Where mundane touches sacred

by Edie Wadsworth on November 16, 2011

I’ve added sources to the living room post for your pleasure and perusal.

And what am I doing, you ask?  And just why haven’t I posted in well over a week?

Well.   That’s a real good question.

And here’s what I’ve got for ya.

I’m hunkered down, that’s what.   Trying to learn enough Latin to teach it to my children and  just tucked in to home right snug and doing what moms and wives around the world do everyday.

*****************

You know the list.   Laundry, cooking, dishes, schooling, a wee bit of knitting, a whole lot of reading and even the noble task of rearing young girls in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.   It’s quite noble work but it’s so easy to despise it.   To wish it away while daydreaming about grandiose plans and schemes.

Today, I choose to relish it.

I hold the laundry tight and inhale extra long and think about the love that is modeled when a woman washes the same clothes over and over, day in, day out—-almost touching something sacred—-this washing and consecrating of materials things for a noble and good purpose.   The renewal that comes from being clean.   My heart aches for that washing too.   Perhaps it’s a blessed thing, this daily rhythm of life. We love the grand scale, the best days, the shiny things.   The bright newness of God’s blessed restoration.

But what about all those ordinary days?  Where is God then?

He always chooses the ordinary things to do his greatest work.

He chose bread to feed us. Water to wash us.   A baby to save us.

He is no despiser of the small days.

It is in them that we see the key to life.

Not in falling in love but in loving everyday,  with clean socks and warm soup.

Not in that one blissful day of childbirth but in the birth of each day, one a time, where the daily routine teaches us to depend on our Father,  who has made no provision for tomorrow—but only today, in this daily bread.

Perhaps this thing I’ve come to dread—-this daily drudgery—-is in fact my greatest teacher, in disguise.

Teaching me to live in this moment.  With these children.   And this sacred work.    It’s really all there is.

Today is the day of salvation.

So, I hold on tightly to little hands.   And I stir the soup.   And I fold the towels.

And I say thank you for this work, this calling.

And for this blessed ordinary day—where grace and mercy rain down and turn water into wine, drudgery into vocation, and curse into blessing.

************

In His incarnation, Christ has knit creation back together and sanctified our flesh, our mundane.  He has redeemed for us all the ‘actual textures of physical life’ and granted us the ‘full extent of the  mysteries of the incarnation and all that flows from it, and all that make our mortal life fruitful once more.”

“The incarnation took all that properly belongs to our humanity and delivered it back to us, redeemed.  All of our inclinations and appetites and capacities and yearnings are purified and gathered up and glorified by Christ.  He did not come to thin out human life;  He came to set it free.   All the dancing and feasting and processing and singing and building and sculpting and baking and merrymaking that belong to us, and that were stolen away into the service of false gods, are returned to us in the gospel.”

(quotes taken from Evangelical is Not Enough by Thomas Howard, first quotation paraphrased and links all to podcasts of  Issues Etc.org )

I wish you blessings in all of your ordinary days!

xoxo,

edie

Post-Edit: I have the best readers in the world and when Laura sent me this email last night, I thought I’d share it you and then see if I can find a willing pastor to comment/answer her. I love that she is wrestling with the words and their meaning and I’m always willing to learn. You can add your two cents if you’d like too :)

Edie,
Your post today was beautiful, well-written, and brought a tear to my eye. And it touched on some things I’ve been mulling over lately. I’ve been thinking about this idea of all things being sacred–of finding the spiritual in the mundane things. I’d love to know what you think, since I think we approach our understanding of Christianity and the church from similar perspectives.

I’m wondering about the conflating of sacred and secular, or of sacred and all of life. I’ve read others writing similar (encouraging!) things. I certainly appreciate and recognize the reality that God works in all of our life–through the mundane and the routine and the little things. But I wonder if that is the same as a thing being sacred? I wonder if our sacramentalizing all of life actually may cause us to care less about, to lose our wonder at the true sacraments ordained by Christ and the special grace of which they are a means. Maybe it is just a matter of semantics and I’m thinking too much about this. Maybe it’s just because I was an English teacher and I get really interested in the words we use and how the usage changes, but maybe the usage does affect the way we think and then finally what we believe.

Just my two cents, for what it’s worth. I love your thought-provoking writing, Edie. No need to respond unless you want to.

Love to you,
Laura
the given life

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
You are not authorized to see this part
Please, insert a valid App IDotherwise your plugin won't work.

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mrs.B November 16, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Blessings to you too in all your ordinary tasks and days!

Reply

2 Mrs.B November 16, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Blessings to you too in all your ordinary tasks and days!

Reply

3 Mrs.B November 16, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Blessings to you too in all your ordinary tasks and days!

