Intersection of Life and Faith

10 Reasons to Celebrate Your Small, Ordinary Tasks

  • DiAne Gates GriefShare
10 Reasons to Celebrate Your Small, Ordinary Tasks

The morning held a chill as the old woman pulled her worn cloak close and clutched her fingers around the coins. If she hurried, she could make it to the women’s court before the crowd arrived. But as she approached the temple, the court was already filled with rich nobles.

She slipped in behind several important men whose money bags jingled and voices called attention to their presence. With heads high, coin after coin dropped into the trumpet-shaped receptacles in the treasury. The clanging of gold caused heads to turn, nodding their approval.

The woman gulped, slid her fingers to the edge of the vessel and dropped in two copper coins. Her eye caught a young Jewish man motioning his friends to look at her. His smile must’ve caused her face to flush warm as she heard His words.

“Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on” (Mark 12:43-44).

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

  • 1. Ordinary Tasks are Valuable to Your Family and to the King

    1. Ordinary Tasks are Valuable to Your Family and to the King

    Slide 1 of 10

    How many mornings, before your eyes open, does your spirit groan over the number of tasks you must accomplish that day? Your brain shouts, “What’s first?”

    When we were kids, mom required our beds be made before we came to the breakfast table. I hated that rule, but the habit followed me through the years. Now, before I leave the bedroom, the first task of my day is completed.

    Imagine my surprise when my son-in-law brought my attention to retired United States Navy Admiral William H. McRaven’s recent book, Make Your Bed, Little things that can change your life…and maybe the world.  It’s a great book full of wisdom. Mama was a genius, and now I’m thankful for her teaching.

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock

  • 1. Ordinary Tasks are Valuable to Your Family and to the King

    2. Gratitude for Your Current Season in Life

    Slide 2 of 10

    The biblical account of the widow’s love offering spotlights the fact that our view of worth rarely agrees with God’s. When we’re surrounded by mounds of laundry, dirty dishes, and cobwebs spreading over everything that doesn’t move, it’s hard to think that there is value in cleaning, washing, drying and folding over and over again, but God arranges seasons in our lives. These seasons teach us the practice of faithfulness, and they pay large dividends for now and eternity.

    Take, for example,  the task of early rising to make breakfast for your family—precious time feeding your family’s bodies and souls before they face the world. This time can be used to offer a word of encouragement about a test or troublesome event or relationship. It’s caring time that pays great dividends.

    Their hurried hugs, kisses and “thanks mom,” is worth twice-times-double any small investment and hails the celebration of another task accomplished, because these days flee all too soon.

    There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a ‘time for every event under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

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  • 1. Ordinary Tasks are Valuable to Your Family and to the King

    3. Wisdom for Balance and Margins Each Day

    Slide 3 of 10

    The list of ordinary tasks is endless. But the urgent often captures our attention, forcing us to neglect the important, working ourselves into a depressed frenzy.

    So, what’s the solution? Balance and margins. Balance in our lives begins with time with God each day. Before the banter begins, ask God’s help to navigate the day and for wisdom to leave margins—unscheduled spaces—even five minutes. You must have balance to know some days your to-do list can’t be accomplished, because God has more important things you need to learn.

    One afternoon, I flopped in the middle of our living room floor and bawled. Our daughter had died, leaving a seven-month-old son and a five-year-old daughter behind. I became a mommy/Mimi again. And it was hard. The five-year-old bent to eye level.

    “Mimi, why are you crying?”

    “‘Cause I miss your mommy,” I sniffed.

    “Why?” She asked.

    “‘Cause she was my daughter.”

    And my boohoos blubbered. She stood, put her hands on her hips and scolded, “She’s still your daughter.” Then she wrapped her arms around my shoulders, “I love you, Mimi.” In those precious moments her five-year-old wisdom from God soothed away my unspeakable pain and I began learning how to practice the presence of God by talking with Jesus while I scrubbed the potty, peeled potatoes, or pulled weeds. And you can do this too, even while little ones watch and listen.

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/John Howard

  • 1. Ordinary Tasks are Valuable to Your Family and to the King

    4. Celebrating the Joy of Shaping Their Future

    Slide 4 of 10

    Someone is always watching you. Kinda creepy to think about, right? But aren’t you aware of others actions and reactions? And don’t we all tend to make assessments about people based on what we see or what they say?

    This may be your “Mommy Season.” And you can bet even though you aren’t aware, they’re watching and will mimic everything you say and do. I wish I could say I always showed Jesus to my children, but I didn’t. After a day of cleaning the house, I’ve been known to spew ugliness at my children and husband for messing up what I’d just cleaned. And if I hadn’t apologized and changed my ways, my children would have grown up believing ugliness and disrespect were normal.

    If your children see you talking with Jesus and reading the Word, they’re going to want to talk with Him and read about Him too. Jesus will be as real to them as He is to you.

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/UberImages

  • 1. Ordinary Tasks are Valuable to Your Family and to the King

    5. Rejoicing in Your A+ Moments

    Slide 5 of 10

    The life of the widow in the above Scripture had been interrupted. I’m sure she had been accustomed to coming to the temple with her husband, But the course of her life changed. Her husband died. There was no social security. But she trusted and obeyed God, even when things seemed impossible. And Jesus gave her an A+.

    Has the course of your life taken an unwelcome turn? Have you experienced the loss of your spouse, a divorce, or a devastating illness? Are there times you wonder if you’ll make it? You may be a single, working mom who yearns to be with her children, but by your example of trusting God even though you must work to provide, you are teaching your children how to keep on keeping on until God changes the circumstances. It’s your choice to trust and obey, especially in difficult times. I can tell you from experience that God honors your celebration of faith in Him with the gift of a renewed hope.

