Wednesday, May 12, 2010

All for God!

It's interesting how moms very rarely blog about sitting on the couch and eating cookies and letting the children dump every toy onto the living room floor. We've all done it (or something similar) though. It's just not blog-worthy I guess. Similarly, although I blog about our weekly Good Shepherd Garden Parties, you don't read here about how my mom and sisters always send me home with leftovers.... because I'll take them and make them stretch and not have to cook the next day! They joke about always asking me what's for dinner and me saying, "Leftovers." Most nights are NOT fancy, symbolic affairs around here.

Over the past few weeks several friends and I have continued the conversation about the perils of comparing ourselves with others. It's so tempting to put others on pedestals and think that they "have it all together." There is a nice little article about this today on Faith and Family Life. Check it out at:

None of us have it all together. It's awesome to share our successes, but important to be real and share our struggles too. Not all of that is blog-worthy or appropriate on a blog though. As I talk with my friends I want to repeat over and over again to them AND TO MYSELF.... "Be gentle to yourself.... Accept your talents and your calling and your shortcomings. Take care of yourself and your children and do your best with discipline, education, etc. Share ideas and experiences with others, but don't allow their brilliance or success to be a measuring stick for yourself. Celebrate them for who they are and what they are doing. Keep praying and walking day by day with God and with your family. You are doing what you're meant to be doing." (Note: I mostly say this to MYSELF!)

Last week one of my favorite bloggers, Elizabeth Foss (see her blog "In the Heart of My Home" in my sidebar) posted this quote by Kathleen Norris:

"It is a paradox of human life that in worship, as in human love, it is in the routine and the everyday that we find the possibilities for the greatest transformation. Both worship and housework often seem perfunctory. And both, by the grace of God, may be anything but. At its Latin root, perfunctory means 'to get through with,' and we can easily see how liturgy, laundry and what has traditionally been conceived of as 'women's work' can be done in that indifferent spirit. But the joke is on us; what we think we are only 'getting through' has the power to change us, just as we have the power to transform what seems meaningless--the endless repetitions of a litany or the motions of vacuuming a floor. What we dread as mindless activity can free us, mind and heart, for the workings of the Holy Spirit, and repetitive motions are conducive to devotions such as the Jesus Prayer or the rosary."

That quote has stuck with me all week. I continue to remind myself that what I am doing (as I take care of our house and do a zillion loads of laundry) is holy and does transform me. It is the work I do lovingly for the good of my family, but it is also the daily routine through which God meets me, empowers me, speaks to me. It is my prayer. It is not "beneath me" (since I DO have a graduate degree and USED TO do more worldy, "important" work). It is here in this work that I praise God daily, model so many virtues for my children, and work out my salvation.

Two little related quotes to close....

First, I remember being a young adult and attending a Jubilee celebration for my Great Aunt who is a Dominican Sister. I clearly remember her best friend preaching that day and saying, "The thing about the Christian life is it's so darn daily." She talked about the everyday challenges and devotions that make up a long life of following Jesus. I remember that frequently.... It's the little things we do each day that really shape our lives.

Finally, I love the saying I heard somewhere (?) that moms change the world "one diaper at a time." Thankfully, we are past the diaper stage here.... but we could certainly insert other tasks into this phrase. We truly do change the world one load of laundry, one home-cooked meal, one storytime at a time! We're experts at it! Embrace it! Whatever we're called to do today, let's do it for the glory of God!


  1. Katie, I too, compare myself to others and often feel like I could never be as smart, as organized, as pretty, as thin (the list goes on)...and then I think about the words in our preschool bathroom..."Be Yourself". Yes, I'm a pretty good person, and pretty smart, and pretty organized. And although I may not be as thin as I'd like to be, I know I'm pretty on the inside. And that's what really matters! And I'm doing God's work and that makes me happy! Isn't that what it's all about? Love you!

  2. Thanks for the inspiration and giving some perspective Katie! You are truly awesome! Becky