"Your body is the first thing any child of man ever wanted. Therefore dispose yourself to be loved, to be wanted, to be available. Be there for them with a vengeance. Be a gracious, bending woman. Incline your ear, your heart, your hands to them.... To be a Mother is to be the sacrament - the effective symbol - of place. Mothers do not make homes, they are our home." from Bed and Board, Robert Farrar Capon

Saturday, November 12, 2011

"The Day of Small Things"

by Carmon Friedrich   
(Dedicated to all the young mothers whose weariness 
and frustrations I understand... Zech. 4:10)

Fretful wailing pierced the night;
I wearily switched on the light.
Calming babies, soothing fears,
Shedding bitter, angry tears.
Must my strength be all poured out?
So, discontent, I start to doubt.

Seeing others free to roam,
With pretty clothes and spotless homes,
While little ones to my legs cling.
Dirty laundry and apron strings
Seem to be my lot in life—
Grumpy mommy, weary wife.

Packed away in mothballs now,
Diplomas, ribbons, awards show how
The world once gave me accolades
As all my talents I displayed.
So many dishes now crowd the sink,
My overflowing brain can't think.

As I grumble, baby sleeps—
Quietness over my spirit creeps.
My joy comes not from flimsy stuff:
His strength in weakness is enough.
It's wrong to think I'm in a cell;
Wide's the space God gives to dwell.

How could I forget that when
I willingly submit, it's then
My joy is full, I'm made complete,
Prostrate and worshipful at God's feet?
Small things and trials I mustn't despise,
But see them, trusting, through His eyes.

HT: my sister-in-law Susie


  1. Thank you Leah. You were right I very much enjoyed the poem and have printed it so I can read it over as babies cry, and little ones cling to my legs...

  2. Why just last night my husband was hearing a "Grumpy mommy, weary wife" complaining "I just wish that I could sit down for 2 minutes without a little person crawling all over me!" (mine don't usually sit or cuddle, but climb or wriggle)

    Thank you Leah (and "sister-in-law Susie"), this poem is very encouraging. I love the part:

    My joy comes not from flimsy stuff:
    His strength in weakness is enough.
    It's wrong to think I'm in a cell;
    Wide's the space God gives to dwell

  3. The poet may not have the poetic meter exactly right, but he or she certainly has “mother” right. As I read the line “Wide’s the space God gives to dwell,” I was reminded that the largest place to dwell is in forgiveness. Confession and forgiveness open up the future and we are no longer locked in the cell of the past in our sin and guilt or offences we may have harbored.

    Blessings today on Jane and Paula as they tend to their new little treasures. Blessings on all the mothers with “little” ones at home to love. Be home. It is the highest calling as a daughter of God. Don’t forget that your husband is your first “neighbor.”

    By the way, you don’t have to have “little ones” at home to be a “grumpy mother” or “weary wife.” That seems to come naturally to all of us.

    - CARLA