Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Mitten Strings for God Book Study
Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight is hosting a Mitten Strings for God book study. I'm a little behind in posting my thoughts from Chapter 1, Dailiness, but here they are:
I do believe that life is made up of the small everyday tasks-the meals, the laundry, the trash, the dishes etc. If we see these things as burdens our lives will not be satisfying. Why do I say this? Because I've been there. After my first child was born eight and half years ago I so resented the drudgery (as I saw it) that was stay-at-home motherhood. Interestingly, when I think back on it now I realize that the job I left just before my precious child was born was made up of the same basic tasks repeated over and over again. How was it that sterlizing bottles, washing and changing diapers, cooking and cleaning were seen as drudgery, while answering the ever ringing phone on my desk, preparing packages for mailing and filling customers orders was seen as more interesting? I think there are two answers. One is that our culture tells us, ad infintum, that housework is drudgery and to be avoided at all costs. Two is that in my job, while I was repeating the same actions over and over, I was also interacting with a wide variety of people every day.
Taking care of the sense of isolation I felt was easy: I joined a moms group. When we moved here to Indy I was blessed to find a group for wives of men in my husband's profession. Part of that included a playgroup. That playgroup was my sanity saver! After I outgrew that group I joined a local chapter of Mothers & More. The ability to get away once or twice a month with other moms is such a pleasure. What I really like about the Mothers & More group is that we have children at all different stages so I have moms I can ask for advice and moms that I can tell, "this too shall pass, enjoy it while it's here!" Other good groups are MOPS and Moms Club.
Overcoming my feeling of disasatisfaction was much more difficult since it was an issue of attitude. As with most things in my life I headed to the library checking out every book I could find on motherhood and homemaking. Three that I found particularly helpful were "The Hidden Art of Homemaking" by Edith Schaeffer, "What Every Mom Needs" by Elisa Morgan and Carol Kuykendall and "Mitten Strings for God" by Katrina Kenison. The overriding message I took away from these books is that the repititive activities involved in caring for a home and family are acts of love. Having a thankful and pleasant spirit while engaged in these activities is a visible manifestation of how important family is to us. It took me a good year to get to the point where I "heard" what these authors were saying, and even longer to put their advice into practice. It is not an easy process to change an attitude so prevelant in our culture. Relish washing those dishes, folding those wee shirts, the meals made and lunches packed. Our care over these tasks says to our husband and children, as much as our words, that we cherish them. What a blessing dailiness is.