I’ve had a chronic struggle with gratitude and celebration of the mundane. As a teenager, Illinois winters dragged on forever long. One cloudy day rolled into the next until just getting out of bed was a challenge. The motivation to get any sort of studying in felt out of the question. On the worst days, I started to force myself to put on a coat, face the biting wind, and walk. Those cold walks are now some of my fondest memories.
I can remember how the cold stung deep into my lungs as I stared at a spider web that collected frost. A seed pod burst open leaving a trail of feathery down spilling out.
Learning it all Again
I rarely learn a lesson the first time. Five years later I found myself newly wed far from country life in a new city. We didn’t have much money. Our house was a time capsule from 1970 and we wore our coats inside to keep utilities down. In between home health shifts, I started looking for those little beautiful things. Inspired by the book “1000 Gifts” I started to jot them down.
I ended up moving from journaling to photography to capture the moments I found beautiful. More than likes and comments creating brought the joy and gratefulness the dopamine hit. Those simple mundane moments were treasures and acts of worship.
The Most Precious Moments
As I continued to collect moments something stood out. I didn’t treasure the trips and large events most. The smallest and most everyday things is what brought me the most joy. I began to see every moment and chore as sacred and the faithfulness to carry them out as acts of worship. Even in the simple moments I was doing what I was created to do. Eat, sleep, gather, and tend all to the glory of God. Hosting was a reflection of his welcoming heart. The day I saw my dessert as a prayer was particularly special.
My home was the place of my secret service. It was the place where the fruit of the spirit is grown in me. Through my home, God sanctified my restless heart. As with all of us, my greatest sin was known by my family, But the greatest love is shown as a paced the floor at midnight, arms aching trying to soothe a feverish baby. What surprised me was that it was often the last place I want to serve, but the place my work made the biggest impact.
It will come as a surprise to no one that my work in my own home was also the most thankless. But God tenderly reminded me of Matthew 6:2. He sees what was done is secret. My baby wouldn’t remember the fact I gave him all my breakfast because he was more hungry than I had guessed, but someone saw and would remember.
Worship in the Home
Knowing that I was seen, known, and loved even when I didn’t feel it transformed the way I approached my days. As I rocked and nursed I prayed. I cleaned my floors not because people would judge me, but because I could display God’s welcome by inviting others in. I worked not because it was drudgery, but because it gave me purpose. In my work I could create beauty and make a home!