spiritual awakening :: sarah bessey

One of my major spiritual awakenings happened because of Rice Krispies.

It’s true. During my second maternity leave when I was a fairly new mum with only two tinies under the age of two, we were eating breakfast when the inevitable occurred: one of those tinies knocked an entire bowl of Rice Krispies off the table and sent it sailing to the floor. It was a tremendous crash.

I was already tired because I had been up nursing during the night, Brian was off at work already, I simply wanted a quiet morning with my coffee because there was so much mundane work ahead on this day – cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry – but instead the Rice Krispies multiplied to biblical proportions while they flew through the air and one small cereal bowl became a nuclear wasteland scattered into seemingly every corner of the kitchen while milk streamed off the edge of the table puddling into the carnage and the bowl continued to spin.

After cleaning up the babies and restoring them to their places with a fresh breakfast – toast instead of cereal this time, never let it be said that I don’t learn from my mistakes – I found myself on my hands and knees in my nightie under the kitchen table, picking up soggy cereal.

Now I don’t know if you’ve ever had the misfortune to have to clean up wet Rice Krispies but if not, I’ll offer this piece of advice: you cannot sweep them up, you cannot vacuum them up, you cannot wipe them up. No, Rice Krispies turn to a gluey substance which adheres to whatever surface it finds and instead of cleaning them up by those attempts, you only smear them. Ask me how I know. No, no, instead, you must pick them up one at a time, bit by bit, and only then can you wash the floor properly. Unless you want your feet to stick to the floor or you wish to burn the house down (which I considered for a moment), you must pick up every single Rice Krispie individually and only then wash the floor.

I began to get angry as I picked up those Rice Krispies. Oh, properly angry! Not at the tinies who created the mess – those messes can’t be helped when one is tiny, they’re part of the deal – but rather at the fact that this was my life. This was just one more daily indignity to the joyous and difficult and yet sometimes monotonous unending routine of caring for small children.

I muttered to myself under that kitchen table about how I was too smart for this. Oh, I did: I was too special for this! Surely someone else could do this work, someone else should be doing this work! After all, I was creative and capable! I was well educated! I used to manage budgets of $14 million dollars! I used to wear high heels and create marketing campaigns! Then my repressed struggling artist side entered the dialogue and ranted quietly about how I was meant to be writing! I was meant to have creative space to, well, create! Who could create anything or write anything while in the middle of diapers and bath times and housework? I am too creative for this! I am meant to be a writer not a maid! I bet C.S. Lewis never had to clean up cereal. And then that little evangelical hero complex in me joined the chorus: I was meant to change the world! I was meant to be someone! To lead! To be set apart! To tell people about Jesus, right? To be a hero in the kingdom of God! And instead here I was doing menial work that was contributing nothing to the world.

It would be funny if I hadn’t actually believed the lie that I was too special, too holy, too smart, too good, too much altogether, to pick up Rice Krispies in my own kitchen.

My husband went through similar feelings when he left full-time vocational ministry and then found himself driving a white work van with a phone number on the side, doing physical labour to pay our bills, saving for one Tim Horton’s coffee (double-double) a week. In addition to the actual difficulty of the work itself, there was his ongoing internal monologue about how this wasn’t good enough. This wasn’t special enough. How he was supposed to be more or better, how this kind of work wasn’t really contributing to the Kingdom of God, how he was failing because he was here.

Perhaps it isn’t any wonder why we struggled. We had been fed a steady diet for years that we were meant to change the world, to be heroes, to be different than the rest of the world, to be radical, to prepare only for the mountaintop! Exclamation points!

And when we found ourselves in adulthood with the truth that there are diapers to change and bills to pay, toilets to clean and laundry to fold, time cards to punch and late nights to work, it felt too humble and too altogether ordinary to possibly be God’s will for us.

As I was picking up those Rice Krispies, I had a sudden thought that came zinging into my self-important rant, so unlooked-for that it must only have been the Spirit of God breaking through.

Do you think God is also too good for the ordinary work?

I rocked back onto my bum and sat down. What.

Do you think you are somehow above living your own life?

Um. Apparently?

Do you think God is not present in this honourable work?

What kind of work matters to God?

All of a sudden, I was flooded with conviction under the kitchen table. It’s true: I believed I was good or too whatever to live my own ordinary life. I thought God was only “out there” – in the important work of the Kingdom which I had somehow come to believe was only visible or important or famous or set-apart. I had divided us into a system of castes – the full-time vocational ministry people who pastored or wrote books or preached or taught with eponymous organizations called “My Own Name Ministries” and missionaries and countercultural ones in tropical climates were at the tippity-top. The rest of us simply were pew-fodder, financiers for the “real” work of the ministry.

