I wish I woke up each and every morning with a broad smile on my face, bounding out of bed, hastening to the kitchen to make a nutritious breakfast for my family. As I served the farm fresh eggs, with homemade bread on the side, there would be no words of judgement or recrimination on my lips for messes left behind the day before or mistakes made. Oh, no. As the day breaks on the Gore household, all is love, love, love! And it is all my doing. My mood sets the tone for the picture-perfect day. I am the kind of person that Ryan Gosling smiles upon.
Yes, I want to be that girl--unfailingly loving my family, turning that jar into a lamp, taking a meal to a hurting neighbor, visiting that friend in the nursing home. I want to keep up with long-distance friends and those around me whom I don't see often enough.
On a bigger scale, I want to make a difference in my community's health; I want to nurture the faith of young people. I want to travel to Africa, write a book, go on a speaking tour! I want to be amazing but right now I have to clean the toilet!
It feels like life gets in the way of all I want to achieve and do. Mundane tasks call for my attention and divert me from bigger/better plans. I can find myself getting resentful or discouraged by how little I'm accomplishing. Do you find this to be true, as well? Who has time to be a difference-maker when there are household chores to attend to, meals to be cooked, dental appointments to make?
Hold everything. My circumstances and my calling may not be as far apart as I imagine. Are not the small, everyday things---driving the kids to birthday parties, visits with grandparents, snacks for the soccer team, and yes, even toilet-washing---my calling, too?
What if our understanding of what's amazing is completely off base?
Mother Teresa's quote comes to mind: "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love."
I think it's wonderful to set lofty goals and work to achieve them. I'm all for that. (As a matter of fact, my next blog post will focus on priorities and goal-setting.) But we also need to keep in mind that every nose wiped and toilet cleaned is amazing, as well. It is a sacrificial gesture of love. Beautiful in its simplicity and necessity.
I used to wonder at what I was doing as a stay-at-home mom. Was I accomplishing anything at all? My children were never going to remember the diapers I changed, the meals I made. And then one night it struck me: perhaps these rituals were not for them, after all, but for me---training me like an athlete trains for a race. They cultivated in me a heart of service, of being present in the moment, teaching me to be faithful in the little things, whether I felt like it or not.
These are the small bits that make up the whole of our lives. This is one reason I've called this blog "100% organic." Life is organic. Every bit of it. We grow and change. We stretch, we learn, we become.
Our blog conversation will be aspirational---cultivating a longing in us to be the healthy, vibrant people we were meant to be. It will be inspirational---giving us a vision of what's possible. Together, we'll find the amazing in the small things and the broader dreams. And it will make Ryan Gosling smile.