Every morning, I drag my protesting body out of bed to begin responding to that day’s emergencies. Every morning I mumble a prayer of consecration… offering to God the gift of all I say, think and do that day. It is my gift. As a mother, I cannot give hours on my knees. As a cranky hypoglycemic, I can’t even give significant fasting from food. As one constantly with a nursling attached, I am unable to dedicate energy to charities. Many mothers face this dilemma… this seeming lack of offering. “What can I give to Him, the Ultimate Giver, that could possibly amount to anything?” And the answer and the beauty is in our very nothingness of course. In the duties of the moment. In the responsiveness to the children. In the willingness to wash the baby puke off a new sweater. In the industriousness of whipping a meal up when there is nothing in the pantry. Obviously, in these small things—insignificant to the world but tremendously powerful and important nonetheless— there is great merit. Our work is our prayer. And our work is our gift.
Why then, am I the worst kind of giver? What kind of gift is it if I go about my day bitter and resistant? What kind of gift is it, if I’m constantly trying to escape the present moment online or by envisioning a different lifestyle? It’s a lousy gift. I have been the recipient before of an unwilling gift… one that came with heavy feelings attached that seemed to say “You better appreciate how much trouble I went through to get you this, so there!” It ruined it. I didn’t even want the gift after that. In the same way, my grumbles reach the ears of the Almighty. And so many of my gifts must fall from His hands in an sad pile of worthlessness.
I give Him everything… EVERYTHING. All I am. Who I am. What I “really” want to be doing during my day besides plowing through a homeschooling lesson or being horrified by the insurmountable laundry. My daily trials are a gift. I realize this. But I certainly don’t act like it. I don’t consistently give with a generous heart. In my mind, I embrace the theology of ‘prayer in action’ and ‘morning consecration’. But my heart does not want to follow what my mind intuitively knows… that if it was TRULY a gift—I would give it unattached. With joy. With thoughtful love. I want this. I want to love. And until my heart naturally “feels” this joy and love all the time… I trust God sees my intention to at least wish it into place!
Jesus, give me the willpower to kiss my cross and to love my Calvary.