I sound spoiled don't I?
Well, did I tell you that I actually am super spoiled because by the grace of God the Level One Atrium at our parish is up and running and really just doing what it does so beautifully and that is...provide a peaceful and holy space to sit and wonder about the Good Shepherd with children?
YES. Oh it is just awesome seeing this work in action.
Did I also tell you that I wanted so bad to bring an atrium to our parish for two years only to realize it is my own home that is the atrium? My own home is the prepared environment that points to the Church? My own home can be the "peaceful and holy space to sit and wonder about the Good Shepherd with children!"
And so that has been on my mind much lately...what a Joyful home looks like.
I think a joyful home starts with humble beginnings. Mustard seed moments. A proper ordering of the day with intentional time to wonder.
I think a joyful home starts with a surrendering.
There is this rumbling that is happening, and I dare say, an awakening among His people, and I think we truly find that it is in the hidden and humble things that our world will be sanctified. To know the proper order of things in our own lives and to surrender to that order, namely to surrender to the vocation, will defeat Satan every time.
What if...what if we think about that pride of the angel Lucifer...what if we think about him being too great and full of himself to obey, to KNOW and surrender to the proper order of things.
Can we mamas be the ones to embrace this order? You have your pride World. I will bend my knee. You have your pride Crowd. I will stay hidden. You have your pride Satan. I will be content with my pecking order.
And our anthem is:
'Tis a Gift to be Simple
'Tis a Gift to be Free
'Tis a Gift to come down where we ought to be.
And when we find ourselves in a place just right
It will be in the valley of love and delight.
When true Simplicity is gained
To Bow, to Bend, we shant be ashamed.
To Turn, to Turn, it will be our delight.
'Til by turning, turning we come round right.
What is going on?
Oh I will tell you.
I receive texts like this from my dear friend Jennifer in Wisconsin: "Happy Friday! We had a rainy day today and read a lot along with much free play, legos, and cross stitch. I wanted to share how much I have been enjoying my kids and how blessed I feel to spend all day with them! What an honor it is that He led us to this work!"
Boom. Take that Feminist agenda, take that you monster ever growing State. Jennifer's little stay at home day is a small pebble that can take YOU down.
My friend Lindy and I talked about this for an hour last week. This being...um...OUR LIFE'S WORK! Lindy in Anchorage, Alaska. Hidden. Raising two small boys eighteen months apart. Oh she is in it, yes, this good good work.
We talked about wanting to do things well. I want to do six well. She wants to do two well. What does well look like we asked? I told her I bet it includes making sure everyone's nails are clipped.
The world that wants to destroy the holy space of the home smirks, "I'm too busy routing memos and doing grant work and hashtagging cool things to stoop to caring for children. Clipping toenails is beneath me!"
I say: Caring for children is not beneath me.
In fact, I want to do it my whole life. I do.
My four month old woke up in my bed this morning with a diaper that was wet all the way up her back. I thought...yes, I did want to change those sheets again! How lovely that she reminded me!
No...no I'm not quite that joyful yet!
But I did see my Pearl's beaming smile and I thought, "Let's do a quick warm bath to make sure you really get all cleaned up from this rather messy morning."
I could have went with a quick baby wipe "wipe down" but I wasn't in a rush, and the morning was young, and I HAD tackled the kitchen before bed...so...let's do this WELL.
Oh she LOVED it. Our tub had a nice huge pump bottle of generic baby wash all ready and I scrubbed in all those great skin folds and she sucked on her fist. I had fresh towels folded on my vanity for the occasion and clean clothes to put her in. She happily went into her buzzy chair so she could watch me finish up breakfast.
I can be proud of that. I did something well. I have a happy, clean baby. My baby is happy!
Up until now...nobody knew that she was happy! Maybe the other kiddos in my home saw that our Pearl had a bath, but that wasn't profound to them. I didn't post it all over Facebook, #motherhood, #lovethemwhiletheirlittle, #welovebathtime. I didn't tell my husband, he doesn't really think about those things. He doesn't think about those things because I DO.
I have a point here somewhere and it is this. I think what I want to tell myself and Lindy and the other mommies is that...how well we do the little things in our home matters very much.
I have a Biblical proof.
Read about the first thirty years of Christ's life.
And you are like...we don't know much about his childhood!
Ha! There it is! The Bibilical proof of how important our work is! Romana Guardini would suggest that, it is in the very fact that we don't know what the Holy Family's life was like that makes it so very sacred.
The Messiah's formation was so important, so vital, that it was kept sacred and hidden.
So important was His mission, Who He was, that Mary and Joseph led a quiet and hidden life in Nazareth. So sacred was the home life that we know nothing of it. We are not in the pecking order to know.
Speaking of future kings..I would love to see what a typical day at home for Prince George looks like. I read somewhere that the Duchess had little chicks in the home that her children loved to watch grow. (And then I promptly got in my van and went to the nearest farm to get my own...no I didnt!) But really, how hidden the modern day Royal Family's life is. At least they try their very best to keep it private, because, well, Western Civilization needs a good leader in little George. They "release" a picture or two on birthdays and such, but otherwise, who are we in the pecking order to get to be privy to the details.
How do you view your own homelife? If we belong to who we say we belong to, as part of our Baptism, our families are raising saints! Do you see what you do in your home as sacred? My blog is a bit of a contradiction because I do share pictures and stories!!!! But really, I want you to see my piece of beach in the Toehold, not to compare but only to encourage. It is all His anyway.
And THAT is how our God works. He uses the small and the hidden. When we stay small and hidden and do so with joy we are cooperating with the GREAT INNER STRENGTH that makes the mustard seed grow.
Off to bed I go as I have a little one turning three tomorrow.