If I am being completely honest, laundry is my least favorite household chore. Like Mary Poppins, I can find an element of fun in most jobs that must be done around the house. But when it comes to laundry, I long for a fairy godmother’s power to simply swoosh away the piles of dirty clothes.
Being a mom to four means my laundry basket is always full and sock-matching seems never-ending. We have forty-two pairs of socks in a week’s worth of laundry; the odds of finding all eighty-four socks in the same week are slim. In the new heavens and the new earth, when Christ returns to redeem and restore all things, I have a holy anticipation that socks will no longer go missing. I am convinced sock causalities must have something to do with the Fall.
In my flesh, laundry is a begrudging chore. In my flesh, I can’t see laundry rightly as important kingdom work. When I focus my eyes on the earthly things I can see—the piles, the baskets, and oh-so-many socks—I easily become overwhelmed.
The flesh always remains focused on self and what we see before us. It is only by the Spirit that Christ-followers can look up and see something greater and grander than the tasks right in front of them (2 Corinthians 4:18).
By the Spirit, I can look up and focus my eyes on my loving Father and be reoriented to my truest identity: I am a mother in Christ, and I possess the indwelling of Christ in me. With the power of Christ in me, I can see folding bottomless baskets as important kingdom-work. Through the eyes of the Spirit, even the mundane task of my household foe has the opportunity to be transformed from duty to delight.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh,” (Galatians 5:16).
The Spirit invites me to see myself and my God rightly. Our God is El Olam, God Everlasting. This means God has existed from eternity past and will exist until eternity future. God has no beginning and no ending! As a human being, it is difficult to grasp what everlasting truly means; it is an unfathomable concept to finite human minds.
In comparison to El Olam, the Bible teaches us our lives are “a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes,” (James 4:14) and to number our days, “so teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” (Psalm 90:12, 16-17).
When we as mothers rightly see our life as a mist, we gain the wisdom to understand our kingdom work as mothers is “a mist, of a mist, of a mist, of a mist” in comparison to God and His everlasting kingdom. Numbering our days as mothers is essential to see even begrudging opportunities in our homes as important kingdom work.
As mothers closely connected to Christ, we are not time-spenders; we are time-redeemers. We never know how many days the Lord has for us with the children our God has sovereignly entrusted to us in our homes. Any mother who has gone before us will testify to the truth that the time we have with our children in our homes passes all too quickly. Therefore, we need to steward the time the Lord gives us well, laboring with gratitude for the time we have.
God equips those He calls in every season of motherhood. He establishes the work of our hands (Ps. 90:17). Part of our identity as His people is to know the mistiness of our days and invest in the things that are eternal—God’s Word and His people. Our children are His people and serving them in the mundane is important kingdom work.
When it comes to being a mom, the laundry seems laborious in my current season. But when I look up, I realize, this season is “a mist, of a mist, of a mist, of a mist,” I won’t be matching eighty-four socks forever. I may not have a fairy godmother’s power to swoosh away the daily tasks of motherhood, but I do have the power of Christ in me to find joy in His very important and extremely temporary kingdom work.
Photo by Xavier Mouton Photographie on Unsplash
About the Author:
Rachel Craddock is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University and a first-grade teacher at heart. She currently serves on the Committee on Discipleship Ministries (CDM) National Women’s Ministry team as a Regional Advisor. She is the author of Slowly Unraveled (CDM, January 2019) and a contributor to Hinged: Vitally Connected to Christ and His Church (CDM, January 2020). Rachel enjoys speaking and teaching—her heart is to encourage and equip leaders while weaving in the importance of the gospel in everyday life. Rachel is married to Michael (PCA Teaching Elder) and together they have four children: Ezra, Asher, Caleb, and Lydia Jane. You can connect with Rachel her blog, rachelcraddock.com.