Which of us when presented with “ordinary” vs. “radical” wouldn’t choose the latter? Wouldn’t choose wanting to be special and different?

Like the rest of the radical youth in arenas being called world-changers, I had assumed that being a world-changer or a leader or even just a disciple of Jesus meant that I would not have an ordinary life. Surely discipleship isn’t so slow and it isn’t so ordinary and it doesn’t look so small to outside eyes.

This was not exactly the kind of spiritual awakening I expected.

Nope, surely we would quit our jobs and go on a trip around the world. Isn’t that the kind of “and then” that people want to hear?We make celebrities out of other disciples and long to be important like them. We want to be better than everyone else and do it differently and be the hero. We want “six steps to being radical for Jesus” and we want to turn our lives upside down because that must be more satisfying than what we actually did after that day.

No, we didn’t turn our lives upside down and throw those two babies into backpacks and set out to get a new fix of heroism to satiate our discomfort with ordinary. We didn’t send out support letters asking for other people to send us their money so that we could start a new ministry. We didn’t move to communal housing and we didn’t move to the downtown eastside. We didn’t write a blog or a book or start a podcast about how this was our wake-up call to not settle and to get out here and be hero and be amazing.

Instead: we got to work in our ordinary lives.

And we expected God to show up in that ordinary.

That was the revelation for us. It was working hard at regular jobs and sticking to the budget. It was saying no to special beach holidays in warm climates and it was thrift shops. It was showing up on time and climbing the ladder steadily. It was folding baby clothes and clipping baby fingernails and valuing early bedtimes. It was cooking supper instead of going out to eat and it was an afternoon walk before naptime. It was practicing the radical spiritual discipline of staying put. It was more babies and it was preschool permission slips and making lunches and bedtime reading sessions and saving for the university dreams of no-longer-quite-tiny tinies. It was choosing each other over ministry and learning to find our identity in something other than full-time vocational ministry. It was showing up at a local church to belong somewhere and volunteering in the nursery and making meals for others. It was reading good books and going for walks and planting gardens. It was giving away our money and opening up our home and listening carefully to make sure anything we now did was actually born of following God and not out of our weird need to be a hero or to be different or to be radical for its own sake. We learned to be suspicious of our own motives, to question our own selves, and to cease striving.

Work is honourable and life is good and this is a gift from God, no matter what. God is present in the ordinary and the regular and the uncelebrated in a way that I never could have fathomed when I thought God’s best was only either on stage or in a pulpit or a mountaintop or an arena or far away.

We would have missed it. If we had tried to run away from the discomfort of not-being-radical, we would have missed the gift of ordinary, the gift of our own lives and the people around us.

We would not have been present to the people right here around us and the ministry that happens in kitchens and church aisles and backyards. We would have missed the beauty of daily following Jesus into a whole life redemption.

We would have missed the truth that God loves the world, that our ordinary every day walking around lives are rich with meaning, that there is value in picking up Rice Krispies and typing in a cubicle from 8-5 and driving a work van and cooking supper and picking kids up from daycare. That there is creativity and leadership and holiness in the very common places.

Because here’s the secret behind it all: part of the reason why we want to be radical is because we believe that it’s better.

Ouch, that one stings, eh? We believe that we are better for it, we believe it makes us better than everyone else, we believe it makes us better than our own old self, we even believe God loves us better for it. Will God love me if I’m ordinary?

And when your standing before God is stripped of being interesting or powerful or obvious or better-than, when your place in the Kingdom of God becomes ordinary and pedestrian, that’s when you begin to finally receive the love of Christ as the free and wild and generous gift of abundance that it has been all along and then you begin to see that Love showing up in the craziest and most ordinary of places.

It was only when my obvious productivity was separated from my spirituality that I was able to see that Love infused all of it.

I didn’t need this weird demarcation between “sacred work” and “secular work” – rather all of my life, seen and unseen, celebrated and uncelebrated, radical and utterly ordinary – all of it was a place to meet with God and to be transformed.

In fact, I have found that the greatest transformations of my life, the moments or disciplines that most transformed me into being more loving, more joyous, more patient, more gentle, more kind, more faithful, more disciplined, more peaceful were far away from the radical moments or the mountaintop experiences or the typical “sacred” or celebrated stuff.

