Y'all, sometimes life is just sloppy. It's messy. It's downright dirty.
We have entered into a busier season in our lives. Stu has been staying incredibly busy with the school, study hall, and private tutoring (Georgia and I also go and help him clean up his classroom each day after class), we have joined in a Wednesday night marriage class at our church and a Sunday School class after worship, I've joined a local MOPS group (as well as a women's small group that meets weekly), and have volunteered to help grade Latin papers for another teacher. The overall hustle and bustle of friends, schedules, school, family visits, and life has set in.
It's a wonderful blessing, as it further strengthens the fellowship and community we're building down here.
God has been so gracious.
As we left for church yesterday morning, the house was a wreck (as it usually is after a weekend of all of us resting at home). Remnants of half-folded loads of laundry, books, deflated ballons, sippy cups, dirty diapers, and sand covered the floor. There was a sink of half-quickly-eaten bowls of granola in the sink smiling at us upon our return home from worship and a french-press of luke-warm coffee still sitting on the counter.
Our porch needed to be swept.
Our dead basil sat sadly by the front door.
The laundry room is a war-zone.
Did I mention my Mother-in-Law is flying in on Wednesday to stay for the week and I need to get the nursery/junk/den set up for sleeping? Small side-note.
Contrary to my normal response of anxiety in such a situation, I came home smiling upon the mess. I didn't mind the pillows that had made their way onto the dirty floor. Or the chalky-footprints trailing through the house, leading in from Georgia's doodles on the porch. I didn't even mind the laundry that magically appeared on the bathroom floor (even though, I swear, I'd just picked it all up)…
I think I know why this change in heart. And though I know all too well it's too good to be instantly permanent, I do pray that the Lord will continually shape and prune my heart in this manner.
You see, God has given me a privilege. He has given me a gift.
I have been blessed with getting to care for, and clean up after, and cook for, and serve, and love, and hug, and support, and nurture, this wonderful little family of mine.
To many, it may seem like a trivial gift. After all, how can it be a great spiritual blessing from God to serve three meals a day and fold laundry?
Oh friends, it is a great gift.
Stuart has been called by the Lord to serve as a school teacher. He is doing the Lord's work and is building wonderful hearts and minds for His service. I get to be a wonderful part of helping him with that! And whether that takes the form of cleaning the bathroom, helping him grade papers, washing the sheets, or packing his lunch, I get to fulfill my role as his helper, his friend, his lover, his companion, and his help-meet each day.
I also get to shepard and train up our little one to love the Lord. I get to teach her how to treat her Daddy and friends. I get to teach her how to give thanks before we eat and how to color, play, and sing silly songs. I get to be a part of preparing an arrow for the Lord's army. Even if that arrow has a poopy diaper and needs to be disciplined, it is still important for His purpose.
Being able to be home and focus on supporting Stuart over these past few months has really given feet to the idea of using my spiritual gifts, no matter how small, to seek out opportunities to love and serve others. This allows me the wonderful opportunity to worship and give glory to God – whether I spent the day shaping the mind of my child or up to my elbows in dirty laundry. As our Assistant Pastor reminded us yesterday, in all things we should be seeking to give glory to God. We should be seeking to worship Him.
But what will this look like today, tomorrow, or throughout the week in our home?
Each day, it will change. Sure, there are the ‘constants' of housework, meals, bill paying, and such…. but there is also an ‘x' factor, if you will, of unknown circumstances that will present themselves to us – situations in which we find ourselves that will allow for wonderful worship and service time.
For example, this week, I will be meeting up with another young Mom who just moved into the area for a play date. This will be our first time getting together and I am praying it will be a wonderful time for us to encourage one another and to build up our relationship.
Georgia and I will also be baking some cookies for our new neighbors, whom with we've only briefly spoken. After speaking with the girl only slightly (she lives there with her boyfriend), she confessed to be very lonely and out-of-place (as he works out of town a few weeks a month). This is a great chance for us to show her the love of Christ by serving her in small ways – even if that's inviting her over for afternoon tea, taking her cookies, or sharing a meal.
The question I find myself asking is: how am I using my time and energy to offer worship and glory to God?
The answer is going to look different for each of us. Each of us has unique callings, gifts, and spiritual blessings that we to utilize. That is what makes this picture so beautiful!
But more than I want to have a perfectly kept home, or have a lush and wonderful garden, or incredible homestead, or dairy cow (yes, I said it), I want to serve the Lord well.
So today, as I go about serving my family within the walls of my home by preparing their breakfast, making the beds, scrubbing the hair out of the sink, and taking out the trash, I will seek to remember that even these tasks, no matter how trivial, are still offering glory to God – they are done for His purpose!
So maybe baking bread is my spiritual gift.
Or maybe it's mopping floors.
But either way, when it's done for His Kingdom work, it's a wonderful, wonderful blessing.