When precise circumstances align just right, I feel like a domestic diva.
The windows are open.
The house smells like it’s filled with flowers or pies—-maybe it’s because I baked; maybe it’s artificially provided by a candle or scented wax in my burner—it doesn’t matter, as long as the house doesn’t smell like diapers and the litter box.
The children are not fighting.
The washing machine and dryer are humming away.
Bread is in the bread machine.
Soup is in the Crock Pot.
I am peeling potatoes.
It’s the peeling potatoes part that really counts. That’s what makes ordinary household chores feel less like mundane drudgery and more like prize-worthy expertise. Like the angels are singing and the children should be rising up and calling you blessed and your husband sings your praises.
I’m telling you…..peeling potatoes can do that for me.
Which is funny, because they’re just ordinary potatoes and I’m just an ordinary gal and I’ve sure nicked myself enough times with the potato peeler.
The truth is there are plenty of days, when I feel less than capable, less than expert, less than extraordinary.
I collapse next to my husband in the evening after four little ones finally fall asleep and survey the mess left behind by the tornado of activity. I confess what’s on my heart—-“I hope you don’t think I just do nothing all day.”
He calms me down. After all, I don’t really need to say it to him. I’m really saying it to me.
Because it’s me wondering, “What exactly did I do all day?”
I have a one-year-old:
Maybe I don’t always feel accomplished, but for some mysterious reason, peeling potatoes makes me find value in the most mundane act. I feel this wind of inspiration and encouragement. It’s like breath for my very suffocated soul.
What I really feel in that moment is that God finds value in me. He finds joy in the home I’m making for my family. He showers me with favor. He teaches me to sing praise over the ordinary.
In his book, Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas tells me that Brother Lawrence “felt equally close to God peeling potatoes in the kitchen as kneeling at the altar in prayer…”
Maybe that’s because potato peeling became the sacrifice on his altar.
Maybe it’s because he prayed while he peeled.
Maybe I can do both.
I remember one of the Scriptures I’ve been clinging to all year:
“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually” (1 Chronicles 16:11 ESV)
And I read in Romans:
Clothe yourselves with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14 NLT).
Put on the presence of Christ with each new day. Rise in the morning, take a shower, put on jeans and a t-shirt and put on the presence of Christ at the same time.
So, I’m trying my best to invite Christ’s presence into my routine and the ordinary of my every day. Invite Him in as I cook dinner. Invite Him in as I throw open windows and light the candle. Invite Him in as I get dressed in the morning.
Because His presence is constant. He’s always there. It’s my awareness of His presence that varies from day to day.
Just like I always have the same amount of domestic capabilities, but somehow peeling potatoes makes me feel particularly accomplished. Nothing changes except my perspective.
As I finish up this month of Finding the Sacred in the Ordinary, I’m choosing prayer prompts to help me connect with God throughout the day.
These aren’t hour-long prayer sessions spent on my knees. These are whispered prayers I share with God while I go about my day.
“Give me wisdom for this day” before I get out of bed.
“Clothe me with Your presence today” as I get dressed.
“Show me how to love my family best” as I pack lunches.
“Thank You for Your provision” as I fold clothes.
“Feed me with Your Word” as I cook dinner.
“Forgive me of my sins” as I wash those dishes clean.
“Thank you for your many good gifts to me.” And when can I pray this? Well, anytime perhaps, but maybe especially when I peel potatoes.
What prompts you to pray throughout the day?
To read more about this 12-month journey of pursuing the presence of Christ, you can follow the links below! Won’t you join me this month as I ‘Find the Sacred in the Ordinary’?
- Finding Room to Breathe: A 12-month pursuit of the presence of Christ
- January: Be Still and Know
- February: Pray Simply
- March: Unplug
- April: Enjoy Beauty
- May: Create Beauty
- June: Invest in Friendship
- July: Retreat and Refresh
- August: Learn to Say, “No”
- September: Learn When to Say, “Yes”
- October: Finding the Sacred in the Ordinary
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2014 Heather King