Our Little Way
Sara: Each month, I get together with a wonderful group of ladies for “book club” to discuss some readings. Most of these ladies are mothers, and five of the seven of us are pregnant or have had a child in the past few months. It’s great to have the example of mothers who have been in the same place I am. In just a few short months, I believe it will be very helpful to have some more “motherly” advice.
This month, we discussed the “drudgery” of doing the same things over, and over, and over again. Most of the mothers are blessed to be able to stay home with their children, so they were speaking in terms of changing diapers, loading the dishwasher, making dinner, and doing the laundry.
However, it made me think of the struggles of having to go to work each and every day. While I have several seasonal tasks, many tasks are performed on a weekly or even daily basis. Most of the time, I truly enjoy what I do, but there are days (especially like today when it’s rainy and cold) when I wonder if my tasks truly matter. Is my life significant enough to inspire others by the way I live? Most of the time, I feel like the answer may, perhaps, be no.
As we continued our discussions, we decided that we really can’t know the impact of our own lives on others, as small as it may seem to us. When I was single, I dreamed of doing big and great things for God – visiting Rome, becoming a world-renowned writer, and more. Now that I’m married and Justin and I are expecting our first child, many of those dreams are no longer realistic. I can still do big and great things for God; it’s just that they probably won’t be as big and splashy as I had hoped for in my single life. More than likely, the lives of my friends will sound very familiar in the upcoming years – changing diapers, loading the dishwasher, making dinner, and doing the laundry. And, as I hear, I forgot to mention sleep deprivation! It can be hard to trust that simple at-times-monotonous life is meaningful enough by itself.
As one of the ladies said, “It stinks that the adversary gets at us by discouraging us in our vocations, in our ‘little way.’ We mothers have so much we can offer up and do, even if never leaving the house. It can be pretty hard, though, to work crockpot-slow in a microwave world, feeling like our impact is too small to measure. I do believe real change is made that way – incrementally – but man, can it try a person!”
We finally concluded we can still do those simple things with love for God, and love for our families. Personally, pregnancy has already made me a lot less selfish as I’ve cleaned up my less-than-stellar eating habits, and begun to place the baby’s needs first as much as possible.
However, we reached no lasting, easy and tidy answers on how to be encouraged when we are down. Perhaps, we’ve already reached the first steps – finding encouragement with other women, and through the grace of the sacraments.