Sometimes you read something that stops you in your tracks, causes you to look honestly at your life and be grateful but also become better, stronger, more sanctified. This interview with Erin Loechner was one of them. Seriously, read it in its entirety if you can. I found it as very humble but wise advice from a fellow mama.
But especially, this part...
I do not believe in the words, “I have to,” as in, “I have to go to work, or I have to raise my children.”
It is only, “I get to.”
We get to go to work.
We get to raise our children.
We get to take out the trash, evidence of abundance.
We get to chop these vegetables, evidence of nourishment.
We get to rush out the door, late and frenzied, with the diaper bag spilling and phone ringing, evidence of life abuzz all around us.
I stopped and stared at it.
A million times, yes.
The last one really got me, though, because how many times have I rushed out the door snapping at my children just to load us all in the car and scurry off to a play date or park - something that's supposed to be fun? How often have I been quickly making dinner in a huff so I can just "get it done" and move on to bedtime?
I plow through the day and over people in my life and my work at home as things I "have to take care of" or "get done" rather than seeing that these things and people are life itself.
This isn't a guilt thing, though. This is a "I feel convicted and want to change" thing. Are you with me?
Some more words that have beautifully convicted me - this post by my friend Audrie begs the same types of questions:
What am I living for, and how is that reflected in my behavior?
Do I see my children as obstacles?
Do I see my work at home as drudgery, or as a way I willingly get to serve?
A renewed perspective changes everything.
The answer here, of course, is that we are all sinful and act wrongly and grumble about the blessings in our lives. But we cling to grace and start fresh today. This should affect our lives moving forward. We will make mistakes and have bad days, but we also MAKE CHANGES that help us engage more with our real everyday lives before us with gratefulness.
What will those changes be for you today? Take the things you grumble about, and reform them into "we get to."
Here are some things on my list...
- We get to own a business that helps our community and farmers.
- We get to live in a country where our needs are met, and we have the freedom and opportunity to provide for our family.
- We get to live in a beautiful urban neighborhood.
- I get to stay home with my children all day.
- I get to homeschool.
- I get to move my body everyday.
- I get to do load after load of laundry, evidence of myself and the children and husband who wore them, making mudcakes and memories.
- I get to read Raindrop, Plop! and Counting Kisses over and over and over again to wide-eyed little girls in my lap.
- I get to freely worship the Lord and spend time studying His Word.
- I get to make homecooked meals, wash dishes, put them all away, and start over again, to feed and contribute to the health of my family and friends.
- I get to constantly clean up messes - food thrown on the floor, sticky fingerprints off mirrors and tables and windows, evidence of curious hands full of LIFE.
~ ~ ~
As a reminder, I made a simple PDF of this quote and posted it in my kitchen. Download it here.