Finding Something Sacred in the Middle of the Mundane

Tired of mundane tasks in your day? You actually can turn that mundane to something sacred.

I know I’m not the only homemaker and haven creator who feels like everyday life is swamped with the mundane.

Think about the never-ending piles of dirty dishes, then freshly washed dishes that need dried and put away.

Or consider laundry. You can watch the pile of dirty clothes grow every day, then require washing and drying and folding and putting away.

Aside from dishes and laundry, much of housekeeping feels mundane … and downright frustrating.

  • Who really wants to keep up with the dusting and vacuuming and mopping?
  • Just when you think you might be finished tending to paper clutter, the daily mail is delivered, requiring more attention.
  • You may feel like you’re on top of the world with a meal plan, grocery list, and filled pantry, but soon enough you cook and eat and need to start over again.

Woman takes laundry out of the dryer

Woman washes countertop

Housekeeping isn’t the only thing filled with mundane tasks. Much of work is. Landscaping requires constant upkeep – grass needs mowed and weeds need pulled. Bills need to be paid. Paperwork needs completion. E-mails and texts require replies.

Everyday life includes a never-ending cycle of chores that, at times, seems both maddening and mundane.

But what if those dreaded chores could turn into something rather sacred?

Can there be something sacred in the mundane?

All of life requires maintenance. Our bodies need fuel and hydration and some sort of movement. Our homes need regular chores to keep functioning. So do typical jobs and education and every facet of life.

So if the need to maintain things is a normal, expected part of life, how do we transform it into something sacred?

It all boils down to finding three reasons:

  • Why you’re doing the work,
  • Who you’re working for, and
  • How you’re maintaining things.

Woman kneels in front of washer and dryer

Why are you doing the work?

Instead of approaching our typical tasks with a bunch of grumbling and complaining (“Of course! I have to do laundry again!”), one trick is to try to be thankful you get to do it. Instead of feeling like you have to do something, contemplate how you get to do something.

You get to wash dishes again because you’ve been blessed with a meal and actual dishes that can get dirty. On the flipside, you could be without food – and need to eat with your hands and no dishes at all. While this seems a little extreme, it’s also a real possibility – and a reality for some in this world.

You’re doing the work because you’ve been given so much that there’s a need. If God’s blessed you with a large family, you’ll automatically need to do more laundry. And more cooking and cleaning.

And even if you’re alone, God’s still given you so much that requires your care.

Aside from thinking of the actual, physical things that have been entrusted to you, you’ve also been given some other gifts, like physical and mental abilities.

If you can do the work, be thankful for the opportunity. (Even if you might not always feel like being thankful for the opportunity.)

Mom and son wash dishes

Who are you working for?

As you work on your daily chores, you may think you’re working for yourself, doing a favor for your spouse or children, or completing work your boss has assigned.

But what if, instead of thinking of people, you consider doing your work for the Lord?

As Colossians 3:23-24 so clearly reminds us,“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Work is not about us. And it’s not about our bosses. We’re working for the Lord and everything we do is for His glory.

We serve the Lord with every dish we wash, with every floor we mop, with every weed we pull.

As we start to remember that, it can transform the way we approach our work. Try tackling your laundry pile with some hard work and prayer. If you pray that the Lord would be glorified through your work, He’ll start to work through you.

From personal experience, I know it’s vital to change your thinking for working for yourself or even for someone else in your home to working for the Lord.

If I only think I’m cleaning up for my husband or for company that’s coming, I start to resent those relationships really quickly. Or, if I think I’m cleaning for my own mental health, that motivation to work fizzles pretty quickly.

Mom and toddler fold clean laundry together

The game changer

But the game changer comes when I remember that I can bless and honor the Lord by working for Him – even in the frustratingly boring chores around my home. As I start working for Him, my focus, attitude, and productivity changes.

Instead of looking at your daily chores as drudgery, you can see ways all around your home that could turn into sacrificial gifts to the Lord.

If you’d rather sit around, try telling the Lord that you’ll do one chore for Him – and then get up and do your one thing, whether it’s scrubbing out your kitchen sink or going through a pile of clutter on your coffee table.

Pray as you start your chore and keep praying as you’re working:

  • If you’re washing your baby’s spit-up, poop-covered onesies, pray for your little one.
  • As you get ready to make a grocery list, thank the Lord for His provision and pray for Him to feed your family well with His help.
  • If you need to dust some hard surfaces in your living room, thank God for your home, and ask Him to use it in some way.

As you invite the Lord into every part of your mundane work, He’ll start to transform it and show you how He can use it – and how He can use you.

How are you maintaining things?

Everything you’ve been given is a gift from God. Everything – from your health to your family to your friends to your possessions. As James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

If it’s all been given to us as a gift, a good question to ask yourself is how are you maintaining those gifts? It can be easy to let things slide – from relationships to cleanliness in a home.

But if you start to look at your possessions as gifts – and things that can be made better or worse by your care – you might start to take an interest in how they’re maintained.

When I think of this concept, I’m reminded of toys:

When I was a little girl, my parents taught me how to take care of my toys. Because of that, I never played with them roughly, and they maintained a fantastic condition – in fact, I kept some and was able to pass them along to my own children.

Yet one of my cousins didn’t take care of his toys. He was rough whenever he played, and he often broke my brother’s toys whenever he’d come over to our house to play.

Just like toys, I can look around my home and treat things with care so they can last a long time and passed along to someone else who will appreciate them.

Or, I could be rough, careless, and let things get ruined in the process.

By caring for and maintaining the possessions we do have, we’ll become good stewards of every good and perfect gift from our Father. And as we maintain these good gifts, we turn even the most mundane things into something sacred.

Finding something sacred

If you struggle with completing or finding contentment in the mundane tasks of your home and life, think about why you’re doing the work, who you are working for, and how you’re maintaining the things that have been entrusted to you.

As you mull over your answers, it’s virtually impossible to not find something sacred in the middle of the mundane.

Woman cleans countertop

What are some of your most mundane tasks? How can you start thinking of them as sacred opportunities?

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All images courtesy of Unsplash.

Hilary
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2 Comments

  1. I have a tea light candle holder on the shelf above my kitchen sink. I light the candle to remind myself that washing dishes and cooking meals is sacred work, too. When I have that mindset, doing the “chores” is more pleasurable.

    Having been a missionary in Nepal for three years, I have great affection for electricity at the flip of a switch, clean water out of the tap, a hot water heater, a washing machine and a dryer. “Chores” are more pleasurable when you think about them in that light.

    1. I absolutely love the idea of lighting a candle while you wash dishes and cook meals, Pamela. What an amazing reminder of the sacred work! I’ll start that when I wash dishes today!

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