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  • 1. Ordinary Tasks are Valuable to Your Family and to the King

    6. Celebrating God's Faithfulness Even When it Hurts

    Slide 6 of 10

    If your faith and trust is in the Lord Jesus Christ, you can be assured the pieces of your life will ultimately, like pieces of a puzzle, fit together according to His will. Even if the floor is clean and the dishes are done, the here-and-now might not be fine and dandy. God allows trials and troubles to shape us into the image of Jesus. And sometimes those puzzle pieces are slow and painful coming together. We often have to wait, sometimes years, before we see the whole picture.

    When our daughter died from a hemorrhagic stroke. My world crumbled. I thought there would be no more celebrating anything. Life would never be the same and honestly, I was angry and wanted to die. But God gave me the ability to celebrate life again.

    Those puzzle pieces have allowed me, via cell phone, to ride home with that once five-year-old granddaughter all through her college years. To be a part of what He is doing in the lives of she and her brother, even though they have always lived several states away—it’s a moment by moment celebration, as we’ve watched them move toward the years of establishing their own homes and families. God has proven Himself faithful.

    Photo credit: Unsplash 

  • 1. Ordinary Tasks are Valuable to Your Family and to the King

    7. No One Else Will Love and Train Your Child Like You

    Slide 7 of 10

    Today’s affluent American society can be either a tool or a deterrent. And celebrating those years with a teen may seem like a nightmare unfolding. Often, these teen-launching years are a difficult and stepping-on-your-last-nerve time. Over the years when all of those prior may seem to have been flushed, be assured they haven’t. If you’ve lived, loved, and taught God’s Word to them, trust Him to bring them and you through it all.

    There were times when our high schoolers should have been throttled and their rooms often smelled and looked like gymnasiums—thankless times, but we prayed and adhered to God’s standards, rewarding their best but punishing their foolishness. And God has been faithful. Our instruction is to teach them.

    My dad loved to sing and whistle. His favorite song was “Amazing Grace,” and he taught our son to sing. Each morning, before the light of the sun peeked through the blinds, our Michael would race up and down in his crib singing, “‘Mazing grace, sweet da sound…’mazing grace, sweeeeet da sound.” Between those toddler years and his entry into the U.S. Air Force he was a challenge. But God knew the plans He had for our boy, and He knows the plans He has for your children too—plans for good and not for evil—if you teach them God’s plan.

    And these words which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).

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  • 1. Ordinary Tasks are Valuable to Your Family and to the King

    8. God Appointed Your Days before You Were Born

    Slide 8 of 10

    Before you or I were born, God appointed our days. And He appointed the days of our children too. We are all here, at this time and place, according to His will and His direction—even those boring, repetitive tasks.

    But more than that, He anointed each of us and our children with talents and gifts only we can do. You are special and so are the members of your family. God created the family before He created the church, and the basis of any great nation begins within the family.

    The Designer of the Universe gave you these precious children and a husband to love and care for as only you can…to raise up another generation after you who will love and worship Him ‘til Jesus comes. He instructs us all to be fruitful, to multiply, and fill the earth; to be witnesses to others of His great love for them, too. He assigned you a job and a place only you can fill.

    For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made… (Psalm 139:13-14a).

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  • 1. Ordinary Tasks are Valuable to Your Family and to the King

    9. Rejoice in Receiving the Promised Hope

    Slide 9 of 10

    Someone said, “Man is able to go forty days without food, eight days without water, and four minutes without air. But man can only last a few seconds without hope.” As we grow with our children to maturity in Christ one small, ordinary task at a time, we begin to comprehend the necessity of clinging to that promised hope we have in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Like the widow woman, we are more able to accomplish each task the Lord puts in our hearts because we believe God will do what He promised to do, and we refuse to give up until God fulfills His promises. God promises He will not allow anything to happen to you, child of God, without a purpose. He also promises never to leave or forsake you. And He promises to redeem your soul when you die.

    The older I grow, the more precious His promises become, and the easier I find the ability to achieve each task He assigns because it’s not about me—it’s all about Him!

    For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints (Hebrews 6:10).

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  • 1. Ordinary Tasks are Valuable to Your Family and to the King

    10. God's Indelible Stitches in the Tapestry

    Slide 10 of 10

    Our lives on earth are continual cycles of small, ordinary tasks, sprinkled with moments of life changing opportunities which show us the current needs of our heart.
    Here are a few words from Corie Ten Boom, about the tapestry of life…

    The dark threads are as needful in the weaver’s skillful hand
    As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.
    He knows, He loves, He cares; nothing this truth can dim.
    He gives the very best to those who leave the choice to Him.

    I’ve survived enough dark moments to treasure the indelible stitches God is stitching in my life. And those brilliant colored stitches I’m sure will begin with small, ordinary tasks achieved to honor God—to love my children and grandchildren, help family and friends, and comfort those who’ve lost loved ones.

    What kind of stitches do you think God is recording in your life’s tapestry?

    Wife, mother, and Mimi, freelance artist and photographer, DiAne Gates writes for children, young adults, and non-fiction for adults through her blogs, http://dianegates.wordpress.com/ and www.floridagirlturnedtexan.wordpress.com. She also facilitates a GriefShare support group. DiAne’s award winning, ROPED, first in her western adventure series released July of 2015, and the second book, TWISTED, released by Pelican Book Group July 14, 2017. Third book in this series, UNTIED, is her WIP. You can find DiAne on Facebook.

    Photo credit: ©Unsplash/MarinaVitale