Some days I question the purpose of the mundane, the routine. Wake up. Get ready. Fix breakfast. Pack lunches. Take kids to school. Run errands. Write. Eat lunch. Pick one kid up from school. Run home. Pick other kid up from school. Do homework. Fix dinner. Try to have some type of fun family time. Bathe kids. Put kids to bed. Clean kitchen. Do laundry. Sit down and breathe. Get ready for bed. Sleep. Do it all over again the next day.
Lately, I’ve found myself lost in the routine.
I know and hold to the truth that everything I do is an act of worship … that everything I do has purpose and meaning. Sometimes turning head knowledge into heart knowledge is a tricky thing.
I spend a lot of time in the car – around three hours each day just dropping kids off and picking kids up. That’s a lot of time to think. Lately, I’ve been finding great satisfaction in reminiscing about how God doesn’t waste one minute, one plan, one choice. No matter how big or small, exciting or mundane, there is purpose in the process. In every season of life, there is value. In every trial, there is wisdom to be gained. In every moment, there is meaning.
I haven’t always been able to see that, and sometimes I still struggle amidst mountains of laundry and minutes of questioning my purpose.
And, in these times, I’ve found looking at how God has worked in each and every situation is not only beneficial, but it also gives me hope. I don’t believe anything happens by chance. I truly believe there is a purpose for everything under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3).
Let’s travel back a few years (okay, more than a few, but who’s counting) …
I was 15. God had clearly told my family it was time to move from the only city I had ever known … the only schools I had known … the only people I had known … the only church I had known. We moved from a bustling city in Tennessee to a small town in Kentucky. Regardless of the understanding God had clearly called us, it was a devastating time in the life of a teenager. Some of my saddest, loneliest days were spent in those years of high school in Kentucky. I questioned, I wondered, I wished, I waited.
Had it not been for Kentucky, though …
I might not have followed the call to Southern Seminary because, after all, it was close to home.
I might not have had a summer job at Camp Crestridge for Girls, where I both fell in love with camp and fell in love with the boy who would become my husband.
I might not have gone back to Kentucky after graduation to work full-time at a camp where I learned lessons in both life and ministry that I carry with me to this day.
I might not have gotten married and moved to New Mexico, where I became the director of summer camps and family camps at Glorieta Conference Center.
I might not have lost that job I loved while just a few months pregnant with my firstborn. (And yes, some of my saddest, loneliest days were spent in New Mexico.)
I might not have been a stay-at-home mom, something that definitely wasn’t in “my” plans.
I might not have tried to get a job writing curriculum, only to not be selected for that job.
I might not have learned life doesn’t revolve around a job but a Savior who provides in His timing.
I might not have moved to Black Mountain, North Carolina, where my husband gets to spend each day doing a job he absolutely loves.
I might not have been blessed with child number two, who has brought more laughter into my life than I knew possible.
I might not have tried again for that curriculum writing job, one I was graciously granted the second time around.
One thing I didn’t share in all of this – that curriculum writing job I mentioned I was graciously given? One of my editors is the daughter of a couple in my home church in Kentucky. In a world where knowing someone in the industry can help get your foot in the door, I don’t think that is a coincidence.
And yet I say, “Had it not been for Kentucky … “
It took me a long time to get to that point. I didn’t get there overnight. But, now, I see the purpose in the process.
I don’t always understand the purpose of things in my life, especially the mundane days that bring a certain restlessness in my soul. But, I know I don’t want to waste a moment. I don’t know when I might be able to say, “Had it not been for … that day in the car pickup line … that conversation I had at the grocery store … that time I closed my computer and joined my kids on the floor for another round of Candy Land …”
I don’t know what your “had it not been for” moments are, but this I do know – God is in the mundane. God is in the miraculous. God is in the monotony. God is in the misadventures. God is in each and every moment, and He will use them for His glory. Sometimes you have to stop and see how He is weaving a beautiful story in a way you never would have expected.