Everyday tasks take up so much of our lives and are done over and over – particularly obvious when we are at home so much of the time, like I am with the little ones. I’ve wrestled with this role and these responsibilities over and over during the last five or six years but reading Glory in the Ordinary really helped me to make sense of how we can find purpose and meaning in the ordinary work we all do at home- whether we are stay at home, work in the home or work elsewhere.
Courtney’s reminder of how work in the home has changed through history and social changes reminded me of the bubble we can live in and the way we view the home is so much defined by life as we see it. I love that ultimately our purpose is to glorify God and that actually those day to day efforts of work can reflect Him even when they are unseen. It can be really easy to start comparing our lives to other people’s – but the truth is that life has changed since we were children, since the previous generation- and we are all adapting and stepping forward in faith in the best way we know how, learning and growing as we do so.
Ultimately when we get wrapped up in housework and roles and all these issues to do with ‘stay at home’ and ‘working’ titles we are searching for meaning and identity in what we do and forgetting the bigger picture. ‘And in war we lose the value of the work that we all have some stake in. While we can spin our wheels endlessly debating who stays home, the reality is moms and dads everywhere wonder about the work itself. Does it matter? Is it simply a way to survive?’ Courtney hits it on the head for me there. She reminds us gently that we can only find meaning in at-home work (whatever that looks like, in this culture, as a mother or otherwise) by seeing it through the bigger lens of our existence.
If our purpose is to live life for God’s glory, then it shouldn’t matter whether we do that in the home, on a stage, in a career, whether we are walking down the road or doing some praised role. Courtney’s words reminded me so much of the importance of the motives behind anything we do – just as it reminds us in Colossians 3 :23 to ‘do whatever you do as if for the Lord, not for people.’ Courtney goes on to explore how work was intended to be, before life went wrong during the fall, and how we can reflect God through creating order from chaos just as he did in creation. We are made to work and bear God’s image, and we are reminded that it’s all about love, and that our culture’s concern with monetary value distorts that view so much of the time.
The work of the home is filled with thousands of little moments that make up our very existence… all of these mundane moments shape a family and shape a culture… this is what the everyday chores of the home are all about- giving our time, energy and creativity for the good of others.’
If you’re feeling disillusioned or ordinary or unimportant in your work at home- whether that’s catching up on chores at the end of a working day or if you’re in the home all the time- Glory in the Ordinary is a great reminder of where our purpose and value is truly found, and how that spills over into the ways we work and spend our times in our homes. All these things matter to Him- he sees them, and us, and our hearts to love him in the big and the small things.