Sunday, March 20, 2011

Attitude Adjustment

Some days I just think about  my "to do" list and I want to crawl right back into bed. In fact, not long ago I was so discouraged , tired and overwhelmed. Without much support from a 2.5 children per family society and little appreciation from my precious children, I wondered how I could even get from morning to bedtime on any given day !
No matter how hard I worked I never got ahead at the homefront. I felt like the stove and the washing machine were constantly on all day. On top of that, the dishwasher was running at the same time as I scrubbed a sinkful of dishes !
Showers and baths had to be timed just right or we literally ran out of hot water and I would have to boil water to finish filling the tub !
Even then I had to be very careful since I would try to multitask and boil the kettle, run the washer and the vacuum and blow a fuse every time.
All this while I tried to teach less than willing children to participate cheerfully in household duties.
Around the same time I took up the difficult challenge to stop yelling at the boys - I know, good moms don't yell at their kids. I nearly imploded...
Then the most wonderful thing happened. I got an attitude adjustment ! It was a Sunday morning church service, the kind made just for you. I listened as the woman speaking talked about all the same fustrations I was going through. And then she said it. That every time she would stretch a meal she did so gladly because Jesus would be at that table. Wow. Think about it.
I realized that I don't need to internalize or experience deep maternal satisfaction each time I change a dirty diaper or wipe a runny nose. It doesn't matter all that much if my children notice that I slaved over a stove most of the day or calloused my hands cleaning the house. It matters that God Himself is The Father of each member of my family and that He appointed me guardianship. Whether or not anyone else cares it pleases God when I wash those little faces, hold their hands or read them stories. God is at my table when I serve their breakfast , lunch or dinner. And it's worth the extra effort to put out nicer napkins or remember the salt and pepper.
Ever heard of the expression "God is in the details "? I think about that quite a bit now. It's always that extra little effort that shows someone how much you care. It's making a "smiley" face with their ketchup when you serve their eggs, or fixing their crooked clothes even though you will be home all day and it doesn't seem to matter. How about tucking a surprise into their pocket just so they can find it. Or winking at them when you make eye contact accross the room. It is so easy when you think about it. And when I do these things I can imagine God giving me a "thumbs up" , smile or nod.
So I'm still busy and I'm still tired but I'm encouraged. I feel like my life has a purpose. To be God's outstretched hand to my family.And by the way - our husbands are part of our families too. What about tucking a note into his lunch bag ? Or offering a smile or complimenting the way he handles a parenting moment.
I've found now that as I think on what God would have me do my list does get shorter. There are some things that simply can be left off or left to when there is time.
How long is your "to do list " ? Are there things you should be doing ? Are there things you can just let go of ?

Daughter of the King, wife to Richard
mother to five beautiful boys
"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God !"
I John 3:1


  1. Thanks Carolyn. I appreciate this. My prayer the last few mornings has been "God, help me to worship You as I parent my children."