Living with a “Yes” in My Heart
I struggle to offer up to God my daily work as a mom, because so much of my work consists of the simple tasks of motherhood, tasks that every mother on the block does. But as I grow in my faith, I’ve found an awesome dignity and purpose in realizing that all of these simple mommy tasks mean something and do something for the kingdom of God–if I do them with a “yes” in my heart.
A cheerful yes.
A trusting yes.
An obedient yes.
A giving yes.
I put a band-aid on Gabe’s little skinned foot today and then I kissed it with butterfly kisses from my eyelashes and then I howled playfully that it was a “stinky foot!!” Which made his crocodile tears stop and his giggles start.
I snuggled in my bed with an emotional Faith before naptime yesterday, praying over her and rubbing her back and holding her tightly until she went all limp and warm and drooly on my chest.
The very first thing I did this morning was pick up Faith from her crib, transfer her directly into the bathtub, peel off her pink plaid Elmo onesie pajamas, and hose her teary, red-faced, chubby-cheeked little body down. (Last night’s enchiladas? I knew they turned out a little spicy for the kids!)
These are a few moments from the last couple of days when I think remembered–by the grace of God and usually with just the briefest of thoughts–to say “yes.”
Yes to the work of my vocation.
Yes to practicing unselfishness.
Yes to practicing patience.
Yes to God.
This Advent, I keep thinking back to Mary and Joseph. A stay-at-home mom and a carpenter. I’m a stay-at-home mom and my husband owns a lawn care services company. What a blessing it is to be in a place in my life where I feel such a kinship to the Holy Family. Mary and Joseph said “yes” so completely and humbly in their lives!
When everything in me wishes my husband had a nice, steady paycheck and a safe, predictable office job as an engineer again, I am inspired by the trust and dignity that St. Joseph brought to his humble work.
And when everything in me wants to count down the minutes until I can be “kid free” for a little while, I am inspired by the Blessed Mother patiently and wisely raising the mischievous, messy, adorable, accident-prone toddler who would be the Savior of the World.
The idea of sanctifying your work, of God growing our souls in holiness through the ordinary work of our lives, is one I first heard from the writings of St. Josemaria Escriva, but the idea is not his. Really, it is an essential teaching of the Church that St. Josemaria simply re-introduced to a world that, even the early 20th century, had begun to believe that an ordinary life cannot be a holy life.
Saying “yes” to God so completely is another of those “beautiful talk, tough walk” kind of things. But I believe that the grace of God, over time, strings more and more of our “yes” moments together, if we let Him.
Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.” ~Luke 1:38