Monday, September 10, 2012

To bloom in native bower

I read this article the other day quoting an interview with Michelle Obama. The first lady casually observed that staying home with her girls could be boring. She enjoyed her work outside of the home and was glad to juggle both. {my paraphrase}

Any time someone describes your day-in, day-out work as boring, hackles raise. Boring connotes dullness, weariness, devoid of challenge or excitement. As if I sit around all day wondering what to do while my children buzz about their lives {anyone who has met a child can guess that isn't a mom's day}.

Boring. It irks me. I hear the same sentiment rephrased by so many people: That might be alright for you, but I need something more. I can't just be a stay at home mom. And I want to lash back with how difficult my day is, and how I keep my mind active, and how important my family is.

Then a little voice says, Aren't you bored sometimes? What about when big one insisted on singing "Old MacDonald had a Farm" every second she was strapped into a car seat for a year?! After months of coming up with animals to imitate {our MacDonald runs an exotic farm}, did I not dread hearing 'Mommy, we sing I-O-I-O'? Am I not bored during the 4th daily kitchen clean up? or the 400th time reading through 'Corduroy'? {yes, yes, I love that book too. I just don't want to read it again... ever}

Our daily rhythm is full of beautiful moments, but that isn't our whole day. So many hours are monotonous busyness, getting-life-done moments. Common. Mundane.

And I am ashamed of how small my world is.

And I wonder why anyone asks about my day knowing that it is mostly messes I cleaned up and phonics I over-emphasized.

Blogging is hard from this perspective. Life is hard from this perspective. Who wants to feel small and tedious?

But boring has blessing.

I once heard, now I don't remember where, that we are never more like Jesus than when we are serving. My small life presents endless opportunity for Jesus practice: serving clueless people who don't understand most of what you say. Pouring out self only to face more demands. It's exhausting work.  Daily meekness lessons.

But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peacePsalm 37:11

This momma practice of decreasing has the potential to mirror God in detail mostly missed this side of heaven.

And my joy comes not from my children, but from seeing God increase.

Only in a kingdom where the king takes off his robe to wash the feet of homeless men, momma lives of unwanted chores are turned to brilliant lighthouses. Only in God's other worldly values is mommahood a cherished career with value immeasurable.

Not because we work so hard. Or because our children are the future. But because we are allowed Jesus practice. Our service points to the servant king.

In "Prayers for Children," I found this:
God, make my life a little light within the world to glow: a little flame that burneth bright wherever I may go.
God make my life a little flower that giveth joy to all, content to bloom in native bower, although the place be small.
~~M. Betham-Edwards
Maybe a prayer for mommas as well. Content to serve an enormous God in a small world.

1 comment:

  1. I loved your thoughts on this Katie. I think all mommas are hard working women whether they stay at home or work. Sometimes even when I imagine how different my life will be in a few months, coming home from work and making dinner, and loving on Baby and so many other things I will need to do, I always think of how difficult it would be to do all those things during the day and give my child all the attention I want to if I was at home. You are there for your girls each and every day and that, I know, is a blessing to both you and them:)


Your thoughts are important. I love to read them.


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