All of our lives are a proclamation and an encounter. 

In the years since that day, our lives have grown to include some of the very things that used to look heroic to us on the outside: preaching, writing books, community development, social justice work, teaching, leading, stages, travel.

And yet those things are simply an overflow of the company we’re keeping with Jesus. They arose not because we chased them or yearned for them but because we simply were following Jesus and that’s where we have been lead and we might very well be lead out of them in another season. That would be okay. My life is not summed up in those things: my life is also still cleaning toilets and making supper, showing up at church and going for walks, texting how-are-you-really to friends and sitting in my husband’s lap at the table, praying with now preposterously tall children at bedtime and making sure everyone brushed their teeth, for heaven’s sake. There has to be a seamlessness to our lives, a oneness so that there isn’t ordinary work vs. holy work: it’s all together beautiful.

The point isn’t being radical or a world-changer: the point is following Jesus.

God wasn’t waiting for me in Thailand or in an orphanage or a book deal or on a stage or in a position of power and influence: God was always under the kitchen table cleaning up Rice Krispies.

 

P.S. I wrote an entire chapter in my latest book about the evangelical hero complex and our complicated relationship with our mutual callings and vocations and regular work, if you’d like to read more about this very thing.

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  • Anne Mixdorf Greiner

    I’m currently in the opposite struggle. I’m being dragged kicking and screaming into where I am called. I am not cut out for the task in front of me..

  • I feel the struggle. My head knows that God shows up in the ordinary, that the sacred/secular divide is all in our heads, not God’s. My head really knows that. My heart… doesn’t seem to be on the same page very often. When you were planning on going into full-time vocational ministry and instead have been a stay-at-home father for the last five years or so, it’s hard to not feel like a huge failure. It makes one try to grasp what makes you feel like you could be a success (at least in your own eyes).

    Anyhow, I enjoyed this post. It’s good to get a reminder about such things you may know, but don’t always feel. A reminder to expect to find God even in the ordinary.

  • Trish Finley

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

  • This might be the best thing you’ve ever written. And that’s saying a lot. Me and my crushed Cheerios underfoot complex thank you and your Rice Crispies mightily!

  • Thanks for this reminder, Sarah. I was reminded – by my 3yo. – on Thursday night where my vocation is, and on what it is focused. For so long, I’ve been stuck in a rut of imagining my vocation without or beyond children. What would my prayer life, or study of scripture look like if only I weren’t so freaking exhausted?

    And yet I was reminded by a stranger on a recent trip to Bowen Island that God is probably also speaking to me through my kids, and through my time with them.

    There on Maundy Thursday, as the altar was stripped, as the clergy shed bright shining vestments for plain black cassocks, as the last traces of Jesus’ presence were escorted from the chancel and to the altar of repose, he spoke into the attentive silence of the congregation:

    “I don’t want Jesus to die.”

    Oh my soul. Oh my child. Thank-you.

  • Lovely! The beautiful truth you articulate with such pizzazz is essentially the mission of the Apostleship of Prayer, the Pope’s official worldwide prayer group at the service of the Church. Here’s how we’ve been saying it since 1844: “Be apostles now, apostles of prayer! Offer everything you are doing each day in union with the Heart of our Lord for what He wishes, the spread of the Kingdom for the salvation of souls.” Join us!!! We’d love to know you are praying with us and with Pope Francis! http://apostleshipofprayer.org/mission/

  • Mary DeMuth

    I have a huge crush on this post, lovely Sarah. Thank you, thank you.

  • At at least nine different points in this post, I shouted AMEN. I have learned this same inside-out, upside-down lesson, sister. You say it so well.

  • Tami

    Sarah, I think this post changed my life. Thank you. ❤️

  • LOVE this, Thank you!

  • Right under the table with you, Sarah. I find myself again and again on my knees, or wiping bums, or comforting crying children and I swing from elder brother tendencies (“But look at me! Haven’t I deserved more?!”) to self-inflicted shame (“You should be a better Christian by now and have this thing figured out”) to settling into a space of repentance and belovedness. I’m a wayward child, whatever way I slice it and Jesus still gets a kick out of me. I’ve written a fair bit on this, too — about driving minivans when we were “meant to change the world.” There is so much about the priesthood of all believers that heals our dreams of special snowflake-ness. Thank you, as always, for your words. (And see you in a few weeks at FFW!)

