Thursday, April 3, 2008

no small thing

I was talking to my mom on the phone this morning.
My mom always has a good word. I am always glad to hear her voice.
Every so often a letter comes in the mail with a note, a recipe,
and a $10 bill. Just for having a little fun. I love that.
My mom has the gift of making the ordinary seem special.
We were talking about being moms, pouring into our kids
and wondering what impact that actually has on the small lives
that surround us.
Sometimes raising little ones seems as though you are pouring
into a bottomless pit.
That you will never see the results of your work.
Or that you may not see the results you were hoping to see,
Say, when your toddler learns to plug up one nostril
and blow out the other side releasing all that it contains,
showing great pride in his nostril accomplishment.
And then you throw up motherly hands and say,
"Is this what I have to show for two years of nurturing?
Nose blowing without tissue?"
So I had to pull out my favorite mothering quote
and read it over the phone to my mom.
G.K. Chesterton, one of C.S. Lewis's favorite author's, had this to say:

To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales,
banquets, labors and holidays;
to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, boots,
cakes and books;
to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners,
theology and hygiene;
I can understand how this might exhaust the mind,
but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it.
How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about the rule of 3
and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe?
How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone
and narrow to be everything to someone?
No, a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic,
not because it is minute!

It means something, what we are doing with our lives.
Maybe we can't see the results because they are immeasurable.
Maybe we can't understand all that is going on in the workings
and shaping of small people, because it is so grandiose
that were we to know it all,
we would just keel over to think we had been given charge
of a small person formed in the image of the eternal God.
So God brings it down to a level that we can understand,
like teaching someone how to wipe their nose.
That's something we can get a handle on.
But I know this, I am thankful for a mom who was willing to pour into me.
My childhood was built on the bedrock of a woman
who loved Jesus and chocolate.
And I hope I am following in her footsteps.
I've got the chocolate thing down. Now we're just working on the Jesus part.
She spent her young adult years being everything to 4 small someones.
And that is no small thing.
According to G.K. Chesterson, it is downright gigantic.

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Kelly @ Love Well said...

What a FABULOUS quote. That's going in my journal.

Great post, as always.

Leslie said...

at quote really blessed me!


Leslie said...

should be "that" quote LOL

Heather & Reese said...

I love that quote! Sometimes being a mom does seem small, but really, it's the most important job we can ever do. Thankfully we have the Lord to lean upon to help us with it!

I found your blog from Once Upon a Blog. Reese & I are going to have her design ours too. She does an awesome job.


Kara said...

Thanks for making me emotional. Like I needed any help. Your mom really is the best. I hope I am the type of mom that sends a handwritten note, a recipe and a $10 bill to Makenna in the mail when she has kids of her own. That is the coolest kind of mom! P.S. I know you are doing a fabulous job raising those boys. Kudos to you, nose-blower helper!

Christie's Corner said...

I loved this post. What a great thought that when it looks like no progress is being made with these little ones, the truth is that all that's being accomplished in our day to day lives is beyond grasp. Humbling, isn't it?

Jekissa said...

Thanks Sue- I needed that!! :)