What shall I do tonight?

3 07 2008

I am, once again, confused.  In the next two hours, shall I read a story to my daughter or do the dishes?  Pay attention to my husband or go to bed early so I can get some sleep?  Clean up the toy car explosion in the boy’s bedroom or run laundry?  Fold the enormous stack of laundry or clean off my desk and start sorting out my filing cabinet?  Make a grocery list for tomorrow or finish putting together my homeschooling order for the fall?  Write my grandpa?  Finish the story I want to submit?  Read my bible chapter?  Do sit-ups to improve my waistline?

I can’t do them all.  They are all good things to do.  They all urgently need to be done (I have not even bothered listing the non-urgent things I need to do).  Sometimes I feel like if the road were just clear before me that I could run and run and run.  But I am so often delayed and de-energized by confused expectations.  I will now go force my children to bed and chose two things to do, leaving all the rest undone to confuse and accuse me tomorrow morning.

I didn’t waste my day today.  I arose to a clean kitchen & dining room (last night I chose “clean the kitchen
and dining room” from my large list), steered the children through their morning & disciplined my son, ran two loads of wash, did two hours worth of schooling, planned my schooling budget, took Donal to the pediatrician to get his camp form filled out & get his shots updated, took the kids to lunch and a playdate (their only one this week), dropped by the grocery store for a five minute speed run to buy bread, milk, bananas, etc., made a good hot dinner, cleaned up from dinner, prepped for church, took the kids to church, and blogged.

The sermon tonight was about love.  Pastor asked us several times if our lives really showed forth the love of the Lord.  I finally got fed up and semi-yelled, “YES!”

If I didn’t love them, I would never homeschool my kids.  Never.

If I didn’t love my husband, I wouldn’t work so hard to make him dinner every night, or get up in the middle of the night over and over tending wandering children so he can sleep.

If I didn’t love my friends and family I wouldn’t dedicate so much time to keeping in touch with them, planning meetings, arranging gifts, notes & suprises, and trying to remember the special things that are going on in their lives.  I also pray for them.  For you.  With love.

I also try to love people randomly who just plain need it.  To give a hug, some help, a little money, some road-side assistance, a laugh.

St. Teresa said, and I believe, that we cannot do great things, only small things with extraordinary love.

I don’t know that I will ever do anything right.  I do not know if I will ever accomplish anything, or live up to my potential (whatever that is).  But I do hope that when I die people will remember the times when I was able to lavish them with love, to squander my time on them, to spend my gifts on their behalf.  If nothing else, that is the legacy I would like to leave.  Somehow I can’t imagine achieving greatness, or even a rational consistency, but I do hope for small gestures and extraordinary love.

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2 responses

3 07 2008
Lisa

Try What I do.
1-Work as hard as you can for 30min. In each room. It does not have to be perfect. Set a timer and when it goes off leave that room and move on. It is OK.
2-Then you can enjoy your children and not have guilt. 3-Pretty soon it is lunch time, You can rest or read during quiet time which at my house is a must. I found a really cool web site called 30minuts to go. Check it out. It also has a really cool game of 52 pick up. This is where you pick up 52 things out of place and put them where they go. It has helped me.

3 07 2008
Linda Miller

Dear Angel,
Your gift of taking beautiful pictures of the children in the park area for one of our Christmas presents took time, patience and great skill. Each of the children’s faces glow with the love & security only you and Neal are able to provide for them. Home schooling does take a huge bite of the time & budget but I think for your family it is definitly paying off.

I really treasure the lovely and beautiful printing job you did to make everything fit into the frame. I will, indeed, feel treasured and loved by a daughter who took the time & money to do all of this for us.

Give Neal and you every bit of a break you can because your lives are so busy & hectic right now. Nobody can do a better job of loving & supporting your family than what you do.

Huge hugs and tons of love,
Mom

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