The mid-summer heat is almost unbearable, yet I hesitate to turn on the air conditioning. Fans hum in unison with cicada songs drifting through open windows. I’ve just come in from inspecting the gardens, which are in a sad state. Despite my best efforts, most of the vegetables have been dug up by a marauding family of raccoons (and one lone skunk), and one of the fence posts has been knocked over by an overzealous squirrel.
In front of me, in the middle of the living room, there are two piles. The first is a mountain of clean laundry waiting to be folded and put away. The second is a pile of boxes and bags—supplies for a class I’m teaching next week. Behind them sits a bag of gifts to be wrapped and given out to friends. I’m looking forward to handing out gifts and teaching class. Folding laundry, not so much.
It has been a long week. A long week without my husband. A long week of wrangling three children who don’t want to be wrangled. A long week of doing chores and making decisions, some small and some big. In between it all, there have been snuggles with my girls and long, deep chats with friends. There have been prayers prayed and encouragement given and received. And all of it is real life. Behind carefully curated photographs and Instagram highlights, we live and breathe.
I wouldn’t trade this beautiful mess for the world. Because every single part of it—the good and the bad—is an opportunity for God to show up.
You see, God is not unfamiliar with mess. Jesus was born in a stable reeking of barnyard, and He picked tax collectors and fishermen to be among His closest friends. He didn’t shy away from the sick, the hurting and the broken. He rolled up His sleeves and dove right in.
He doesn’t shy away from us either.
Our families, our homes—they have been entrusted to us by a loving Father who wants nothing more than to come alongside us as we scrub bathrooms and wipe dirty faces. There’s something sacred to be found in the commonplace. His love weaves itself through each act of servanthood and each gift of hope given.
“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
(Colossians 3:17, NASV)
With every meal that we have waiting for the spouse who comes home tired, we’re sowing His love into our marriage. With every tiny shirt we fold, we’re sowing His love into the lives of our children. With every crumb we sweep and every cookie we bake (or buy, in my case), we’re sowing His love into the lives of the friends and acquaintances who walk through our door.
God can work through the seemingly mundane. Everyday life may not always look or feel significant, but common ground becomes holy ground when surrendered to Jesus.