The Five Star Restaurant in My One Star House

by Faith Bogdan

I woke up on the wrong side of the house this morning—the catastrophic side.

I was mad. “Somewhere on this planet there are children who pick up after themselves without being asked! I yelled said in a slightly elevated voice. (Though I wasn’t exactly sure it was true.)

Then I lost it.

I really lost it. Four pairs of eyes watched me punctuate the last three words by stomping my foot on. the. floor. I left them cleaning, soberly, of their own volition.
I came back later and walked into a restaurant. Apron-clad chefs and servers bustled about at lunch hour. Would I like to join them, they asked? A quick visual survey revealed a room finally uncluttered enough put my nerves to rest. I decided a hurried “lunch out” wouldn’t hurt.

I took a seat. Party of one. How long had this restaurant been in business? I wondered.

I browsed the menu.

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“Would you care for some mac-and-cheese?” The young waitress asked.

“No thank you,” I said. “I’ll have the leftover meatloaf from last night. Wouldn’t want you to have to throw that out.”

“Could I interest you in a pickle chips appetizer?” She was a natural.

“Yes, if you have any left of the hot-sweet variety.” I said.

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Lunch was served. The wait staff dined with me. It was gracious of them. I looked them in the eyes and fully owned the morning’s words and actions, owing nothing to hormones.

Children forgive so easily.

We ate together—they, full of happy, leg-swinging chatter. Me, finally drinking it all in.

They had a decent handle on ambiance. Classical guitar and candles. Better than most places. “Please feel free to write a review,” the manager said as I left the table. I was already planning on it. Five star. Best meal for the money.

I walked around the premises of the restaurant. I strolled through the adjoining rooms. There were things I never noticed before. Namely, everything. 

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How had I missed the craft amid the clutter?

When did I stop seeing, stop living? When did I stop stopping?

Somewhere along the way I have traded in homemaking for housekeeping.

But my own heart I have not kept.

“Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it flows the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23

I hid myself away from the wait staff and sat on the edge of my bed and cried.

How long will I keep going, going, going until I go off on them all over again because I refuse to see—savor—the spirit-food they provide in the middle of my selfish desert of neat and orderly living?

My life and all its demands for cleanness has been sterile for too long.

I want to keep discovering my children while there is still time, while there is still a mess in which to make discoveries.

About the Author

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Faith Bogdan is the author of the book, “Who Are All These Children and Why Are They Calling Me Mom?” She writes and speaks to moms and general audiences about living “well loved” by God, and also serves alongside her husband as co-pastor of Wellsburg Neighborhood Church in Wellsburg, New York. Faith and Dave reside in a “little cabin in the big woods” in the rolling hills of northern Pennsylvania with their four girls. You can click here to visit her blog.

The Giveaway

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We’re giving away a copy of Faith’s book to one of you! Faith will be speaking at the Raising Generations Today Conference in March 2014. Be sure to stop by the Raising Generations Today site to see what’s new and how you can connect.

To enter,  use the rafflecopter form below.

Giveaway ends on July 9, 2013 at 12:00 am.

Congratulations to  Katie Anderson Labosier for winning this giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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27 Comments

  • Reply
    Meg Sparks Soper
    July 3, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Thank you for reminding me to stop and see the forest through the trees this morning!

    • Reply
      Faith Bogdan
      July 3, 2013 at 9:42 am

      I think all us moms need to be reminded on a regular basis! (I know I do.) Thanks, Meg. 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa Hill
    July 3, 2013 at 8:47 am

    What kind and sweet children you have raised…I wonder where they learned those attributes? 🙂

    • Reply
      Faith Bogdan
      July 3, 2013 at 9:41 am

      From their daddy! 😉

  • Reply
    Darcey Zahaykevich
    July 3, 2013 at 9:59 am

    It is hard to remember to stop. I do get very “busy” doing instead of loving my kids. The other day I was kissing my baby when I realized I hadn’t done that for my older kids, so I did it. It was great! Thanks for the reminder.

