9/30/08

Finding God in the Mundane!

I found myself praying specifically for one person this morning. I found myself saying, Lord, please be there for this person. Then I caught myself. Of course God is there. He’s always there.

So I changed my prayer around and prayed that this person would find God through her circumstance. That God would become real to her!

I’ve prayed that myself many times.

I was recently challenged by a reader’s comment, asking me what I do when life gets me down, or I get caught up in the aspects of being a wife and mother.

Will you address in a future post what you do to get yourself out of homemaking doldrums and back into the spirit of a keeper of the home? Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the many tasks of homemaking and the whole thing starts to feel boring and/or overwhelming. What can we do to kick start ourselves into being excited over our callings as homemakers?

What is mundane? Repetitiveness of any household chores! The feeling that I just did the dishes 4 hours ago or I just vacuumed the floors day before yesterday and now they need it again. I’d say every woman knows what mundane is!


I rarely find myself in the doldrums, because I keep a pretty active life, with working from home and keeping up with 3 active kids and a busy husband. But when my children were younger, I definitely found it easier to find it all “mundane.” And most of you who have visited my home, know that I do not have a perfect house. I have given many women permission to not be perfect, simply by inviting them through my front doors!

So out of these few tips that I have found to be helpful in my life, I bet one or two may resonate with you?

Change your Routine
I’m a big believer in exercise. It makes me a more cheerful mom and wife, and of course is essential for my health. If you are in a rut, get out! Change your routine up a bit! Find a friend to do something different physically, and make a change. I have running partners that I am so thankful for. But I’m adding in a new “hill climb” walk on Wednesday mornings with a friend I’ve never exercised with. I’m so looking forward to our time together!

Read Something Inspiring
I’ve always encouraged women to start their day off in the Word or something inspiring. One time when I was really down in the dumps, I went through Beth Moore’s Get Out of that Pit book. It was a personal study that helped me get out of the pit I was in, and back into the land of the living. Seriously, for that season in my life, God changed my life! Starting my day off with inspiration always changes my attitude and gets me going in the right direction for the day.

Look for a Need
When I have found myself down, it’s a sure sign that I am not giving myself away to others. I am constantly looking for ways to offer help or to be there for others, when my schedule allows. Just today I picked a kindergartener up from school to help out his parents. It was 30 minutes out of my day that was actually fun as we went to Wendy’s together and ate lunch. And little Perry is old enough to find Legos and toys around my house and to just “hang” while I get my work done.

Find Someone to Encourage
There is always someone who could use a listening ear. Or perhaps someone who comes to your mind who you could visit, help, or even send a note in the mail to. With today’s technology, how about sending a quick email? Or if you are a blogger, send a positive comment or note? I have received so many positive comments regarding my blog. And I don’t take them lightly – I am grateful for the encouragement that I receive.


Give to Someone
How about finding a family that you know is struggling and take them a meal – just because? Or drop off a loaf of bread, jam, or even something you’ve picked up from the grocery store to them? You can always send a care package in the mail to friends or college students. Or if you have a lot of time, give the gift of time! I struggle with giving the gift of time because I am in the busiest season of my life right now. I recognize it and I embrace it. I will keep my family as priority and not get side-tracked. But I still look for ways to give. (Above photo: Our friend Vicky blessed our family last night w/2 loaves of home baked bread - amazing!)

Change Up Your Cooking
Try some new recipes! Don’t overcomplicate things by getting overwhelmed. When I go to the store I have a few meals planned in my mind. I always cook enough for leftovers (meat), and then I make a meal from that. Make up extra meals and freeze for the days that you don’t feel like cooking. It’s okay to occasionally put a frozen pizza in the oven and to make a salad, or to make grilled cheese and tomato soup, or even breakfast for dinner! Or swap a main dish with a friend like I recently did (here). I just don’t stress over cooking – and neither should you! (Tacos from last night's dinner!)


Don’t Procrastinate
Remember it doesn't take great intellect to do housework. It takes great care, to do it well, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to scrub floors and mix bread and such and so on. I’ve found that getting in there and just getting it done – fast – really helps. Turn on music, put your IPOD in your pocket, and make a goal of how fast you can get the chore done, but just DO IT! Procrastinating just robs you of productivity! Keep the spiritual meaning to it, remind yourself that's there's a greater purpose for it, and try to keep a positive attitude. I always tell myself, I am doing this for my family!

Schedule a Date
If you are married, schedule a date night with your honey! Having a dinner out is definitely something to look forward to. Trade babysitting with another family and work on keeping your marriage alive! I had to learn how to prioritize this, and then it became essential for my marriage. I remember the days when my kids were little and I knew I had a date night with my husband – I couldn’t wait! If you are single, schedule a dinner or a movie out with a friend. It’s still good to get out and change the routine.

