So…Christine Sine of Mustard Seed Associates has been doing a series on Spiritual Practices this entire summer. It has been fascinating to read (and be challenged by) how others connect with God in their everyday lives. I have resonated with quite a few of the writers and have enjoyed their eloquence as they expressed a practice we share in common. I’ve been reluctant to join the conversation however, partly because of my insecurity of a piece of writing being “good enough” but more often because every time I go to write something…I am interrupted by two fascinating creatures called “my children”.
You see, I am often asked what I do, and that is tough to answer. I am a photographer, I have a background in education and tutoring, I am always in the process of working on some artistic project, but when it really, really comes down to it…I am a mom.
(Excuse me for a minute…I’ve just been interrupted by a little boy in need of a morning hug!)
And it dawned on me this morning that my mothering is a spiritual practice!! Though much of what I do on a daily basis is mundane, tedious and repetitive (and will never get its own reality TV show), everyday those repetitive actions lead me into a deepening of my walk with God.
As I watch my children from a distance, I smile at who they are becoming and am amazed at their creativity and abilities. And so I enter into the delight of a Parent Whose eyes sparkle at the very sight of His children.
As I feed, clean, touch and hold my children, I surround them with the security of a love that will always take care of them. And so I am reminded that I too have a Love that is very present to take care of my even little everyday needs.
(Wait another moment…I need to go make morning conversation and laughter with my pre-teen…a sometimes daunting task!!)
As I discipline my children, I do so not to crush them, but to help them grow up into healthy habits of thought and living. And so again, I enter into the work of God as He becomes the Master Gardener who prunes our lives and trains the branches to grow in the direction of His pleasure.
As I stop what I am doing when I am interrupted (as I am thousands of times a day), I send a message to my children that they matter, they are listened to, and they are important. Does not God do the same for me? He is never annoyed by my “interruptions”, but rather calls me to come to Him with any care, question or concern I might have.
When I ask them questions and have conversation with them…when I do their laundry…when I remind them to pick up after themselves…when I take a lunch to school after it has been left at home…when I help a procrastinating child finish a school project…when I remind them to be nice to each other…when I say no…when I say yes…when I cook food that is good for their bodies…when I go to school performances…when I remind them to take their vitamins…when I comfort tears…when I celebrate victories…when I love their dad…when I tuck them into bed at night…(did I mention all the “when I remind them” phrases??) all these things teach them what it means to live as a family, belonging to one another. And it leads me on a journey with God into His family and as a member of the tribe. As I mother, I am lead into the rhythms of God, the grace of God, and the unstoppable parent-love of God. And as an added bonus, He calls me to co-labor with Him and help continue the rhythms, grace, and love in this world.
Now…if you’ll excuse me, there is toast burning in the toaster, kids need to eat breakfast, and we need to get out the door in about 3 minutes!!! Ahh…that all sounds so spiritual doesn’t it??