I crept through the door quietly as not to wake Anna. She, curled there in fetal slumber, soft and innocent. She is not a baby anymore-turned three in December, but the way she looked just then...it's the same.
The same as three and a half years ago when we studied that ultrasound picture so hard but said we didn't want to know if it was a boy or girl- and we didn't know until the day she was born!
In the blurry image her perfectly formed sixteen-week old body curled as it does now. Her one arm tucked carefully under her face, and her little hand rested under her chin. We could see all this... a baby being formed in dark watery depths. A hidden miracle.
"I was her first home," I thought to myself, standing there watching her sleep. "Yes, I am a homemaker. And I have made a body-dwelling for nine miracles." Such Grace, such Blessing~ That I could be used by God to give LIFE.
I had been thinking about the business of homemaking a lot that day- the monotony, the drudgery, the fact that nothing stays done. We, as homemakers, do the most mundane tasks over, and over, and over. And then- tomorrow- it will all have to be done again.
I know we're supposed to see all of our housework as a form of prayer, and it is; Living our vocation IS prayer. Serving others IS prayer...but how? How does feeding and cleaning and wiping and doing the dirty work bring us closer to God?
That night I gazed at Anna sleeping, I saw the answer. I read the answer in the lines of her curved body, awakening those maternal instincts so present in pregnant expectation three years ago:
Every mundane task I perform builds a home for the hearts of my children.
It may be a cliche, that "home is where the heart is," but it is so true! I can have a beautiful home and the most delicious meals and not have made a home for my children. Giving children a home is about being loving towards them, doing things out of love for them.
Every time I serve my family with love, I am building a home that cannot be undone or destroyed. True, they will get hungry again, the clothes will need washing again, and the toys will get scatterd on the floor...
But the love imparted by serving my family cannot be taken away.
Each loving action is like a brick that builds a home for my children's heart...my children's soul.
"Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action. "
"Love begins by taking care of the closest ones - the ones at home. "
"Let us then, be up and doing. With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait."
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow