Called to a simple life

Often we think life’s got to be big to make an impact. That our work doesn’t count for much when it’s work in the home. Surely we’ve got to be out there to change lives? Have a career. Do purposeful work. Certainly not a life spent vacuuming the floor for the third time today, wiping dirty toddler noses and feeding a baby throughout the night.

Yet, this is the call on my life. Maybe it’s the call on yours too. A simple life at home. Not fame. Nor fulfilment to be quite honest with you.

Life at home with little children isn’t easy. It’s sacrificial. It’s constant. It’s exhausting. And yet, it’s the work that God calls many of us to. A life of love like His, sacrificial and joyful in serving, even in the small things.

I’ve been reading recently the text of the 1998 Madeleva Lecture in Spirituality, entitled The Quotidian Mysteries, subtitled Laundry, Liturgy and “women’s work”, available to buy on Amazon – see here:

In it Kathleen Norris explores the mysterious way that daily (that’s what quotidian means!) activities can open us to the transforming presence of God. She talks about how the daily tasks – chores – are often seen as the root of women’s oppression and that educating women is meant to free us from being relegated to such thoroughly domestic roles, and it does. But the daily we have always with us, a nagging reminder that the dishes must be done, the floor mopped or vacuumed, the dirty laundry washed. She then goes on to beautifully illustrate how in the routine everyday moments we find the possibility for the most transformation. Daily tasks, daily acts of love, often shape us the most. After all don’t most domestic arguments find root in the everyday tasks – who puts the bins out, whose turn it is to change the baby’s nappy?

At MOPS last year, a mum shared how when she does laundry as she handles each piece of clothing she prays for the person whose clothes they are. Even if not a Christian, we can use these everyday moments to be thankful for the blessing that it is to have our families, and the facility to wash their clothes. Daily tasks that seem mundane but can ground us to the rhythm of life and shape our whole attitudes.

A simple life can be transformational. For us and for our families. 

What if God’s call on your life is a simple one too? A kitchen table that invites others to come, share simple food and conversation. A sofa that welcomes friends – old and new – to have a coffee and cake. Arms that embrace a child and reads them a story, five times in a row without complaint.

Let’s embrace the calling for your life and not worry it needs to be big to make an impact. A life full of cuddles and snotty kisses. A life full of tears and laughter. A life with disappointments and elation. A life full of love. 

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