The Woman: The Heart

Perhaps a woman’s work is like a heart’s work. The heart could feel mundane. Pumping the same couple pints of blood through the same physical body. The same rhythm. The same thing over and over again…

A hidden camera in your house or mine,

pointed straight at the kitchen table

would probably look like this:

Two hands, a woman’s hands, straighten placemats

set napkins, silverware, plates, toast, cereal, cups

pick up napkins, silverware, plates

gently fold placemats to be shaken over sink

replace placemats, oops, remove them again, remembering to wash off the sticky spots on the table that were not prevented by the placemats, napkins, or bibs

replace placemats

(remove stray books, tin child-size frying pans, dolphin necklace, and toy cell phone)

remove placemats

lay down big plastic sheet for craft

plop down with plastic tub of finger paints

set out paper plate palates, paints, smocks, brushes

Two hands, woman’s hands, paint with smaller hands

pick up sheets of paper, sopping with color, to hang on the refrigerator

screw caps back onto paints, untie smocks, clean brushes, remove paper plates

wash off plastic mat, and colorful spots on the table that were not prevented by the mat, plates, or smocks

replace placemats

(remove small plastic doll shoes, paper clippings, pipecleaner inventions, etc.)

set out lunch dishes, silverware, hard boiled eggs, salt, pepper, sliced apples, and cups

stack plates – one with leftover yolk, the other with leftover whites – both with a stray apple slice or two

remove cups

remove placemats

wash table

replace placemats

set out books, notebooks, coloring pages, crayons, pens, pencils

write, color, think, and create with a child or alone

close books, notebooks; gather crayons, pens, and pencils

tear out admirable coloring pages to hang next to the drying paints

disappear under table to gather pencil shavings, crumbs, previously over-looked egg-droppings, paint splotches, and *always* a stray bead or two

straighten placemats

(remove folded up bits of paper, telephone, dolls, socks – socks?! – crumby napkins, etc.)

straighten placemats

set napkins, silverware, plates, glasses, candles

light candles

lift fork to mouth, cup to mouth

pass salad dressing, rolls, napkins

pick up dropped forks, rolls, and napkins for a little one

gather plates, napkins, glasses, candles

fold placemats

remove placemats

wash table

replace placemats.

The hidden camera will record one hundred days that look just like this: a small wooden table, enduring the same ritual over and over again, the same 2 hands working the same fabric over and over again. And that’s just the kitchen table. And you know I’m under-estimating.

But if we pan out and point the camera at our lives…

…to see the constant cleaning, reordering, revitalizing, helping, beautifying, and organizing – not just in the corners of our houses, but in the corners of our relationships as well – we’ll see homes being built from the deepest reaches of the foundations to the highest aspirations of the trusses.

…to see the constant praying, longing, thinking, wondering, caring, helping, beautifying, and repenting that work over and over and over ourselves, our husbands, our children, our neighbors and friends…

…to see that it’s this work that builds homes and lives.

What feels like mundane, ritual repetition, is in fact revitalizing, catalyzing, creative building.

Perhaps a woman’s work is like a heart’s work. The heart could feel mundane. Pumping the same couple pints of blood through the same physical body. The same rhythm. The same thing over and over again.

But the heart doesn’t feel that way – and we don’t feel that way about the heart – because the whole point of the heart is that it works out the new blood.

That it beats a new beat.

We rely on the newness of “over and over again”.

Each beat – as repetitive as it seems – builds a life.



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8 responses to “The Woman: The Heart”

  1. Jenny Avatar

    <3 love this.

  2. sarah mae Avatar



    This is beautiful…and so so true.


    I’d just get rid of the placemats. 😉 (actually, I did!)

  3. Kristi_runwatch Avatar

    Love this. love it, love it, love it. Thank you.

  4. Jenny Avatar

    Sarah Mae–I got rid of the placemats, too…they are hiding under my hutch. ha! I’ve replaced them with washable table cloths–and I love it.

    Love you Laura…love you oh so much!

  5. grandmomruthie Avatar

    God blessed us with the mundane…it keeps us anchored to the reality of our finiteness! Only He is able to do things once and for all!

  6. Sarah Mae Avatar

    I’m now trying to figure out how you lose yourself without *losing* yourself…no what I mean?

  7. Rachel Avatar

    Beautiful post Laura!

  8. Mama Llama Avatar

    You could have picked so many analogies. But the table…. oh…. as I stare at my dirty, crumb filled table. I have to call on the heavens above to give me the self control not to scream when things are spilled all over the table, floor, etc…. The table. As I read your post, I totally pictured this video of 365 days in fast forward of just your table. Thanks for thegreat reminder that I am not just serving (and vacuuming up) cheerios…. that I am serving and building a life (three little lives)

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