Today, as a family, we accomplished the following:
- Made a dozen muffins for breakfast. Ate 3/4 of them. Froze remaining 3.
- Spent a daddy/daughter morning with breakfast, a haircut and a trip to Meijer for lettuce (for lunch).
- Hung up winter coats and organized children’s shoes in the closet.
- Vacuumed all floors upstairs, put away things previously strung about on the floors.
- Laundry detergent made. (1 bar of Dr. Bronner’s soap shredded/chopped + 1 cup each of borax, washing soda and baking soda. Approx. 1 formula scooper per load).
- 3 Loads of laundry washed & dried.
- Trip to the greenhouse for the last of the garden starts (Roma tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage), herbs and a few flowers for the front of the house.
- Trip to Piqua just to enjoy the view because we missed our turn.
- Lunch – delicious salad, complete with a fresh cilantro lime vinaigrette.
- Swept up extremely dirty kitchen floors.
- Naps by every single person in the house. At the same time.
- Ate homemade popsicles on the front porch swing (1/2 c. orange juice, 1/2 cup vanilla coconut milk, spot of vanilla, spot of maple syrup or honey, frozen into popsicle molds).
- Planted aforementioned flowers.
- Planted aforementioned starts and herbs (in pots).
- Weeded garden (well, at least around the onions).
- Built string trellis for green beans to climb.
- Grilled steak, baked french fries, thawed green beans.
- Showers with washed hair.
- Aforementioned clean laundry folded and put away.
- Snack and a movie.
- Evening with a buddy.
- Eyebrows and upper lip waxed.
Now, I say this not to brag about our productivity levels (but considering that 3 of us combine for an age of 8 and another can’t walk with her feet pointing straight in front of her, I feel like we fared well).
What I enjoyed most about today isn’t the feeling of crossing these things off the list but rather the sense of home-making it created. The kids enjoyed helping with each of the activities and we all felt good about contributing to the well being of our household. Sure, it’s all stuff that needs done to make the house run smoothly, so in a sense there’s a level of efficiency, but I also love how it comes together to make our house more than just the place we sleep and eat, but also the place we spend some of our days.
We could spend our money to have a large chunk of these tasks completed on our behalf, but I love the sense of provision that comes from getting dirt under my nails and mixing my salad dressing. I feel enabled, empowered, as if I have a voice and mind behind what I’m doing. These simple tasks remove me from a victim-of-life-that’s-out-of-control mentality and place me firmly on the ground of Active Participant in this world.
I just read the other morning that God gave us tasks in the Garden before the Fall. Work isn’t evil. It’s our way of participating in the creative nature of God’s presence. The curse put a man’s brow to the plow, but I believe what really happened might have simply been a skewed view of work and why we must labor in order to produce. A bit of pain suddenly accompanied the accomplishment. (True for the woman as well, and ironic that both parts of the repercussions of the Fall are referred to as “labor.”)
The work isn’t evil; in fact, I wonder if a tad bit of idolatry slips into the picture when we start believing our time is “worth” more than our efforts, especially when the time benefits our pocketbooks over the ways in which God is moving and growing and sustaining and furthering His Kingdom in this world. Perhaps it’s only through the work of the “curse” that we truly understand and appreciate the gift of the fruits of our labor.
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