Sometimes I feel like the relentless daily activities I am accustomed to are those things that end up defining who I am. Make the coffee, pack the lunches, file the reports, answer the e-mails, pick up the endless objects strewn throughout the house, cook dinner, do dishes, do laundry. These things find me every day. Every day I do them, and every day, they return.
I turned 40 back in April last year. When I was in my 20’s I was living a life of adventure. I was a missionary, living on the edge, escaping death at every turn. Fifteen years later, my life doesn’t seem so glamorous. I struggled with this for a long time. Sometimes I still do. I find myself sighing as I go about my daily routine and moan at the pile of dishes. If I let it, it can make me feel insignificant and unappreciated.
Whatever happened to living each day not knowing if it would be my last? I knew that what I did on the mission field mattered. I knew I was making a difference to those around me. I knew that God saw me and my relationship with Him was close. I saw Him move daily in ways that were miraculous. It was fulfilling.
Last year was a stressful one for me as I finished up my Master’s degree, began an adoption process, and continued with the non-profit I lead. I felt at times like I was drowning in piles of laundry and unfinished assignments. As I came into the new year, and celebrated receiving my degree, I began to think back at the reality of how I felt in my 20’s. I was surprised at what I remembered.
Struggling with speaking another language, childless, and without purpose. That’s how I felt. I was fulfilled in some ways, and not in others. When I get really honest with how I felt while living in Colombia, it is very similar to how I am feeling now. Is what I am doing really making a difference? Handing out Bibles, talking with people about laying down weapons and joining a peaceful revolution? Sweeping and mopping the church floors? Buying kids school supplies and translating audio messages into books? These things felt as monotonous as what I am doing now.
I began to ask myself why. The answer to my question didn’t lie with anyone else but me. I realized that I have not been happy with myself. My expectation is higher than anyone I know, including Jesus. He has called us to serve Him and to serve others. He has called us to study and do all things with excellence. But there is something wrong when no matter what you do, it is never enough.
This year, my prayer is to see myself through Jesus’ eyes, not my own. If I do that, then those insignificant things will become acts of love done unto the Lord.
Resting and believing in His love is my first step towards understanding that it is not activities or titles, or accomplishments that define me, but His love for me alone.
I am His.
You are His.
So yes, He does see you as you pick up the pile of Lego’s for the tenth time, and brush Barbie’s hair with a mini comb. When you scrape off the stuck on food from last nights supper dishes and throw your laundry in the washing machine with the pants legs inside out. When you spend all day writing reports and balancing budgets, or answering phones, or styling hair; He sees you. And because of this, let us do everything as unto Him.
“Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31