The Beauty in Everyday
|All in a mom's day.! Baby prettying up herself with a dress|
and kid's toothpaste as 'face cream'
This is a day you want to stay home and stay under the duvet. And cuddle. Or read.
But I've got work to do. There's the baby to fed, the laundry to load, the dishes to wash, the meals to cook, the floor to vacuum as the wet snow turns the ground to mush and mud dried up is a daily visitor in the house.
I work daily. I get up (even if sleepily) to go on with tasks at home and in my mission field the same way most people go out to earn their income. It is unthinkable for breadwinners to let their family go hungry just as it is for me not to have something to give to my children to eat before they grow restless, or to renege on my appointments.
Work is not dependent on my mood. It is there for me to do and all I have to do is to just do it.
Just doing it. Sometimes this means, like today, to whisper a prayer even as my little Ella's kisses wake me up, crawl off the bed with eyes still shut with cobwebs and into the closet room to get the girls' clothes for them. There are days when I am all wide awake after some time in the bathroom and all ready to take on the day. There are other days when there is nothing more I want to do than to lay myself down on the bed and stare at the ceiling. And days when it is a challenge to even feed myself. But as I take the first step, just like in walking, there is a shift in the mood and it propels me to doing more and finding pleasure in what I do.
Yesterday I gave back my students' progress test papers. A few did excellently, some satisfactorily, while others need some improvement. I have always tried to encourage them to do better than they did the previous meetings, and I can see how those who did excellently in class are taking it to heart, while the rest are simply cruising along.
Progress, even in baby steps, is a place of transformation. We take what is given to us and make something out of it. Sometimes we soar, other times we crawl. But almost always, we move. At times, it would take us a few circles and lots of prayers before things clear up and we could move forward. Always, though, we hope and pray that we are on the right direction.
The right direction comes when we show up in the everyday of life. The everyday is the act cherishing life and of practicing what we will become. I believe that whatever we do teaches us. Much like my writing is teaching me. When I parent my kids, they in turn teach me. My, even my laundry is teaching me! All we need to do is to be there, there where it all happens. In other words, just show up.
Showing up is like going to work, teaching us responsibility and faithfulness. Being responsible is having the ability to grow up, to be willing to face the music and all. And faithful is God continually blessing us night and day, winter, spring, summer and fall without reservations.
Life is full of surprises. It is also fruitful, bountiful with anything that we plant. The sparing falling wet snow has turned into a plenteous flurry as I gaze outside the window. Spring may not be too evident now just as it is with anything that we do at the moment, but soon, we will expect what we are sowing, and the lush warmth of the season.
A favorite author writes, "The secret of life's success is in careful, conscientious attention to the little things. God makes the simple leaf, the tiny flower, the blade of grass, with as much care as He creates the world. The symmetrical structure of a strong, beautiful character is built up by individual acts of duty. All should learn to be faithful in the least as well as in the greatest duty. Their work cannot bear the inspection of God unless it is found to include a faithful, diligent, economical care for the little things" (White, Testimonies, Vol. 4, p. 571).
As the snow falls, the baby is waking up from her nap. When I get her and she wraps her arms around me, I know I will feel the rush of affection that the smell of her head and her tight hugs usually bring. Her older sister is up in her room telling awesome stories with her dolls. Soon I have to get the meal preparation going and prepare for a private class because it won't be long before the rest of the family will come noisily through the door and back into my longing heart. Everything will be work for me by then as I serve dinner, clean up, give kids their shower, their hugs and kisses. And as I work, I'm going to get so much pleasure from the little ones as they randomly give me my hugs and kisses, and declare their love for me. By the time my head rests on the pillow for sleep, there is so much to thank God for. One is the beauty of another day that is about to come.
In all these ordinariness, there is beauty. I see, feel and cherish it. I pray that it will not pass me by without me noticing it. For everyday is making sense and putting in order what is messy and insane, and enjoying a gift, perfect and complete. Today, everyday.
Today is not that dreary after all.
"God is faithful" (1 Corinthians 1:9).
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV).
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