor incident, Joel volunteered more information. “Georgie/just/wanted/a/glass/of/water.” Each word was pronounced in a separate, distinct tone, in a manner reserved for communication with a half-wit.
“Well,” I replied, also being deliberately distinct, “the next time Georgie wants a glass of water, tell him to/get/it/in/his/own/house.” And having had the last word, I dismissed them.
Within minutes, aided by a wet rag and vacuum, I erased the telltale evidences. Glancing at the clock I discovered that two lovely hours remained before the older children arrived home from school.
Grabbing my Bible, I crept past the baby’s door listening for the reassuring pattern of his breathing, then on to my very own place—a seat beneath the big window where I can see the sky, blue or gray.
A little hurriedly I whispered, “Here I am again, Lord. It’s Karen. What have You to teach me today?”
Karen Mains has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
For decades, Karen Mains and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
In addition, pastors will find special resources to help them create effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.