Making the Mundane Matter: Charlotte's Corner
We had a wonderful Christmas time with our kiddos and our Grandkiddos this past year. Danny and I love getting to spend time with our family and we work hard to do that as often as we can.
We do this system during the holidays that we call “The Flip Flop.” One year our kiddos and their families come to see us at Thanksgiving, and the next year they come at Christmas. During this time, we celebrate Thanksgiving & Christmas together, so we fondly call it “Merry Thankmas.” We have learned that the gift is to be together and it doesn’t have to be on the exact date of a holiday or a birthday. This year our kiddos came to our house with their families after Christmas. We packed into a few days as much fun, food and wonderful ‘togetherness’ as we could. As you can imagine, since there are 22 of us during our family get-togethers, that means that all day, every day, it is wonderfully noisy, crazy and oh-so-much-fun. Since there are so many of us, we all have to pitch in and help with whatever needs to be done.
With that many people together, there is constant cooking and cleaning up after each meal. What a gift our daughters-in-law and sons are during this time! Our older grandchildren are able to help with the mundane things as well. It seems like we are constantly vacuuming, doing dishes, cooking, preparing meals, doing laundry, and shopping for more food. ☺
Yet, during these family times together, we are doing so much more then these ordinary practical things of daily living. We are enjoying Gods great gift of family. We are investing in each other’s lives and, to the best of our ability, striving to bring glory to the Lord in all that we do. In the wonderful passage from 1 Corinthians 10:31, Paul writes, “Therefore, whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” God made us for His glory, and we should live every day glorifying and exalting Him. That means that even in the commonplace moments, the ordinary, the mundane, the dull, and the practical things matter.
Why do we tend to sometimes call these mundane tasks “chores,” which suggests boorish duty, rather than tasks in which we can find joy? I know that in my own life, I am a lot more productive when I find joy in the things that I have to do day in and day out. It doesn’t mean that I’m always happy about the ordinary things that are part of my daily living; it just means that I can choose to find joy in them instead of fussing about them. It means that in all that I do, it is my purpose in life to bring glory to the Lord.
Since it is my purpose in life to bring glory to the Lord, I choose to glorify the Lord out of joy and happiness instead of grumbling about it. I really should count the joyful tasks as blessings in my life. I am happy when I am joyfully serving others. That’s what so many of our everyday humble tasks teach us to be and do—to joyfully do all things unto the Lord that will bring glory to Him.
I think that there are times, when my heart is selfish, that I have to choose between doing the ordinary humbling things of life or the extraordinary things that we get to do as we serve the Lord. For example, if I get to teach or speak to a group of ladies, I may sometimes think that it is a better use of my time than doing a humbling task that I must do every day.
Why does my heart do that? It is because I am sinful and need to be reminded that I am nothing without the Lord. Doing all things joyfully as unto the Lord (regardless of what they are) makes me a better person—it makes me more like Jesus. It puts a balance in my life that keeps me from thinking that I’m “all that” because I know and understand that without Christ I am nothing.
When our family was in town at Christmas time I thought that if I made one more pan of “pigs in a blanket” that I would turn into one! ☺ But I knew that serving my family in this way made them happy, and in turn gave me joy to be able to do this for them.
Sweet ladies, there are some “joyful tasks” that we do in our different seasons of life that will come to an end. When I look back at the time when I was a young mom and our four sons were small, I can honestly say that I loved having the privilege of doing everything I did for them. Does that mean I was always happy in doing the mundane and hard things? Does it mean that I always found joy in washing what seemed like 100 cloth diapers a day? Yuck! No!
But when you allow yourself to look at the big picture—God’s story for your life—you can see how God has ordained each one of our lives. And yes, sweet ladies, the ordinary humbling things are part of the blessed lives that we get to live as daughters of Christ. Someday you may even miss doing them… I know that many of you sweet ladies that are college or seminary students are in very, very busy seasons of life. You have to juggle so much on a daily basis. I am sure there are days that you have to accomplish so many things that you hardly have time to breathe, much less do your laundry.
I want to encourage you not to despise the ordinary things. They can reveal the selfishness of our hearts and make us more like Jesus. As you make the mundane matter it can cultivate joy in the Lord and you experience His blessings! In all that you do, do it for the glory of God.