David and the big boys are at church this morning, and I'm home with Ben. He's been really crabby the last few days, and I think its a combination of teething and lingering stomach trouble. Anyhoo, we couldn't justify leaving him with the poor children's teachers at church, so here I am.
Now, I had big plans for how to redeem the morning. I was going to go out and get things for Seth's birthday and party and so use my time productively to make myself feel ahead of the game. (Notice the words "my time" and "make myself.")
So when I discovered after breakfast that David hadn't put the baby's car seat in his car, I was angry. All my plans were ruined. A made a couple of attempts to see if I could get a seat, and when those didn't work, I did something that I probably wouldn't have done a few years ago. Instead of stewing, I tried to figure out what God wanted me to be doing instead. I remembered that this wasn't David's fault because we hadn't really talked through logistics last night when we decided that I was staying home with Ben.
I decided maybe I needed to think about what would enhance our family's comfort (read: David's mostly) instead of my failed agenda. So I emptied the dishwasher, cleaned out the old food in the fridge, washed dishes, made some Russian tea for everyone to enjoy, and vacuumed upstairs. Ben helped me by toddling around and bringing me things to look at. (And by watching the '70s version of "Winnie the Pooh" which he likes and nobody else but me thinks is quite as amazing.)
I'll make lunch for them for when they walk in the door, starving after a long morning, and it'll hopefully be better and more relaxed than when we ALL stumble in the door after church and throw some lunch together.
I pulled out my current favorite devotional reading this morning, "Mere Christianity," and I happened to be reading where Lewis is talking about developing Christlike habits and motivations, so I thought I'd type a bit in here from p. 68.
"There is a difference between doing some particular just or temperate action and being a just or temperate man. A man who perseveres in doing just actions gets in the end a certain quality of character. Now it is that quality rather than the particular actions which we mean when we talk of virtue.
We might think that, provided you did the right thing, it did not matter how or why you did it- whether you did it willingly or unwillingly, sulkily or cheerfully, through fear of public opinion or for its own sake. But the truth is that right actions done for the wrong reason do not help to build the internal quality or character called a "virtue," and it is this quality or character that really matters. (If the bad tennis player hits very hard, not because he sees that a very hard stroke is required, but because he has lost his temper, his stroke might possibly, by luck, help him win that particular game; but it will not be helping him to become a reliable player.)"
I tend to navel gaze, and often when I do, I focus on all the ways that I'm not growing in Christlike character. So when I actually do decide not to sulk, its awfully nice for God to remind me that there is some Christlike character growing somewhere in me deep down. Ok, enough of this. Gotta go read Ben a book. :)