01 Oct 2014

How to Find Wonder in the Midst of Wash and Rinse and Repeat Days

All the dishes get done even if all the laundry doesn’t. I wipe down that table top that wobbles on four legs that have been loosely unhinged ever since we had boys. Paper towel and hand smooth over the old paint splotches that won’t come off and the scratches that no one admits to making.

My every day is an ordinary collection of rinse and repeats that every mother knows by heart.

I am not a preacher or a Bible teacher.

I am a collector of stray socks and washer of towels that people keep wiping Spiderman tooth paste traces across. Some Sundays I serve in the children’s nursery and most Sundays I sit in the sanctuary and think what it must be like to have to spend as much time knee deep in Scripture as I spend in lego and toy cars. That is the work of preachers, I tell myself.

On Monday night I think I hear God telling me something else.

I rock a baby and hang up a call on that fun phone with the purple case and I think I hear something. It’s not coming from the finally-quiet-house. It’s coming from somewhere inside of me. I listen and what I hear makes me uncomfortable.

There it is again – the challenge, the invitation – to sink into Scripture and prayer and all that stuff I imagine that’s reserved for pulpit-goers. I swallow slowly. Bible going is easier for me when it’s in the form of a 30 second app on my smart phone. Not when it requires time that could be spent on my own to-dos.

But I hear it again – the insistence that I don’t need to be at a women’s retreat, a Sunday school class, or behind a pulpit to be with the God who sees nothing routine about my routine.

There’s the boy who drives me to distraction with wondering how to redirect in his fiery spirit, the other boy who is growing ahead of me and making me work hard to keep parenting at his pace, and the baby girl who teaches me things about my own womanhood.

There’s the patient man who shares these ups and downs with me.

And here’s the home we share, in between two countries and a collection of far too many light sabers.

I sit at my desk in the corner of an overcrowded play room and open my Bible. Here is church on an ordinary Tuesday morning. There is no occasion, there is only wanting to be with the God who sees me, and away from the fear that pursues me.

“If you don’t know what you are doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help.”
James 1 {The Message}.

Outside the neighbor starts up his mower and a dog barks. Inside I meet the Gardner who wants to, “landscape [me] with the Word….”

The fear shifts. I can smell cut grass.

Seasons are changing.


I wrote this post a year ago. And in the middle of our Book Club as I sense so many of us trying to find the wonder in the routine of motherhood after Monday’s video, I needed to read this post again today. Maybe you did too. You can catch up on the whole Surprised by Motherhood Book Club by just clicking here. And you can pick up your own copy of the book over here.






{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    Recently I started reading Practicing the Presence by Brother Lawrence. I figured that monk who spent his days washing pots and working in the kitchen probably had something in common with me. The last few weeks I haven’t touched it because (ironically) the tiny paperback has disappeared into the bowels of my kitchen. But it really is amazing and filled with grace for the routine and repetitious life.

  2. 3

    So encouraging. I love reading your words about how Jesus meets us in these days that seem so routine to us, but aren’t to Him. My heart swells every time I read your posts!

  3. 5

    I opened my Bible in the middle of the mess today knowing that meeting with God and reading His words would have so much more of an impact on the rest of my day than picking up one.more.thing…They did (: Thanks for the beautiful reminder here.

    • 6

      Yes that – I leave my Bible out on the shelf next to the crayons and the Cheerios and it’s a reminder to me that in Him “ALL THINGS” hold together – the sacred and the mundane – together.

  4. 7

    (Although you already know. :) )
    Thank you. I feel like I want to tell you thank you after reading every single one of your posts. So encouraging and just what I needed today!!


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