And I've been sick as a dog.
Jen's 10 Best Links of 2009 had one gem in it that could not have been better-timed. Like Mother, Like Daughter tells me that the secret to straightening out my life is this: Laundry and Food. That's it.
"As I lay on the sofa, lamenting telephonically to my friend about my seriously miserable condition and the mountains of duties beckoning to -- no, hurling themselves at -- me -- especially the baby and my phenomenally, epically, heroically messy, dirty house, she told me this: basically your family needs food and clean laundry from you right now."
Haha, I thought at first. Isn't that cute? Obviously, she means this in an ironic sort of way, because, yes, indeed, they need clothes and food, but really I can always do more than that. Excepting when I'm on bedrest with hyperemesis. And excepting, oh, today when my head is the size of New Jersey and the toddler is crying every three minutes and the 4-year-old is weeping because she wants to see Jesus, God bless her.
No, there's nothing ironic about this:
"So, when you are making your resolutions, at the top of the list do you have these two items: feeding and clothing your particular horde?"
Yes! Now they are right at the top of that list. Because for the last week, that was all I could do. And even the cooking was ... well, I love my breadmaker.
And Leila's wisdom continued:
"... if you have a handle on these two areas -- if you have serenity when contemplating dinner or the washing machine -- you will be rational in your approach to all other areas of your life: losing weight, saving money, cleaning up, using your time well, loving your family more, having reading time with your kids, teaching them Latin, you name it! It will all go better if you have order in these two fundamental duties."
Oh, the wisdom! And all those interior resolutions I made for this year? Well, there is no worry. The beauty of longing to be more humble, less irritable, and increasingly selfless is this: Only grace can work these in me. Reducing me to a laundry- and dinner-machine can surely bring make me more like Christ. I have every confidence in this, because it is the promise. If I am faithful to the clothing and food, the one who made these precious children will be faithful to me. And bring me home.