I've had these thoughts rolling around in my head for a while now, but keep pushing them aside.
Haven't a hundred women written about this same thing? But maybe you don't read their blogs...
So now it's the Feast of St. Martha and Kathryn just posted this and I think it's time.
Years ago...probably 8 years or so, I traveled to Chicago alone to spend a weekend with one of my dearest friends from college. It was summer. We went to the vigil Mass on Saturday night, the two of us and her husband. The reading was the story of Martha and Mary.
Then Mass was over and we shook the priest's hand and she and I, well, we were hangry. We are friends for many reasons and our mutual refusal to waste time when food is beckoning is one of them. Then her husband, who is a fine man of the creative persuasion (just like a certain husband of mine and here I start to see a trend I had not previously noted....), stopped to, like, look at something. Or talk to someone. I don't know. It was something other than walking straight to the restaurant without passing go, without collecting $200. And I hollered (as I am wont to do to people who are not my family after I get to know them well enough. Be warned.)...
"Mary! Move it! Martha and Martha are hungry!"
I think about that moment a lot because although it was funny (we all laughed and then he did move his hiney on to the restaurant like any wise young man would), it speaks to how I naturally see the world and how maybe I need to fix how I naturally see the world.
"Here is the long list of things you haven't done"
Thats phrase is constantly chanting itself in the back of mind. Any time in my life as wife and mother, when I have a quiet moment and look around and don't see perfection (welcome to every single day of my life), I hear that phrase reprimanding me.
So even if I've fed my children and washed some laundry and made some phone calls and answered some emails and baked some zucchini bread and taught someone how to write the number 5 ("down and around and put a little hat!") and managed to shower, I'm convinced that it's not enough because look at all the stuff I DIDN'T do.
Well isn't that just a clever little tactic of the enemy? Because no matter how much a person accomplishes in a day, there will always, always, always be something they can put on their "didn't do" list. Renovating the basement? Learn to fly an airplane? Find a cure for cancer? The enemy is constantly moving the goal post. He sets us up for failure and despair by telling us that we do is. Never. Enough.
That's how I know these thoughts aren't from God. Because God sets us up for success. We are asked to live in love. Love Him, love our children, love our neighbor. Just love. Treat one another with love. Sometimes that love has an outward, physical manifestation that is beautiful and lovely and pinterestable. But sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it looks like holding a newborn on a sofa and not getting around to filing those papers after all. And you can't take a pretty picture of not filing a stack of papers. But that's okay. God doesn't watch our moments in pictures. He watches our hearts. And all we need to do is fill them with love.