    • Reply
      Faith Bogdan
      July 3, 2013 at 10:03 am

      That’s a good reminder, Darcey! It’s so easy to forget that the older ones still need lovin’s. 🙂

  • Reply
    Mandy Scarr
    July 3, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Love this! I am pregnant with my first–and so thankful to you for the reminder that in the midst of the soon-to-be craziness I will need to stop and BE (something I’m not good at in life in general!). Excellent post!

    • Reply
      Faith Bogdan
      July 3, 2013 at 10:29 am

      Thank you Mandy. And congrats! I’d give anything to go back and hold my newborns…. Savor every moment.

  • Reply
    Alessandra
    July 3, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Thanks for a great message. My kiddos are with their grandparents for summer fun for a few days and we have been talking & praying about fostering a calmer home and more playfulness when they get home. Great reminder, thank you! I will be getting this book!!!

    • Reply
      Faith Bogdan
      July 3, 2013 at 11:09 am

      I hope you have a calm and playful summer, Alessandra. Who knows–maybe you’ll win the book today! 🙂

  • Reply
    Amy Tilson
    July 3, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I often don’t, but I think there may be a new rail system that I need to go check out. Thanks for the reminder!!

    • Reply
      Faith Bogdan
      July 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      As in train rail? I take it you have boys? I know nothing about that, but a rail system sounds fun! 🙂

      • Reply
        Amy Tilson
        July 11, 2013 at 6:36 pm

        Oh yes, the track layout changes daily and I have to see it every time. I have one little 4 1/2 yo boy. 🙂

  • Reply
    Zohary Ross
    July 3, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Thank you so much for this. I lost my temper with my youngest yesterday (we’re potty training, enough said.) But they are SO quick to forgive. I too have been guilty of trading in homemaking for housekeeping but I’m working on slowing down. thanks for your words today.

    • Reply
      Faith Bogdan
      July 3, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      Thank YOU, Zohary. 🙂

  • Reply
    Katie Labosier
    July 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    This is an area that I really need to grow in. I really try to ask myself what’s important- i.e. a clean kitchen or looking at my kids fort?

    • Reply
      Faith Bogdan
      July 3, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      Just when I think I’ve finally answered that correctly, I get tested on it again! Probably will until they leave home. Thanks for the comment, Katie.

  • Reply
    Ann Willey
    July 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Wow. You stopped me at the difference between homemaking and housekeeping. I’ll be reflecting on that one for a long time.

    • Reply
      Faith Bogdan
      July 3, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      Me too, Ann! Every day. 🙂

  • Reply
    LNood
    July 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Great reminder. I think every mom needs to intentionally stop and enjoy homemaking amid the daily grind of childhood chaos.

  • Reply
    Brooke
    July 4, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Thank you for the post. A good reminder to enjoy the sweet moments with our little ones! How often I forget when in the midst of “life”!

  • Reply
    mandi p
    July 5, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I so often feel this way, would love ot read that book!

    • Reply
      Faith Bogdan
      July 13, 2013 at 7:42 am

      I’m looking forward to finding out who won a copy of the book! It says ebook on the contest link, but it is actually a hard copy that I’m giving away. If you’re not the winner, Mandi, the book is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com (as well as large Christian bookstore chains across the country, like Lifeway and Family Christian).

  • Reply
    Amy May
    July 5, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Sigh. I have that “foot stomping” scenario too often in my house. Only by God’s grace do I continue to grow and leave my selfishness behind!

    • Reply
      Faith Bogdan
      July 5, 2013 at 11:57 pm

      Amy, isn’t it good to know we are not alone, and that there IS hope for change? 🙂

  • Reply
    Mary
    July 8, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Love you Sister! You are an awesome Mommy!

    • Reply
      Faith Bogdan
      July 13, 2013 at 7:39 am

      Aw, thank you, Mary. So are YOU! <3

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