They're just bunnies. Harmless, right?

I have a husband with allergies. When we were first married, dusting was high on my priority list. I invested in all kinds of microfiber tools to trap dust so it never even swirled into the shaft of sunlight that filled the living room. After our first baby was born, we both became somewhat addicted to the "show ready" state our house was in when we put it on the then-red-hot housing market so we could move to the country. We swore [read: I swore and thought I heard my husband's voice in unison with mine] never again to live in a messy house. No matter what.

And this picture was taken a mere 6 years later. These dust bunnies are the view underneath my bed. Almost always.

This is the foot of my husband's side of the bed. I took this photo at 2 p.m. (I'm trying to be honest here. *deep breath!* It's not easy!) The bed is still unmade.  Even worse - gasp! - my husband's sheets and blankets are untucked. Again.

It would be so easy to get tangled up (ahem) in the details. Like the tousled sheets, the unmade bed, the dust bunnies threatening to carry us off into the dark night.

I just taught my daughter the meaning of the word "forfeit" today, so that I could use this sentence as I teach her...over and over and over again: "You have a choice whether or not to forfeit the joy in this moment because you are disappointed about the way life is". I'm hoping she'll learn now a truth it took me 30 years and cancer to really believe.
For·feit   Verb   /ˈfôrfit/   1. To lose or be deprived of a right or privilege as a penalty for wrongdoing: "those who refuse to sleep in bed with their spouses because of frustration over dust bunnies beneath may forfeit their marital rights"; 2. to lose or give up something as a necessary consequence of something else: "she didn't mind forfeiting an extra hour snuggling into her husband's beckoning arm to get up and vacuum their bedroom".

The truth is this: what happens underneath my bed has much less bearing on what happens on top of it than I previously thought.

When I grudgingly follow my husband to bed at the childishly early hour of 10 p.m., and feel the disdain leech steadily, easily out of my trunk, into my limbs and down and out of my fingers as he wraps me in a spoon-hold...

When he kisses the back of my earlobe and the worry of the day melts away like butter on the hot cast iron skillet in morning...

When our hushed conversation slows and our breath holds a rhythm and mingles in our space, dancing in and out of our chests to the same beat as sleep hovers like our heavy down quilt on conscious thought...

The last thing either of us is thinking about is dust bunnies.

In the dark and silence of our bedroom at night, there is no stack of folded clothes waiting to go into the dresser. There is no sand in the sheets. There are no bugs caught in the light fixture. The dust bunnies and messy room floats away into the dark and disappears for eight glorious hours until God wakes us with an orange-and-turquoise sunrise cresting behind the lyrical cottonwood.

I lost most of my microfiber tools in the move. I've never replaced them. And my husband has never said a word about it.

Oh what peace we often forfeit,
oh what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

I wonder what other "harmless bunnies" I am forfeiting my peace and blessing for? Let my desire to be wife extraordinaire, woman worth far more than rubies never turn my heart into the thorny ground. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. (Romans 12:2)