I have this huge pet peeve. I hate getting ready for bed. I was one of those kids who would do anything to avoid bedtime. Suddenly, I’d be engrossed in an educational book, find myself picking up my room, memorizing a bible verse… I would drag my feet and plead to stay up just a little bit longer. The parents knew, and it was all to no avail.
Fast forward twenty years. I’ve been grown and out of the house for a long time now, but I still have trouble closing out the last 30 minutes of the day. It isn’t the components themselves; I like brushed teeth and the clean feeling of my body after a shower. It isn’t the cleanliness of it at all. It is, perhaps, the timeliness of it.
A full morning-up to sundown, it could take me anywhere. I’ve found my job to encompass so many roles, it’s like I’m starring every actor in my own play. I’ve worn the hat of a recruiter, talking to strangers and convincing them to join IVCF or the Pink House. I am a teacher, researching and preparing to facilitate discussion on topics like poverty and racial reconciliation. I am a cat catcher, yes; I have the profound role of edging into the crawl-space of the house and catching our feral cat kittens. Any given day you will find me directing Wise Old Owl, reading with kids, taking young mothers to get groceries, answering phones, creating brochures, casting vision to students, passionately speaking in public venues, being a mentor and role model, taking care of house maintenance, and cooking for groups of 10 and more. You might find me mothering, confronting, grieving with others, joining a dance party, breaking down scripture, evangelizing or working out. And it’s all in a days’ work, all just part of the job.
How incredible is it to work in a position that simply asks me to live life well and on purpose? To be caught up in the Shalom Plan of God and bring others along with me on the journey?
So it hits 11:13 at night and I’m struggling to keep my eyelids open. Everything in me begrudgingly decides it must be time to wrap it up. I wander in and start with the teeth; scrub, scrub, until the electric timer on the Sonicare decides to shut off. Dental flossing takes forever, but with my record, it is a non-negotiable. Up and down, in and out… I’m feeling good that my head is halfway taken care of. I slop the squishy soap into my palms and gently take my fingertips around each contour of my face. Rinsing gets meticulous, as no water can get into my ears, and so I move to my toes. For whatever reason, if I haven’t showered, I have to wash my face and my feet before I can sleep well. So, I sit on the edge of the bathtub and run water over my legs and dirty feet. Toweled off, I’m finally ready to slumber. And thanking God that I got through my bedtime routine, I slip into another world.