I don't really have any classes that I attend but lately I've been making an effort to fill my mind with Torah thoughts once in a while by reading something about the weekly Torah portion, or learning with a friend every other week. With so many things going on throughout my week, it really is a challenge to sit down and take a class seriously or work on paying attention to a new concept for long stretches of time. My brain can only focus in short stints. :\
Last night I was at my in laws' Shabbos table and my father in law shared something very simple and yet quite practical and to the point. This week's parsha Vayakhel speaks about the building of the Mishkan (temporary Dwelling place, aka mini temple used in the desert during the Jews' travels). It gives details about what items were brought and how they went about the construction of the Mishkan on a regular basis. Since the Jewish people were sojourning throughout the desert for 40 years and would have to construct it and deconstruct it whenever they traveled from place to place, they had to know what they were doing. But a question arises about why it's necessary to repeat this information because these details were actually already mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Why have to repeat itself in the Torah? And anyway, couldn't G-d just have easily done all the work Himself and not bothered to give such tedious details and instructions to a bunch of people who may have a large margin for error?
The answer is simply that to G-d, our effort and participation was paramount. G-d isn't interested in doing everything Himself. I mean, yeah we would get the point and everything about His Omnipotence but then what?
I was actually reading a book to Mushky tonight before bedtime called "All About Us" by Dina Rosenfeld, which is published by HaChai Publishing. It's a really sweet book all about the different parts of our body and how G-d gave us each part so we can do Mitzvos (Torah Commandments) with them. But at the beginning of the book there is a beautiful quote which ties in with this message above: "Once upon a time, there was only Hashem (G-d) and His Torah, alone in His world. But Hashem was not finished. Hashem said, 'I want someone to learn my Torah. I want someone to do my mitzvos. It is time for Me to make people.'"
G-d could do whatever He wanted, but in the end, He chose to create us to connect with Him, to connect with His Torah, and to connect with each other.
As moms, I think this is great to remember. Yes, we have so many to-do lists, and such a wide variety of responsibilities. Sometimes we just want someone else to take over. Sometimes we just want G-d to figure it out for us and not leave us with so many decisions and duties.
But in the end, G-d really loves when we take over and be a part of the solution. When we take the initiative to get our acts together, bring our attitudes to a higher more positive level, connect deeper with our kids and our husbands, and create new experiences for our family. We are given so much power as mothers and G-d has the full confidence in us to use our talents and unique qualities to actualize our potential in every role we play in life. How empowering! As I write this, it's actually exciting me to think that I have so much to offer and am so capable.
And guess what? YOU are powerful, amazing, smart, and ever so capable! YOU are YOU! YOU are a MOM!
Keep up the good work! G-d is so happy to be a partner with you and THANK YOU! (In case no one said that to you yet today :))