Changing things up a bit can help you get out of the mundane and back into the land of the living.

And changing things up a bit can also help get my eyes off of myself and on to others and God
.

Yes, it’s possible to find God in the mundane – to be reminded of His blessings to us in our home lives, and to have the privilege of caring for what He has given us. It just takes a little effort on our parts.

Do you struggle with the “mundane?”

(I received a call from my friend Roger that "the apples are ready!" (very top photo). I went to his house and loaded up the back of my suburban with delicious apples. For sure I will make apple butter (recipe - here), but I may try something new this year - like "Apple Pie in a Jar!" More to follow on the apples ...)

40 comments:

Tamara Jansen said...

Lovely post! Thanks for the advice :)

ValleyGirl said...

Excellent ideas, Sandy! I love this post because I definitely struggle with this. I hate that my job is 'revolving' and never actually DONE for more than a few hours! I have a very hard time adjusting my attitude to view the honour in being a keeper of the home.

"When I have found myself down, it’s a sure sign that I am not giving myself away to others." This is something I discovered a few years back when I was periodically struggling with mild bouts of depression. For me, this was the key to kicking that problem and I haven't really had problems with it since. It really is difficult to focus inwardly when our concentration is outward!

Life in the Bizzy Lane said...

this was a great pick me up! oh and apple pie in a jar?!? yum!

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

These are really good points and I can definitely relate to the mundane aspects of young motherhood. I have just started a study with a group from church called "Five Aspects of Woman." The first aspect is how women are the keepers of the domain, so I have been thinking a lot about that and am excited to get re-motivated by hearing how God has designed us to "rule" over something...our homes, jobs, what have you. Maybe someone else out there would like to try the study too...it is certainly hitting me where I am in life right now! :)
Carrie

Betts said...

I sometimes get in that rut feeling because of all the things I do that no one notices and all the things that I do over and over again. What helps me is to have something to look forward to like a planned trip to the thrift store, doing something special with my daughter or plans to start a new project. Thanks for all the new ideas too.

ellen b. said...

I have struggled with the mundane on occassion. Your suggestions here are practical and wise. For me getting up and doing has always been a great cure for the ho hums! I try not to let myself stay in the mundane when I find myself there :0) The flip side is that maybe we need a little rest from the exciting and the mundane is just the ticket! Blessings Sandy!

Gwendolyn said...

What a great reminder! Thank you for posting this. :o)

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Fabulous post! We all need to shake things up once in awhile. Thanks for the ideas!

Sandy Toes said...

What a great post! I loved every word. Yes, sometimes I struggle with the "mundane" of life but I am so happy for my "mundane"..even if it is cleaning and cooking!
-Sandy Toes

Barb said...

Wo, I want Apple Pie in a Jar to be my get-out-of-the-rut recipe! Don't forget to post that one!

lazy susie said...

Good post, Sandy. You are right on. I can tell that you've been there/done that. God bless!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

I think this is something all of us homemakers struggle with from time to time and a change in perspective can really help! Great tips...always, Sandy!

Blessings,
Melissa

Wendy said...

great ideas!

Classic MaMa said...

I agree. :) I also notice that my modd totally improves after I either spend time reading the Word OR go out prayer walking with my kids. I get the focus off of me--that's the key.

Elizabeth G. said...

Wow, thanks so much for this wonderful post. I had a funny feeling I needed to check your blog today. This is just what I needed. Great ideas and I can't thank you enough for putting thought into it for all of us.

You know that I needed this.

Thanks, thanks, thanks!
Elizabeth

Stacey said...

I agree with you 100%.

I have a very new appreciation for being mom and homemaker these days. Went back to work full time for two years because I was bored from what I thought was mundane. I made a discovery though....I worked full time and did the "mundane" part. Now, loading the dishwasher and putting up laundry is a blast to me!!

laurel said...

Great post! I am going to link to you, if you don't mind.

blessed mama said...

Love your 10 Commandments!Just found your blog & so excited!

Ms. Tee said...

What a wonderful post! Thanks so much for sharing - your blog is a blessing. :)

Claire, said...

Oh my goodness, this is a great post! You smart lady.

Kirstin said...

That is very good! I know that just living in someone elses house for 2 1/2 years with no real place to decorate or experiment and being frustrated with a kithcen that isn't mine has definately put me in a rut. HOpefully only a few months more and I'll be in my own space once again. I'm actually sitting here icing my achille tendon before heading to my youngest daughters soccer practice. I want to start walking again but I have injured my tendon several months ago and walking for too long hurts. So I'm going to take it slow and go at a slow pace...at least I'll be doing somethign.

