Mother’s of young, I know how wearying it can be, this continual feasting our children do. I recognize those exhausted sighs and the droop of your shoulders when the sink is full… again. You'd be happy to miss a meal, put your feet up with a simple bowl of cereal and read a book. Instead, your fingers get chapped from the constant scrub, scrubbing of pots under steaming water. We heat it up nearly to boiling in hopes of sanitizing germs away, but we sanitize joy away too. Down the drain. All day long it feels.
Turning around once,
we find the sink full again.
This continual feasting is exhausting.
But might I suggest we purpose to see these continual disturbances today as invitations to change our perspective. As we open up the refrigerator and stoop to find the sandwich meat, back aching from the repetition, let’s redirect our thinking:
Each meal nourishes healthy children,
Who are growing strong.
They are maturing.
They are learning to say thank you;
You are setting them up for a life of gratitude.
They are sitting together;
And there is the Living Word on the table.
Purpose to serve joyfully, thankfully,
Do not correct all meal long,
Then nitpick as they load the dishwasher.
Do not scowl at their youthfulness,
As I've been known to do,
Then slam the Bible shut when they giggle.
Slamming Bibles, crush hearts,
Closing hearts to the Gospel.
Each meal is a training session,
Yours and theirs.
It is not just Hard Work, this continual feasting. But it is Heart Work.
We didn't comprehend the job set before us when we were growing them, birthing, even nursing, them. Now here they are eating their way through our solitude, always leaving messes and asking for more or different. Yes, they ask for different, whine for different, but even that is an invitation for perspective changing, life giving mothering.
Instead of letting their whining and complaining at the table zap the joy from your servant heart, remember what is true. Our blessed charges have afforded us another opportunity to train, disciple, and lovingly direct them. It feels continual, perpetual, constant, and unceasing, as their swinging feet kick our shins beneath the table. But it does end. The sink won’t always be full and glasses won't always spill, and the quiet of your days will stretch out long before you.
New seasons will come, and memories of table times together will fade into something beautiful. If we purpose them as things of beauty today.
Their continual feasting, dear Mamas, is your invitation to consider what you are feasting on. Not the nourishment of breakfast, lunch and dinner, but the heart within your breast. Does it feed on cheer, or grumbling? Does it nourish itself with thanksgiving, or bitterness? Does it ingest cheer and joy, or swallow hard each morsel you bring to the table?
A cheerful heart has a continual feast. (Proverbs 15:15)
There is still cleaning up and training to be done. Shoulders still ache and tears still come hot when you are up too late. Which is why I will turn my computer off now... To get the rest I need tonight... That I might have the cheer I need tomorrow... To keep up with this continual feast!