Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Random Thoughts on Doing the Next Thing when it's the "Same Old Thing."

We enjoyed a glorious Easter celebrating the Risen Lord with family and friends. We worked hard for days to prepare. Some unexpected things popped up, needing attention in the beginning of the week, so I again found myself with a longer-than-I-wished To Do list at the end of Holy Week. But it was ok, because the anticipation of the joyful event pushed me on with a cheerful heart.

Each of the five kiddos were assigned their own zones in the house in which to become a 'cleaning tornado,' and they all met the challenge. We cleaned, we cooked, we decorated. And then, on Easter Sunday, we celebrated! (Or as I like to say, we 'feasted like Hobbits.')

Of course, in spite of my 4yo's proclamation that "I wish it could be Easter every day!" ... it's not. Monday was a school day, and I had art class to prepare for and teach. Which meant, for the time being, ignoring the fact that the house looked like this:
Today was my first real day to have a chance to tackle the "after." It was tempting to groan inwardly and think, "boy! I just cleaned all these very same rooms and now they're an atrocious mess!" I reminded myself that 1. I have limits. I'm not omnipotent. Only God gets His entire to-do list done; and 2. I need to prioritize - what needs to be done in order to shuffle the family through the basic activities of a school week? The rest can be done "line upon line, here a little, there a little." (Is 28:10)

I also found this little nugget from Above Rubies, and I thought it summed up the challenge most moms face at some point or another:
I caught myself getting tired of doing the same old chores again. The Lord reminded me that He too does the same old things for me, over and over again. He forgives me the same sins over and over again, He hears my pleas and answers me over and over again, He comforts me over and over again, He is patient with me over and over again.
Isn't that so true? And encouraging? Cleaning up after a holiday IS a big challenge. But what about cleaning up after everyday? How can we cheerfully clean the bathroom for the third time in a day when the potty-training toddler does his thing? How can we read The Tale of Jemima Puddle Duck - again - when our brains feel like mush? Or help the high-schooler finish his debate rebuttal when it's well after 10pm and all we want to do is s.l.e.e.p? How can we fold four loads of laundry, sweep the kitchen, make another PB & J, pick up the toys on the family room floor -- when we know we will just have to do it all again tomorrow? By remembering the simple fact of our Heavenly Father's love for us and how every small, messy, repetitive job we do brings glory to Him, when done with a right spirit!

But what if we don't have the right spirit? Ask for it! "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened." (Matt. 7:7-8) Obviously, we have to ask humbly and according to His will - in this case, the grace and strength to walk in the good works God has planned for us this day.

Jesus - this same Jesus who died on the cross as an Atonement for our sins; who raised from the dead; ascended into Heaven; and will come again -- this Jesus said, "My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Do we believe that? If so, then we need to live like we believe it! Ask Him to equip you for the task. Repent of any resentment that *this* is your job. And then ... do the next thing! :)

27/30

Any guesses where this pic was taken?