Between midnight vomit bugs, school fundraisers, lunch boxes, homework time and preparing a well- balanced dinner, women DO A LOT! I’m not saying men don’t, but women have a way of performing under pressure. I recently read a passage from Luke’s gospel that reiterated this point and totally cracked me up.
After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her. He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them. Luke 4:38-41
Seriously??? Here is this poor woman on her death bed probably soaking, sopping wet from fever sweat, weak from lying there for days or even weeks, she had probably been folding laundry in between hallucinations and the minute she is cured she hops out of bed and starts serving others. Couldn’t she have at least taken a drink of water or maybe a bath. My first thought was that women totally get the shaft, we are always expected to be doing something. But when I continued to read about this particular scripture I saw the beauty and it opened my eyes to the amazing gift it is to be a woman. Jesus completely healed the mother-in-law, so she had full energy to do exactly what she needed to do, just like he heals us every day giving us the strength to “do it all”.
I so often question, “What am I doing in this world to help others?” and MY answer is, “Nothing!”. Mother Teresa is being canonized this week for caring for thousands of people who were literally dying on the streets of Calcutta, she gave up everything to help the poorest of the poor. I recently met a woman whose life mission is to end abortion, she lets pregnant women who have no money live in her home. The list goes on of amazing people doing incredible things. My conversation with God continues, “What is my calling? Where do you need my hands in this world?” and GOD’S answer is, “Right where you are!”
My priest always comforts me with these words, “You are doing exactly what God wants you to do, you are caring for your family.” It doesn’t feel like I’m changing the world, it feels more like I’m referring some kind of strange sport. “Remove your arm from your brother’s neck, brush your teeth, can you really not eat ice cream without it covering your entire body?, put down the ipad, use better manners, and on and on and on!”. I feel like my title should be Chief Executive Nagger, it’s all I do…nag, nag, nag. And I constantly feel like I’m running in circles with Katie getting nowhere fast. Between speech therapy, doctor’s appointments, karate practice and swim meets I’m doing more damage to the ozone layer than anything else.
But it is the job God gave me and I’m the only person on earth who can do it for my family. It’s hard work! Can I get an Amen? It’s really, really, hard work! But it is my privilege and it IS changing the world. Every time I blend Katie’s food to put into her tube feeding, I am feeding Jesus like Simon’s mother-in-law did. Every time I sit down to help my Kindergartner with his sight words, I am helping Jesus. When I reprimand my 8-year-old for talking back, I am training her to be more respectful just like Jesus. When I do all of these things with love I am raising my children to be good people and this world really needs good people.
This scripture also reminds me of the most amazing woman in my life, my own mother and how she still teaches me to this day the beauty of sacrifice. I recently had surgery and when Momma is down households typically come to a screeching halt. But my mother basically moved in and did it all for 4 weeks. Well, I do give my husband credit too, he was a great Mr. Mom. But day in and day out my mother lifted Katie, changed her diaper, fed my children, washed our clothes, and made sure I was okay. But the thing is, she always does these things, because she is a Godly woman who puts others before herself.
The world needs people to feed the hungry, care for the sick, and clothe the naked, but it also needs good parents to raise our children right. There is a season in life for everything, right now I’m doing all of these things inside my home. When I can volunteer and contribute financially I do, but I can’t compare myself to others, I can only do what I can do. I continue asking God to guide me in the thick of the chaos, as well as prepare me for the future. For now, I learn from the saints in my life and around the world because one day when the season is right I want to be ready to go outside this home, with my well raised family by my side, to change the world.