7 Ways to Turn Mundane Into Meaning (When Motherhood is Hard)

Mothers and wives  get discouraged because we are short-sighted.

We believe our job hovers in the mundane for most of our days and the mundane hasn’t been touted for its importance in our culture. But Jesus actually gave credence to it. So while we may choose it, consider it our Christian duty, most of us still view this job as feminists do: unimportant because mundane isn’t spectacular.

That’s not how God sees our job. He has not called us to drudge through the mundane of life. From the first created marriage, He gave us the glorious task of taking dominion. And when Adam and Eve began that work, God told them it would be hard, tedious, but still glorious.

In our homes, we have the chance to take dominion precisely through the mundane. But if we aren’t living on purpose, we’re just passing the days. What a tragedy to look back and think that we could have spent our days doing the very same thing only with great purpose and accomplishment!

Here are just a few ways to turn the mundane into meaning:

1. Task: Washing dishes

Action: Sing.

Accomplishment:

  • Dispels discontentment (“I have learned, in whatever state I am in, therewith to be content.”)
  • Evangelizes your nation (The little people in your home are your disciples, looking to their teacher to learn how to respond to life. The way you respond to the mundane either contains hints of the gospel, or it doesn’t. Teach them the power of gratitude by your display.)
  • Strengthens your belief in the importance of humility and service. (“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”)

2. Task: Wiping up spilled something…again.

Action: Smile. It might hurt, but do it anyway.

Ask the messer to clean it and kneel down to help him. Tell him you spill things sometimes too.

Accomplishment:

You have discipled his heart to know better the Father’s heart toward us, and you’ve built trust and he’s not afraid of messing up.

3. Task: Picking up hubby’s dirty clothes from the floor

Action: Pray. Thank God for your husband’s faithfulness, hard work, devotion, surprises, changing the oil, whatever comes to mind. Express gratitude that you get to serve him, to make his life just a little easier.

Accomplishment:

  • A kinder heart toward your husband
  • A humility that God promises will be rewarded openly.

4. Task: Settling sibling disputes

Action: Hug each one when it’s over. Tell them they were forgiven so that they might forgive others. Explain that you will help them fight the temptation to strife and that living in peace is a much sweeter way to live. Show them ways to respond differently.

Accomplishment:

Little by little, weeding hearts and strengthening virtues, showing your children that you are in this thing with them, for the long haul, through the messes, every day. They don’t have to go it alone and the Bible has every answer for our problems.

5. Task: Changing diapers

Action: Smile, talk and recite Scripture into that little face.

Accomplishment:

Speaking words of life that will not return void. Telling that baby he is safe, loved and wanted. Investing in his care so that one day he will naturally invest in yours.

6. Task: Sweeping floor

Action: Do it cheerfully, maybe with a couple of twirls for effect and maybe with some fun music.

Accomplishment:

  • Speaks to your disciples about the power of gratitude for changing attitude.
  • Reflects the Creator as we make order out of chaos. Pointing that out is powerful. Reflecting the Creator is not mundane.
  • Tells your family that you love them, are glad to serve them, a trait they will eventually pick up and practice in your family and their own.

7. Task: Planning/preparing meals

Action: Pray for God to help you understand the importance of food and relationships, shown through His Word, down to our command to weekly reflect on his death through a supper of bread and wine. Purpose, no matter how simple the meal, to love your family through it, to nurture their bodies as you do their souls, to use the kitchen time and table time to tie heart strings of fellowship.

Accomplishment:

  • Deep-seated memories that will go with your children for the rest of their lives.
  • A cultivated time of talking, education, interaction and bonding that will last forever.
  • A tangible act of love to your family as you break bread together, pointing to the Bread of Life who provides it all.

No, what you do is not mundane. You are doing just what the Father asks you to do. Ministering the least of these in the most basic, loving ways. You are taking time, moment by moment, to weave these small, deliberate actions into one magnificent masterpiece. See the significance in that one stitch and remember, weaving masterpieces takes time.

In case you are wondering, this was a very convicting post for me to write.

For more inspiration, there’s the book: When Motherhood Feels Too Hard

 

 

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30 Responses to “7 Ways to Turn Mundane Into Meaning (When Motherhood is Hard)”

  1. 6 arrows says:

    One of your very best, Kelly. I have printed this out. I can’t wait for a new day to begin, you have really inspired me! I’d like to sing and sweep and twirl right now, but I’d probably wake up a few people! 😉

  2. Cynthia from Rochester, MN says:

    Kelly,

    I don’t know how you keep this blog up! You are very eloquent in how you write and express yourself, and you share so much wisdom. I am a mother of 8, trying to homeschool and keep it all together. Your blog is such a source of inspiration and common sense. Thank you, thank you for all the time and effort you put into it. Just wanted you to know. . .

