It has recently occurred to me that God has granted me a very special privilege. It's not very glamorous or even worthy of mentioning to my friends, so I thought I would write about it. He has granted me the opportunity to practice my love for Him on a daily basis through the experience of changing the roll of toilet paper in the bathroom. I say "the" bathroom," but what I mean by that is "every bathroom I come in contact with during the day, because it never fails that anytime and anywhere I go to the bathroom anytime and anywhere, it always just happens to be time to change the roll of toilet paper." It has always just run out before I come. This process began years ago and I became very bitter at the fact that I was ALWAYS restocking the toilet paper in every bathroom I went into. And then when I was pregnant it seemed that my experience grew to an even greater knowledge of bathrooms because as everyone knows, pregnant women pee all the time. After touring the town and then the world and replacing roll after roll of toilet paper, I discovered a few things...
First thing, that is not so useful for my soul, but kinda fun... they have some pretty cool places to stash toilet paper before it is used. In Italy in the seminaries they have a special cabinet and in Rome's hotel rooms there a small hook much like one you would hang your jacket on and the rolls hang on there until you need them. Sometimes I am hesitant to not use the rolls I find... found on the floor in the stall next to me (good thing I carry tissues) and other times in restaurants and such there are elaborate cabinets. In the Frassati House where I work it's pretty simple since there is a shelf next to the potty where they are all packaged nicely and I can get to them easily and at my parents house you tend to find it on top of the toilet which makes life easier. Rest stops, Chick-fil-A, grocery stores, department stores, other people's homes... the different cool places you find their "replacement rolls" has been eye opening. ;)
I have also found that certain brands of tp totally hate for you to open their packages... at least that is how it seems after countless minutes of using the small muscles I have to get in. Not nice. Especially because you usually try to open them before going potty. Who wants to search for and open rolls after going potty? Ha.
So there you have it. One of my secret jobs God has granted me is "Toilet Paper Replacer." It's very noble and no one ever thanks me... but in a weird, but simple way, it has helped me to love more.
The second thing I have discovered. As a wife and mother, we all know that our job is so monotonous. I could set world records for the times I have loaded and unloaded the dishwasher. Sometimes I wonder when my pots will fall apart if I wash them just one more time. And the amount of diapers I go through in a day just may reach the diaper hall of fame (until I think of some of my friends with more than 2 kids in diapers... and then I think... nah, maybe I would lose). Either way, these jobs come up every day and if you miss just one day, your house will fall apart. Three meals a day for all of us. Loads and loads of laundry (especially when you have sick kids), and the dusting, vacuuming and straightening up could sometimes be enough to make you pull your hair out. BUT, this is God's will for me. This is part of the kinda boring stuff that goes along with the totally amazing stuff... creating a cozy home and raising the precious souls He gave to me... and hoping and praying to make one man the happiest man in the world (Patrick Bentley!)
So, the point is... my job with toilet paper has grown on me, making me less and less bitter at the monotonous jobs in my life, making me less and less concerned about not getting a thank you after every meal I try to feed Gabriel and every diaper I change and every piece of furniture I dust and every meal I cook and every trip the grocery store where I haul to small children in and out of the car twice just to get 8 things. It has been an experience with toilet paper I never knew would leave me to love a little bigger. God has stretched me with this small hidden task I have (seriously, on a daily basis). So, next time you go potty in a bathroom, whether it's your own or somewhere else, and you see a brand new chunky roll of toilet paper waiting for you, you can thank Jesus for the generous heart He just gave to the person who refilled it for you! They surely didn't do it because they wanted to. God's grace can move us to all kinds of crazy simple love.
Thank you, Jesus, for every time you have given me the unique (very unique) opportunity to replace the toilet paper roll... all over the world.