The Day a Robot Came to Play

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Not your average product review….

I love having clean floors. The entire house can be in cluttered disarray, but if the floors are clean I feel okay about life. With three small kids and a golden retriever, I’m fairly certain I could make keeping my floors clean a full-time occupation.

When my husband asked me if he could buy me a vacuum cleaner for Mother’s Day, I playfully cut him a sideways glance. But then he said the magical word, “Roomba.”

A week later, the brown box arrived on the front porch. Caleb, Ellie, and Levi stood with their faces pressed to the glass, their voices a little chorus like the seagulls from Finding Nemo.  “Mom! Mom! What is it? What is it? Is it a toy? Mom! What is it? Is it for me? Is it mine?” (Levi contributed his own excited squeals and grunts, loving the excitement)

Spying the word iRobot on the side of the box, and caught up in their childish excitement I said, “It’s for me. It’s a robot!”

Caleb and Ellie’s eyes went saucer-sized. “A robot?!”

“Is it pink? Is it pink?” Ellie wanted to know.

“Let’s open it. Mom, please. I want to open it.” Caleb bounced around the living room like a manic kangaroo.

Levi padded along as the caboose to the little train following me through the house, squealing his excitement.

I dubbed her Rooby, (pronounced Ruby) and from that moment forward a vacuum cleaner became a member of our family. (seriously)

Excitement buzzed through the house like a sugar high. Caleb and Ellie called her like a pet, and squealed as they pretended she went rogue and was chasing them. I thought I’d never get them in bed to leave the poor machine alone so that it could function as intended. Although, there was an undeniable level of fun coursing through our house that was impossible to resist.

At one point I turned around to find Ellie crumbling popcorn into microscopic bits and throwing it across the floor. “Ellie! No! Why are you doing that?”

She looks at me with her eyes wide and innocent. “I’m feeding Rooby.”

Seriously guys. If you need a laugh, spend a few hours at my house.

With everyone in bed, Rooby was able to move more than a few feet without bumping into kid toes. I was a little skeptical. The thing kept bouncing around the house in this haphazard pattern. My floor was filthy. How would this thing bounce around at random and get the entire floor clean? It wouldn’t even climb onto my high-pile rug.

I went to bed  with my floors at threat level disgusting. I pushed a button and I woke up to nearly perfect floors, including under all my furniture, the quarter-round on my baseboards, and the high pile rug. Happy Momma.

There have been many times in life that I have felt a lot like Rooby looked on her first run. I have a goal, but I have no idea where to start.Will I bounce around in circles forever, perpetually without direction? The challenges seem above what I can handle. Will I aim for Florida, but land in  the Arctic Circle? Am I wasting my time?

I don’t know if it was just me, or if it was a more generational phenomenon, but I came through my school years with the belief that I could become anything I wanted. I just needed to know my life direction by high school graduation, go to college, get a job, and the live the rest of my life. Life doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes the path changes, or you change. Guess what I learned. That’s okay.

I just want to take a moment to encourage anyone out there who feels a little lost, who needs to start new, or who are hesitant to start because the goal seems impossible.

And yes, I am using a robotic vacuum cleaner to encourage you. I’m sorry. I’m weird. God speaks to my weird little heart with things like vacuum cleaners and Catching Fire from The Hunger Games trilogy. (Ooo….that might make a good post for another day 😉 )

You know that annoying statement: “You never know unless you try”? It’s true. The more Rooby runs, the more efficient she becomes. In the dock, she is useless. Just sayin’…

My Roomba has chair legs, cabinets, and walls in her way. At first, she crashes into everything, spins, and starts again. But then the thing learns. Your crashes and restarts in life don’t have to be the end of your journey. Circumstances that fall through don’t have to be a waste. We can learn a better route. We can allow God to teach us. In His economy, nothing is wasted if we allow him to use it. Our pain. Our failure. Our rejection. When other people let us down. He can use it all.

With the heart of Christ as your compass, you might discover that your journey wasn’t as aimless as you thought. Like Rooby, a vacuum cleaner who became a friend to my children (and a blog post inspiration🙃), you might discover that God means for you to be so much more than you originally imagined.

Oh. And get a Roomba. Pet hair, dirt, dust, kid crumbs, toys under the furniture. She’s unstoppable. If anybody has any specific questions about the new addition to our family, I would be happy to answer.

 


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