It's been another difficult week within our family, with lots of sickness, weariness, and the inevitable spiritual attack when I open the blog for prayer requests. All Blossom's children have been to the doctor, and she herself was brought down by a nasty virus. My husband was quite unwell all weekend and I struggled for a few days with another tummy bug and dizziness.
But it was also a good week, one where more prayer than usual made it's way to the ears of God, a week where although the body could not do much to stay on top of things around the home and garden, the heart and hands were lifted high for my loved ones and for every prayer request left in the comments last Monday, and every email which arrived needing prayer.
As I was reading this morning, this quote of Laura Ingalls Wilder caught hold of my thoughts...
“It belittles us to think of our daily tasks as small things, and if we continue to do so, it will in time make us small. It will narrow our horizon and make of our work just drudgery. There are so many little things that are really very great, and when we learn to look beyond the insignificant-appearing acts themselves to their far-reaching consequences, we will ‘despise not the day of small things.’ We will feel an added dignity and poise from the fact that our everyday round of duties is as important as any other part of the world.
And just as a little thread of gold, running through a fabric, brightens the whole garment, so women’s work at home, while only the doing of little things, is like the golden gleam of sunlight that runs through and brightens all the fabric of civilization.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder
My dear Blossom, who is wife to Ross, mummy to three children ages 2-6, mistress to two pug puppies, a full-time homemaker and cottage-business owner, has had constant health trials for the past eighteen months, and due to this has gone through weeks at a time when only the bare necessities of homemaking are being accomplished. She's her harshest critic, and too often beats herself up about the house being in chaos.
But she forgets all the little things, the life-giving little things, which day by day are carried out within her home. There's the generous love she pours out on her babies even when she is barely able to move her body, day and night without restraint...all in the name of loving devotion. She forgets that God is watching her sacrifice, and to Him, those little loving things mean more than all the dusting or mopping or scrubbing an ordinary day can hold.
During these times simpler meals are made, children are still bathed and read to, clean clothes are folded and put away, the floors are swept, mummy hugs are forthcoming and in abundance, and very importantly, her ears are open to hear every little voice sharing stories, concerns and needs.
Homemaking overflows with seasons, and those seasons can be many and varied - illness, convalescence, babies, unemployment, financial distress, retirement, separation, moving, visitors, family unrest...every homemaker will experience seasons of all kinds through their lifetime.
Some seasons we have plenty of energy to keep our homes sparkling and tidy, our tables overflowing with tasty nutritious meals, our spirits high and our attitude confident. Other seasons we can barely manage to keep things afloat, and it's during those 'other seasons' that too often we can feel as though we're failing as homemakers, believing those 'little things' we still can do have no real value when compared to the big things we did before.
Perhaps we should step back and look at the season we are in today? Let us consider all the little things which are achieved in slower seasons and not despise them, but rejoice that we can do them. In seasons of abundance let us give thanks that we are able to accomplish more, and perhaps offer to help someone who is struggling.
Whatever season of life you are homemaking in right now, consider every little task as having just as much value as those bigger ones we once believed were more important. For in the big scheme of life, it's often the little things which end up mattering the most after all.
Bless you always,