My Heart is Not in Stuff

our children 

The Joy of Mothering

 


IF your home was on fire and you got to save five items WHAT WOULD THEY BE?  That means you left a lot of stuff behind. What are the things you wish you could have taken, but had to leave behind?

 the only objects that I would run into a burning house for are photos of family, my computer, an overnight bag with toiletries and a few changes of clothes , a bible, crocheting to help any tension and nerves. That's it.

As for regrets, I really do not think that my heart is in things. Since I was a little girl, I have felt content with what I have materially. Even now when my nine kids ask me what I want for Christmas, I pause for a moment with a blank mind. I have to search to come up with a list.

Rather a strange state to be in because this is not the result of spiritual striving, fasting, prayer, it is just how I am. Living with little people has only strengthened an innate tendency to enjoy the little things, to be grateful to be alive and in communion with the Spirit.

Little kids have been my teachers and taught me that the key to happiness and joy is thankfulness and appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us and especially that is just above our heads. Children delight in the plethora of tiny details all around them. They are born with a sense of wonder and the ability to enjoy little things.

Children love to peer closely at tiny objects. Perhaps it is because they are closer to the ground but they stop at every flower and bug, especially a bug on a flower. As they look, touch, smell, even lick each wonderful new discovery, all their attention is riveted on that one thing. At first it was difficult to slow down during our walks and let the toddlers set the pace but it was a wonderful instruction in relaxing and becoming fully present to the moment.

At first I was only capable of enjoying whatever captured my children's notice but now I realize that they were experiencing so much more than I initially thought. In their silent, non-verbal attention to nature, they were in deep communion with God Himself as He is present in His creation. Adults struggle for years to merely glimpse the intimacy that little children have naturally with God. They do not need to strive or work for this state of contemplation because they are without guile, prior opinions or expectations; they are open and look with trust, ready to absorb the love, joy and peace that envelopes them. Children are grateful for everything.

To live in a constant state of gratitude and thankfulness. Even if I were to live in the midst of a concrete jungle, I could at least stop for a moment, look up and give thanks. I simply need to remind myself to glance upwards, above my little busy world and enjoy the sky. The sky alone is an extravagant present that continually fills me with the joy if I remember to take a break from my "important" business.

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