“O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvellous for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.”
God gives us this gift of life, but who knows how to make this life a gift back to Him?
I, for one, tend to make life more wearisome than it ought to be – a beautiful gift.
For all the days that I know were gonna be long and arduous, or tiring and challenging – how do I redeem those time and make it a true gift of grace? How does faith translate on domestic days like these – when what I have in my lot is not necessarily grandiose decisions to make, but little stomachs to fill, dirty bodies to wash, and a whole lot of soul, heart and body work to do with these gifts… these children of mine?
I glanced at my watch – 4 pm… Still a long night before bed time…and a whole shebang of plain, normal living to do. So what’s the reason to be happy?
I remember being asked this question – of how i make sense of what life really means, especially in this season of parenting the young children, and what gifts, strengths and talents I could contribute to society, when hands feel tied and feet seem bound, and what would all these domestic investments culminate to…and I suppose, I ask myself, if life is really meant to be lived this way?
We turned our car into the home – and the children – they were wearied after school, and not expecting anything unusual.
I worked to keep my spirit up. I know deep down that joy is not the places I get to go, or the people I get to be with, or the work I could produce – but real joy emanates from hearts that rest on His beauty and eyes that catch the glimmers of His wonders. I need to keep my heart happy because a mother’s temperament affects the atmosphere of the home, and a mother’s words can pierce deeper than the sharpest blade – but a mother’s joy, they leak deep into her recipients.
“Children…” I wrapped my arms around smelly bodies and pulled off some stinking socks, “Daddy’s gonna be home late tonight and we’re gonna do everything ourselves but let’s have a little play now”
I sent them away while I filled the bathtub with water.
So I gathered these miniature sea animals and dropped them with the food colouring into the tub. Blue infused its vibrant hue into the water and permeated its entirety. I plonked flailing bodies in and they squealed with delight and there was colour to their day, a new richness to their routine.
So the animals swam and sank, they settled into the bottom and were scooped into buckets, they were caught by the nets and petted in the hands. And soon imagination reigned in, and tub became an aquarium, and the aquarium turned into a touch pool, and the touch pool became an underwater quest, and Mum and kids all swam in the joy of simple living.
And these laughter…they broke this heavy tension …the tension of having to outwit time with the accumulation of things, the locality of places, the outcome of produce, to feel fulfilled. And the truth that “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him”, rings loud and true to me that day.
AW Tozer in his book, The Pursuit of God, stated that our religion is not a religion of the “God and…” but simply “God and God alone”. That it is in quietness, and in simplicity that life can be stripped down, and filled with what he said – “torrents of spiritual desire”, so that the “mainspring of life is one’s burning desire after Christ”.
I pondered, I mused. Could it be that the equation of a truly great day is to arrive at the quietness of our soul, and that joy will permeate when we allow God’s presence to leak in our lives?
Could home life and domestic routines be God’s very lesson to teach me that it is in finding God and God alone that my joy would peak? That home life is really a time to grow young souls and set a heavenly direction and tune to moral compasses? And that this business of raising kids and doing dishes and folding laundry can be a time to worship, a chance to centre, a way to quieten and calm our souls so that we can find true, deep within, joy?
So for all the days that feel uneventful and little, I need to remember that God is ready to infiltrate my life with the colours of His love, and infuse me with laughter and strength if only I would quieten my heart and focus on Him.
Yes, He does reveal Himself to babes who are content in their mothers’ arms – and He does hide himself to those wise and prudent in their own eyes – so teach me, Lord, to find You today, and to strip life down to essentials – so that I may squeal with delight when Your love colour my world.