It is embed in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary. ~Oswald ChambersI love my life and I'm so grateful for every single one of these tiring, overloaded days. Beginning to end they are packed full. Days full of to-do's and lessons plans, quick meals and dirty dishes, stained clothes and a messy house, children underfoot, in my arms and by my side.
A few Sunday's back, our pastor preached about working for the Lord. He reminded us of Colossians 3:16 “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” The most challenging thing he said for me was Philippians 2:14-15 "Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world."
This is a scripture I have quoted to my kids countless times over the years but it has been on repeat in my heart these past weeks as I've been doing my own work. I realize how much I complain about all the work mothering 7 provides me. The spills, the repeat messes, the ever revolving laundry, the cooking and cleaning, the grocery trips, the working through fractions and decimal problems, the early mornings, the sleepless nights, so much work comes with this calling.
A few days after hearing the sermon and being convicted myself, I reminded Bethany of Pastor Bill's saying, "If Christ is not Lord of your work, he is not Lord of your life." and Philippians 2:14-15. She said something about having to clean up the same messes over and over and I agreed. I told her I have the same struggle but I'm working on doing this work as a witness for Christ and that should change everything about my attitude. I gave her permission to remind me when she hears me complain. If God's Word is to be used for training our children, then it is to be used to train and discipline ourselves.
I have noticed that making the effort to not complain about my work leads me to be thankful for my work, it changes everything about my attitude. I am less irritated by my children and their messes, I yell less, I feel like a happier mom. It takes my focus off of myself and puts it on the Lord and glorifying Him in the tasks He has given me. More than that though, it has left me feeling satisfied in my work. At night, I crawl into bed much more content with all the things I accomplished rather than all the things I didn't get done that I wanted to do. I manage my time better, I am motivated to get things accomplished rather than put them off. I am pretty sure I'm more productive now than I was, because working for the Lord looks very different than working for myself, my glory, my sometimes demanding and ungrateful children who don't understand all my sacrifices, who often grumble at me, roll their eyes at me and take all I do for them, for granted. I don't have it down perfectly, I'm not claiming to have it all together, just grateful for the empact that sermon had had on my daily life.
Brady's enthusiasm in school amazes me. He works so hard and often effortlessly. When he makes a mistake it's truly a mistake and not out of a bad attitude or being in a hurry. When I tell him to fix it he says, "Oh, yeah sure!" Or "Coming right up!", with his big BradyBoy smile. ️ This just blesses my heart so much it can't hold all my happiness. I'm trying to hold my breath in case it could change tomorrow but counting my blessings today. God knew I needed this reprieve and that makes me so, so grateful! Homeschooling is hard work, I'm a very imperfect teacher and mother but the payback makes it worth it. I may not get paid in money but I get paid in memories and happy moments. I reap the reward when I go to bed at night mentally drained but satisfied that these days and this work may be some of my best yet.
The sermon I mentioned above is available to watch or listen to online, just click here.