I have a mantra that I say to my kids, “do what you Have to do, then do what you Want to do.” While this does not work with every given situation, it does hold true for many areas of our lives. Of course, the best case scenario is when we Want to do what we Have to do, but that doesn’t always happen. The last time I said this to my son I thought to myself, “Do I do this? Am I a good example of this to my children?”
My life is made up of a lot of tasks that I don’t really Want to do. I don’t like to clean bathrooms, I don’t like to dust, I like to cook (when I’m alone, not exhausted, have tons of time, and it is fall, so, not often). I don’t particularly enjoy washing dishes, mopping floors, or doing laundry. Vacuuming, on the other hand, can be therapeutic. I would much rather read, write, walk, run, eat, drink coffee, talk, play a game, or do a myriad of things other than what I have to do each day. But, I must do what I Have to do, before I can do what I Want to do.
When I think about it, there actually isn’t very much in housekeeping that I enjoy doing. But yet, I love being a homemaker. There are aspects that I find enjoyable: baking a good loaf of bread; having a clean bathroom; clean sheets; clothes nicely folded and ironed; good, homemade food; a clean and cozy room. What I like is order and the peace that usually comes with it. Yet in order to have the one, I need to accomplish the other. I have to actually clean the bathroom in order to enjoy a clean bathroom, etc.
Should I, therefore, go about my day lamenting the monotonous tasks that I need to do or thinking, just get this done and I can move on? Of course, that is a trick question. I don’t have to enjoy something to take pride in it, to work at it Joyfully, to perform the task with love. Too often in this world people Don’t do something because they don’t find it Fun! We are easily bored, and when we are bored, we sometimes give up. Life isn’t easy and sometimes it is downright hard to do the right thing, but that is what I am trying to teach my children, and myself, do the Right thing, no matter how I Feel about it. We are our choices, not our feelings. So choose to do what is right, and remember, “I can do all things, through Christ who strengthens me.” Even clean the bathrooms, AGAIN.