Monday, February 7, 2011
toilet paper and the potential for great change
Happy Chinese New Year! Last Thursday marked the beginning of the 15 day celebration of the Chinese New Year--the year of the rabbit. The kids and I are doing a unit study on ancient China right now as well as learning about Chinese inventions and customs. It's fascinating to step back in time and appreciate some of the things that have existed for centuries--things that we use everyday but take for granted, like paper and lol...toilet paper!
It's funny I know, but stop and think about it for a second. What would we do without toilet paper?! Give pause for a moment to that primitive reality preceding the stroke of genius we have to thank for our clean backsides. Pre-papyrus there were leaves, seashells (ouch!!), corncobs, blobs of clay...the list goes on, and it ain't pretty, folks. Then one day in the 1300s some brilliant man thought, "Paper, hmmm. This stuff has uses, man!" And the rest is history. Chinese emperors ordered the sheets of it by the stack-full (This was before the days of Charmin, so toilet paper came in large 2' x 3' rectangles back then.) and never looked er, back (ha-ha, sorry...BAD pun. I'm full of 'em!). And while it took some time to catch on across the world and become available to everyone, the face of the world had forever changed. And it started with one man. One man who had a vision. A, um, cleaner and more comfortable vision. :)
Sometimes we all have these strokes of genius, that light bulb moment where we say to ourselves, "Eureka!" (Ok, so no one really says that anymore, do they? But you know what I mean.) The stars and planets align, a solution becomes crystal-clear and our world becomes a little bit (or maybe even a lot) better. We, as moms, have these moments as well. From tweaking our child's nap schedule to re-organizing the toy room we are always making improvements. Inventing. And while our inventions may not be Nobel prize worthy, they are no less amazing or worthy of praise. We moms have unique insights into our children and our homes that no one else has in all of the world. It is our task and responsibility to look at our children and homes to figure out ways to make it all work better. This is no small task, although at times it feels quite insignificant and goes unnoticed. But in these times we ought to stop and remind ourselves that no good work goes unnoticed in the eyes of God. These small victories, our "micro mom inventions" help our days to go a little smoother. They help bring us increased joy, a sense of order, more free time, reduced stress, peace and quiet. And all of these things open room in our hearts for God to enter. As we quiet our minds and bring order to our homes, God is right there with us. He sees our triumphs and our victories. He, the master inventor, gives us our prize; grace for our days. And our children will be happier for it. And the face of the earth will be forever changed.