Have you ever wondered what makes your days count? As a stay at home to two small children, my days look very similar from day to day. The hours are filled with what appear to be ordinary events and mundane tasks. Reading books, preparing meals, washing dishes and the loads of laundry – it is not long before the hours of each day are filled up. I end up feeling like nothing was accomplished, except for the pile of once dirty clothes that are now clean…although likely not yet folded.
The days felt and appeared extremely ordinary.
I have recently challenged myself to see every day as though it was not ordinary, and that includes each part of my day that appears mundane. This does not mean that our days are filled with amazing adventures. Life is a series of uneventful visits to the grocery store, meal planning, and tackling all that laundry. The challenge is to see that the mundane moments are moments that train, and are gifts from the Lord.
Gifts From the Lord
Seeing each day and each person in my life as a gift has completely changed my daily perspective. My sweet husband is a gift from the Lord. Each of my children is a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). Each friendship that comes into my life is a gift from the Lord. Every day that the Lord wakes me up with breath in my lungs is a gift from the Lord! Having this change of mind has helped me become a grateful person, and I am now less likely to take these sweet gifts for granted. While this sounds like a “no brainer”, when you’re in the daily grind it’s easy to lose perspective and take people for granted. We are not guaranteed tomorrow (James 4:13-14), and I want to love and treasure the gifts and the people in my life every day. When I actually do that, gratitude turns to joy throughout my day.
The Mundane Moments Train Us Up
All those mundane moments throughout our days are not wasted moments. God is using them to train, sanctify and teach us how our theology matters in the everyday moments.
The list can go on about what the mundane is training in our lives. This looks different for me in the different seasons of life, but knowing that these mundane moments are training me and my children is life-giving. Yes, the dishes are waiting from the night before, and the laundry is still in the washing machine. But taking on these daily tasks with a smile instead of my usual grumbling changes my attitude for what’s next and shows my little people that joy is possible in these daily moments.
The mundane moments are far from ordinary. We just have to look to the Lord to see these ordinary moments sanctifying us to be like Christ from one degree of glory to another (2 Cor 3:18). Lord willing, the ordinary days will be building blocks for our children to come know the Lord because they see our gratitude.
Seeing each day as a gift, and seeing the mundane moments of our life as daily gifts, is a moment by moment challenge! For example, doing the dishes used to put me in a bad mood every night. After a challenge from a friend, I put Scripture verses on my kitchen window to memorize, and a list of people to pray for while I did the dishes. Some nights I played praise music to sing along with. If I did the dishes in the morning, I’d say the Scripture out loud and have my kids repeat the verse with me. This was a game changer. Sounds too simple, doesn’t it? But it changed my outlook and my attitude. Mom was no longer grumpy after doing dishes, but happy and ready to move on to what was next.
I can easily lose perspective that every person and every day is a gift from the Lord. After reading Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ book “Choosing Gratitude”, I started journaling. Nancy Leigh DeMoss challenged her readers to write five different things they were grateful for at the end of each day. I took Nancy up on her challenge. I made sure to include at least one thing I was grateful for about my sweet husband. This was life-giving to our whole family, not just to me! I went to bed with a grateful heart, and less worried about tomorrow or the items from my to-do list that were not accomplished that day.
Seeing each day as anything but ordinary sounds simple enough, but for me it takes daily training. The most important part of my daily training is being in God’s Word and spending time with Him. It is tough to carve out time to read and meditate on the Word of God, but this time is needed as it is shaping and focusing our hearts and minds on God for the day. Whether we are nursing babies, chasing high energy toddlers, working a full-time job, our days are filled with mundane moments. Our theology matters in these mundane moments. When we choose to be grateful that our laundry baskets that are full instead of frustrated, we are glorifying the Lord. When we sing praise songs to the Lord while doing dishes instead of grumbling, we are glorifying the Lord. When the crayons found the walls instead of paper and we respond with calmness in our disciple, we are glorifying the Lord. We can glorify the Lord in the mundane moments as our theology comes to life!
So, I pray the verse that Moses prayed to the Lord in Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days that we may have a heart of wisdom.” Lord, help us to be life-givers and to see each day and each person in our lives as gifts from you. Remind and teach us that the mundane moments train us to know you better, and at the same time, these moments are displaying our view of you to our friends and our family. May we bring you glory in every moment, even while washing dishes!