Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Poetry Wednesday, Vol. 48

Do small things with great love.
- Mother Theresa

In the circles we navigate, it seems every single person owns this quote; framed, with Mother Theresa's face smiling out sweetly from the bottom. It's almost cliche, really, how often this quote is used, thought of, passed by unseen as it hangs on a wall. In our house, we have embraced this quote and made it our own. It is now "Do inconvenient things with just a little bit of complaining".

There always seems to be something extra we can do, something we can say yes to, something we can commit to, and it seems like a great idea - until the day comes when we have to do it. Then we are tired and grouchy and greatly inconvenienced. Maybe this is just what our little family is made to do. Maybe we are not meant for incredible feats, we won't have any books written about us or poems penned in our honor. We will just keep doing those things which start out as good ideas, then become bad ideas, then end up as good ideas once again, and we will try to keep our grumbling to a dull roar while we do it.

Next week, I get to watch our friends' baby on Tuesdays. Not all day, and just until her Grandma is done recuperating from surgery. A small thing, really. But I have already begun complaining. Of course I said yes to my friends, and I DO want to help them out. I also want to complain. My life is waaaaay too busy for this. Way too hectic. I mean, on Tuesdays there's a children's class at the library, and.... wait, there's more... I'm sure there was more... well, I'm positive there is more going on. Oh, yeah! We need to swim at the Y pool, and I have a book I want to read. See! Way to busy. The point is, I am greatly inconvenienced by this small act of love. And everyone I know needs to hear it!

This summer we have been able to make it to the beach more often than last year, and it has been so nice. The kids have a great time. I'm able to relax and forget all the small things that annoy me. Leaving the beach is kind of hard. Someone starts complaining, someone starts crying over the terrible weight of their beach towel that they are being forced to carry on this, The Duneland Death March, and suddenly all my tension returns, crashing over me like the waves of the lake we are walking away from. While we are at the beach, all is calm, and I hold on to that memory. It helps with the small inconveniences of life.

Getting Buried

Ralph Fletcher

The beach is no place for worrying
but my brain starts churning:

summer school
getting better grades
football tryouts
four weeks away

I let Ben bury me in the sand:
my legs, belly, chest, arms,
'til only my head is sticking out
like a lost lumpy basketball.

For a while he torments me,
then gets bored and runs off.
I sit back in cool sand,
eyes closed, snug as a crab.

Amazing how light I feel,
weightless and carefree,
this heavy blanket
piled high on top of me.


Beth Hanna said...

I love your comments more than the poem! Yes! It's hard to do small things with a BIG smile and with the heart! Last night I saw (in someone else) as small thing that was NOT done, and I vowed me do the small things, no matter how hard. And not complain, of course!

Michelle said...

completely agreed - too easy to complain!

Plus, I experience the same ecstasy and agony as you do with my family's near daily beach trips.

Your poem choice describes it wonderfully, except that I would NEVER allow my children to bury me in the sand. I hate sand.

Ironic, I know.

Molly Sabourin said...

Great poem, Kris!I'm trying really, really hard to refrain from bringing my worries and frustrations with me to the beach, or Liturgy or lunch with a friend or pilates : ) . I too totally find myself getting all flustered by my "REALLY" busy schedule ("But I can't take one more thing on! I have to go to the store tomorrow and...well, ok,just the store, but still...").

You always inspire me to be more available to others.

Anonymous said...

Like Beth, I'm loving your comments! It is one of the greatly humbling things of life to realize how it is the silly little inconveniences that bring out the worst in me. And the older I get, the more convinced I am that those small things are as, if not more, vital to our walk of faith than the great acts of service. Besides, when out on a mission field, in a remote African village, I have been just as prone to snap at a child over a small mishap than when back stateside, in "easy" suburbia life!

Beth said...

Thanks for this Kris, your thoughts especially. Inconvenient things like a new baby who needs to be constantly soothed to sleep. Doesn't she know I have half a million things to do including cleaning up the potty her brothers dumped all over the floor. But then a breath, a pause and a reordering of my priorities. The most important job is the inconvenient one and really how precious to rock my little one (over and over) to sleep.

Hope to be back next week.