Monday, October 18, 2010

giving thanks in the mundane--practically speaking

I loved  The Love With Which We Perform, by Simple Mom author, Tsh Oxenreider.  My favorite take-away quote is this:

"From God’s perspective, there is no difference between twilight hours of Scripture reading and running our daughter to ballet class with a happy heart. Our moments of paying bills on time and sweeping the floor under the highchair are as glorious as kneeling before His throne, hands upward in praise."

Her entire post is a gem, even for those who already understand the importance of giving glory to God in our daily work. 
I shamefully recall saying more than once this week, "Can't one meal be peaceful, God?"  And, "Can we go one night without a soaked bathroom floor?!  Just one night?!"
It's all well and good to read an inspiring post about praising our Lord through mundane tasks, but practically speaking, how does an overworked mother do that each day?  If your husband arrives home every night at 5:30 p.m., maybe it's possible, but some of us parent alone 24/7, for whatever reason.  Is there hope for us?
Yes, there is!  Here are some practical tips:
1. Give thanks; make gratitude lists (Ann Voskamp wrote this post on having children list their blessings along with you.)
2. Pull your children close for a snuggle when you feel a complaint arising in your heart.  Your children are your life's greatest work.  Their hugs will give you strength to keep your focus heavenward, and your behavior exemplary.
3.  Try not to do mundane tasks back to back.  Break them up and read a story to your precious ones.  When baby naps, read a Psalm or an inspiring blog, rather than spending the whole hour on chores.
4.  Make a schedule if possible for your chores.  Focus on one problem area at a time.  Along with the meals, laundry, and spontaneous messes, you'll only have time for one other chore anyway

5.  Don't compare yourself or your skills to others; God doesn't make mistakes and he is just.  We deserved death, yet he gave us life abundant.

6.  Keep that praise music going!  Dance with the children.  Pick them up and twirl them, raising your hands together toward your Father, whose perfect love enfolds you. 

7.  Take five away from the kids.  Kneel and pray.  Ask for forgiveness and strength.  Often, that's all you need to take back the day.

8.  Then say you're sorry to the kids, if they heard your complaining spirit.  Their forgiveness will warm your heart, helping you move forward with a lighter spirit. 

9.  Work out some way to escape for at least an hour a week, even if it's just to the grocery store--alone.

10.  Finish well.  Let love and grace reign in the minutes before bed--for your sake and theirs.

11.  Know this: They don't want a perfect mother.  They want you.  God chose you for them--and he doesn't make mistakes! 

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