This morning after I threw a diaper away, the diaper champ suddenly toppled over onto my foot. So I yelled really loud, being the dramatic person I am. When the Joshes came to see what was wrong, I told them (mostly big Josh) what had happened. So I'm standing there and jr. sits down in front of me and picks up my foot by the toes. Then he picks up my other foot... and starts rubbing it!!! At first I was confused, and asked him what he was doing. Then I realized that he was trying to make my foot feel better. Isn't that sweet? You never know what a little 18-month old kid will comprehend about a situation-- I hadn't even known he was paying attention to my conversation with his daddy.
The other night I was talking to Josh about the endless household chores that I have to do every day. These tasks aren't specifically "my" responsibilities as the wife (since in our marriage we are equal partners), but they often become my responsibilities because I am here, I have the time to do them, and they need to get done. I was venting because sometimes it's so frustrating to do tasks that seem so mundane! I just DID the dishes-- don't tell me I have to do another load! And no matter how many times I do those dishes or clean the living room or change the sheets or pick up jr.'s toys... I should probably do it all over again tomorrow. Sometimes it gets a little old! Sometimes I wish I could do things that were more fun or seemed more personally fulfilling with my time.
Then, as I thought (sulkily and a little indignantly) about all of that, I realized something.
What keeps me doing those things over and over again? It's the fact that I'm a member of a family. I'm a wife and a mommy, and for those reasons, I have to. That dinner isn't going to magically appear. That diaper isn't going to change itself. That kiddo isn't going to stay safe and well-fed and clean all on his own.
So if I weren't in the situation I am now, what would keep me doing good things all day? Probably nothing. I would probably end up surfing the internet or sleeping during my free time and doing absolutely nothing productive. Not because I'm a bad person, but because by nature, I'm a little lazy. The natural man has a tendency to take the easy road. So the fact that I chose to be a mother (which God asked me to do at this time in my own personal life) means that automatically I have responsibilities all day long to guide me in my daily choices.
And that makes it easier to be a good person! Instead of being in the position to waste all of my time away, which I probably would, I've got this little guy (soon to be TWO little guys) crawling all over me, and begging for my love, attention, care, and support. And I have a busy, hard-working husband who probably wouldn't mind having things to eat and a tidy place to come home to amidst all the craziness of his work and school activities.
So my point, I guess, is that God makes it easier for us to use our time well by giving us the commandment to have a family. Just by getting married and having children, I have lined myself up for a whole bunch of built-in opportunities to serve (and to serve those I love most!) that I wouldn't have otherwise. If I didn't have that commandment in my life, I'd have to find soup kitchens to volunteer at or old ladies to help across the street or charity organizations to donate all of my money to (not that I shouldn't be doing those kinds of things anyway, but hopefully you see what I mean), which would be very time and energy consuming... and who knows if I would take the time to do it? Being a wife and a mommy is the easy way out in this case.
And the more I do the things that are ever present (albeit ever mundane) and necessary in my home, the closer I am to becoming like Heavenly Father. He is endlessly serving, so He has given me a simple way to be endlessly serving too (and hopefully growing to like it someday...) and trying to become more like him. The more I fold the laundry, the more I align my actions with God's will and the less with my own silly will that doesn't know what's best for me.
Yeah... in the end, I'm pretty sure that mopping jr.'s dinner up off the floor is going to make me happy.
...and once my kids are old enough, they can do it all! just kidding. kind of.
jr.'s first football game ever. good thing BYU won! our seats were at the very top of the stadium, very last row (that's the sky above us). you can imagine how good I was feeling by the time we got to the top. and then, well, you know, with all that walking... I sure was wishing there was a restroom up there. there wasn't. they ought to have maternity seating...