Confession: I need worship like I need air to breathe. So often I forget this, and it’s like forgetting to take a breath: the consequences are immediate. I find myself gasping for breath, shrivelling from lack of oxygen, until I fill my searing lungs with sweet gasps of sustaining air, awakening my soul once again to my role as creature and my purpose of worshipping the Creator.
I often forget that my homemaking is a perfect opportunity to worship God. I know it cerebrally, but often I allow the mundaneness of the daily tasks to numb my brain rather than awaken it. I give more ear than is deserved to the lie that laundry and dirty dishes are something to overcome so that I can begin the “more important” job of spirituality. (They’re not). The depth of this truth often has trouble sinking its way down into my heart.
In The Quotidian Mysteries, Kathleen Norris writes, “Like John Bunyan’s pilgrim, having been captured by Giant Despair, I languish in the dungeon of Doubting Castle and need to be reminded that the key that would set me free is already in my possession. Worship has often proved to be that key.”
I do believe fervently that worship in a homemaker’s day is often like a woven thread that winds its way throughout your day. Worship takes so many forms among different believers, and perhaps even more still for the housewife intent on worshipping God with her days. The many hats and multi-tasking nature of a mama are perfect fodder for her to practice the art of being content in all situations and offering her stress, her expectations, her goals, her imperfections to the Lord as a sacrifice of praise. Day by day (even minute by minute) I find plentiful opportunities to practice patience and holiness, to dwell on Jesus’ nature and seek to be more like Him. Daily I fail, daily he gently offers his help, and I inch closer to the heart of God, being transformed before my very eyes.
My mom said to me recently on the topic of having a daily devotions – “you didn’t know that your mother was really having an underground QT!” She would put on music (Psalty, of course!) for us to listen to – we loved it – and the gospel truths presented in those albums were foundational enough that she would find herself in worship while humming along for the 85th time that day. I love this concept: that worship doesn’t happen only in a pew on a Sunday morning. Nor solely in your hour-long uninterrupted Bible reading and prayer time before the rest of the family gets up (cuz seriously, when you have small kids that wake up in the night and then get up at 6am, that’s not really sane. I’ve heard of a few crazies out there, and power-to-them-rah-rah-rah-etc… but I must just be slightly more in touch with my “humanness”).
I am learning that daily worship for me is most often in non-traditional ways. My kids listen to Psalty and my soul sings along, remembering to have faith-like-a-child. I breathe a prayer in my frustration that the toddler is not sleeping well due to endless teething, and another to praise God for her beautiful hazel eyes. Here are a few ways that I find worship in my days… perhaps you can find the same opportunities in your day?
1. Kids praise music
2. One-liner prayers (conversations with God)
3. Reading scripture (post it up on your walls, mirrors, etc!)
4. Music & meditation (sit for 5 minutes while the kids are playing, and just soak in the words, focusing on God)
5. Acts of kindness above and beyond (Aristotle said that it’s not generosity unless it’s painful to give… so do something kind that is a sacrifice on your part somehow)
6. Teaching your kids about God (reading the Bible, modelling prayer, talk about God and what he’s like)
7. Daily rhythm of prayer (consider incorporating specific times in the day that you pray as a family, in addition to just mealtimes)
8. Being in nature (what better way to appreciate God’s goodness than to see the beauty of his creation? Share your thoughts with your kids, too!)
9. Emulating the character of Christ / selflessness (Oi. This one’s a tough one for this very human mama who likes to live by the flesh. Nothing harder. Nothing more rewarding)
10. Reading a book to edify you (Something that challenges or encourages you, not necessarily related to mothering. Worship God with your mind!)
I might not sit down for a traditional “quiet time” each and every day, but these things are bits of worship woven throughout my days like a thread. This connection to my Creator sustains me and strengthens me. It took me many years to let go of the guilt of not having a traditional quiet time every single day. I am convinced that while a traditional quiet time may be a great thing, it is not something you need to worry about doing every single day in every season of life. The more important thing is to know God, and become more like His son, Jesus. Rest easy in that knowledge, friends, because he doesn’t demand you to punch in and punch out… he simply wants to know you. Real life is rarely predictable, rarely unchanging. Let him be the one constant in your life.