It's Sunday. I'm going to write more than usual... if that's okay :).
When we were huckleberry picking I had the chance to talk to a cousin of ours. I enjoyed her company immensely and wished we lived closer to each other so I could get to know her better. Alas.
But during the course of our conversation she asked, "What's your favorite part about being married?" I listed off a few things, but I've not been able to stop thinking about that question. Several times I day I catch myself saying interiorly, "this is my favorite part" and later in the hour, "no, this would be it." Marriage, as God intended it, is just too wonderful!
I'll just take one "for instance."
I hate grating cheese. Passionately. I'll do just about anything to avoid having to do it (except buying it pre-grated which costs $ and delivers dried-out cheese, or buying a food processor which is just another clunky appliance to wash and store). I feel the same way about washing lettuce and making ice.
But I've noticed a curious thing since getting married. Grating cheese is one of the sweetest moments of my week. Don't get me wrong... I still hate grating cheese, but I love doing it for my husband. It's a joyful sacrifice that doesn't even feel like a sacrifice because it's done with love for him. Lettuce and ice are the same way. If I lived alone I would never grate cheese, I'd eat salads but rarely and I'd probably live without ice. But when there's another person involved, a person I love, doing these things takes on an entirely different quality. It's a vocation that takes the focus off of me, my wants, my comforts, my selfishness and allows me to do for another. It's little things like this, done with love, that are part of why marriage is so amazing... it effects even the most mundane tasks and makes them worthwhile, meaningful, and acts of real love instead of drudgery. Each time I nick my knuckle on the cheese grater, instead of muttering under my breath I can rejoice that I'm finally able to prove with actions instead of words, in some small way, how much I love my husband. (I know motherhood is the same way... making unpleasant tasks sweet because they're done with love. But I can't speak from experience yet.)
It's easier to do the big things, sometimes, that get noticed. Doing dishes, laundry, floors, making dinner... those things rarely go unnoticed by my wonderful husband and he doesn't fail to thank me for doing them. Great joy, though, is found in doing the things that go unnoticed... dusting places that you would never notice are clean but you'd sure know if they were dirty, sweeping behind the toilet, straightening the contents of drawers. Herein lies the housewife's ability for sanctity. Herein lies my joy.
This has, finally, shown me what my attitude towards God should be. Sure I've always done sacrifices... what cradle Catholic doesn't "offer it up?" But what was my attitude when doing them? Suddenly, not eating meat on Friday isn't an annoyance done because "good Catholics just do it"; it's a cause for joy, to show God I love Him. Praying on my knees without leaning my rump on the pew behind me and my elbows on the pew in front of me... holding my tongue when I want to give a sharp reply... these are the "little things" which, when done with love, take on an eternal significance. And, when united to the sacrifice of Christ upon the cross, they have redemptive and salvific powers!!
Ah the holy martyrs. They would go singing?? Joyfully?? To be mauled to death by lions? To be shot by arrows? To be stoned? Drowned? Flayed? Burned? Shot? Poisoned? Hanged, drawn and quartered? How could they joyfully do something like that? ONLY with Love.
What is this other than St. Therese's "Little Way"? I guarantee she saw this spirituality (even at a very young age when her mother was alive) exemplified by her saintly parents, Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin. God grant us the grace to be like them (and to have children like her, hehe)!
Tonight we should have cheesy enchiladas, salad and iced tea :). Oh happy day!