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Mothering in the Mundane: I love the glory but not the work

By January 24, 2023Church Blog

This month we’ll begin a 4 part series about the Messy and Mundane things in Motherhood. What are the daily tasks you dread doing or tend to put off…things like laundry, cooking, and cleaning? How can we find joy and glorify God in even the most unseen tasks in our days?


“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31

This may sound ridiculous, but one of my goals for the new year is to find joy…in doing laundry.
I know, it’s not a glamorous resolution.
It doesn’t sound very spiritual either.

But as I sat down last month to set goals for 2023, I came to realize there are many tasks in motherhood I honestly find rather boring and mundane. Tasks that feel like burdens. Duties I find little, if any, joy in. Responsibilities like laundry.

If you were to ask me how I like being a mom, I would gush to you about what a blessing it has been. I am so thankful for the three (soon to be four!) children God has given me. I love spending time with them and teaching them about what it means to love and walk with God! I love going on adventures with them, reading stories before bed, and watching them grow and mature. There are challenging days- days where I very clearly see my own sin and the sin of my children. There are messes and tantrums. And yet even through the hard days and seasons,  I still find many ways to praise God for the gift of motherhood. I do love it.

But I do not love the laundry that accompanies it. Opening the dryer to be greeted with what feels like 1000 pieces of tiny clothes is daunting. Attempting to locate all of the itty bitty missing socks is a time-consuming task. And then there are the towels, clothes for my husband and I, and bed sheets that also need to be washed. Instead of diligently tackling Mt. Laundry, what if I just colored and played train tracks with my littles instead?

Maybe you don’t mind laundry. Maybe instead, the tasks you view as mundane and tend to put off include cleaning, dishes, vacuuming, grocery shopping, or meal-planning. After all, none of those things make for great posts to share on social media. Nobody really sees you doing them. And you know even once you finish the task, you’ll likely have to do it all again tomorrow.

 

Glory in the Mundane

During my 2023 goal setting time, I found myself wondering how I could grow this year in finding joy in all parts of motherhood…even the unseen, mundane parts. Do the daily tasks on my to-do list glorify God, or are they just things to make sure I finish so our days run smoothly? If 1 Corinthians says to do all things to the glory of God, then even my unseen responsibilities must matter to Him.

Proverbs 31 includes a portrait of a Godly wife and mother that is often quoted in books, Bible studies, and lovely calligraphy prints. Particularly popular among Christian women are Proverbs 31 verses like:

“An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.”

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.”

“Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her.”

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”

 

How encouraging are these verses! What a gift marriage and motherhood are!
But when we look carefully at the entire passage of the Proverbs 31 woman, we’ll find that there are many daily tasks in her life that surround these verses. She too had many normal, mundane tasks to do each day:

“She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight.”
(like caring for clothing)

“She brings her food from afar.”
(like grocery shopping)

“She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household.”
 (like meal planning)

“Her lamp does not go out at night.”
(like tidying up before bed)

“She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle.”
(like caring for laundry)

“She makes coverings for herself”
(like also doing your own laundry)

“She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.”
(like all of the other tasks that come with caring for a household)

The Proverbs 31 woman is a glorious wife and mother because of her hard work, diligence, and selflessness. She loves and trusts God, and in joy and delight serves Him by fulfilling the work and responsibilities He has given her. Often I desire to be viewed as likewise glorious…but I’d prefer to avoid all of that mundane, boring work that is required behind the scenes: the laundry, cleaning, cooking etc.
I love the idea of the glory, but not the idea of the work.

This year, I am asking and trusting God to change my heart and attitude towards the daily tasks and duties of motherhood. Are there any tasks that you tend to find boring and mundane? God has called us to glorify Him in everything that we do, not just in the instagram-worthy moments. Motherhood is glorious even in the mundane and messy moments that nobody else sees. But our husbands and children do see these moments and the hard work we put into our days. More importantly, our hard work is seen by our Heavenly Father.

Love,
Jackie

Jackie Long

Author Jackie Long

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