The other day I was wandering around my house, putting away stacks of laundry. I had spent a good, long while beforehand neatly folding piece by piece what I can only assume is every item of clothing my family owns, plus some from the neighbors that blew into my house or something.
As I trekked back and forth from my living took with pile after pile, a question popped into my head:
Can the bane of your existence also be your most holy calling?
I’ve thought a lot about this calling thing. We’ve heard the famous quotes: ‘The greatest thing you do for the kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise,’ or ‘Children are not a distraction from the most important work, they are the most important work.’ In a constant-moving, self-focused culture, we are reminded and spurred on by the idea that motherhood is not a pause button on our kingdom impact. God has the ability to use us wherever He has chosen to place us.
But that certainly doesn’t mean it’s easy.
A dear friend of mine is the wife to a firefighter, so she spends a couple days a week alone as he is away on 24-48 hour shifts. I’ll often have conversations with her on those days as she’s puttering around her house, taking care of their little one and doing housework, and instead of grumbling, she will be graciously telling me how in the midst of it all, she is choosing to delight in the work and let it remind her that it all means God has so deeply blessed her.
Ouch. That’s convicting.
This is where I find myself having brutally honest conversations with God. Things like, ‘Lord, I honestly am hating this laundry right now. Every piece of it. And I know that I should rejoice because it means my family is clothed and I have a family to care for, but I’m not feeling that right now. Would you meet me? Would you change my heart?’
I know He hears me, too. He doesn’t resent the fact that my heart isn’t joyous, but instead delights that I’m seeking Him. He longs to meet us all right where we are at.
We can be honest, saying that the mess and the chaos drive us crazy. We need not mourn if we find ourselves as a ball of frustrated tears over an overflowing kitchen sink full of dishes. We can be human, while still choosing to turn our eyes to the eternal.
I know that in this season, the laundry, cooking, and raising of these tiny people are my holy orders. Maybe yours is juggling work/home balance. Maybe it’s schooling your children at home. Maybe it’s releasing your grown children into the world, or embracing your empty nest. That’s the thing about our callings: they are rarely the same for everyone, and they rarely stay the same for us.
So yes, I do believe that the bane of your existence can be your most holy calling. That the things that feel dry, monotonous, and meaningless can carry the most meaning and value. That our days of day-in, day-out living and loving and serving and meeting needs are not at all in vain.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. -Ephesians 8:28
Keep on, mommas.