I had plans to leave my hubby here with my girls this afternoon and do something I’ve been looking forward to for weeks but his plans were delayed and now I can’t go. I curled my hair and put on a nice outfit. I am all ready. I’m feeling disappointed. It’s not a big deal. It’s just real life.
I am not getting my way. I am a wife and mom and my time is not my own to do with as I please.
Instead I am home this Saturday with crabby overtired children recovering from colds. We are trying to do chores and everyone has cried at least once. My four-year-old acts as though I’ve demanded she scale The Matterhorn every time I ask her to clean her room.
They have been bickering.
I have yelled.
I locked my bedroom door and tried to pray myself into some mature, kind, spoonfull-of-sugar motherhood and had practically every complete thought I’ve tried to pray interrupted by demands, questions, or whining. I yelled through my closed door while I tried to pray.
I am now going to spend my time cleaning and catching up around my house because that’s what needs to be done, and while I don’t throw myself on the floor and wail like my 4 year old, my heart is just as self-willed. Sigh. We’re all crabby and I’m now trying to help us through.
What is my quiet warfare today, when I’m blue and grouchy and I don’t want to clean or cook that special dinner I had to move from Thursday night (when I felt like doing it)?
How do I shift away from the temptation to resent the never ending mess and needs of home life?
It isn’t pretty today because I’m a sinner, I’m small-hearted, and I need grace upon grace.
I think my answer is the same today as it was Thursday: look again at my purpose and pray for the grace to choose the right posture.
If I’m to image the submitted service of Jesus and the joyful submission of the church to God, then will it not sometimes feel like a sacrifice? Will it not often be hard? Inconvenient? Will there not be times I need to choose to bless others over my own desires? One look at Jesus tells me it will, and often. How beautiful a blessing then, to consider he promises joy out of just such sacrifices and certainly those on a scale more than mere selfish concerns for my Saturday afternoon.
And my posture needs to still be willing and humble. I am not above the work of the home. I am not above being a servant to those I love because that is the Servant’s way. I must put others first and willingly accept the work of the day even (maybe especially) when it’s not going how I planned.
So I’m back to the laundry. I’m back to the kitchen sink. I’m back reaching out tenderly and with compassion to my kids. I’m back making a nice dinner for my husband even though I’m disappointed I had to cancel my plans for his.
These are small things amid all the true trials of life, but here I fight by trying to let go and serve in kindness.
I’ll make my bed and pray.
I’ll clear my table and invite.
I’ll clean my floor and fold underpants.
And by God’s grace, hopefully learn to enjoy not the mere results, but the bent knee as well.
May your aprons and bibles both be well-worn,
The Remedial Homemaker