Thank you for being "real" as well as inspiring Sandy!

I was thinking about making some apple bread soon. A friend gave me a recipe that is just yummy!

Jerri Lynn @ Southern Sassyness said...

Beautiful, beautiful post! Thanks for being such a voice of reason to all of us "young" women/wives/mothers. Excellent advice and wonderful encouragement!

Christine Lynn said...

I so loved reading this post today! I'm not even really sure how I got here, but I am glad I did! I have found my self many a times unable to yield one ounce of humor to make it through some really mundane times! I love the ideas you put in writing here, and they are so right on! I have to constantly remind myself that those moments will not last forever, even when at times it sure seems like forever, especially when you are in the thick of it all. Life always moves forward and circumstances do change. I so choose joy! Thanks for the great thoughts here and sharing!

Suzann said...

This post spoke directly to my heart. Thank you.

Mandy said...

Love this post! I do feel service is key. Even the smallest acts make me feel better and I am always surprised how these small acts mean so much to people! And I agree with changing up the menu. I was actually told on Sunday at church there are 2 things women need to find happiness: 1. the ability to create something and 2. service.

You have great advice here, love it.
BTW- thanks for stopping by my blog!

Kim said...

Very inspiring post. Sometimes we just need to take our eyes off of ourselves and help others out - it does wonders for the soul!

Tammy said...

Wonderful post, Sandy. I know I definitely suffer from the mundane at times, and this was such excellent advice.
And it is refreshing that someone who specializes in entertaining others can open her doors without everything being perfect...because you're right...if you had perfection every single time, all of your guests would think they would never be able to live up to entertaining.
Have I said how much I love your blog? :)
Speaking of dates, I just posted about our very recent date night...the movie we saw served not just as a nice night out together, but it was actually life changing!
Cone over and take a look...

Blessings!
~Tammy

Susie said...

So many wonderful ideas in the post! Sandy your blog really blesses me(:

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

I just found your blog and have been soaking it up since we are so like minded....can't wait to book mark it and browse, browse, browse, when I have more time.

Angie - another soccer mom said...

Sandy, Thank you so much for the words from your heart and experience of life. You are truly a blessing to so many. I look forward to reading your inspiration and wisdom on a regular basis. God has brought you into my life and I am very thankful for that. May you be blessed as you have blessed others.

Angie, another soccer mom!

Happy @ Home said...

You have such an inspiring blog. I have been reading it for awhile now, but this is the first comment.

Great advice in this post.

~j~ said...

you definitely listed some excellent ways to keep from the doldrums.
God truly is in the ordinary tasks of our day, it's actually one of the things I ask each morning, that my heart would be open and ready to receive during those times, whether it's while i am doing laundry, or making beds! but agreed that adding some date nights and exercise times are real mundane busters!
xo
j

Alicia said...

I've never been to your blog before. I just found the blog reel at CWO and am trying to join myself. I really liked the advise you gave in this post.
I love to cook and will come back to check out your food ideas too!
Oh, and that second picture of the tables setting, I have those libby goblets! Love them.
Anyway, just wanted to say hello and I think I'll come back here more!

Joy Zaczyk said...

YOU INSPIRE ME! :)

G. said...

What awesome encouragment! Whenever I come over to read I always feel encouraged. (And ready to have someone over for dinner).
:)

:..Rebekah..: said...

Very good advice. Thanks!

GiBee said...

Funny -- I recently finished a post on something similar to this, and it is just sitting there waiting for autopost to post it...

It is such a difficult struggle, and I often find that if I share with my close friends or ladies group at church, and know that others are praying for me, it really, really helps. Silly, huh?

Mommy Lynda said...

I love those napkins! Very colorful and full of pattern for the table. Thank you for the advice on "mundaness". I am currently struggling with this very thing this past week. Perfect timing.

Hilty Sprouts! said...

I absolutely love your blog! I just stumbled upon it and have received so much encouragement already. I grew up in a family of VERY reluctant entertainers and although I married a wonderful man who grew up in the exact opposite kind of family, I feel that my reclusive habits and fears are holding us back from reaching out to others. Just the thought of having someone over for dinner makes me break into a cold sweat (even close friends and family). When we have people over I can't relax and enjoy it and I'm so relieved when they are gone. NOT good. Then I wonder why I am lonely and feel disconnected. Hmmm... I will be reading more of your blog. You make me feel like I can overcome my fears!

Jennifer

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