I am really terrible at keeping up with my laundry. I can wash and dry without any issues (of course, because the machines do all the work); but I will let clean laundry pile up on top of my washer and dryer (okay, okay, and deep freezer too) until you literally can not get a sock off the top without the whole pile falling down onto the floor. Its pretty embarrassing. So, whenever it gets that bad, I put them all on our pool table and fold and fold and fold, for hours upon hours until its all done. And then I spend another hour putting them all away. Its a really bad system that I don't recommend for anyone.
So, when I do get the clothes folded and put away; I expect a big to-do about it. I am talking flowers, cake, maybe even a balloon or two. A few days ago, I cleared them out, and guess what....nothing. Not even a mention. And it sort of hurt my feelings. I mean, have you ever tried to fold and put away 12 tons of laundry with one arm and a toddler hanging on your leg? The sense of accomplishment I had felt a few hours ago turned into resentment towards my husband for not noticing my work.
And it got me to thinking...
As a wife and mother (and woman, and well, person), its so easy to count on those around me to fill my soul. On those days when I am "on"- when the laundry is done, the kids have clean faces (sadly, that is me "on"), a good healthy dinner on the table...those days I feel like supermom and am validated. On the days that are less than perfect, when my husband has to douse the overcooked chicken in barbecue sauce, or Adler and Hazel have been whiny all day, I feel like a failure. I have placed so much of my validation on them, on being strong and good on my own account, that its all or nothing. Joy and contentment only on the days when things are good. Its so far from how God has designed it- I miss out on the mercy and grace that God has for me when I count on myself to fill my soul, instead of him. Only He can truly fill us. Not only that, when he fills us, he lets it overflow into all the areas of our lives, our commitments at work or church, our children, our husbands. Its part of His plan this way, for everyone to benefit from your God-soaked spirit.
When we are allowing God to fill us, we are not depending on our husbands to always say the right things, our children to make the best grades, or our things we buy to be more than just things. Our husbands can be wrong and we are still okay and can forgive more readily; our children can be imperfect and we can still love them unconditionally; our things can be blessings and not necessities. It puts everything in perspective, doesn't it?
The Bible puts it like this in Psalm 73:25-26,
"Whom have I in Heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire but you.
My flesh and my heart my fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever."
I think that sums it up.
For more encouragement, I highly suggest the book, "Tender Mercy for a Mother's Soul" by Angela Thomas. Good stuff!