Our family was blessed to live a few hours from my husband’s grandmother for several years before she passed away. In that time, she became another grandmother to me and I cherish the memories of my time in her home.
One day, while she was doing laundry, she commented about how busy everyone is. “Look,” she said, “It doesn’t take that much time to shake out the clothes as they come out of the wash. You can save yourself so much ironing time by just shaking each thing out a little before throwing it in the dryer. And everything dries more quickly too, not all clumped up after spinning in the washing machine.”
I can still remember my reaction to this statement. Number 1, I don’t iron. Pretty much never, do I iron anything. Number 2, I have absolutely no time to be shaking out baby clothes because I don’t want them too wrinkly. At the time of this conversation, I was pregnant with our 5th baby and our oldest was only 7.
But this memory has stuck with me. It’s several years later, we have 6 kids now, and I still probably don’t have time for shaking out laundry. Except I do, if I’m going to be truly honest.
I was spending my day recently thinking about the Gospel parable of the poor widow and the two coins from Mark 12:41-44 and this was the memory that came to me. The widow gave fully of what she had, she didn’t hold anything back from God. She trusted that He was big enough to care for her as she opened her hands and let fall from them all that she had. How she challenges me to open my hands a bit further, to offer to God more of myself.
Just as the woman wasn’t making grand gestures by the world’s standards, I am not called to either. I am living an ordinary life, with mundane daily tasks and often repetitious chores. What use are these little tasks when compared with the influencers I see on YouTube or the writers and speakers who inspire hundreds, millions? They are worth more than gold if they are to be the path upon which I arrive in heaven. It all starts with doing them with that purpose in mind.
What does this look like in my life? It means slowing down to shake out the laundry. And that’s what I did with the sheets that day. This simple action afforded me the time to be thankful for the conveniences like a washer and dryer, that my kids have enough clothes to wear, and Ben has a job which allows me to stay at home with our little ones. By being fully present in my task at hand, I am not filling my mind with anxieties for the future or fussing over past sorrows. If my mind is full of gratitude, it naturally inclines itself to a Godly perspective. Through God’s eyes, no moment, no chore, is wasted time if it is done in His presence and as a gift for His glory.
This perspective of living in the present moment, that no moment is wasted in God’s eyes, and that my work however small or humble from a worldly perspective has significance in my life’s journey is what I am carrying forward as the New Year continues to unfold.