Friday, October 19, 2007


The blessings from the recently departed house guests still continue. I arrived at my mother-in-laws house determined to be a good guest. This means picking up all the spare articles of clothing deposited by my large family, and instantly brushing the baby spit-up from her new carpets with a damp rag.

Today during my quest, I also figured out how to better practice a basic doctrine of faith. During the trip to his parents, I'm aiming to be an especially conscious "good servant" to my husband during this trip. While he is talking to his parents, I made up his plate of dinner and got him something to drink. I do all the diaper changes for the baby. I unpacked the suitcases and made sure all the kids have all the right Fall weather gear. I don't ask for any of my husband's help with these details because "I'm the servant" this week.

Servants are also agreeably obedient. When my mother-in-law asked me if the baby has a hat to cover her ears, I brought down four hats to try on her. I didn't argue that it was 78 degree outside or that her sweatshirt came with a hood. Then I brought down socks for the baby also, unasked.

As a result of this focus, the visit is going more smoothly than in the past. My husband is having alot of uninterrupted time to chat with his aging parents. I'm also having alot less angst about the clash between family cultures- because it's less debate over "what is the right way to do things" and more "when in Rome do as the Romans." I've been having nice thoughts about the characters in Jane Austen's novels as I go about similar situations.

I've focused a lot on doing "service" for my family. Never before, have I been so focused on purely being a servant. That is what we are aiming for in our entire lives as Catholics. Being servants of God. I'm grateful motherhood is giving me such good practice for heaven.


  1. And when the kids asked for worms, you jumped on that too. Wow! I'm so impressed - it usually takes less than 30 minutes for me to be fuming after I try to do anything like that intentionally.

    And if I am doing pretty well the moment John mentions something about it I tend to not do as well.

    Thanks for sharing - it must be hard work.

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  3. Wow, what an inspiring post! That would be *really* hard for me to do that...I will definitely have to try that. It'll be a good challenge. :)

  4. What an excellent post - and example! I've tried similiar experiments, though of a lesser degree, and have experienced similiar results. I'm going to have to start trying to go the whole way with the servanthood in the future, though.

  5. This is something that I've been trying to work on lately too - it IS a struggle, and it is so easy to get that little devil on your shoulder saying "That's not fair - I'm doing everything, he should do something . . . " until you (make yourself) remember that maybe God has a purpose for him to do in the future that will help you or someone else the way that you're helping your family today. Even something as simple as biting your tongue and letting him do something his way (like taking a different route than you would when driving somewhere) and be patient with it, even if you think you can do it different or better, because it is just not worth the argument and you'll get there in the long run anyway.

    I just finished reading C.S. Lewis' "Screwtape Letters" and find myself recognizing that little devil in my life more often, or at least thinking about him being nearby!, and realizing how easy it is to deny the devil and embrace the Godly and angelic way to act and react. Serving your family and your husband serves God.

    Great post!