  • Kristy

    I need to read this everyday and then have the words “Rice Krispies” tattooed to my body so I will remember. Thank you.

  • Jo Plummer

    Thank you, thank you for this post! So much truth for me, for us…. Ironically I am a ‘missionary in a tropical climate’ (yes, Thailand – God WAS waiting for us here!!) and these are truths we also need to remember here. There are still spilled rice krispies and tired, grumpy children… I can report from recent events that, even when you are on the mission field, if you drop a salad dressing bottle it WILL smash into a zillion tiny pieces and spread glass and thousand island across the entire kitchen floor!!… Most days we need to take a deep breath and remember that being faithful in the ordinary things, in the places where Jesus leads is what is required.

    There are truths and doubts we have had to work through too. What seemed ‘radical’ in our 20s, suddenly seemed ‘risky’ and ‘foolish’ in our late 30s and 40s… are we really where God wants us to be? Shouldn’t we be trying to get some security in our lives and get on the property ladder by now? We’ve had to work through those doubts!! Most missionary work is 1% the ‘glamourous’ stuff and 99% admin!! And that pile of emails feels a whole lot less exciting when it’s 32c/90f *inside* your office!

    About 5 years into full-time vocational ministry for us, someone asked us when we were going start living ‘real life’ (yes really!) After some soul-searching I realised that ‘real life’ is being faithful in the everyday things and following Jesus there. One of my favourite quotes is Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest: “It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God – but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people.”

    Thanks again Sarah – let’s keep smashing down that ‘sacred-secular divide’

  • herman flippen

    It is funny to me how much talking some do to convince themselves of “something” Especially a non entity!!!

  • Celeste Wyatt Lee

    Oh Sarah, thank you for this post. I have struggled with this in the last six years especially. I was part of an organization that worked in Kenya with the Maasai from 1998 till 2014. I was a women’s ministry leader and an elder in my local church for over 12 years. And then life changed. I got divorced and all of that disappeared. I still remember the sting of the words when someone asked me, “what ministry are you part of now”? As if, I had no value unless I was part of a ministry. God has slowing been leading me to see and understand that He is under the table picking up cereal, and that I need to be content with the same. And yes, I will be reading your book – especially that chapter. Thank you!

  • Missy

    This post is tremendous. Full of unbelievable truth. You moms at home, that have felt these same things. PRINT this, keep it near-put it in your bible. Read it often. Read it in those times of doubt and frustration and when you think you are wasting your time. Sarah speaks what is what we all need to hear; at one time or another. This truly is one of my favorites ever. THE POINT IS FOLLOWING JESUS, OBEYING HIM.

  • Alyssa Santos

    I love this! I wanted to say that in all caps, but then I’d be shouting! Which I am on the inside, actually. “Evangelical hero complex” – what a perfect phrase to describe what we fall to individually and corporately! I think it’s interesting that Paul’s (earliest, I believe) letter to the Thessalonians says “Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands” yet we have to practice just that in order to find contentment and purpose in whatever place we happen to be.

  • Claire Flanegan De Bruin

    excellent read. Well put and so very very true! Thank you

  • OH! amazing, thank you Sarah!

    I used to get in a rage about cleaning up the kitchen AGAIN, how the laundry basket ALWAYS is full. etc etc. Especially as there is only me, husband and the dog. Life wasn’t supposed to be this

    As you say, there is so much about us that was supposed to be doing more, being better, I used to work in marketing too! Surely that was better than this. Well, no.

    And yes, I am now looking for God in the laundry and the dishes. Although not rice krispies as we don’t eat them.

  • Love this post Sarah, absolutely nailed on. Whatever we do, we can either think it’s ‘beneath us’ or our way is ‘above others’ – when the reality is it all belongs, it all matters, and it’s all important and equally valid. Great post.

  • I’m past the mothering of tinies stage, but the pressure for validation, for “big things” doesn’t stop. This post came at an opportune time – the end of a day of discouragement. Striving not to “despise the day of small things.”

  • Joy Geaslen

    Thank you so much for this post! Taking care of my children and doing housework feels so “less than” to me…I want to remember that this is the work that God’s doing!

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  • Laurie

    So Sarah…this is the reason that we need to PRAY for our leadership and those in ministries. The temptation to feel “better than” or “special” can be overwhelming. All of us just need to rest in the fact that we’re all “beloved” of God, no matter our station in life.

  • This is just what I needed in my “just keep plodding”. Thank you. God has a way of bringing some of those dreams and radical things anyway, but the priority must be God in this ordinary place of Rice Krispies under the table first. thank you.

