A Happy Heart
by Terri Bonin
EVERYTHING I do gets unraveled! This fact makes my hair frizz, my shoulders slump and my belly button poke out. Maybe that’s why I’m not a clean freak. It messes up my look.
Sometimes the unraveling feels like a giant conspiracy to get me to STOP working towards CLEAN. I work all day yet can appear to have done NOTHING by the time my honey gets home. Little ones lurk around corners waiting to empty cabinets, or the toddler finds the ONE marker I missed under the sofa and proudly decorates the freshly washed walls with pretty designs.
It’s a conspiracy, I tell you!…
Everything we moms do throughout the day gets undone. The kids get fed…then they’re hungry again. The laundry gets put away, then a big pile appears on the floor. The floor is swept clean, simply to receive more crumbs.
Discouragement. It comes. Lingers. And dangles wrong thoughts in a frizzy-headed mom’s mind…
The other day when my rebellious “I QUIT!” nature surfaced…
…that darn Veggie Tales song popped into my head. That annoyingly happy song titled A Thankful Heart is a Happy Heart and it occurred to me that I was feeling ungrateful. Ungrateful for the precious lives that dirty every surface and piece of clothing within touching distance.
The fast unraveling is NOT a conspiracy to discourage me, it’s just life. These jobs MUST be done because it’s the right thing to do, and they must be done with the understanding that they will NOT STAY DONE!
The unraveling represents lives to love and care for. Children that mean more to me than a permanently clean floor. Eternal souls that have been entrusted to me for a short time…
These sacred mundane tasks are holy to the One who made our hands complete them. The work is a blessing EVEN if it is NOT enjoyable. The best life is not the easy fun-filled work-free life. Laborious tasks completed with a thankful heart reap rewards and provide growth and contentment.
When I think about it, MOST of the things I do, I don’t particularly enjoy.
When my 5:30 am alarm sounds, I’d rather pull the covers over my head and sleep until 8 am than get up to sharpen my mind before the kids awaken. When the baby EXPLODES with a gnarly poopy diaper that’s oozing down her legs, I’d rather pretend I don’t smell it and let someone else take care of it. When 6 pm rolls around and the shade stretches across the street, I’d rather tie up my tennis shoes and hit the walking trail, than think about a crowd-pleasing dinner.
I don’t LOVE getting up early, but I LOVE the quiet time with Bible and journal amid the peace I get from it.
I don’t LOVE dealing with gnarly poopies, but I LOVE taking good care of God’s precious gift to me.
I don’t LOVE cooking every single night, but I LOVE the sweet bonding time around the family dinner table with my favorite people in the world.
The instant gratification of taking the easy road would cheat me of great satisfaction. Many days my life leaves me looking like I sat on a grenade, but firmly planted in my soul lives a deep gratefulness for being trusted with all this work… it’s all a matter of choosing to be thankful and having a happy heart.