The Blue Bowl
All day I did the little things,
The little things that do not show;
I brought the kindling for the fire
I set the candles in a row,
I filled a bowl with marigolds,
The shallow bowl you love the best-
And made the house a pleasant place
Where weariness might take its rest.
The hours sped on, my eager feet
Could not keep pace with my desire.
So much to do, so little time!
I could not let my body tire;
Yet, when the coming of the night
Blotted the garden from my sight,
And on the narrow, graveled walks
Between the guarding flower stalks
I heard your step: I was not through
With services I meant for you.
You came into the quiet room
That glowed enchanted with the bloom
Of yellow flame. I saw your face,
Illumined by the firelit space,
Slowly grow still and comforted-
“It’s good to be at home,” you said.
I'm not a Susie Homemaker and it's really hard to keep the house clean, orderly, and pretty when there are 10 people still living in the house. But I try.
I think the core of the matter is consideration: thinking what the other person might like. What matters most to each will vary, whether it is clean laundry, or a well-cooked meal, or a blue bowl with golden marigolds gracing the table.
This is not the time to give up. Try to understand what they want and make your reasonable effort to bring them joy and peace in a way that fits them. Watch for the little clues about what they like. Listen to the hints and the suggestions.
Just don't get stuck in a performance trap. Your worth is not tied to their approval. You have been created by a Gracious God who treasures your presence and your efforts. You have dignity no matter what anyone else thinks.
Do the things you need to do for others just because it is right and good, and we are all called to serve with love and diligence and confidence.
Sometimes the sanctuary and beauty you create will be for yourself.
Taking care of Mama is the right thing to do, too. If you are overwhelmed and exhausted and emptied out, you will have nothing left to give -- and what good that be? Nurturing yourself is good for your whole family. Like my old t-shirt said, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"
What do you think? Leave a comment!