It's just when I sit down to do that it's almost like I'm saying to myself (yes, I talk to myself) like Solomon in Ecclesiastes..."vanity, vanity....it's all vanity...." The dilemma here is that there is a lot less that I have to write about because here's the flip side: sometimes this problem of wanting things to matter makes me think that those little things that I'm doing with the kids or at home in general are insignificant.
Isn't it easy to think that since you're not in the middle of Africa feeding starving children, that what you're doing doesn't really matter?
Yes, yes, in my mind (to which I do talk...apparently a lot) I KNOW what I do at home is important...that it matters, but in my heart of hearts...in my in most being where I am instructed to keep it with all diligence...I'm not sure I buy it.
Then sometimes I'm reminded....
Last night the Children and I were reading mountain born by Elizabeth Yates. I have tried to read this to the kids before and we had a hard time getting past the language. It's not hard. The words are not big. The details are described in such a way that it, in the past, we had tired from the reading of all of them. I'm not even sure that we finished it last time.
It has been different this time. Isn't it funny how God does that?!
Here is a passage from our reading last night that has stuck with me even this morning...
"Benj stretched out by the fire, then he looked up at the sky with its sprinkling of stars. He had one prayer, prayed as long as he could remember, and in it he asked no blessing or protection."
"Thank you, God," he said, and his voice was like Biddy's in it's rumbling tenderness, "for another day."
"To Benj, life was a journey heavenward, and each day was a step toward that whole of goodness which he knew now in part. He closed his eyes and sleep drew around him like a light curtain. A smile bent its bow across his lips. He loved his simple life, unchanging greatly from day to day or year to year, expect as the flock grew and new lambs replaced the older sheep, a life that bound him to the creatures in his care and helped him to understand them." (p. 59 mountain born)
You see, Binj is a shepherd. It is a simple life of sameness. It probably is a stinky job, filled with sheep who, again smell bad and aren't the smartest creatures on earth. Yet, he loves it. He sees the beauty in the simple life that has been handed to him through his Creator's hands. He knows that his life, his work has big implications that might seem small to the outside world but that doesn't seem to bother him at all. He is a blessed man and he knows it and he is teaching and training young Peter along the same path of praise and thanksgiving. This is wisdom.
There he is doing it again...God, our backwards God
...making the very small into things that might just change the world...
In the midst of potty training, math worksheets, sibling rivalry, walks to the library, reading books, dictation, making breakfast...lunch..and dinner, and then there is cleaning...always cleaning, I can hear this voice bellowing out of my heart, "what am I doing?! what does it all matter?!" It all seems, well small.
Working with people that can hold a conversation. Getting a degree in something that really matters. Being out there, taking on the world. Doing. Something. Sometimes that is what seems to matter most of all.
This story of a simple man with a very simple job is simply convicting to my ever wandering, forgetful heart. Is there anything really any more important than what I am doing now? Is there any degree or work that can replace the things that I am doing at home? Is there any person that knows and can care for my children and husband as I do? Can I really have "it all"?
Is it really about what I am doing or is it really about what GOD is doing through me that matters most of all?
The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Amen. Psalm 23:1-6
Thank you Lord, for this high and most holy calling. Let me not forget how blessed I am to spend this wisp of time with these five loves of mine that I call dearest to my heart. ~Amen