There are days when I start feeling overwhelmed with everything. The dishes seemed to have multiplied, the laundry pile keeps growing, the floors all of a sudden are dirty (didn't I just clean them yesterday), the outside chores are slacking, one of the kids may have been up all night (usually it's the middle child who can only sleep from 2-4 am lately when he's touching me and only me), the baby wants to nurse or be held constantly and I'm torn between holding him constantly or putting him down to get done what I need to get done around the house. You know, typical mother stuff!! :)
And then I decide to make bread. And I start kneading dough and I can feel stress start to release from my body, my mind starts to slow and I knead bread while looking out the window at the beautiful sunshine. It's moments like these that cause me to pause and start anew.
While my bread was rising, I sat down to read my devotional (I've been doing daily devotional in the morning and lent devotional at night) and today's is "The Extra Mile." We read our daily devotional from a publication called The Upper Room.
"If anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile." Matthew 5:41
Part of the story states, "These kindnesses caused me to think about how Christians obey the Bible's commands to serve. We can bring God pleasure when we don't limit ourselves to simply carrying out our task but also invest love, concern, attention, and diligence. When we apply God's principles in our lives, we allow God's grace to be revealed in and through us. And all over this world, there will be extra smiles; kind words; and unexpected joy, hope, and encouragement."
When I go about my daily chores and routines, I should not just do them out of duty or necessity but out of love as this will spill into our environment affecting it is a more positive way. We can find comfort in our daily chores and routines by the simplicity it brings to our lives and how our daily acts of love and kindness bring joy to ourselves and others.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
So I'm reminding myself to give generously of myself as I go about day, to love and laugh and enjoy everything I'm doing and everyone I'm encountering. I'm reminding myself to enjoy God's gifts and the beauty in life. To enjoy snuggling with my kids (even if it's the middle of the night) and nursing my little baby boy because his time as a baby is bittersweet and he will be my last baby. And Oh yeah, that homemade bread too but then I won't need any reminders to enjoy that when it comes out of the oven all hot and steamy!! :)