Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Finding the extraordinary in my messy house

The weather has been gray and rainy for the past three days here. It is unusual in Florida to have too many days like this. Maybe it is because of the gloomy weather but lately I have been feeling a little bored and unfulfilled in my life. I feel like my life has been reduced to one monotonous day after another. I look forward to each day anticipating nothing more than whiny kids, a sink full of dishes, laundry and dirty diapers that never seem to end, and school work I cannot keep up with grading.
This morning, as I looked at my calendar, the day did not look much different than normal . Nevertheless, I dragged myself out of bed and as I did so I prayed that God would bless the day and help me to do my best to face the normal everyday challenges. Tim had the day off work for Veteran's Day and I would be spending my morning helping out in my son's pre-school classroom but the whiny kids, over abundance of dirty dishes and unending laundry would be the same. I was not feeling very energetic, or very grateful, as I went through the motions of yet another day of life as a stay-at-home mother. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my life... most of the time. I wouldn't want to be doing anything else and I know this is the path to holiness that God has chosen for me. I know all that but lately I have not been feeling it. I have not been feeling like my contribution to the world has much value, nor have I been feeling very motivated to do much more than just get through each day.
So today went along as usual. After a few loads of laundry, a little straightening up of the family room, and a long list of other equally exciting things I finally found a few minutes to lay down next to the baby as she napped on the couch. I laid there watching her sleep and wondering why my life has been feeling so boring and hollow lately. Tim was working on a puzzle, the kids were, amazingly, all playing nicely and quietly together, the house was peaceful and I had a rare moment to really think. It occurred to me that if life never had anything more to offer than this-- a husband who I love and who loves me, 5 healthy children, a roof over our heads, and our Catholic faith, it would be enough. This really is all that I ever wanted. No, it isn't glamorous. No, it doesn't always feel fulfilling, exciting, or important. No, I don't receive a lot of recognition for the things I do but this is my vocation. And, taking care of my family, taking care of my house, educating my children, well, these things are infinitely more important and meaningful than they may ever seem. Though I sometimes lose sight of it, these are the things I am most grateful for in life.
It is rare that I can take the time to step back and see my life as God sees it but this afternoon, as I watched my infant daughter sleep, I think I got a tiny little glimpse. This is just where God wants me to be. For it is in the ordinary-- a quiet afternoon at home, a peaceful sleeping baby, my less than perfect home and the normal everyday routine of caring for my family, --that I can find the extraordinary-- a glimpse of God's love and goodness, a moment of true peace and contentment, opportunities to serve- if only I remember to focus on God.

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