Most Hilarious Article


by Karen Harter

“The new day yawns, stretching its golden arms of light through my smudge less kitchen window. Fresh flower adorn the table, and there is not a crumb in sight. I awake to the aroma of freshly ground coffee and spring from the bed, anticipating another perfect day. As usual, I spend the next half-hour doing my advanced aerobic workout. I am a graceful gazelle. Ah, it’s great to be alive.

After a shower and a breakfast quiche and grapefruit, I skim the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Sometimes I write a poem or a love letter to my congressman.

My husband steps out of the bathroom wearing nothing but a towel and little beads of water. He looks like something sculpted by Michelangelo. This is obviously a man who has been served only the finest fare; there’s just something polyunsaturated about him. He finds his socks in the sock drawer all by himself, and dresses for work. After neatly folding his pajamas and depositing his we towel in the hamper, he joins me for coffee and meaningful conversation.

Gazing out at our immaculate lawn and gardens, we discuss our home, the children, and our future. He asks me how I believe the turn of events in Eastern Europe will influence end-time events, my comments are brief, but well reasoned, and once again he is amazed at my insight and knowledge of the Scripture and world affairs.

With a tender good-bye kiss, he presses something into my hand, and as he drives out of sight I read the scrawled note:

‘Anthony’s Restaurant on the Bay, 7 p.m. Wear your red dress.’

By now the children have rubbed their little eyes and wandered out to the kitchen. I notice that they are already dressed in darling matching outfits, and their hair is combed. Big brother helps little brother into his chair and asks if there is anything he can do to help with breakfast. He carefully empties the Wheaties into two bowls. There is a big, suitable framing picture of Michael Jordan on the cereal box.  The two boys eye the bow. Finally, little brother pushes the box across the table. “You can have it.”

“No, you take it…I insist,” answers his brother with sincere generosity…

The clamor of angry voices from the other bedroom invades my flawless dream.

“Mom! Michael wet his bed, and now he’s getting into mine!”

“Oh, just a few more minutes,” I mumble. I try to go back into my dream, but it has escaped. Reality seeps in through reluctant eyes as I fumble for my old faithful sweat pants.

My husband is missing. The laundry basket has been dumped onto the bedroom floor and clothes are scattered, as if someone we looking for something.

There is a puddle and a wet towel on the bathroom floor, and by the hairy evidence on the counter I deduce that the culprit has trimmed his beard. I wipe up the mess with a frown.

Upon further investigation, I am relieved to see that the suspect has left a note. It is stuck to a melon with a toothpick.

“Honey: My lunchbox got run over by a backhoe. Please pick up a new one. Remember the phone bill. Love, me.”

OK. So I didn’t get up on time to have a romantic interlude with my husband. The day is still young.

I get breakfast on the table for the children and then sneak away to a corner of the living room with a Bible. The phone rings. It’s the church secretary, wondering if I have a committee report ready for her to type up today. I haven’t even written it yet. I slink back into my corner and open the Bible.

“Mom, you better come see what Mikey is doing!” warns a voice from the kitchen. I enter in time to see a gallon of milk tottering Michael’s arms. I dive. The save is spectacular enough to warrant an instant replay.

The phone rings again. It’s my dear friend Emily, who has five children and needs a break and wonders if I can watch her kids this afternoon. “Can I call you back?” I ask. She really has a lot of nerve…having five kids, I mean.

Finally, I tune in the morning workout on Channel 15 and plop down at the table with a cup of coffee. I pour syrup on the kids’ leftover waffles. (Well, I can’t just let them go to waste!) Mikey wonders past, dragging a dripping stiffed raccoon. “I washed Bandit in the toiwet,” he announces with pride. I don’t even blink. I just take another bit while staring numbly at Miss Perfect-Body, who is disgustingly cheerful and keeps insisting that we do “just one more.”

It is 10 a.m. and I and still unshowered and uncombed. I am on my hands and knees scrubbing jam off the linoleum, while mentally stewing my husband for not leaving the checkbook so I can pay the bills. Through the handprints on the on the sliding glass door I see tow brown legs. They are attached to a handsome UPS man who is looking down at me with an amused, Dennis Quaid sort of smirk.

I hate that. He probably thinks I am a messy, disorganized, undisciplined housewife. Oh yes, I know that’s what he’s thinking. He’s thinking my bangs are too short, and my children are unkempt, and those curtains look tacky with that wallpaper.

I draw myself up with what dignity I can summon, sign for the package ands end the still-smirking courier on his way.

“Oh, Lord,” I sigh, as the brown truck disappears from the drive, “I try so hard…”

My standards are high. I aspire for a model husband, clean, well-behaved children and a home that could at a moment’s notice, grace the cover of House Beautiful. Above all, despite numerous unsuccessful attempts, I expect myself to be consistently witty, efficient and cellulite-free. I am failing miserably.

“If only my family would be more cooperative…if only there weren’t so many interruptions…I glance at my reflection in my glass. “If only I were more perfect.”

A hush falls on my spirit. I recognize the strong, quite voice that whispers, “And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God!” in the momentary stillness, I back in the simple truth sinking through me.

The Lord will not be coming through the house tonight with a clipboard, checking off my accomplishments, noting imperfections with a frown. His requirements are not as stiff as my own; I am bathed in a grace that covers all flaws.

“Lord, if I strive for anything,” I pray, “let it be a perfect heart.”

I look around me with a smile, toss the cleaning rag toward the sink and head toward the phone call to Emily.”

From “Christian Parenting Today” Magazine

by Karen Harter


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