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Finding Glory in the Mundane Moments – Episode 3

on May 16, 2021 by Jami Balmet 0 comments

In episode #1 (of our new relaunch of the podcast) we talked about the ministry of home and #2 focused on how the Gospel impacts all we do. Today we are chatting about finding glory in the mundane moments.

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Most of us spend our days in the mundane.

You see, I struggle sometimes with finding worth in the mundane. I struggle finding glory in the ordinary. I sometimes struggle knowing how the second load of dishes or sweeping the sidewalk is worth anything.

Do you ever struggle with this? Do you ever struggle knowing how our work in the home matters to God?

I feel like I’ve gone on a similar journey as the author has in Glory in the Ordinary. I love how she’s open about her struggle with this as well:

“Like all major changes, my early days as a stay-at-home mom rocked me to the core. I had gone from days filled with fruitful conversations to days filled with crying and blank stares from two needy babies. Over time I began to see that being home had inherent value, but what I couldn’t immediately see was how the work at home had value as well. It was not merely about staying home to take care of the children (which made sense to my exhausted brain); I had to learn there was value in the laundry and cleaning too.” – Glory in the Ordinary page 25

This is the impactful part, she goes on to say:

“What I’ve learned is that God is glorified in the mundane work as much as he is in the magnificent. In fact, it is in the mundane moments, the moments where we live each and every day, where we come to see the true greatness of God and his love for us.” – Glory in the Ordinary page 25

Life is lived out in these tiny moments. I may not always have the mental capacity to remember and realize that I am doing big, grand work, even when I’m scrubbing toilets, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

Something that I love throughout her book is this concept of how our culture views work in the home versus how God does. Our culture views work as simply a means to an end. We work just enough to be able to afford leisure time. And we look down on those blue collar jobs or work that seem to have little worth, such as working McDonald’s.

We value big important jobs. We admire people who are in charge of large ministries who are making changes in the world. That’s not a bad thing to admire those people, but we tend to put all our value into these jobs or those people.

So we tend to think then, even if we don’t say it out loud, that our work doesn’t matter if we are not accomplishing something big.

And then we apply that to life in the home. When I’m caring for these five souls that God has entrusted to my care, it’s easier for me to see the worth. I can glimpse the Gospel-work that I am doing, even if I don’t always verbalize it or even remember it. But when I can take a step back, I can more easily see that the work I do with my kids, is big and important.

But scrubbing the toilets? Cleaning out the garbage can so it stops smelling? Pulling a red crayon out of the dryer which has now stained an entire load of laundry? How are these moments important when they don’t seem to accomplish anything big or important?

And Courtney makes an important point: we have to choose the middle of the road when it comes to the work in our home. Because on one hand we can completely devalue the work at home and on the other, we can make it an idol!

We don’t have the time to cover all of these in detail today, but I love that God so cares about the everyday details of our lives. Here are some ways we can think about the work in our home:

1) We are loving God and serving Him through serving others

Whether or not anyone else recognizes it, we are serving God when we are selfless and care for our families, scrub the toilets, and do all of those daily things that no one else recognizes.

2) We are imitating God and doing the work he commissioned us to

“As you feed hungry bellies, you are pointing to a God who makes sure even the sparrows get their food (Matthew 6:26-27). As you attend parent/teacher conferences, dress a sick relative, or buy new clothes for growing kids, you are pointing to a God who cares so much for his creation that he even clothes the lilies of the field (Matthew 6:28-30). Every meal made with love, every fork that has been cleaned to protect against spreading illness, every toilet wiped clean helps shift your family’s gaze toward the God who keeps everything together and is making all things new (Rev. 21:5). With your work you are telling your family that we serve a God who is present, who is among us.” – Glory in the Ordinary page 75

3) Our hard work reminds our family of the Gospel and that God is with us

Martin Luther says, “God’s complete work is set in motion through vocation: he changes the world and he sheds his mercy on hard-pressed humanity….Through vocation God’s presence is really with man.” Ressig goes on to say, “And there is no greater way to love your neighbors than to remind them of this astounding truth – God is with us.”

And finally I’ll leave you with this, “In many ways, our goal is to not find a new purpose for our work, but to recognize that the work we are already called to, the work that is right in front of us, is God’s good means of spreading his glory throughout the world. You are his image bearer, tasked with loving his fellow image bearers through the ordinary, faithful work that greets you every morning. This is for the good of the world.”  – Glory in the Ordinary page 136

Links & Resources:

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  • Book Recommendation: Glory in the Ordinary
  • Book Recommendation: Eve in Exile

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