Do you know the kind? Where all your best laid plans are swept aside for a million minor inconveniences that all add up to one major headache.
It was the kind of day where I think to myself, LORD! I trust in Your plan, but why in the world did You think it was a good idea to give me all these kids?! I am NON COMPOS MENTIS down here!
That kind of thinking always makes for a nice homey atmosphere.
Those kinds of days always turn me into a Mom Drone: Please put your cup in the sink. Don't hit your sister. Use a tissue. Flush the toilet. Please put your cup in the sink. Don't hit your sister . . . wait, FLUSH THE TOILET!!!!! Augggggh! . . .
And then you can see a big puff of smoke from my back as my circuits get overloaded and my control panel explodes.
Sometimes I really lose it and just start yelling. Okay, OFTEN I really lose it and just start yelling. And it is then that I start asking God to send me a balm for my nerves.
The form doesn't matter. In fact, I don't even have real words for this prayer -- I just think Help me! I need . . . something! over and over again.
And He helps me. Every single time. Sometimes it is in one of the kids, sometimes it is a perfectly timed phone call, and sometimes it is a word spoken into my heart.
Yesterday, during all my turmoil, I sat down to eat lunch and ended up reading an article at Faith and Family Live! that was my balm. Written by Marion Fernandez-Cueto, about Matthew 25, I was especially struck by this:
“I was hungry, and you gave me food, thirsty and you gave me drink,” read the
lector, and I saw, not my usual image of a soup kitchen, but the breakfast I had
cooked that morning for our hungry clan, my toddler’s waving sippy cup, the baby
“I was a stranger, and you welcomed me,” the reading
continued, and instead of the homeless shelter, I recalled my pregnancies, when
I’d struggled to embrace the arrival of a new and unknown little person.
“I was naked, and you clothed me” (God seemed to be whispering right in
my ear now) and I saw my children piling wet and giggling out of the bath,
snatching up clean pajamas from a stack of freshly folded laundry.
“I was sick and imprisoned”—my son, grumpy and bedridden with the flu—“and you came
to me”—all those trips upstairs with soup and stories and juice ...
I was about to roll my eyes (sippy cups and pj’s for Christ? Really?) but I found
they had filled instead.
“As surely as you did it to the least of these,
my brethren, you did it to me.”
Go and read the whole thing right here.
The article was a balm, but also convicting. When you are repeating the same tasks day after day, it is easy to feel bogged down in nothing short of drudgery. How many toilets can I be expected to cheerfully scrub, Lord? How many dinners can I cook for finicky toddlers (and older!) without becoming a little bitter?
But when I remember (or am reminded) to see my life for what it is -- a vocation of service -- everything I saw as drudgery becomes an act of love. An act of perpetual help.
Am I always going to happily go into the bathroom to scrub a(n UNFLUSHED! AUGH!) toilet with a smile on my face? Chances are slim.
Will I strive to remember that in serving my children, my husband , and my home, I am doing the least that I can do for Christ? You bet.