    • Word Warrior says:

      Cynthia,

      I SO appreciate your taking the time to speak words of encouragement to me. Life can be so hard here too…I hope no one thinks since I write for a blog (I write….always have, it’s my passion and can’t help but write) that I have it all figured out. They’d be sorely mistaken 😉

  3. Esther says:

    Thank you, Kelly! The reminder was very needed today! 🙂

  4. shannon says:

    Thanks so much; this is all so true. I especially feel much better when singing while doing many of these tasks. The best things in life are worth working for, and aren”t easy.

  5. Melissa says:

    Beautiful words of encouragement, Kelly! Thanks for yet another post that’s going up on the refrigerator! 🙂

  6. Lisa says:

    Thanks for the reminder!!! 😀

  7. Keri says:

    One of my favorites..

    From a mom who’s kids are remembering now and talking about all the things we did like this when they were little. Four are in their 20’s now and two teens!!

  8. Annie D says:

    Speaking of picking up after the husband…I used to have the habit of leaving half-finished drinks around the house. Half a glass of iced tea next to the sofa, half a glass of water in the dining room…

    For a while, hubster would gripe about it, or mention it to me, and then he finally realized that he could bless everyone by just taking the glass to the kitchen as he was walking by. When he tells people he does this, they look at him like he’s an alien. I think it’s a very generous thing to do.

    • Word Warrior says:

      It IS generous. I hope it is rubbing off on the other family members–when they get this simple concept, it certainly makes things easier.

      • Annie D says:

        Yeah, probably not. My two little boys have significant developmental delays. I have a stairwell that got assaulted by flying chicken nuggets – it looks like a Jackson Pollock painting. I, however, am learning not to leave my stuff lying around, so that’s good progress.

        BTW – I see a Pioneer Woman cookbook in your kitchen! Love her! I need to get a lot more exercise if I want to eat her cooking, but I love her anyway.

    • One of my good friends lost her husband in an accident right at the end of their driveway one morning on his way to work. She went down to the accident, as he had literally just left the house. She was able to love on him, even though he was gone immediately.
      She said to me, “When I came back up to the house, I went in my bathroom to figure out how to tell our boys about Daddy. And then I saw it. His whiskers in the sink. Every morning I complained about rinsing those whiskers out of that sink. We had arguments about those whiskers. It made me mad that no matter how much I asked, he would not rinse them out. And right then, it struck me. This would be the very last time I washed those whiskers down the drain.
      And I went out of the bathroom, and later, I asked a friend to please go in and clean my bathroom sink. I’d give anything to wash his whiskers down again.”
      This man was in his late 20’s when he died, and his wife learned a hard lesson at a young age. I have certainly never forgotten what she told me, even thought this happened nearly 20 years ago.

      The things we complain about, we will one day long for.

  9. Marian says:

    Love this! It’s a great way to appreciate ‘mundane’ tasks and turn them into worthwhile experiences, really brilliant:)

  10. Natalie says:

    Love it! Thanks for the reminder. I tend to be a more serious natured person, so sometimes I have to remind myself to smile and just lighten up!

  11. Danielle tooley says:

    I am so sorry to tell you this, but there is a bunch of discussion going on at free Jinger about you. 🙁

    These horrid women are shredding your family to bits – it really is sad when a grown woman resorts to making fun of a precious and innocent child.

    These women are keeping tabs on bloggers through their social networking sites, too – basically stalking them online! Really is a sad bunch of people there:

    • Word Warrior says:

      Danielle,

      Oh they’ve been at that for years. I pay them zero attention. It IS excellent for my ranking though 😉 Sorry you had to run across that garbage. Discovery of that bunch years ago made me painfully aware of a side of human nature I didn’t know existed.

      • Natalie says:

        Dear Kelly,
        So glad that you are working for the praise of God, not for men. We know that the Gospel is an offense to those who are perishing. I have not read the trash, but I know that Satan hates the truth and so do those who are walking in darkness. I pray the Lord would continue to give you grace to proclaim the truth and that he would protect you and your family. To God be the glory. We love you!

  12. Heidi Stoltzfoos says:

    Thanks so much for this encouragement! I hope I can print this? Heidi

  13. Summer says:

    Great post, as always, Kelly. Thank you for the reminders and encouragement.

  14. Sarah D says:

    Hmmm… Your first point was “washing dishes”, one of my least favorite chores (if not the least favorite!). I think God is trying to tell me something. =) Thank you so much for this encouraging post, Kelly!

  15. Kim M says:

    What an awesome post! Thank you!

  16. Heather Newcomb says:

    Wow! This is an EXCELLENT post!! I love it!

  17. I was very impressed with this post, as a SAH daughter; As a mommy in training, who does most of this stuff daily, this was something I needed to hear. I also very much appreciate your transparency as you added at the end that you were convicted by your own post (that the Lord allowed you to write :D) Blessings!

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