Tuesday, May 01, 2012


It is the inventorying that wearies me. The constant checking for what we need, what we're running low on, what we might have to have that no one is even thinking about today-- bug bite cream or dog shampoo, allergy medication or duct tape. When they reach for it, it should be there.

If you take a look at the list on the left, you'll see several different handwritings represented. Some of it is basic stuff: Comet, bread, mustard. Some of it is wishful stuff: new pencils, popsicles. (Check out the spelling-- cute!) But all of it is up to me to keep track of. I have trained my family (for the most part) to at least write it down when they use the last of it (progress!) and my husband will do the Target or grocery store run when I need him to. But it falls under my job description to know whether or not we need toilet paper. Whether the children's obscure project materials have been obtained. Whether we have ibuprofen on hand for the next headache.

(And yes, that little box the woman is holding says "You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me." I paid $9 on impulse for that little notepad because I knew it would make me smile. And I need to smile more when I am taking inventory, though I'm still not sure the $9 was worth it.)

I'd like to have some big point to all of this-- some huge spiritual analogy I can draw for you. But that would be forcing it and I'm just not up to that. I can tell you this: I'm trying to have a better attitude about the inventorying. I'm trying to look at how blessed I am to have children to buy tissue boxes for projects on our state, M&M's for the favors at yet another kindergarten party, and the neverending items for lunch boxes. I'm trying to smile as I write down "juice boxes" yet again. And I'm trying to count it all joy when I walk in a grocery store or Target for the third time in as many days. Because I have the means to purchase what we need, and I live in a country where those items are readily available. I'm not perfect at it. I still get grumpy when I find out that somehow we are out of bread and it is a school morning and there are more kids needing sandwiches than there are slices of bread in the bag.

But then I remember that it all works out, somehow. And we get what we need, our daily bread, our manna. And while the job of keeping track of it all does weigh on me at times, it's the job I most wanted to do when I dreamed of my adult life. I might not have anticipated the inventorying, but I did anticipate the blessings. I just have to count those, even as I count how many bandaids are left in the box, how many rolls of paper towels are on the shelf, and how many ponytail holders are scattered around the house.
Pin It!


Anonymous said...

What a great reminder that some of the things we dread the most (laundry, inventorying, washing dishes) are the results of our greatest blessings (our family, clothes to wear, food to eat, the ability to buy clothes and food when we need it)! You didn't need to draw a huge spiritual analogy. God clearly spoke to me through your post. I pray that I will accomplish those mundane tasks with joy because I am truly a blessed woman. Thanks for the reminder today!
Mary Lou

Brenda said...

This is a great post! I also hate keeping track of what we run out of, especially when one of the kids forgets to put what they need on the list, and only remembers to tell me when they've run out and need it this second! You're right though, this is what I dreamed my life would be - I always waned to be a mom. Now, hopefully I'll remember that the next time someone needs something right now.

Rebecca in SC said...

This is one of the things I find so difficult about being a wife and a mother of 5. I try, really try to keep up with THE list, but something is always missing, or we are out of, etc. at the wrong time!
I am a perfectionist so something missing or forgotten really drives me bonkers! Marybeth, you are such a great blogger and encourager. Thank you for being authentic, real and just plain honest (there's a homemade thesaurus for you!) Blessings to you and yours