Michael was at work, the high schoolers were at school and Liz and Amanda took our tenacious one to the zoo
and so the day stretched out before me, full of possibility.
I am a person who likes to finish what they start without having to clean up parts of a project and have to bring them out another time - be it the same day or a week later. (Hence, the reason I do not sew!)
Being a wife, a mom of nine, homeschool teacher for many a year, and now a grandma, I've gotten used to starting only small, easily do-able chores, projects, phone calls etc., knowing that someone was going to need my attention very soon.
And lo and behold, as I sat this morning having several hours ahead of me contemplating what to do, my Dear One called and asked if I was free for lunch. Of course I was free for lunch, all the children were gone for the day!
Now my day had a chunk taken out of it, so no big project was going to get started or finished. So I decided on the smaller, much needed project of folding laundry. It was nice to have that off the list.
I also came up with what to make for dinner and took the meat out of the freezer, so that helped, too.
In the afternoon, I did what any sane mom does when she has a couple of hours and the night-time routine still to get through, I started a new book and then I took a nap!
Sometimes, I get frustrated when I look at my day and wonder how others are able to accomplish so many things and I "only" take care of the family, immediate and extended, and the house. I know in my heart, this is right where God wants me and so the majority of the time, it's all good. I've written about this in the past: The Kids Are Not The Distraction
Today, though, God had a special message for me.
I opened my email and had received my monthly newsletter from Catholic Heritage Curricula. In it was a gem of writing by Rita Munn, a homeschooling mom of 10, taken from her A Family Journal that put everything into perspective again:
Many years ago I read an article in a Maryknoll magazine about a beloved and elderly
Maryknoll priest serving in Africa. Upon his death, he was eulogized by those people
whose lives had been enriched through his tireless work among them. He was described
as “going like a block of soap.” For these native people this was a very high
term of endearment and respect. “To go like a block of soap” meant that his total embracement
of his vocation was fulfilled until his death. His life was used by the Lord until
his earthly life was taken from him by the Lord. His life was like soap in the Lord’s
Imagine for a moment a large cake of soap, perhaps resting next to the kitchen sink.
Soap is not extraordinary yet always necessary. Soap does not apologize or lament for
what it is not but is available for what it is and means to others. Soap waits to be used
and then performs its service without fanfare. It is efficient and helpful no matter its size
or condition. Soap quietly works until it is all gone.
If I can be a block of soap in God's hands, ready, willing and able to do what He wants and needs of me then I am right where I am supposed to be, doing what He wants me to be doing. I doubt if I'll ever take up sewing, but maybe there is a novel in me that will find it way to paper one of these days.
SOAP has another meaning for Rita: It stands for Send Out A Prayer. She explains: "Each time I wash my hands I offer up a Hail Mary for all homeschooling families."
While prayer is already a big part of my day, soap and SOAP will help me add a few more prayers for those I love while being soap to God for them.