If you’ve read any of my posts recently, you know that this year I have decided to focus on the word, the idea, of delight. I have been looking for the sacred in the mundane, routine, ordinary moments of my days.
It’s been a worthwhile and even successful exercise most days. In fact, it has helped me develop a better discipline in trying to seek God throughout the day.
Today there was nothing holy in my daily tasks. There was nothing sacred in my attitude or my demeanor. Today, I did not see anything to delight in. Not the cooking. Not the washing of the dishes. Not the tidying of toys. Not the clearing of clutter.
Today everything reeked of drudgery.
Until I listened. To my girls.
Until I watched. My girls.
Until I disciplined. My-self.
That’s when I realized it. Again.
Parenting is difficult. Parenting is challenging. Parenting is spiritual.
And, because of that, parenting is dangerous.
Because in being a parent I have to deal with some things I would rather not. Mainly, my-self.
Because in being a parent to the two girls God gave to me to care for, to nurture, to love, God has placed in my constant consciousness a burning bush spotlight on where I am weakest. On where I fall short. On where I need growth.
Sometimes this is in the form of what I see in my girls. The strong streaks of character traits, my character traits, that cause me to shudder and cringe. Like my six-year-old daughter’s need to be in control. Or her need to win all the time, whether it is eating her breakfast or going outside to play. Or the way she sulks when she doesn’t get her own way or thinks someone has hurt her feelings.
Or I get to see myself in my four-year-old daughter’s constant correction of things that I say. Or in her epic meltdowns because the world is not performing the way she wants it to, expects it to, demands it to. Or in her strong will that will prevent her from adhering to the boundaries that have been set.
Actually, both of my girls are strong-willed free spirits. And that is wonderful, unless you have to harness that power for good and not for evil when you are still trying to figure that out in your own life.
And sometimes God uses these sweet, strong-willed, fierce warriors to show me who I am. He lets me see my-self as in a mirror. Reflecting my triggers, my weaknesses, my brokenness.
Who wants to look directly at their brokenness?
But, that is what God allows me to do. Every day.
I may not like it. But I am still astute enough to realize that this daily challenge is an opportunity. I am still astute enough to see that God is giving me a gift. And what I do with that gift matters. I can take it for granted and merely consider it just another typical, routine part of a mundane daily existence. Or–
Or, I can accept it for the glimpse of the sacred it provides me.
Tomorrow, I will share more about how facing the reflection of my triggers, my weaknesses and my brokenness in my daughters creates unexpected moments of the holy in the every day.
For today, I will pause and recant the idea that everything in my day has reeked of drudgery. Rather, it has provided me a hint of delight because for a moment, a brief and sacred moment, God has shown me that finding delight does not come without a cost.
And he is assuring me that it is a cost worth everything it will demand of me.