I often tell my kids not to make each other grumpy since it’s hard to be good when you’re grumpy. Sometimes, I need to hear it, too. The Holy Father recently put it more eloquently, by saying “Make your home a real nursery of virtues and a serene and luminous place of trust, in which, guided by God’s grace, it is possible to discern wisely the call of the Lord who continues to invite people to follow him.”

You see, some of us have the flu. Unfortunately, some includes me. Non-essential services at our home have come to a grinding halt as our family trudges through each day. Our home is now the site of mountains of laundry, general random mess, dust elephants and kleenexes. Fancy recipes are on hold and we are going through the entire inventory of easy dinner options.

Each day as my body slowly gets better, my mind is more and more frantic about the amount of housework and other tasks that are piling up. It’s so disheartening to think about how little physically can be done when one is sick! My temper is short and the members of my household are having to live with an ogre of a mom. And mama ogres usually create little grumpy ogres, not to mention a stressed out Mr. Ogre.

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God… really? The Kingdom of God first? But what about the laundry? What about the dust elephants? What about the toilets? Not disinfect ye first the toilets? Seek ye first the Kingdom of God? I don’t know what that means… God? Please just show me what to do. I’m sick and tired and I need simple instructions. Simple instructions came in the faces of my tired, grumpy family. So instead of focusing on the mountain of tasks, I tried to focus on the people around me. Often it meant trying not to lose my temper. Sometimes it meant sitting with a one-year old and piling blocks whose destiny it was to be knocked down anyway. Extra kisses for a sniffly toddler. Small things that seemed bigger now that I’m extra powerless to do big things.

Which reminds me of a neat quote by Mother Teresa: There are no great things, only small things with great love.