Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Small Acts

I guess you can say I took the summer off from blogging. I began writing privately, and it made me even more real with God and myself about the work He is doing in me. I feel sad though as I come back to this little place where I live out loud and see so many days missing.

The weeks gone from here were so much the same, and in many ways I numbed myself to the monotony. I spent much of the past three months driving to and from the Chldren's hospital with my Danica taking her to doctor's appointments and physical therapy that really seemed to be doing very little good. I spent the nights running lists on a database which is about as exciting as watching grass grow. In between I would make the beds, make lunch, clean up lunch, make dinner, clean up dinner, give the girls baths, read a story, put them to bed. I would think, "If only I didn't have to run these lists and could enjoy being a full time mom. Then I would be happy." I remembered summers growing up with trips to the pool and playing outdoors for hours and fun activities planned by my mom. I felt bitter and resentful that my kids were trapped indoors while I hopped on and off my laptop for work. Some days I would literally long for a different life. I know this sounds horrible, but it's true. Not a different husband or children or house or car but a life back in the midst of people doing work that makes a difference--something I could see in the Saturday paper and eventual sales. Praying, "If I HAVE to work then please let it be something I WANT to do." I love marketing because it is results driven and success is measured in tangible ways. Creating lists for random clients certainly not so rewarding. Each time I would begin to dust off my resume and search for a way out of this angst God would answer with another reason why I need to be HERE, patiently showing me THIS daily life is His perfect plan for me.

I have prayed a lot about how to make my circle of relationship larger through church and find God saying no to even that right now. When someone would have a baby or would have surgery I would sign up to take a meal. Then it became not just a sacrifice but a near impossibility to minister in this way because of the therapy schedule and my work. God saying to me, "Be faithful right here, right now." Why is this sometimes the hardest thing to do? I couldn't even find time to have coffee with a friend or make it out of the house for a book club or a hair cut. Not a matter of changing priorities or making "me" time, simply the true and constant need for me to be at home working and caring for my girls. Why is the ministry to my husband and my children not enough for me? Why do I need affirmation from someone else, somewhere else, doing something else?

In a beautifully written book, by L.L. Barkat, "Stone Crossings, Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places," she says in a chapter about sacrifice,

". . .Or maybe on that day Jesus will speak to each of us much as He spoke to Peter. Maybe he will meet us over a fish breakfast, look us in the eye and say, "Did you love Me? Did you tend my sheep? Did you care for my children?" Tending sheep is a mundane job. It is a lot of the same old, same old--the way we feed kids breakfast, lunch and dinner, or drive to the office and deal with the same people day after day. It is repetitive, like building a stone wall rock by rock across the landscape. So it's easy for us to overlook the power of small acts that are folded again and again into the meandering swish of common love. . . Because the rewards are quiet, being dependable in common love is not always inviting. The reward of putting rock on rock isn't always visible. Sometimes the work is dirty. We get scraped and bored. We don't always see the wall of grace we're building for the Lord."

Today my Laney headed back to school and second grade. The house is quieter, and I miss her. Danica is a little lost without her big "sishy" to tussle with and play with and to read books to her and show her the ropes. Tomorrow Danica will head back to the hospital for an MRI, more tests to try to find the cause of her little crooked neck. What will we remember of the last three months together? SACRIFICE. All of us--giving up things we wanted to be doing, places we wished we could go to place lasting stones of loving one another in small acts into the great wall of grace this family is becoming.

"Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus." Col 3:17

3 comments:

Greg R. said...

Pro 31:27-29 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28) Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29) Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

Love You,
Dad

Tammy Evans said...

WOW! I read this post Monica and find myself in tears. May I be so selfish as to say that another reason God has you exactly where you are right now is for "ME." Yes, for me - at this place and time in my life. You are such a blessing in so many ways in my life. God has ordained this exact place and time in my life and your life. I can now proclaim "what a wonderful season I am in!" I thank God for strategically placing YOU in this season of my life. Everything I have been going through and feeling myself, you have once again brought it all together for me in these wonderful words that you have posted. Thank you Jesus that Your ways are higher than our ways and You know exactly what we need and when we need it.

Monica, no matter what today brings your way just continue to let God's love cover you like a blanket.

Love you!!!
Tammy

Katie Haynes said...

Monica,

Thanks for the good reminder of what is truly important!!! One lie Satan tells us is that Christ isn't enough, and I have thought of that ofen this year. I had no idea about little Danica. I will pray for her.

Love,
Katie