Wednesday, December 9, 2015

My humble offerings

For a long time, I labored under the unconscious illusion that Real Life is something that is happening out there to other people while I'm stuck in the kitchen washing dishes. It took me a while to realize that Real Life is happening right here, right now, while I'm doing something seemingly meaningless.

I used to think that I'm tied down, cooking meal after meal, while Great Deeds are just waiting to be done by people less encumbered. I cannot say that I grudged this duty of nurturing my family through wholesome food, but I used to think of it as trivial. Now I realize that the feasts I spread at our family table have a profound impact on us, our children, and our guests, for generations to come. 

I used to think of messes, misses and spills as unfortunate nuisances rather than learning opportunities. I still have a short temper, but I'm learning.

I used to think I would have time to exercise my talents and refresh my soul once I'm done with my duties; once I've folded the laundry, and mopped the floor, and nursed the baby to sleep. Now I realize I can exercise my talents and refresh my soul while doing all these things.

I've never had as little spare time as now (in an overall period of some months). I've never utilized my time better. My pursuits are all healthy and wholesome, free of watching silly movies, playing computer games or endless internet shopping. There's still time to pray (while nursing the baby), to read (while nursing, or old favorite classics with the children), to write (in concentrated bits, mostly late in the evening), to take walks, to catch up with neighbors.

For a long time, I thought I had little to offer; or rather, that I could have had a lot to offer, if only I weren't so bogged down with the trivial and mundane. Now I offer up my nights of disturbed sleep, my sacrifice of privacy and leisure time, my late-night work as I stand in the kitchen cleaning up long after everyone else is in bed. This, too, is glory. 

2 comments:

BFife said...

What a beautiful message, and so timely to so many of us!
Much peace.

Tina Coveney said...

Inspiring! Xx