As I sat and scribbled (well, typed) this into the draft folder, I could smell several fresh loaves of oatmeal bread cooling on the kitchen table, hear the hum of Mama's Bernina as she created a new jumper for Esther Joy, and the drone of the tractor down by the barn as the men pampered it with grease, gas and whatnot. The sun was shining, and the world was good.
Or rather, it ought to have been.
My heart was feeling rather queasy that week. Usually an adjective used to describe one's stomach, but I'm going to use it to describe my heart. It's been a timeworn struggle for me, and one that a spell on my knees doesn't always remedy. (My fault, certainly not God's.)
Sometimes I look at this world with its profusion of beauty, as well as its tattered, neglected needs, and I ask the Father, rather selfishly, what corner He had in mind when He gave me a life and a soul to call my own. What unoccupied gap did He design for me to fill? When He watches the sparrows fall, does He remember me?
Thoughts are dangerous things. They can trap and twist and spin a web of self-pity around one's heart without one even realizing it.
And thoughts swirling around the subject of "me, myself, and I" are so adept at weaving such a snare. Capable of pitying and pampering every carnal proclivity within us, yet so subtle with their petting.
Self-absorption. The craftiest enemy of every stay-at-home daughter. Within the confines of these four walls, waiting for our calling to fall into our laps, how easy a matter it is to lose our verve and vision within the sticky comforts of single daughterhood.
Or, perhaps an even more treacherous picture, a case of unhappiness because of the workload we balance day after day, without the kind of thanks our flesh convinces us we should have.
And all the while, the calling seems so distant. So uncertian.
Look for a face somewhere in the crowd, a heart you know has seen less blessings than you have, and pray for grace to pour a little oil into their cruse. A way to soften whatever they may be facing today, without the desire for recognition.
Is it hard? For me? It's impossible. My family who knows my native selfishness can attest to the fact.
That's why we have God.
With Him, it is not impossible.
That needy heart might be closer than you (and I) think. Not out of our reach as the famished child with the flies on his lip may be. That heart may belong to our mother. Or our friend's mother. Or someone we hardly think of as more than a stranger.
It could be something so simple as changing a diaper so someone else's hands can take a rest. Or tying a pair of shoelaces for a tyke who doesn't know how. Or washing dishes you didn't dirty. Or giving a few minutes of your time to encourage someone you don't know as well as your best friend.
As daughters, let's look outside our own comfort zones for a heart craving kindness, and pray for grace enough to give it.
God will be faithful.