Wednesday 8 February 2012

Do the needful

I am tired and everything seems More. More demanding, more frequent, more weighty, more.

Two babies need their diapers changed and all three of them need lunch and I need food and the breakfast dishes are still on the table and my bladder is weighing in with its own demands and all of it needs to be attended to now but I only have two hands!

Overwhelmed by the growing urgency of all that must be done, I stop, remind myself: Do the next thing. Simply do the next needful thing.

I clear a space on the floor and kneel amidst the sea of toys to change two diapers.

I move the breakfast dishes to the dishwasher and empty the rest of the table.

I set one baby in front of his mama-sent lunch and begin slicing fruit and veggies for my own boys, scooping hummus and tearing up pitas and peeling boiled eggs.

They begin eating and I slip away to the bathroom, then return and eat my own lunch.

Everything is calm again.

Just do the next needful thing.

Again later in the evening, everything demands attention at once. Dinner is finished and the table needs to be cleared and the pots need to be washed and the laundry needs to be switched over before bedtime and it's time to start the boys on tidying up the living room and the floor needs to be swept and once again my bladder is making its presence known (thanks to the tiny human sitting on it) and oh, deep breath. Just do the next thing.

I feel annoyance rising as I move quickly from one task to the next, but then I remember: All is worship when done as worship. Thank you, Lord, for these dirty dishes, because it means that we have food. Thank you for this warm water. Thank you for the happy, if slightly chaotic, day that led to this mess. Thank you for this opportunity to serve. Thank you for this home.

I wash the pots while the dishwasher takes care of the dishes, humming along beside me, my steady companion in this daily repetitive work. Soon everything is done - laundry, sweeping, tidying - and children are ready for bed and I know the exhale will soon come.

In the meantime, I will simply do the next needful thing.


  1. This is a wonderful reminder that we need to be thankful for all things, and that "all is worship when done as worship". It was exactly the reminder I needed, and I can very much relate to the hectic, demanding days. Thanks for posting this. Enjoy the exhale. :)

  2. Just read your blog for the first time as a link from a friend's FB page - Thankyou Sausage mama!!!! And thankyou, thankyou, thankyou Hippy Housewife!

  3. This is a beautfully real and raw post. I love the stream of conciousness style :).

  4. Yes and yes!
    One of my favorite writers, George Macdonald, often speaks about "doing the thing that lies next to you." This thought carries me through my days when they seem overwhelming.
    Great thoughts. Thank you for sharing them.

  5. Nice blog!Thanks for sharing!