“Mom, can you make a window for me?”
The little voice was calling from across the living room. Sighing, I turned from my laptop in the kitchen and looked over at my 5-year-old, standing expectantly by a large cardboard box, a pair of scissors in hand and hope writ large across her upturned face.
“Just a minute, honey,” I said, trying not to let my irritation over the interruption show. My husband and I were about to leave town for several days, and my to-do list of loose strings felt more like a rat’s nest of tangled threads, weighing me down. Our trip was two short days away and I already felt panicked over not finishing everything in time.
I returned to my work, until a small voice piped up again: “Can you do it now, Mom?”
Frustrated, I turned to admonish her for lacking patience but, at just that moment, felt a small whisper inside:
What if this is your most holy work today?
The question made me pause. My to-do list felt endless, I had work to finish, and my house and laundry needed a good scrubbing. All of those things felt important, necessary.
But the quiet voice urged again: What if this is your most holy work today?
I have to admit that I pray for wisdom often as a mother because I know that, in my own power, I’m not cut out for it. I can be selfish; I’m not always brave. Sometimes I feel inadequate and unskilled, my degrees and life experience rendered meaningless.
Frankly, I’m not enough. But that recognition is perhaps what Jesus refers to in the Beatitudes when he says:
God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
– Matthew 5:3 (NLT)
I think that when God talks about being poor in spirit, this feeling of vulnerability—that in my own power, I am unequal to the calling I have received—may be what he means. In my own life, recognizing my own shortfalls has been the catalyst required for me to realize how much I need him.
And, as it turns out, I need Him in the small minutes of every day, even to set aside my to-do list, and give my child my full attention.
The most amazing thing? He meets us there, every time. When we are honest about our inadequacy, and ask our all-powerful God for help, He gives it.
Refocusing on my daughter, I cross over to her. We talk about optimum window placement for her toy dog’s “house,” adding one on each side and removing the top flaps. And as I sit beside her on the carpet, I resolve: Yes, this is my most holy work today. And I’m going to approach it that way.
Your turn! How has God used parenting to reveal your need for Him?
A career in journalism set Kristin Demery up to publish her own stories of living this wild, precious life. She now is an author of five truth-telling books, including the latest 100 Days of Kindness, and part of a trio of writers collectively known as The Ruth Experience. Kristin served as a newspaper and magazine editor and her work has been featured in a variety of publications, including USA Today. She still works behind-the-scenes as an editor for others while writing her own series on kindness, friendship, and living with intention. Find more from Kristin at theruthexperience.com.