Tuesday, February 12, 2008

She is worth rubies

M and I had a good day this past Sunday. I came in from the grocery store, arms loaded down with bags and she helped me unload all of their contents on the counter and then put them away in their appropriate places. This seemed to set the ball in motion, because she then wanted to help me prepare dinner. She is usually not so eager to do household chores like these so I was excited about the opportunity and quite frankly, the help. First, she made dessert for her and K all by herself. (Albeit instant vanilla pudding, with only 2 ingredients) Still, she performed this task with joy and then wanted her next assignment. Her and I continued to prepare our dinner. I asked her to set our table and she went over and beyond what I would have expected a 7 yr. old to do. She asked for Windex, cleaned the top and bottom of our glass top table thoroughly, set out the plates and utensils, and then she topped it off with hand-picked daffodils from our yard that she arranged neatly in a small silver vase.

I am wondering as I am eating dinner and admiring her work, "Did I teach her something or did she teach ME something?" Perhaps both. I realize that she most likely did not learn any great culinary skills from me as I am no Emeril Lagasse, but I do hope she realized the care and time that went into preparing this meal for her and her family. However, I am humbled to say that I think I learned more from her in this area. I was reminded of the importance of such care and love that goes into the simplest of household chores. She not only performed her tasks with energy and a joyful heart, but she went that extra mile to make it an inviting atmosphere of warmth and love by carefully placing those pretty yellow flowers on that sparkling clean table.

I have to admit I am not the best when it comes to running a household efficiently. (afterall, I am sitting here writing this blog when I could be folding a load of laundry) I do love to cook and I love to spend time with the kids...its the cleaning that I don't enjoy. Sometimes it seems so overwhelming. I feel like I spend my wheels picking up and putting back, that there isn't much time left to clean, especially if I spent a lot of time doing my work on the computer. (my real job...well, the kind of job that earns $$) And when doing my household chores I have been known to grumble or complain once or twice about it. I know this isn't right. I am reminded of Proverbs 31

"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies."
Proverbs 31:10

Wow, "virtuous"...which means "moral excellence". Excellence in my work here at home...can I do that? Do I do that? Am I worth rubies? I'm afraid I fall way short of that daily. Can I be that? With a joyful heart and special care? Well, I think M showed me Sunday evening how to do it....I'm just wondering though, will she still do it with that same heart the 100,000 time she does it? I hope she does. If not, maybe I can remind her of this: Someone in my bible study said once that when she was asked to do something by her children or even when she performs a task she really doesn't want to do (cleaning the toliet comes to mind)then she says to herself (or out loud), "With a joyful heart I will." I have tried this many times and it works. It helps change your attitude about what you are doing and helps you not to complain. Trouble is, sometimes I forget to do it. I am on a mission to try to do it more starting today.

M is off to a good start. I think for sure she is "worth rubies"! It's amazing how not only you mold the child, but the child molds you as well. Thank you M for reminding me that I should perform even the most simple of tasks at my best and with a heart like yours.

Edit to this post: After thinking about this more through the day and after receiving very encouraging words from my mother today when I was having a rather low moment, I realized that my mother always did a good job at doing things with "a joyous heart". Growing up I often asked her to do the littlest things for me that I was perfectly capable of doing myself. One good example of this that my brother still teases me about to the day, is I would ask her to run my bathwater for me (I mean even when I was like 17, 18 yrs old!) Crazy, I know..but it was just something about her doing it for me and always willing to do it, and further more, was happy to do it for me....Well, that always made me feel so good. If she ever complained about things, I never heard it. What a happy, safe, comfortable place to grow up in. Thanks mom for also being such a good example for me! I obviously have much to learn from my mom in addition to my daughter. She also is worth rubies..in fact, the most valuable of gems!

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