Sorting socks is not a task I enjoy very much and the pile-o-mismatched socks that sits in the corner of my room proves it. Yesterday was the big match day and I sat on my daughter's bed sorting socks for a good half-hour. I started groaning inwardly while doing this, but somewhere in the middle of it all my perspective changed and I began thinking about all the people in my home who wear said socks and my heart changed from bitterness for the task to thankfulness for the wearers. The job became less demanding as I opted for cheerfulness in the midst of the chore.
I'll be honest. Thankfulness in the midst of thankless acts is not my natural default. I don't take to heart the words of Colossians 3:23: "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men." But in that moment of sock sorting, something switched in my heart that I needed to get through this, our last week in St. Louis, which hopefully will have a lasting effect. I began to see my work as, not only for the Lord, but also for the people in my family who benefit from it.
My next test came soon after that as I was packing up my 10-year-old packrat's, I mean, daughter's bedroom. I can't remember the last time I took a peek at the back of her bedroom door. It was completely covered with clippings of favorite animals, notes from friends, Cardinals baseball memorabilia. At once, tempted to groan at the amount of tape that needed to be peeled, I was instead quickly able to move to a position of thankfulness for the unique position of being able to catch a glimpse into some of her very favorite things. These were all things she'd hidden from most eyes most of the time, but things she felt compelled to display for her own enjoyment. And seeing the world through her eyes, for only a moment, made the peeling more palatable.
I'm not the most patient mama. It's definitely one of the spirit's fruits I wish grew in more abundance on my personal tree. But I'm finding that developing new eyes for the ordinary things of life with young kids goes a long way toward helping sprout that fruit. It also enables me to take the long way home with my kids a little more often. It's during that long path home we discover more of who we all are. And I'm finding that when I take time do this, I remember how much I love the life I've been given, mismatched socks and all.