Reply

4 Judith November 16, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Thank you for this…just the reminder I needed in the middle of a very ordinary, mundane, task-filled week.  :)

Reply

5 Dianne Rabon November 16, 2011 at 10:52 pm

So needed to read this today!  Thank you for making me realize the sacred in the everyday.  Loved the Mumford & Sons too, one of my favorite hymns. 

Reply

6 Crystal @ Ordinary Days November 16, 2011 at 10:57 pm

The title of my blog is called “Ordinary Days”.  God has been teaching me the last year or so to look for the blessings in my “Ordinary Days”.  I believe these days are the BEST days of my life!  Today’s post is refreshing and I love and respect that you also find the beauty in the ordinary.  You are a blessing!!

Reply

7 basketladydi November 16, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Edie, you have such a way of stopping me from my hurriedness and encouraging me to ponder the things that are truly important.  
Your girls are so blessed to have a mama who thinks so deeply and no doubt encourages them to do so as well.  P.S.  You are an incredible writer, and smith of words :-)  I read portions of your blog to my husband and he’ll say, “That IS GOOD!”  Hugs!

Reply

8 Ruth Emond November 17, 2011 at 12:04 am

Oh! Edie-No one says it like you. You have a way if crafting these ordinary words to reach deep into our souls. This is a post to reread when the everyday overwhelms and we forget to look for the abundance of blessings in the ordinary. What an inspiration you are!!! I wish I had more of these reminders to read each day.
Ruth

Reply

9 Anonymous November 17, 2011 at 12:07 am

Edie, I needed this reminder today…It honestly brought me to tears. God is good and yet again sends us a message just when we need it. I have been stuck in what feels like a stay-at-home-mom version of the movie “What about Bob”. You know what I mean? Its raining here, my husband travels for work all the time and I am here caring for our 2-year old daughter. Thank you for reminding me that even folding the towels and stirring the soup is important. You are a blessing. 

Reply

10 lesliemartinyoung November 17, 2011 at 12:12 am

I’m in a season of *small* and trying to inhabit all of my mundane tasks and moments. This was beautifully written. (And Mumford? Singing “Come Thou Fount?” Come on! Good stuff)

Reply

11 lesliemartinyoung November 17, 2011 at 12:12 am

I’m in a season of *small* and trying to inhabit all of my mundane tasks and moments. This was beautifully written. (And Mumford? Singing “Come Thou Fount?” Come on! Good stuff)

Reply

12 Pipsersmom November 17, 2011 at 12:34 am

A friend sent me here…I am recovering from an emergency hysterectomy that saved my life after childbirth four months ago. I also just said goodbye to a foster son we had for four months, and have two older children. This post hit me right between the eyes. JUST BREATHE, right? THANK YOU!

Rach
http://pipsylou.blogspot.com

Reply

13 Anonymous November 17, 2011 at 12:37 am

I LOVE this post cause that’s TOTALLY how I feel about my life!  I LOVE being a wife & a mom.  I LOVE the mundane things that keep my family going & yet for the most part goes unnoticed.  I love being reminded that the joy I get in taking care of my family is the same joy my God gets from taking care of me :)  God makes the simple…simply FABULOUS!  Blessings!!

Reply

14 Amy November 17, 2011 at 12:43 am

Just the reminder I needed today.  Thank you!

Reply

15 Southern Gal November 17, 2011 at 12:59 am

The way you communicate your thoughts just knocks me over.  I’ll be busy clicking links for the next few days.  I’m thankful for my life, even the cluttered homeschool paper mess.  Yes, even that.

Reply

16 Matilda Joyce November 17, 2011 at 1:14 am

Mumford & Sons singing praise music???  LOVE it!  What a discovery.  
You are so right about the small days, thank you for reminding us all! 

Reply

17 Dezi199 November 17, 2011 at 2:03 am

Your post today was what I needed, I feel that all I do is un-clutter my new home and felt as if I couldn’t do the ordinary things , they were in the way. I am trying to be all things and I work full time tool. I feel guilty that I don’t have more time to just be when I come home from work with my kids. Thats when I stress out. But I must remember to be thankful for these ordinary days , I really did wish for them, and here they are

Reply

18 Kathy November 17, 2011 at 2:05 am

love this! thank you for sharing!

Reply

19 bridgette gresham November 17, 2011 at 2:06 am

Thank you for reminding me of this today!  Just the message my heart needed to hear! 

Reply

20 Tara November 17, 2011 at 2:11 am

needed the reminder that the mundane matters.

Reply

21 Jessica Washburn November 17, 2011 at 2:29 am

Yay, I can finally leave a comment. :) Miss you friend. I’m so glad you are in a comfortable home that is your own, where you can love and nurture your beautiful family. I absolutely love this post, it’s like music to my ears…what every mother should pray for. I’m going to Blissdom are you? Yes, I’m back on the blog wagon…I’m a goof I know! :)  xoxo, Jess

runningtobeskinny.com

Reply

22 KTG November 17, 2011 at 2:41 am

Amen!

