I've been reminding myself that for today, these are the things that are mine to do well. It doesn't matter what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow. All I know is that I have today and even if my little things seem so unimportant, I still need to give them my very best.
I've been realizing lately how important it is to be faithful in the small. To press on through the things that aren't my favorite and do them right, even when I don't feel like it.
The truth is, sometimes I feel like staying home with my kids is causing my brain to drip out my ears. I miss using that brain of mine---the one that I feel like I lost part of when I had each child. I miss crunching numbers in an accounting office and I miss challenging myself mentally. I miss knowing that everyday, I'm guaranteed to have adult conversations.
I know that all Mamas go through seasons where the daily stuff seems unimportant. I go through seasons where I feel like I'm meant for more than this, but when I remember how blessed I am, I feel horrible for thinking that way.
See, I don't like cleaning, but I love a clean house. You guys, I don't like sweeping my floor or doing laundry and there's no end in sight to those things. For the rest of our lives, it's likely that we'll be wearing clothes, getting them dirty and I'll be the one washing them. It's inevitable.
What I've realized lately is that when I'm doing these things that I don't enjoy, I have two choices. I can either do them with a grumpy attitude, or I can do them cheerfully. I'm trying to choose joy, even when the things that need to be done don't feel like they carry any significance.
It's very easy for me to look at all the Mamas that are out there going to writing conferences, going to big speaking events, spending time in coffee shops writing alone for hours and honestly, I'm completely jealous of them. What I want to know is how they do it. I mean for real, where are their kids? Who's holding down the fort? I know, don't I sound horrible?
But, it's the truth.
They are leaving their homes and their families to go pursue their interests for not just an hour here or there, but for days at a time. There are actually women who are getting on airplanes, without their kids and listening to books on iPods while they fly places, to do things that seem so much more important than what I'm doing right now.
Today the rain fell for most of the day. I drove kids to and from preschool. I washed the curtain for the slider door and the shower curtain, because someone with messy hands had grabbed it far too many times, on the way to wash their hands. I grocery shopped with kids, made sandwiches and put kids down for naps. I put kids in time outs for telling me no and that I'm not in charge and then I prayed with that child. I took kids outside and after 3 minutes, they were muddy and wet. I made dinner, nursed a baby before bed and sang her songs in the dark.
And I look at that and feel like my life is so small. But, that's a lie. My life isn't small and neither is yours. So, how can we make this job feel like it matters?
We can get up each day and be the best that God created us to be. We can be faithful in the small and do all of our little things well. And we don't have to stop there. We can also chase after the things that tug at our hearts, while remembering that this other stuff is important, too.
I am so restless, but I know that all of this matters.
The smiles matter. The efforts to be kind and patient matter. The sandwiches, diapers and spills that I clean up matter.
The truth is that Mothering isn't easy, but it's also not a trap. We're raising people here and it's a joy and a privilege. I'm trying to remember everyday that our kids know if we're enjoying them or not. The last few days I've been guilty of not enjoying this time with them like I should be. They know if I'm just trying to manage them or I'm truly enjoying my days with them.
Tomorrow is new and before tomorrow even begins, I'm committing to remember that lots of little things add up to big things. All of these little things matter.
Be faithful in the small things because it is in them that your strength lies. - Mother Theresa
I love this video so much that I need to share it here. This is for all of my Mama friends. What you're doing matters.