One of my resolutions for the New Year is to get back to the healthier eating habits I practiced a few years ago. So, this week I have been busy doing a lot of the kinds of food preparations that had fallen by the wayside. On my windowsill above, you can see roasted pecans, carrot-dill pickles, creme fraiche, ginger-lime kefir, and coconut-maple sprinkles. In my dehydrator right now, I am making the yogurt for the week.
There is something very satisfying about surveying the results of one's labor. The knowledge that I am providing healthy food for my family and making it myself from quality, local (as often as possible) ingredients gives me a deep sense of comfort and even security. My children love to help with these food preparations and to them it appears often as if a mini-miracle had occurred. How did the sweet cream become sour cream? How did the milk become yogurt? How does the water and salt and whey pickle the carrots? Mini-miracles on my kitchen windowsill. The fruit of my hands and the minutes of my life given up for the nourishment of my family.
I am also finding time to pick up my (rather pathetic) knitting again. I started a hat for my youngest last night and had knitted 4 rows of it before I realized that I had created a Moibus strip instead of the ribbing for his hat!
So, I ripped it all out and started over this morning. And yet, once again, there was something satisfying about even ripping it out. A sense that I had made it, I understood it, and I could fix it. A sense of confidence and contentment in the work of my hands. A certain knowledge that the tearing out of the stitches was as much a prayful offering for my son as the knitting of the hat.
Scripture tells us:
Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: the woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands: and let her works praise her in the gates.
The fruit of your labor as a wife and mother is pleasing to God and is a sign of your love of God and of your family. When no one else notices, He sees. When the work seems dull and repetitive, as it often is, He sees. When your labor gets eaten up, or messed up, or used up, and it appears there is nothing remaining of all your work, remember that He never forgets even the smallest of sacrifices and that all of these works will one day "praise [you] in the gates!".