ROOTED IN LOVE ◽ ENCOURAGEMENT
What’s the one chore that you dread more than all the others? Which one do you look forward to least of all? For a long time, I detested doing the dishes because we lived in a house with no dishwasher, and I had to wash every single thing by hand. It was a pain. (First world problems, right?) But when we moved and got a dishwasher, it wasn’t so bad. And since it’s essentially a daily chore, my dislike for doing dishes gradually faded away. Instead, I loathed folding laundry. Especially once I had two kids. It’s crazy how babies are so tiny yet produce so much laundry. Between spit-up and blowouts, they go through several outfits a day – and sometimes mama does too. Plus there are all those bibs and tiny little socks that get lost in the washer on a regular basis. And when your husband works on a ranch, he can produce some pretty dirty clothes as well.
I do laundry on a weekly basis, and for a long time it was my least favorite day of the week. But then I remembered what it says in...
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord,
not for human masters, since you know that you will receive
an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.
It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
It was like a lightbulb going on inside my head! Yes, I’m washing and folding and putting away mountains of clothes for my family every week. But more importantly, I’m doing it for Jesus. And if I’m doing it for Him, then I should do it well and with a joyful attitude. If I’m working for Jesus, I should do it with a smile and be thankful for the work.
I stopped looking at laundry day as a chore and started seeing it as an opportunity to worship, and now it’s one of my favorite times during the week. Sometimes I turn on worship music while I fold the clothes, and my kids join in singing and dancing around the room. Other times, I simply pray and listen for God’s gentle whispers while I work. And I’ve found that the more I listen, the more He speaks. Several times, in the middle of folding a pair of footie pajamas, I’ve had to stop, close my eyes, and bow my head. I’ve even been moved to tears during this special time with the Lord. By inviting Him to join me during these moments, I’ve invited myself to experience divine joy and peace.
When I changed my attitude about doing laundry, I unknowingly changed the outcome. I no longer look at it as something I have to do, but see it as a chance to experience God. No, it doesn’t magically make the clothes any cleaner or my folding any neater, but it brings me something so much greater. It does help that my son is out of the spit-up/blowout phase, and my daughter is getting old enough to help put some of her own clothes away. But the miracle is not the efficiency with which the chore gets done; the real miracle is the heart behind it.
Chores don’t have to make us cringe. They can be a growing experience, filled with joy and pleasure, if we look at them the right way. I challenge you today to do your least favorite chore or task as if you are doing it for Jesus alone. Invite Him to work alongside you and spend time with Him while you tackle whatever job it may be. You might be surprised at how your attitude changes and maybe you’ll hear those gentle whispers, too. True joy is found in the midst of ordinary circumstances, including those tasks you may not love but have to get done. Folding laundry, washing dishes, changing diapers, cooking dinner, vacuuming floors, scrubbing toilets – whatever the job may be, there are two ways to go about it. You can approach it with dread and a grouchy attitude, or you can do it in love and make it an act of worship.
The second way is much more satisfying, I promise!
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure,
‘children of God without a fault in a warped and crooked generation.’
Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.