Thursday, November 22, 2012

Small is okay

As I was busy tidying the house yesterday, getting exasperated at the fact that I would clean an area, only to come back two minutes later to find that tiny people had made yet another mess...  I thought about how small my life is.

My world is quite insulated at the moment. The bigger picture is kind of hazy. I find I am pouring all my time, and my energy, into so many things that feel very, very unimportant in the grand scheme of things. And it feels like so much of what I do just doesn't last. Cooking, cleaning, cuddling, washing, disciplining, entertaining, teaching... then go to bed and re-do it all again tomorrow.

My life is very small. Very insulated.

I get why that can be a bad thing. I don't think it's a good idea to get too caught up in housework, or other unimportant things. I sometimes question what exactly it is I do. Am I just wife and a mother? And why is that a problem... why the just? I think it's so easy to judge myself by society's standards. And so I continue to expect more from myself. If I am a stay at home Mum, I can't possibly just look after my family and my house. Surely I should do more! I should be working part time, or be on all sorts of committee's, or do something crafty, or be fundraising to feed the homeless, or something! Surely I am a useless drain on society unless I am doing more than being a stay-at-home-mum?

But I have this theory, that if more people in the world focused on their own little patch of the earth, making it better, taking care of the people they are closest to.... the world would be a much nicer place to live in.

And so right now, if all I can manage is to care for my family, a few chosen friends and the day-to-day running of my household.... that's okay. I'm not trying to put down the people who do lots of extra stuff. I know that I could stand to be more community minded, and I'm aware that it is possible to become too insulated and ignorant of the world and it's problems. There are people who can do more than I can. I really believe that balance is the key.

But at the same time, I'm not willing to sacrifice the needs of myself and my family for the 'greater good' (whatever that is?). I put a lot of work into my relationships, and into trying to meet the
needs of the people I love. Because I think it's important. For example I think if more spouses were more emotionally available, the divorce rate, and therefore the amount of broken families in this world, would be significantly lower. I don't subscribe to the idea that any idiot can be a mother. You only need to go have a chat to somebody working within the Department of Child Safety to see that.

I can't change the world. Really, I'm too small. I can't control other people, and make peace in the middle east. And I can't stop bad stuff from happening to good people. But I can pray, and be aware. And I can control me. My attitude, the way I respond when other people hurt me. I can work hard to make sure that people who have direct contact with me, (hopefully) will come away richer because of it. So much of the time, I can't do anything about other people's behaviour, or beliefs. But I can take care of my own. And I can do the best I can, even if it's in a very small way.

Friday, November 9, 2012

I get it now

Dear Mum,

Thank you.

Thank you for the hours spent washing dishes.

Thank you for cooking me so much good nutritious food, and making sure I never went to bed hungry (unless I deserved to!).

Thank you for the endless washing, and folding and ironing, because you wanted me to look my best.

Thank you for making my bed, and tidying my room, and vacuuming and mopping and dusting.

Thank you for making me learn how to do it for myself and for showing me why it was important. Thank you for showing me how to take care of others.

Thank you for driving me around to places I wanted to go, when you had plenty of other things you would rather have been doing.

Thank you for talking to me, and building a relationship with me, and for forgiving me when I said thoughtless, unkind things. Even when at times I wasn't sorry.

I'm sorry now.

Thank you for saying sorry when you were wrong, thank you for showing me how to apologise with grace.

Thank you for the nights you spent awake with me, when I was small, and thank you for the nights you spent awake praying for me when I was older, and was out with a boy. Those prayers are part of the reason why that boy is my husband.

Thank you that fear of your righteous anger, stopped me from doing many stupid things.

Thank you for making your house a home, and for making friends with that boy, and making him comfortable in your home. The time and energy you spent will be repaid with time spent with your grandchildren.

Thank you for living out your faith, and helping me to make it my own.

Thank you for being the kind of wife I want to be.

Thank you for your wisdom, your kindness, your gracefulness, your discernment, and your love.

Thank you for being my friend.

I get it now.

Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Proverbs 31:28-30

Friday, November 2, 2012

Just a thought

I had a mole removed a couple of days ago. It wasn't anything drastic. I have a family history of minor skin cancers, and very fair skin, so I have started getting my skin checked early. This mole wasn't even that worrying, it was just a little dark, and my GP is very thorough and cautions, so we decided to just get it removed.

It was on the top of my hand, just near the thumb. The removal was an easy, very straightforward process. But the waterproof dressing that I was supposed to keep on for 48 hours wouldn't stay on, since it was such an awkward spot. So, not long after it was removed, the dressing came off, and I just started using band-aids. And then not long after that, I didn't even worry about the band-aid.

Because the scar is in such a visible spot, I've looked at it a lot. A wound, which was open and visible in between the stitches, has slowly closed. The skin has quietly just been knitting itself back together, healing. It has hurt a little, but the pain hasn't been that bad.  In a few more days I can have the stitches taken out, and then before you know it, the whole thing will have healed, and unless you look closely at the scar, you'd never even know there was a wound there.

If my God, is so amazingly gracious, that he can make a tiny little cut on my hand heal so well like that, how much more care will he take with all of the big things that hurt me? He created our bodies to regenerate and restore themselves so cleverly. He truly is an omnipresent, awe-inspiring, being. Why do we concern ourselves so much with things that we have no control over? He is God. Just as he heals our bodies, so will be fix our troubles. It's not always a pleasant process. But it is for our good. He is always faithful, he always does what is best. He is God. And I need to let him be.

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