ditor’s Note: Congratulations to Tami Kiser on the release of her great new book Smart Martha’s Catholic Guide for Busy Moms! As a big fan of Tami Kiser’s Smart Martha tips and techniques for years, I’m thrilled to find all of her words of wisdom compiled into book format. With Smart Martha’s Catholic Guide for Busy Moms, Tami gives moms practical solutions for managing their homes but more importantly for nurturing their souls and familial relationships. From prioritizing family dinners to organizing your home and schedule, Tami gives moms the tools they need to help themselves and their families live happier, holier lives. Lisa
One aspect of my Smart Martha ministry is to remind all of us to be more like Mary by making sure we are looking for Jesus. Even if it seems like we are doing “Martha” work, like washing dishes, we can still find Jesus there. How can we do this?
First of all, we can offer our work to Jesus. We can do this in the general form of a morning offering when we wake up. We can also do it as a prayer as we are beginning a tiresome job, or during the job, or even when we are through. We can offer that particular task for a prayer intention that we have or for someone else’s intentions. We can always do it for souls in purgatory. So, offering our work is one way we can find Jesus in our work.
A second way is to simply pray and talk to Jesus as we work. We can tell him about our concerns for our children as we fold their shirts. We can talk to him about our husband’s job situation as we pick up his socks. We can share our own needs and desires as we mop our floors. We can pray a rosary as we rock a fussy baby back to sleep. This is what is meant when the Bible says we should “pray without ceasing.”
A third way that we can find Jesus in our work is to remember to see him in the faces of others. As mothers, we especially need to look upon our children as Mary, the Mother of God, looked at Jesus. All humans are, after all, made in His image. As our work calls us to be with our children, our parents, our neighbors, or anyone God puts in our paths, we need to see Jesus in all of these people. Is this easy to do? Are you kidding? This is something we can always ask God to help us with when we have silent times of prayer—our own quiet times, adoration, after Mass, etc.
A final way that we can find Jesus in our work is to simply recall the purpose of our work. It doesn’t even have to be at the moment of the work. If I am paying bills or following a recipe or helping a child with his homework, it is pretty difficult to have a conversation with Jesus. It’s hard to “pray” when our tasks take so much of our mental and emotional concentration. Does Jesus expect us to still find him in these sorts of tasks? Of course he does, but not because we are talking to him. We find Jesus in these tasks because we know that they are given to us from Him and we do them for Him. This acknowledgement comes not in the heat of keeping lumps from forming in the gravy, but in those other moments of prayer that we have throughout the day. When we see this purpose in our work, we will want to concentrate to do it well.
This is what our vocation asks of us: We pray. We work. We work and pray. We acknowledge. We offer. That is how Jesus is present to us in our work.
Copyright 2010 Tami Kiser