Monday, July 1, 2013

Mowing the lawn

I asked my husband to let me mow the lawn last night.

Some of you are already not sure you want to keep reading. I must be going through some mental breakdown to volunteer when the temperature at 5pm was 95 degrees.

No, seriously, I wanted to!!
There is something about physically demanding labor that is an outlet for me, almost a necessity. When I'm upset, I need/crave physical exertion. On the flip side, sometimes I get upset due to lack of physical exertion. (or depressed due to lack of exercise)

As the oldest of four daughters, I thoroughly enjoyed helping my Dad in his shop, and later going on service calls when he was an appliance repairman. To this day, I have no problem taking a screwdriver in hand and disassembling our vacuum, our kids' electronic toys, the back of the refrigerator, or our washer and dryer. (mostly for maintenance issues like lint and vacuuming out the coils)

I wore pants and closed-toe shoes and his protective earmuffs and whizzed around and around our backyard, gleefully mowing down the grass. Some areas were tall and almost choked out the mower, others were so short and patchy that the dust made me stop and cough. Our grass prefers the shade provided by our apple tree and our neighbors' cherry tree.

When he asked me why I wanted to mow the lawn, I told him, "Because I can see what I've done!" I enjoy seeing the bare lawn where I've been and the tall row where I'm headed. My task is clearly laid out before me, and I know when I'm done!
Truly, this is what motherhood's wrestle consists of: long-term reward and heavy short-term (and long-term) labor.
Changing diapers, breaking up bickering, correcting the awful attitudes of my three sweet girls, it exhausts me mentally and emotionally, but physically there isn't much of a challenge anymore.

And, at the end of the day? I often feel like I have nothing to show for my work. The negatives are easier to notice than the positives. 
But, take heart, the reward stage is dawning in our household. As my oldest approaches age 6, I am catching glimmers of helpfulness that I have only dreamed about, my 4 year old is getting sweeter and less stormy, and my youngest who turns 2 in two weeks is so far much less obstinate in her fight for independence. She IS picking up some less-than-desirable habits and mannerisms from her older sisters, but by the grace of God, she is still noticeably more compliant after witnessing the consequences of disobedience her sisters have borne.

In our earthly lives, there may be toils and labors that seem fruitless or in vain. Yet, Galatians 6:9 tells us, 
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
And James 1:12 states "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."

If you don't enjoy seeing your progress on your lawn, I may want to come over and do it!
But, if you are needing an encouragement in your mundane duties, I hope you have found it.


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