A recent rainy walk in my neighborhood.
The leaves are starting to really drop now.
I was just looking through my Word files for something that might help me with a paper I have to write, and I stumbled across this little piece of writing. It's a rough draft for something that I ended up not using. Reading this, I was struck by how really foundational and sweet this very situation was in my life in those early years with children and how fundamental it remains even now. It was, and is, the way I aim to live my days and my life.
“Who despises the day of small things?”
Zechariah 4: 10
My eyes were heavy, and I would have loved more sleep, but I couldn’t help but smile when I awoke to Michelle’s usual happy chatter. She beamed at me as I lifted her from her crib, and I beamed back, kissing her cheek. But I carried her downstairs half-distracted, my heart stirring over middle of the night thoughts that had kept me awake.
A growing awareness of the blessings and profound responsibilities of motherhood had me praying fervently for my girls, and I asked God to give me clear mothering vision. As I prayed that night, my thoughts returned again and again to the importance of small daily acts—those little things that sometimes seem insignificant but eventually make up a life.
I strapped Michelle into her high chair that autumn morning in our English kitchen, and she chatted at me amiably. I returned her chatter while continuing to think and pray. Did my intense middle-of-the-night thoughts really reflect God’s mind for me as a mother? Was it true that the ordinary things I did every day—diaper changing, housekeeping, story-reading—were charged with unrealized meaning and power when they were done with love? Would God really transform my meager efforts into something beautiful in the hearts of my children? Could He use my imperfect offerings of love to reveal His perfect love to my girls? Could the ordinary, mundane work of motherhood really be this eternally profound?
Sunlight streamed through the kitchen window and spilled across the stove. I stirred our breakfast porridge and remembered 16th century monk, Brother Lawrence. His daily work was kitchen work, but he considered it his spiritual work. He said he didn't need big things to do—he turned his little omelet in the pan for the love of God. It was an act of worship.
My own quotidian routines could be worship, too. So, that morning, I cooked porridge for the love of Michelle and for the love of the Lord. I believed that He really would make even this fleeting earthly act something that mattered for eternity in my child’s heart. And also in mine.