"Blessed Mother Teresa has also said that it is far easier to serve a “dish of rice” to a starving person on the other side of the world than it is to serve that “dish of rice” to someone in our own home. Serving that person on the other side of the world may consist in writing out a check or even traveling to help the unfortunate. It's often a lot more difficult for us to show our love to those we are close to! Maybe it's a teenager who is acting up, the toddler who is running circles around you, or a spouse who is difficult or grouchy. We must look around and see if there is someone who is lacking or in need in our own homes. Love begins there. The difficulties endured in raising Christian families may cause us to seek after something else, to want to spread our love elsewhere. And, because women have big hearts, we sometimes feel so compelled to do more to help others out in the community. But as much as we may want to “run away” at times or simply desire to help others, we would be wrong to neglect our duties at home to go out and join committees, even very good ones.
First, let’s serve that “dish of rice” to our loved ones at home and if God gives us a surplus of time and energy and we know that all is well at home, we can roll up our sleeves and go out and help others too. My point is that we need to pause and search our hearts to be sure we’re taking proper care of those whom God has entrusted to us. Let’s be sure to get our priorities straight. Our Lord will help us.
The irritable, the angst-ridden, and the contradictory—those family members who challenge us in some way actually help us get to Heaven. Truly! We need to ask God for grace and an extra dose of faith, hope, and love to be able to love the very people God wants us to serve that dish of rice to. We are called to love them to Heaven! In the course of one day God gives us so many opportunities to act on grace, to love our family members, to set an exemplary example in our selfless service to them. Sometimes the little loving details seem, well, little. However, I am convinced that when we pray throughout our little details of loving service, these acts of love are really huge in God's eyes. He works through them all and sanctifies them."
Embracing Motherhood (in audio too) is available on my website: www.donnacooperoboyle.com