Work As Worship

A couple of weeks ago, I hit a really low point.

I think every housewife/mom can relate to these moments. Moments when you feel undervalued, under-appreciated, and overworked. Dishes. Laundry. Diaper changes. Cooking. Serving. Driving. More dishes. More laundry. Husband comes home late from a hard day at work. But oh, do not tell me about a hard day…thanks to you being late, my hard day was made longer. Let’s talk ungrateful kids. I take all this time to plan our weekly menu, picking out what’s healthy yet yummy, go grocery shopping, do all the prep work, and even bake my own bread, only for them to tell me, “Mommy, I don’t like it.” Really!? Then there’s the hair. Oh the hair. My Goliath that I have to face every morning. They complain that it hurts. I can’t get them to be still. Their frustration turns into my frustration and vice versa. At the end of it, even Allan is frustrated listening to all this madness taking place. He blurts out, “You know, you really should figure something else out for hair…maybe something easier.” WRONG COMMENT, Buddy!!! Your non-morning-person of a wife, who was already hot, just got hotter (and I don’t mean in an attractive way). My breaking point was this: in midst of all this frustration, Peanut asked me to help her put on her socks. I stopped all the housework I was doing (for them, mind you), and helped her put her socks on. They were really tight, so it took me a few minutes. Afterwards, instead of a “thank you,” what I received was: “They’re too tight.” That was it. I was done. I just walked into my bedroom, took all the self-control I had to not slam the door behind me, and went into my closet to defuse. I didn’t have to explain anything to Allan. He knew he had to take over from there.

After Allan came home from dropping Peanut off at school, we had a heart-to-heart over coffee (as we always do when I have these moments). I sobbed and told him how I truly felt (as I always do at these heart-to-heart conversations). “It’s like I’m trying so hard and nothing gets appreciated. Instead, what’s always pointed out is something wrong that I’m doing.” I hate these moments…because the “ME monster” in me comes out and can’t be restrained. What about ME? Think about ME. ME. ME. ME!¬†Yet I can’t help it sometimes. Allan is always so gracious with me, calmly listening and taking in what I have to say. He even apologized for the hair comment earlier; he said he was only trying to help. I already knew that. I told him I’m just irritated…and I’m venting. He prayed for me.

I then went into the bedroom and opened a book that I’ve been reading. It happened to be on a chapter that spoke to the very place where I was at. I love how God does this…all the time.

The chapter was about bowing our work to God in worship. Doing every task, no matter how small or mundane, as an act of worship to God. Here are some quotes that I read that day:

“To work is to worship; to worship is to work.”

“Lord, let each task…diaper changes, preparing meals, washing clothes, answering my two-year-old’s endless questions…be done as an act of worship to you.”

“Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24 The Message Bible

“He sees and values all that you do when you do it for Him.”

“We feel that we must achieve to feel significant, but God says, ‘Be faithful in your work, my daughter, and you will find significance in my sight.'”

“In God’s eyes, there is no division between the scared and the secular. He is the Creator of all. ALL your work is important to Him! He is in all, over all, and longs for you to glorify Him in all…for you to lift up your work as worship to Him.”

“Work becomes sacred based on how we perform it.”

I hate cleaning. Absolutely hate it. But I do it, with my youngest daughter following me around with a duster, with worship music on full blast. This is my sacred act of worship.

I am an introvert and would rather spend all day working on a project or writing or reading. But I pick myself up, go over next week’s meal plan, and start making my grocery list (I would much rather be using that same laptop to blog!). It’s all for God. This is the spot, this is the role, this is the season He has entrusted me with. It will never come back again. Every little act of service I do for my family is ultimately for God. It all becomes my sacred act of worship.

Since then, I try to remember this truth: in God’s eyes, there is no division between sacred and secular…between mundane and significant. When it’s done for God’s glory, it all becomes sacred and significant.

God really wanted me to know that on that day. If you can relate to the kind of day I described, I know He wants you to know that, too. When you feel undervalued, HE sees great value in you AND your work. When you feel under-appreciated, HE wants to shout, “THANK YOU…for taking care of My children (husband included). P.S. You are also increasing your inheritance in heaven.”

I think it’s OK to have one of those crazy moments…when we can no longer hold in our frustrations. But always, I find my way back to resting my soul in the presence of God. That’s what I did on this day, and Jesus sweetly whispered to me, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).

The quotes were taken from the book Satisfy My Weary Soul: For I am Desperate for Your Presence by Linda Dillow. I highly recommend this book!

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