From today’s reading …
“When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize. She brings him good, and not evil, all the days of her life.
"She obtains wool and flax and makes cloth with skillful hands. Like merchant ships, she secures her provisions from afar. She rises while it is still night, and distributes food to her household. She picks out a field to purchase, out of her earnings she plants a vineyard….
"She opens her mouth in wisdom, and on her tongue is kindly counsel. She watches the conduct of her household, and eats not her food in idleness.”
Proverbs 31:10-16, 26-27
Lord, I want to be a worthy wife! Some days, however, I have to shoot for "better than Soup-for-One." This may come as a surprise to some, my admitting that when it comes to "redemption," it is as often my children who help me along the way as the other way around. John Paul II referred to the family as the "domestic church," an earthly reflection of divine love. Because none of us are perfect, we need to help each other along the way: mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers. The Christian life is the process by which we grow in perfection -- a state that will be completed only in heaven.
Some days we get farther along the trail than others. Yesterday, for example, was not a “worthy wife” day. The unending rounds of cyber vitriol had soured my outlook a bit. I snapped at Craig for leaving his shoes and computer bag in the middle of the floor, chastised my son for cramming all his school clothes under the bed, and swatted Sarah's bottom before planting her on the steps when she sassed me three times in a row.***
Next thing I knew, I felt little arms around my neck. It was Miss Sassafras. “Mommy, do you know why I love you? Daddy makes better scrambled eggs … but you are the best snuggler!”
So we snuggled, and we read “101 Dalmatians.” Later that day, when I woke up from my Tylenol-3 induced nap (those wisdom teeth are not going quietly into that dark night) I found a rapidly warming Diet Coke and a handmade card on my bedside table. “I love you, Mom. I hop yur teth fill bedr.”
And Christopher and his Dad had made his bedroom spotless. Including vacuuming.
That afternoon, I took Christopher on a little trip down memory lane: to visit his first foster-mom, Mrs. D. He was 2-1/2 when he came to us, but he had a recollection of being in another place. He wanted to see it, wanted to hear what Mrs. D. could tell him about that part of his past. We ate cookies, and he hung out in the living room, eavesdropping on our conversation.
Then we went to have dinner with his older brother and sister and their parents. Craig and Sarah joined us, and the four kids sat at their own table and squabbled and kicked each other the table. At one point the older ones teased him so he cried. Sibling rivalry can be kind of rough on the little guy. Especially when it means cramming two months’ worth into two hours.
That night I tucked him in, and sang him an extra round of songs. I wasn’t sure what else to do, as he didn’t seem to want to talk.
Lord, while You’re making me a “worthy wife,” care to take a stab at making me a “mighty mom,” too?
*** (Note: If the "swatting" line compels you to write a long anti-spanking diatribe, let me go on record right now as saying that I have HAD IT with long-winded commenters this week. Anyone who knows my strong-willed daughter can tell you that she is in NO danger of having her precious little psyche damaged from harsh discipline. So comments I deem less than constructive or supportive will be enthusiastically deleted.)