  • Kristin Argall

    Sarah, thank you so much for this post, and for blessing us so richly with your God-given wisdom. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when you talked about the ‘evangelical hero complex’ – something that has troubled me for a long time.

  • Heathershodgepodge

    Yes. Too often I buy into the idea that “anyone” can do the menial day-to-day of childcare. Too often I think that surely “I” would be doing more (for God, of course!) if I went to work and let my littles spend their day with someone else. I grew up hearing Carey’s quote about expecting great things and attempting great things for God and elevated that above the Master who washed the feet of His servants. Over the past year, my heart’s been slowly re-prioritizing. God doesn’t call everyone to stay home for this season of life, but He has called me and I should be faithful. Thank you for giving the ordinary more dignity than it is commonly given.

  • Fantastic, Sarah. Every word hits home for me, too.

  • Once again you have said exactly the right thing, and with such eloquence. Hooray for sticky Rice Krispies! – Fawn

  • melissa

    Wow, thanks for this, I have been experiencing a lot of, what does it all mean, should we sell the belongings and move to communal housing moments lately, b/c being a grown up, parent, career, etc, etc, are all things I am called to, and all demand a great deal. It is easy to feel the mundane is just that, mundane, meaningless, it’s so easy to not make eye contact with Jesus under the table while he picks up a piece of food, hands it to you, winks at you and smiles and says, even this matters… keep going, I’m with you.

  • “It was showing up on time and climbing the ladder steadily… It was practicing the radical spiritual discipline of staying put.”
    Love, love, love. God is right here- in the present and in the ordinary and in the unplanned. Much needed words for my heart.

  • Lindsay

    YES! Thank you, Sarah.

  • Ah! This is so good!

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  • Just this morning I was reading on the importance of responding to the needs that are right in front of you, and that what the world says is big and small isn’t truly accurate. And then I read this and once again I was convicted. How much I love and needed this. <3

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  • LeAnna

    Just read this for the second time with tears streaming….beautifully put, yet so hard for me to trust and believe! I know these truths, but still (almost daily) struggle with failure and thinking I need to be doing more for God to truly see me as He sees those who are in ministry somewhere.

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  • Michelle Goette

    Thank you. This has been a hard and good lesson in my own life. Thank you for putting words and perspective and love and grace to all of this.

  • Beth Farnsworth Gregory

    Thank you. After 10+ years in missions, our family is about to return–for good, not just a season–to the States. Although I assent that it is good, my heart is torn with grief as we prepare to leave. So much of that grief is because, in my heart of hearts, I believe this work in Asia is the “front lines,” and the season I’m stepping into (a life of laundry and toilet-scrubbing and loving my precious little ones through the change) is not.
    Thank you for the reminder. I pray He causes this truth–of the holiness of all tasks–to sink into my soul.

  • Angie Lashley

    Amazingly on point for all moms down on the floor scraping cereal, thinking, ” Oh my gosh, I’m better than this.” Been there, and this post is such an eloquent, appropriate answer. Thank you!!!

  • Royal

    Thank you so much for this. I’ve been in that place of longing – for the holidays, for the meaning and even though God has been showing me how everything is beautiful where I am, the ache has sometimes left me reeling in pain. I will see, I will go, but now is my present gift from Him.

    I guess that’s why He made sure I stay put in this place for years now since I left full time employment in 2014 to today to become a wife that creates. So blessed that my husband understands and supports it. Everything is beautiful here in my life, in my ordinary routine bliss. Everything is beautiful here.

    God bless you Sarah ❤️❤️❤️

  • Bindy

    Hi Sarah. Thank you for this, it is so very timely in my life. I have been contemplating the difficulties for women of my (I’m 36) generation. We’ve been raised within feminism, which I personally think has many fine points when it addresses injustice, oppression and repression. The problem I’m finding at the moment is that my life is totally in the “Rice Crispies” phase, and that looks like a failure when viewed from the messages that I’m supposed to be breaking glass ceilings, kicking butts and achieving at absolutely everything. Most days I can’t achieve a trip to the toilet by myself. Throw in the pressures of Christian expectation as someone who feels deeply passionate about social justice and reaching those who are struggling, being a minister’s wife, and a bunch of other things, and I feel like a failure quite a bit. The noise in my head wants me to believe that God is disappointed with me too. Your blog post is one I will read quite a few times, I suspect…thanks for the ray of torchlight in the murk.

