Hands to the Plow, Eyes Full of Wonder

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Today’s post is written by Mom Heart writer, Katy Rose. 

A very thoughtful friend sent me a small print of The Angelus she found in an antique store, which now sits framed on my night stand.

The original meaning behind this painting is debated, but when I lie down at night and rise in the morning I’m reminded of an exhortation I heard from a pastor a while ago. As we faithfully fulfill our everyday duties and are able to recognize God in the “mundane,” we mirror the vision that the pastor cast when he said,

“Hands to the plow, eyes full of wonder.”

When I see the peasant farmers bowing in prayer over their crops, I’m reminded to work at whatever the Lord places in my day with diligence and perseverance, no matter how trivial or insignificant it may seem. Hands to the plow.

And at the same time, I’m instructed to keep my eyes fixed on the Lord, praying always to know him more fully, to understand his character and feel his magnificent, life-changing love, to glimpse his glory in the way he uses the small and humble to accomplish his work.  I can trust Him. Eyes full of wonder.

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Elisabeth Elliot writes in Keep a Quiet Heart about the everyday “drudgery” of motherhood. She reminds us to cast our burdens upon the Lord, for his yoke is easy and his burden is light.  She shares about seeing this principle in practice during her visit to the Dohnavur Fellowship in India, the orphanage founded by Amy Carmichael.  She says, “Day after day, year in and year out, Indian women (most of them single) care for little children . . . They don’t go anywhere. They have none of our usual forms of amusement and diversion.  They work with extremely primitive equipment – there is no running water, for example, no stoves but wood-burning ones, no washing machines.  In one building I saw the text: 

‘There they dwelt with the King for His work.’ ”

And the same can be true for us. We have the choice to go about our daily work begrudgingly, or to instead work for Him. Grateful hearts fixed on Him: our hands to the plow, but our eyes looking towards Him, full of wonder.

(First image source)

Katy Rose, an artist at heart, is married to her high-school prom date and mama to two smiley and non-stop little boys. A life-long journaler, her blogging adventures began in 2005 while documenting life as a newlywed in Maui, continued as she settled down in New York City for several years, and then took a new turn with babies arriving and a relocation to Oklahoma for her husband’s legal education. While living in NYC, she was employed as a project manager by a foundation that worked with domestic violence victims, and spent some time outside of work serving pregnant women short on resources and support. She and her husband also work to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking. Katy is passionate about adoption, mercy, and her family, as well as cooking, chocolate, coffee, creating, all things European, and would never pass up a real-life, inspirational story.

Marriage and motherhood have been major tools for refinement. She’s currently clinging to God’s promise that his grace is sufficient and his power is made perfect in her weakness. You can find her writing at her blog: Embrace and Let Go

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Many of us readers here are Catholic homeschool moms. I’ve been reading Sally for 19 years! So we have no confusion or debate about the meaning behind the “Angelus” painting by Millet. Luckily, the guest blogger cited the Wikipedia link at the end of the column for people who want to know more about the prayer which is more than 900 years old. The prayer was nearly 700 years old by the time Millet painted it. I’m sure he knew that the peasants were praying three Hail Marys for the “child to be born to her would be the Son of God” and Savior of the world (Luke 1:35). The Angelus prayer was central to the lives of rural French peasants at the time. By commemorating the incarnation of Christ, this prayer format structured their workday as they stopped their chores three times daily at the sound of the church bell to recite it. Many of us still ring an Angelus bell in our homeschool at noon and pray together the same prayers monks have used for centuries. May all our homes continue to be mini-monasteries where the faithful draw near to God through work, learning, and prayer.
    Warmly,
    Candise & Crew

  2. Christine says

    The Angelus prayer was traditionally prayed at 6, noon, and 6 and many Catholics still (roughly) observe this practice. It is not difficult to teach this prayer sequence even to young children not yet reading. See St. Luke’s gospel for the inspiration.

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