Reply

23 kendal November 17, 2011 at 2:41 am

oh, edie. how i love this post. such encouragement for this soul weary from the mountain of mundane heaped upon her this week….

Reply

24 Cha Cha November 17, 2011 at 3:43 am

You know how to reach straight into this momma’s heart.  Thank you for the moment to reflect and remember today.  It is in these moments that we become who we are meant to be, excitement in the boring.  Love you much friend!—–Cha Cha

Reply

25 Megan November 17, 2011 at 3:43 am

Edie, I needed this so much.  I even made my sweet husband sit down and read your post so I could say that’s how I feel.  Except I don’t always relish it.  So much I could say right now, but thank you!  Thanks for helping me not feel so alone in my task and my struggle.  I want to have a thankful heart.  You always make me smile.  =)

Reply

26 Deb November 17, 2011 at 3:46 am

I got to your blog through a post on FB My kids are all grown, but the mundane continues. I work in a group home, the  counting your blessings in all things is so important! I do not have to be glad about everything, but be thankful for the blessings I encounter (running water, flushing toilets, heat that comes on with the flick of the dial, to name only a few) Thanks for the reminder to enjoy the moment, savor the small stuff. I just shoveled the driveway, I am very thankful to have the health and strength to do it.

Reply

27 Shairee November 17, 2011 at 4:18 am

Edie – thank you so much for your post!  I loved every word of it and truly appreciated the reminder to cherish and love these long days of homeschooling and chores.  Oh what an incredible blessing!

Reply

28 Elizabeth Highsmith November 17, 2011 at 4:52 am

thank you, for sharing His grace, Edie. When I first heard Mumford & Son’s rendition of Come, thou fount I thought of you.

Reply

29 Shayne November 17, 2011 at 11:51 am

Beautifully written!  You touch the very heart of what so many of us feel.  We long for the days to have a family.  And then when those days come, with all the day-to-day reality, we try to push it away.

I’ve been thinking since yesterday about the children involved in the bus accident in China.  And it helps bring home the reality that we have today—right now—to love our families.  We don’t know what tomorrow will bring.  In that light, matching up little socks becomes a reminder of the gift that my family is to me.

Many thanks!

Reply

30 Lrfamily November 17, 2011 at 12:17 pm

What a great post-and a great reminder to me to love everything, even the mundane stuff.  And thank you so much for sourcing the living room-now I’m addicted to Horchow.
Lisa

Reply

31 Heather November 17, 2011 at 2:13 pm

This is beautiful, Edie.  I was just praying for some clarity, strength, and perseverance yesterday in my homeschooling/parenting journey.  This helped a ton.  I know Jesus just saved it for me to read this morning…a little shot in the arm!;)  The truth is, too often I focus on my physical fatigue and the emotional drought of raising four young children and neglect to realize what a ridiculously undeserved gift I’ve been given…totally humiliating to admit…but true.  Thank you for hearing the Holy Spirit and sharing your heart on this one.  It was so desperately needed on this end!

Blessings,
Heather

Reply

32 Gina November 17, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Lovely and encouraging. Thanks so much for sharing…

Reply

33 Alison November 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Amen, and amen.

Reply

34 Dana @ Cooking At Cafe D November 17, 2011 at 7:06 pm

It really is about the small stuff.  Folding towels and stirring soup.
Sometimes we can get caught up in the big moments and forget the amazing life happens in the in-between. 
(At least, sometimes *I* forget.) 

I wish that I were more aware of His presence in my life everyday – and thanking Him everyday. 
I know it in my head.  But, I want my heart to cry out during all the in-betweens with gratefulness.

Thanks for the reminder.

Reply

35 Weedon November 17, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Edie,

Yes, indeed.  In Jesus, all the old barriers between sacred and profane break down.  In Him all become holy.  All of life is made holy.  Teaching the kids Latin – holy.  Taking the dog for a walk – holy.  Singing while you do up the dishes – holy.  All holy because it is all done in His presence, offered as an act of thanksgiving to the Giver of all, and perfectly acceptable in Him because HE sanctifies and makes it all holy.  Notice how Zechariah foretold this in Zechariah 14:20-21. 

PW

Reply

36 Lelia November 17, 2011 at 9:51 pm

I needed to read this today …. thank you, thank you – it spoke directly to my soul! 

Reply

37 {darlene} November 17, 2011 at 9:57 pm

I love your words. I joined you for the ride of your thoughts…. and oh, how I have felt the same way! Feel.