  • SFR

    I needed that. I have this project that takes me to Uganda once or twice a year, that gives me a lot of joy, and I’ve just come back. I feel kind of flat, being home, trying to feel excited about planning the mother-daughter banquet and taking my son to doctor’s appointments and visiting my mother-in-law in the home. It helps to know others struggle with this as well.

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  • Mo.

    Oh! This is so beautifully written. Thank you for expressing what I believe God has been trying to get me to see! I’m in in my early 20s I’m waiting to become successful in my career, someone who gives fat cheques to charities. I feel like God is waiting for me at all these ‘landmarks’. Now I know, he might be waiting, but he is here too and his presence here is just as strong and just as full time. And it’s so funny that, like you said, the inspiration and love never stop coming. And they choose the most ordinary moments… God bless you for sharing ☺

  • I remember one time when I was in “the mission field” meeting a lady who used to be a missionary and now was a wife and full time Mom. I remember thinking, “how could she? How can she leave this missionary life for the mundane life? ” I’ve been in this “mundane” rice krispy under the table life15 years now . For whatever reason, when I got married, I understood that this now is my mission field. It’s still hard but I am content in it. Thank you for reminding us that no job is too small for the Lord and that He is with us always.

  • Kelli

    Yes, yes, yes! The lie of ordinary = boring is strong and seductive. I think it is one of the ways our culture around us has seeped into our theology. It sounds so spiritual to live radical lives for Jesus. I love the check in your spirit about the motives of how following Jesus is played out in your life. Some may be called to live lives that look more radical and others may be called to drive a truck but all with the same radical desire to follow Jesus. Thank you for writing this. I too have been called out recently and gently by God after an epic pity party about being too good for grocery shopping.

  • Brother Lawrence had a similar revelation: that if God is calling him to wash the dishes, it is in doing the dishes
    that God will meet him. It doesn’t matter if he spends hours reading
    his Bible, praying, meditating, calling out to God. God is not there, God is waiting,
    patiently, for Lawrence at the kitchen sink.

  • Changing the world — one mess at a time!

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  • Angela Durrant

    I have just read your blog for the first time and I am thousands of miles away from you. thank you for the inspiration.

  • Kathryn Stephens

    I immediately thought of Bro Lawrence. I am a wife, mom, grandmother.
    I do the laundry for my adult child and grandbabies. The laundry mat is broken at her apt. She does not own a car. There is not a laundry mat nearby.
    I was slogging through yet another basket of their laundry. I waschaving a very low day.
    This my life? (whine, groan). In a flash. There appeared Bro Lawrence. I said aloud. Yes! This IS my life. Right here. Right now. Our adult child is getting her legs under her. Getting her education. Is a single mother. If she can manage all that is on her plate, of course. This is where i am to serve.
    It is God’s way of showing me, one more time, serving my family by doing laundry is serving others and God.
    Thank you for your words. And how pesky wet Rice Krispies are.

  • Holly Keane Atkinson

    I’ve had this quote on my cubicle for years– it helps when the urge to be extraordinary is strong..

    “The highest service may be prepared for and done in the humblest of surroundings. In silence, in waiting, in obscure, unnoticed offices, in years of uneventful, unrecorded duties, the Son of God grew and waxed strong.” –Inscription from Memorial Church, Stanford University

    Bet even Jesus had days of picking up rice krispies.. or wood shavings in His case.

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  • Melanie

    Busted. Thank you. Love you so much. x

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  • Amie Colbert

    Fantastic comments

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  • rebecca osborn

    Thanks for sharing Sarah. I wanted to add my perspective, as someone who DID take my two kids (1 and 3) and haul them into the wilderness to do full-time ministry. Short version: my husband and I are priests in the Church of Canada in Nunavut. We share one job, so we are both part-time stay-at-home parents. And the funny thing is, 95% of our lives is exactly what you described – the glory of dealing with little kids. Leaving space for, honoring, and protecting that sacred family life is actually a big part of what makes the 5% of official “ministry work” effective. So, If you have a hero complex, by all means, get over it. If God’s calling you to stay where you are, rock on. BUT! Don’t worry! If you still want a ministry vocation, you can live in a bizarre climate, do kingdom work, AND have lots of domestic trials! 😉 The mission field – domestic or abroad – doesn’t need heroes; it needs Christians willing to die to themselves and love their neighbors. I don’t know about you, but that’s what parenthood has been training me for.