Tuesday, April 9, 2024

The Miracle in the Ordinary: Encouragement for Today's Moms

 By: Rebekah Hargraves 



Photo Courtesy Of: Dan Gold


"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God." ~1 Corinthians 10:31


It can be so easy to sometimes feel like we are daily caught up in the mundane. To feel that all we ever do is wash dishes, tend to toddler temper tantrums, change diapers, reread the same picture book (or watch the same VeggieTales episode) for the hundredth time, prepare meals, do laundry, break up sibling fights, sweep floors (and then repeat!), only to wonder what the point of it all is or if we are even accomplishing anything worthwhile with our time. We want to raise up children who become godly, strong, gracious, fruitful, visionary adults. We want to do good work. We want to make a difference, to help, to serve. But we sometimes wonder what all these daily household chores and difficult mundane moments have to do with that end goal or if performing those tasks is even contributing to that goal at all. 

Make no mistake – each of these tasks is important and each one is serving as a building block for the kind of home you yearn to have and the kind of legacy you hope to shape.

I propose to you today that there are no truly mundane moments when we are living with proper vision and the right perspective. After all, the two main definitions of the word “mundane” are 

  • lacking interest or excitement; dull
  • of this earthly world rather than a heavenly or spiritual one

When we begin to understand that each and every one of the myriad little tasks we perform each day as wives, moms, and caretakers of the home have an impact on the very futures of our children, we can certainly begin to find more “interest and excitement” in them, for we see that they carry purpose, importance, and impact. Likewise, when we understand that our work within our homes is to be done “as unto the Lord” (Col. 3:23) and can greatly influence whether or not future generations within our care live for Him, we begin to understand that these seemingly mundane household tasks are actually not mundane at all, for they truly are spiritual, heavenly works, rather than mere earthly ones.

How do our daily tasks factor into the big picture of what we are wanting to accomplish in our homes as we raise our children? To answer this, we have to grasp the fact that this day – and everything we do in it – truly is a building block for tomorrow and can be used to teach a valuable lesson!

  • When you have a newborn and are up at all hours feeding the baby, changing the baby, rocking the baby, calming and comforting the baby, etc., you are building love, trust, intimacy, and relationship between you and that little one that will serve as the very foundation for the rest of that child’s life and his or her understanding of what love, family, and home are all about.

 

  • When you have a toddler who stretches you in more ways than you could ever have imagined and it feels like your days are filled with little more than constant calls of “Mommy!!!”, whining (on both the part of your toddler as well as yourself! ;) ), temper tantrums, and craziness, and yet, in the midst of it all, you still shower that toddler with love, cuddles, read-alouds, and fun memories, you are laying yet another foundation in their lives – the foundation for their reciprocal love for you, their desire to obey and trust you and your parenting as they grow, for they will feel and see in a tangible way your unconditional love for them.

 

  • When you kiss yet another booboo, you are instilling into the hearts of your little ones the knowledge that their Mama loves them deeply, is always concerned about them and their wellbeing, hurts when they hurt, and is interested in what interests them.

 

  • When you do yet another load of laundry, you are working towards the health, hygiene, and cleanliness of your family – all of which are important, for with good health comes more ability to learn, to work hard, to live and love well, to serve others, and to advance God’s Kingdom. Furthermore, as my husband pointed out to me, when our children see us performing our necessary daily tasks, such as laundry, with joy rather than a grumbling, complaining spirit, this greatly influences them, as well, for it helps to instill into them an enjoyment of work and a good work ethic. When my own daughter was two, she grew so fond of doing the laundry with us that whenever I give her some clothes to put into the washer or dryer, she would excitedly snatch them away quick as a wink and say, in her cute little toddler voice, “Dank do (thank you)!”

 

  • When you are cooking a meal, you are saying that you care about the nourishment (and, again, the health!) of your family, that you want them to experience the comfort of  full tummies, and you are extending love and life-changing, soul-enriching hospitality to whomever may consume that meal – family members and guests alike. Not to mention instilling a love for the culinary arts in your children.

 

  • When you read aloud to your children the same favorite book of theirs yet again ( even if it bores you to tears), you are helping to instill into them a love of books, of learning, of curiosity and discovery, of purpose and imagination, of vision and excitement. Hey, for all you know, you could be raising up the next C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, or Laura Ingalls Wilder. Just something to think about! 😉

 

  • When you are grocery shopping, you are investing in the health and wellbeing of your family for generations, for the health of your children will affect that of your grandchildren, your great-grandchildren, and so on. You are representing to them a picture of the Proverbs 31 woman who brought in her food from afar (vs. 14), you are illustrating for your children an understanding of what the best and most nourishing foods are, and you are providing for them a lesson in finances, good stewardship, and economics as you seek to both find the best deals as well as put your money towards the things that you need as opposed to the things that you want.

 

  • When you perform the grungy tasks of cleaning bathtubs and toilets, you are again investing in the health and wellbeing of your family (and instilling in your children the importance of these things) and are providing both them and any guests who come into your home with a warm, inviting, clean atmosphere in which to live, love, and learn about (and grow in!) the Lord together.

 

We could go on, but I think you get the idea. 🙂 The point is that everything you do within the four walls of your home can and does have a great impact on your family and its future, not to mention the hearts and souls of those folks to whom you extend hospitality within your home. 

In the New Testament, we see that a lot of Jesus’ ministry, the ministry of the early church, etc., were all conducted within homes, among family and friends. The home carries such power and influence for good and the advancement of God’s Kingdom when the maker of that home understands and grasps this fact and the purposes for which home was created. Lives can be changed, souls saved, entire nations impacted for Christ when we grasp the exciting and purposeful vision and truth that nothing we does within our homes is ever truly mundane, that everything we do has the potential to change lives, and that, through that home, entire generations can be forever changed. 

So, go forth today in encouragement and purpose, sweet sister! The seemingly mundane work you are doing day in and day out in your home actually carries great significance! It isimportant! It is life-changing, soul-redeeming, and heart-enriching! It is impactful! It is pleasing to God and a blessing to your family and to all others who enter the four walls of your home. 

With that, I leave you with these wonderful quotes from Gloria Furman‘s excellent book, Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms:


“When the mundane looms larger than eternal life, we forget who God is, who we are, and who our children are. We tend to forget about tomorrow and eternity when our day is filled with the tyranny of the urgent…..When we have eternity in view, we respond to motherhood differently than if we lived just for the moment. We see that our children are marching toward a destiny. We consider that our temporary, fleeting struggles are passing away as we wait for Jesus, our blessed hope.We look forward to the day with anticipation of God’s future grace, because our ordinary moments have meaning and eternal significance……We need the compass of eternity to direct our perspective. It’s easy to let our perspective get buried in an avalanche of cotton blends at Mount Laundry. Even so, we must make an effort to remember that our job is more than feeding, bathing, clothing, and facilitating education for our children. These tasks are meaningful in and of themselves, because they’re part of the stewardship God has given us. As Christian mothers God calls us to live with something we can only see with spiritual eyes – eternity.”

 

Reflection Questions:


1) How is what you have read today maybe changed your attitude about the daily chores you have to tend to? 


2) How can you remind yourself going forward of the truth that you really are making a difference?


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