Meaning in the Mundane?

(4 minute read)

For the homemaker, it seems as if the days go by all the same. You may ask, “Where’s the fun in that? I need to ‘slay’ today!” The homemaker’s routine seems redundant. She might keep telling herself, what is it she’s doing it all for?

When my two kids were smaller, like newborn and two years old ‘smaller’ (no time for blogging at all!), I remember being so frustrated with everything I needed and wanted to do, not having enough time & stamina to get it all done before the next breastfeeding session!

Why is my personal quiet time only 5 minutes long?

Why hasn’t she learned to toilet train yet? We’ve been at it for months!

When will she learn to read? Will I be able to empty the sink anytime soon?

The thickness of my frustrations over myself not being able to accomplish what I want to accomplish would’ve gone through the roof! My expectations from them and even myself were too much anyway. But I don’t think I’m alone in thinking and asking:

“Is this the only thing I‘ll be doing all day everyday? Is this all?”

Well Nancy Wilson of the podcast Femina would respond with a resounding, “YES, it is! But do it with a smile on your face!” 😊

Our culture’s drive—the message it sends—is that we always have to be doing something special, something new and exciting and fun and glittery “out there” in social media.

Social media nowadays seem to apply a tagline which we in the nursing profession always say “If it’s not written, it’s not done.” Inarguably, it just cannot be that way.

It seems that, today, there’s no room for the monotonous, repetitive, mundane tasks. It seems as if the extraordinary is better than the mundane. We may invent new ways to do extraordinary things like get a new hobby, or a new business endeavor, or build new relationships, but eventually it becomes mundane too.

Eve was provided everything in the garden, yet she wanted to be more than what God created and commanded her to be. She wanted to be like God.

The Gospel gives us a better idea though. Jesus’ life was quite the paradox; He was born in an ordinary place, grew up with regular parents and siblings, and even worked a regular job, before He began His public ministry. Yes, He worked extraordinary miracles, but it was alongside time ordinarily spent talking with His disciples. Even His death was by a common criminal’s punishment, and yet, in all of that ordinariness, He accomplished His most extraordinary mission of redemption.

“God works in both the ugly and the mundane, to bring new life, redemption, and His sovereign plan to fruition, and such is the same for those indwelled with the Holy Spirit. With the Spirit as our Helper, we can now reframe, appreciate, and utilize our most mundane moments as a means of grace for others and ourselves.”

Emily Jensen, Risen Motherhood

We could never fully know what God is doing through us. Even the people in the Bible did not fully know how God used them extraordinarily for His purposes! Enoch simply walked with the Lord for hundreds of years, Moses merely obeyed God one step at a time, the woman who washed Jesus’ feet did just that (though shocking, still pretty much an ordinary act those days)—I can go all day. We even read about them thousands of years later, today.

Perhaps the Lord is doing something in me—as I faithfully breastfeed, change diapers, prepare meals, do the dishes, put clean clothes in the drawers, pick up toys for the nth time, and prepare another meal (even if they are very picky!)—to bring about His will for my life, for His glory.

I could be mirroring Jesus as I rally on in another discipline moment over the same old sin issue with my kids, as I walk into my homeschooling tasks happily, as I bathe a child calmly, as I participate in our daily family devos delightfully, and as I respond well to my husband as he leads the family.

As we moms wipe another messy table, fix another bed, follow through in another homeschool read-aloud, supervise our workers—as we faithfully manage our homes—we image God as we bring order to our respective little corner of Creation.

“I trust that there is no mundane moment too small for God’s glory to shine through it.”

Emily Jensen, Risen Motherhood

The ordinary tasks of making a home a place that the family loves to be in and come home to might be dauntingly neverending, moreso, for the mother of kids 0-5; but it is precisely the fertile ground of honoring the Lord in the little things.

Being productive and thoughtful with our time is great, but our deepest longing for purpose, meaning, and glory is only to be found in Christ.

Being productive and thoughtful with our time is great, but our deepest longing for purpose, meaning, and glory is only to be found in Christ.

It may seem routinary for one to fill the kitchen with groceries and good food, but it is truly extraordinary to praise God knowing He is the One never failing to provide these things. It may seem routinary for one to keep on disciplining the wayward child, but it is extraordinary to show kindness, and mercy, to an undeserving sinner in that ‘routine’.

“Being united to Christ, our identity is extraordinary, our calling is magnificent, remember we are part of an epic story with a glorious ending. We are really not that special, but Christ in us is spectacular. He is our hope for glory.”

Emily Jensen, Risen Motherhood

Moms, take heart, we can honor the Lord and mirror His love to those around us simply by doing our everyday mothering tasks excellently, patiently, with a spirit of joy and a heart of love. The meaning of the mundane is in how we honor God with it—in how we reflect our spectacular Savior by displaying the fruit of His extraordinary Spirit.