Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bigger Picture #14: The Holy Mundane

Let me start with a confession...I didn't really find the Bigger Picture this week. A good friend did that for me. I'm just passing it on and living into it.

Tuesday night we walked into the room where our church board meeting is held. A friend, also there for board, came with her unfolded laundry, pictures needing to be sorted, grocery lists and menu planning worksheets. She began asking others to help with these tasks and before you knew it several were folding her family's clothes, I was writing out a menu and checking items off her grocery list, another friend was sorting her pictures. She simply commented that she was so far behind that in order to be in attendance she needed to bring things with her and multitask during this time.

As usual the meeting began with a devotion. She happened to the be the one doing it. As she began to speak all of this came together - this wasn't really just about having too much to do (although she certainly does) but it was an object lesson for us. She spoke about a book that a mutual friend of ours had given us both years ago: Quotidian Mysteries by Kathleen Norris. (If you aren't familiar with that book, it's worth reading.)

In Quotidian Mysteries Kathleen Norris talks about finding the holy in the mundane, those usual, regular, often thankless tasks we do day after day, week after week. She speaks specifically of laundry and other "women's work."

After reading this book, my friend began to see her tasks as a wife, mother and keeper of the home differently. She began to pray for her children as she folded their laundry. She began to recognize not only the mundane but also the loving and necessary nature of these tasks she did each day. And it changed her.

I have heard her speak of this often throughout the years and I have worked to practice it - some days doing better, some days worse. Today I am grateful for her reminder this week. I am home...taking a day off. And as I am cleaning and cooking, I am holding my husband and my children, those who share this household and those who will enter it, in my prayers. The work is different today. And so am I.

Go on over to Melissa's place today and share your Bigger Picture Moment or read some others.


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I clicked over here to read this! I love the idea of praying for whomever's laundry is in my hands at the moment! :) Yesterday it would have been my new grandbaby that is to be born in January! I was folding old clothes that Paige used...could have prayed for both! THANKS for the idea and I will have to look into the book! :)

Hyacynth said...

Oh, a lovely BPM! I've been learning for the first time this year to find the holy in the seemingly mundane, as well as how to serve my family through these often-called routine duties. It really puts the mind in a different place. Thank you for sharing this moment and reminding me.

Melissa said...

I love this, it's so easily forgotten. My husband is always reminding me that what seems like a little mundane task to me is the glue of our family and keeps us running smoothly.

thank you for sharing.

Allison @ Alli 'n Son said...

Beautiful. I think we could all use a reminder like this.