"We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry."
E. B. White
On New Year's, I wrote down "finding the joy in what I do" under the spiritual goals column. I have a very specific reason for that goal: Kathryn. I want to model for my little girl a woman happy to be doing the will of God, even when it involves dishes, mopping the floor, doing the laundry. I certainly don't expect her to remember a cheerful Mary Poppins (more on that in a later post perhaps ;o) floating around the house with a song on my lips as I slide up and down bannisters. However, I also don't want her perception of homemaker to include the culture's idea of drudgery, a lazy mind or mournful sighing.
Something jumped out of Scripture a few months ago and stuck to the rather fuzzy corners of my brain. (Contrary to modern science, I believe motherhood causes a specific kind of brain fuzz which looks suspiciously like lint from the millions of loads of laundry.) Wandering... OK, we are to pray for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. The general thought is that His purposes will be accomplished on earth. But what stuck with me is that little word "AS"- how IS His will done in heaven? Anticipation, joy, praise. These words describe the angels' attitudes as they wait upon the King. And in serving my family, I am, too, waiting on the King. My variation on the Lord's Prayer for this year has become: "May I do Your will on earth just as joyfully as it is done in heaven!"
Lowering certain expectations (shock! my child will survive if I don't do X), raising those that matter in eternal significance (a zero tolerance for sin in my heart and in the hearts of those under my charge), taking specific steps in a joyful direction (associating the sound of little feet with the muscles of my face that make a SMILE)- these are just a few things I've been doing lately.
Along with reading C.S. Lewis and listening to E.B. White, and P.L. Travers. Along with backing up the Audio CD when my kids lose the plot to the giggles. Along with baking cookies for bedtime snacks with milk. Picking grapes and sorting laundry, I suppose.