"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

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Life Schedules Us

"After a few batches we embraced it, getting those little things done that never seemed to find their way into our schedule. Books were read, letters written, house tidied. All which felt just as much a part of the recipe as adding water and kneading dough."

My sister-in-law found and sent me a link to this video here (also where I got the quote above).

Monday, December 17, 2012

The "Yes" Mom

In response to some of the comments on the post I wrote here, I would like to expound what I meant by my saying "Yes." It doesn't mean I say the word "yes" to every request or demand made by one of my children.  Sometimes I say "You'll have to wait a minute," or "You're old enough to get that yourself," or "Not right now," or "Go ask your older brother to help you with that," or "Just a minute!" or just plain "No."
What I meant was, I think, that a woman spending the majority of her lifetime and days in her house, caring for husband, children, and home, is living out a "yes" to all those who dwell with her. It means a life of service to those in her family, not out of some pious or grand choice of her own, but out of a God-given surrender to a God-given vocation out of fear and love for God.

It doesn't matter whether you have one child, or three, or ten.  It's never easy.
But every time you've given up your sleep to nurse an infant or care for a sick child or adult, or sacrificed your mascara to the chopping up of some very potent onions to saute for the soup base (hehe!), or given up your some desired "me time" of putting your feet up at the end of an evening and reading or knitting or blogging or watching a show and instead found yourself getting your toddler that seventh drink of water, and then wandering from room to room doing your seventh and final clean up for the day, and then after it all, making time to give your husband the time of day... or night, or something... then you're saying "yes" too.

Now do I do all those things all the time?  No! I fail every single day.  And I especially fail at doing those things with a good attitude most of the time.  I complain.  I throw little fits of my own.  I sometimes (all the time?) end up yelling at my children when the pressure hits me.  But I have a gracious savior who takes all those sins upon himself and gives me new mercies to start over every day, only to have me end up mooching off his mercies again by bedtime, which He wants. But to tell you the truth I don't even know how to do that very well.  Receive His mercy I mean.  I usually run to  a place of guilt and condemnation and new resolutions and laws for myself and family before running to Him.  But he even forgives me for that.  Phew!

I guess what I'm really trying to say is:
"What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"   Matthew 7:9-11

See? We, being evil, want to say "yes" to our children.  And by God's grace we do.

 "For I was hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."  Matthew 25:37-40

Oh so that was you asking for the thirteenth drink of water that night?  Huh.

"Sleeping Mother with Child," by Christian Kroh, 1883