Watching my three daughters, who are young mothers, navigate the running of their households and caring for their little ones often takes me back to the time when I was a young mother.
Having four babies in five years meant our house was full of activity and constantly in a state of messiness. I remember feeling as if my days were marked by the times I reached for my broom to sweep the floor and clean up. After breakfast sweeping. After lunch sweeping. After dinner sweeping.
One particular day stands out in my mind because I had a melt down, me with that broom moving kitchen chairs to get to bits of bread with grape jelly that smeared as I swept. Without any warning tears blurred my vision. I stopped sweeping and slumped onto the crumb strewn floor sobbing and let out angry words towards God…
So this is it? This is what my life is God? All I do is sweep and clean up after the kids, I’m not doing anything that matters. NOTHING of worth ever came from sweeping!!!!!!
I don’t remember the rest of that day. I’ve no idea how I reconciled my anger with my core belief that what I was doing mattered. But from here, where I am now with my babies all grown, I can see more clearly that even the tedious mundane work is sacred when I do it as unto God.
Brother Mario Joseph, a monk at The Monastery of The Holy Spirit in Conyers GA, said of his daily work:
“If I’m in the bakery God is in the bakery, if I’m sweeping the church, God is in the sweeping of the church”
And Ann Voskamp says it this way:
“One always gets to decide what is mindless work and what is soulful work”
And how exactly do I decide that my work is soulful work?
I think it’s in my focus, the way I view my days, which for me, takes discipline and practice.
So, sweet friends, I’m praying that today, as I get up from my quiet time to start my morning work, I’ll have the “grace to continue in (His) presence”. (17th Century Monk-Brother Lawrence)
And whatever it is your hands find to do today, I pray that for you also.