The ordinary work of the home often feels overwhelming and purposeless but God’s glory is revealed in every one of those thankless tasks!
My Struggle with the Work of the Home
Glory in the Ordinary is a fantastic little book that has just made it to the top of my “buy for moms in the trenches” list! Being a homemaker is hard work. It is filled with thankless tasks and mundane moments. But it is valuable work.
As a new mom, just starting to stay home with my children, people would tell me I was doing important work by changing a million diapers, washing 400 dishes, and doing 12 loads of laundry every day. But I just wasn’t feeling it. After a while I started to think something must be wrong with me. If this was the most important work I would ever do, why did I feel so empty doing it?
Part of it was post-pregnancy hormones, part was sleep deprivation, part was loneliness, but a lot of it came down to my nodding agreement when people said it was important work without a real understanding. How could this work possibly matter? I wanted to do something that people recognized as world changing. And therein was my problem.
I had come to understand jobs that mattered in terms of their financial contribution or society shaping effect. I was a grinning girl in my early 20s who somehow imagined the life of a missionary as glamorous and having transformative effects daily. I had been sold a line of goods and bought it hook, line, and sinker.
So, as I stood over my baby girl, changing yet another diaper, I wondered what on earth this could possibly be accomplishing. I was simultaneously so thankful and happy to stay home with my little girl and also sinking into my first real bought of depression.
I wish I had read Glory in the Ordinary during those days. So, if that somehow sounds like you, get your hands on a copy of this book!
Work for the Glory of God
Courtney discusses why the work we are doing is important to the people in our home, to God, and to the world as a whole. She argues that with every dish cleaned and piece of laundry put away we are pushing back the disorder and chaos that threaten to overtake the world and we are simultaneously proclaiming that chaos and disorder will not reign forever.
“Every meal made with love, every fork that has been cleaned to protect against spreading illness, every toilet wiped clean helps shift your family’s gaze toward the God who keeps everything together and is making all things new.”
Now that is a purpose I can hang onto! That gives meaning to my ordinary work of housekeeping!
“Your work at home is actually a God-given opportunity to serve your neighbor with your good works, it is an opportunity to love others in Jesus name, it is a chance for you to put aside your comfort for the benefit of another.” And that sounds just exactly like the missionary work I so desired.
See, God is a God of the mundane. He made this world and He made most of our moments mundane ones. There will be a few life-changing circumstances and decisions but most of our lives are lived in the ordinary. This is the way God holds everything together and He cares deeply about what we do with these simple opportunities.
Suddenly all those little moments fill with purpose. This is Kingdom work and its effects are not only in the here and now. We are being trained now for eternity where we will rule and reign with Christ.
“Our work isn’t giving us any points with God but it is telling the world about the God we worship, it is telling what we value most, it is telling what we hope in even when it is hard. Christians work differently in every kind of work because we work for the Lord, not others.”
Practical and Purposeful
Filled with practical bits of information, this book takes the theological truths of Scripture that so often seem outside the scope of our day to day lives and shows us exactly where they fit. See, the Gospel applies to EVERYTHING and that gives us so much hope for the everyday.
Courtney also addresses the questions of who is a homemaker? Who should be involved in the work of the home? Does one person need to do it all? How do spouses fit into all this? Children? She answers those tough questions and others with grace and clarity.
I fully recommend Glory in the Ordinary to you as a quick read and hope you find it to be as much of an encouragement as I did! If you know a mom in the “trenches”, grab this book as a gift for her. She will definitely thank you!
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Other books for moms in the trenches you recommend?