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Encouragement for Stay-at-Home Saints

If you are knee-deep in the stomach flu, or teething, or broken appliances, or just having a hard time keeping up with the responsibilities of life, you should consider your holy estate. You are more than a mere stay-at-home mom, you are a stay-at-home saint.

stay-at-home saints glory in obscurity

Saints, prophets, and all those otherwise used of God don’t look ethereal. They don’t glow (with the exception of Moses), and choruses of angels don’t accompany them and sing loudly when they speak or share some great revelation.

Consider the Apostle Paul.

Many of this epistles, the ones we pour over and memorize and recite, were written with dim candlelight in one prison or another. They weren’t nice prisons with neatly painted walls exercise yards, either. No, his accommodations were the type with rusty doors, rats, and other unpleasant things. He probably wasn’t even expecting that anyone but the intended recipients would ever read his letters.

And I’m sure when Jim Elliott and his comrades were ministering to savage tribes down in the Amazon not one wondered what “the press” was thinking about them. They weren’t anticipating martyrdom; they were about to sit down in the midst of a hot, humid, insect-infested jungle to a pot of beans. They didn’t consider that the whole Church would be encouraged by their story, or that folks would read their diaries and quote them all over the world for decades to come.

The Christian walk is like that; God takes us along a difficult path, in obscurity, and He doesn’t tell us exactly why we are experiencing trials. We often feel as though what we are doing is prosaic and uninteresting, especially when we hear sermon after sermon about how we need to go out and shake the world upside-down for Jesus.

This is why I’m so glad for the ways of our Lord; His ideas are huge and eternal, but His methods for getting the word out are so simple and basic, not at all impressive in the eyes of this world.

Jesus continually emphasized the small, the inconsequential; the woman who put a few pennies into the offering, the man who helped his neighbor on the road. These were every-day, and they were unapplauded and unrecognized by anyone but God.

And if God appreciates simple things, we can be confident in saying that homemaking pleases the Almighty, especially when done with a joyous, generous spirit.

The job of keeping a home is often simple, even mundane, but it doesn’t have to be forgotten, unholy drudgery. Working joyfully as one wipes up spilled milk, or greets a tired, grumpy husband with a kiss and a hug at the end of the day, or folds down the covers for a tiny child sick with fever; these are the things with which a true saint’s life is filled.

I have sensed His pleasure so many times within the four walls of my house; when I have awakened my children with a bleary-eyed smile after spending the entire night walking the floor with a colicky infant, or when I have cooked a special dinner with one hand while I held my baby on my hip and entertained a flock of toddlers.

He has smiled on me when I was folding a pile of laundry as high as the ceiling, or brushed numerous heads of long hair every morning. He and I have laughed together as I brought out glasses of cold water to our Daddy and his driveway basketball team, or while we have watched one of the babies eating an ice cream cone for the first time. I don’t have video or snapshots of every sparkling moment, but I have always sensed each memory was stored away in a heavenly vault, hidden in the heart of God, and waiting there for an eternity in which I will stand and give Him the glory for it all!

Lives lived for God are never wasted, whether they are spent in front of a microphone or in an apartment in Omaha.

In his book, The Pursuit of God, A. W. Tozer addresses our tendency to dismiss our everyday activities as being less than holy.

We must offer all our acts to God and believe that He accepts them. Then hold firmly to that position and keep insisting that every act of every hour of the day and night be included in the transaction. Keep reminding God in our times of private prayer that we mean every act for His glory; then supplement those times by a thousand thought-prayers as we go about the job of living. Let us practice the fine art of making every work a priestly ministration. Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find Him there.

(from chapter 10, “The Sacrament of Living”)

So, whether we are discouraged, derided or simply overlooked, we should be filled with joy because nothing escapes His attention, and He notices even the smallest acts of sacrifice and service.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:21

But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all.

Mark 10:43-44

So when you swing that mop, remember, He is in it.

When you stir your oatmeal, sense His presence.

When you stir your oatmeal, Sense His Presence (1)

 

And when you take the time to explain the mysteries of the universe to your five-year-old, trust in His leading and wisdom.

It was God who made us mamas, and it is His good pleasure to guide and strengthen us, even when no one else is looking.

 

10 Comment

  1. What sweet encouragement!

    “And if God appreciates simple things, we can be confident in saying that homemaking pleases the Almighty, especially when done with a joyous, generous spirit.”

  2. I read this post before, but went back again to re read it after feeling discouraged over my lack of greatness. What an encouragement it was to know that God has taken notice of me and the simple things I do to serve him, even if no one else sees. Thanks again for sharing God’s heart to us moms.

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