I was chewing on Laura’s lovingly crafted and thoughtful email. I think it is, always is, about the heart. Where is your heart? Where do you struggle to see God as He truly is? As the Giver of all Good Gifts?

I, personally, struggle in seeing Him in the mundane, so He convicts me that I must worship Him THERE. That is why your words are a remedy to my soul. I need DAILY bread reminders that the mundane and simple carry His signature. The opera singing glam girl in me sometimes forgets that our Holy Lord is here with me, in prepping nasty ol’ chicken while my manicure chips off and my children bicker.

Now. If my struggle were in separating the mundane from the sacred, and not acknowledging anything as Holy, then,
I would be in need of the Lord revealing that I must not over-inflate the mundane.

No heart is truly balanced. But thankfully, He knows our hearts, and lovingly shapes them to know Him more clearly. 

Reply

38 Susan November 17, 2011 at 11:20 pm

You summed up what’s been on my mind lately.  I am so glad you can finally settle in and enjoy your home and your daughters.  You have been on quite an adventure and you are due for a little mundane:)

Reply

39 Shannon November 17, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Edie, have you read the book Quotidian Mysteries by Kathleen Norris? You would love it–it’s all about the very same thing in this post.

Reply

40 Shannon November 17, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Edie, have you read the book Quotidian Mysteries by Kathleen Norris? You would love it–it’s all about the very same thing in this post.

Reply

41 Louise November 18, 2011 at 2:50 am

Thank you for this post. My mom just shared your blog with me today. I appreciate this post very much as a mother.

Reply

42 Gretchen November 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm

I love this post, Edie. I once told Derek that I feel like I’m truly serving my family when I do their laundry. He gave me a funny look (probably because he knows I hate doing laundry), and I find it hard to explain, but it’s the combination of how mundane and pedestrian washing and folding clothes is–but it’s a great need in our family, and as I fold their clothes big and small I think about them and how unique and wonderful each one is and how I can do this thing for them so they can go about their days and serve others.

Reply

43 Gretchen November 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm

I love this post, Edie. I once told Derek that I feel like I’m truly serving my family when I do their laundry. He gave me a funny look (probably because he knows I hate doing laundry), and I find it hard to explain, but it’s the combination of how mundane and pedestrian washing and folding clothes is–but it’s a great need in our family, and as I fold their clothes big and small I think about them and how unique and wonderful each one is and how I can do this thing for them so they can go about their days and serve others.

Reply

44 Danielle November 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Didn’t know it until I saw it, but this is what I have been looking for.

Thank you.

Reply

45 Laura November 18, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Thank you Edie for hearing (and sharing) my thoughts. I expanded a bit on them on my blog, the given life. Love to hear what you and your readers think . . .

Reply

46 Kristi November 19, 2011 at 4:42 am

Edie,
  GREAT post!  I am currently reading (almost done) The Spirituality of the Cross, the first evangelicals by Gene Veith and it is FANTASTIC.  I JUST got done with the vocation chapter and loved it (i’m going to read the whole book again when I’m done, I know I will, LOL) .   And your post parallels everything I have read and FEEL myself.    I think that is why I have been on such a blog “sabbatical”.  I always have good intentions to blog, but I am SO enjoying the moment with my husband, kids, family, house, everyday life and etc that it doesn’t happen.  Anyway, thank you and glad I came over to read this tonight :)Kristi

Reply

47 Meg November 19, 2011 at 9:42 pm

I just found your blog and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!  Thank you for the beautiful quote above.  One of my favorite I have ever heard!!  Thank you for this!!

Reply

48 Rhonda @ Abide at Home November 21, 2011 at 3:14 am

Wow.  What a post.  Thanks for this reminder.  I find great joy in serving my family, but sometimes when things are just a bit more insane than normal, or when the house pushes past that “point” of messiness that I can tolerate, then I forget the blessedness and lose my joy.  Thanks for the reminder!

Reply

49 Chelsea Douthitt November 21, 2011 at 11:13 pm

I just “happened” on this post while taking a break from my “chores”.  It ties in with what I’ve been thinking today. I took the liberty of sharing your post. Thanks for sharing.
I think Laura makes a good point. My two cents (two sentances) are over here http://lovefromhb.blogspot.com/2011/11/cleaning-house-and-fount-of-blessing.html 

Blessings…

Reply

50 Shannon November 29, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Your post reminded me of something I learned from a wise woman 20 years ago.  She always took the opportunity to invest in our “young” lives by giving us encouragement and words of wisdom she had learned.  She mentioned one day that when she ironed her family’s clothes she prayed for the family member whose clothes she was ironing.  By the time she had finished her ironing her sweet family had the benefit of the many heartfelt prayers lifted for them throughout the day.  It made her really listen to the conversations and the hearts of her children and husband so she would know how to pray for them beyond the “normal” things.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: