We encounter God in the ordinariness of life: not in the search for spiritual highs and extraordinary mystical experiences but in our simple presence in life.
Brennan Manning, Abba's Child
I first read the above quote in a book in the middle of my college experience. From the moment I read the sentence it struck a chord in me. It was as if it jumped out of the page at me and changed me. I read it over and over taking it in for what it was worth.
It was during a time when I was trying to figure out who I was in Christ. I was a little confused about my spiritual walk and what it meant and what it was "supposed" to look like. I was afraid most of the time that I was doing life in that aspect all wrong and I wasn't pleasing to God.
But when I read that sentence I knew I had been living a lie. I was seeking a feeling when really life with my Creator was as simple as breathing. He was there with me at all times, through times when I felt Him and times when I doubted and even times when I ran. He was always with me.
As I've grown older this quote has never left me. There are times when I forget it and then suddenly, without even really thinking about it, the sentence will reappear on my mind. A testament that it has been imprinted on my heart.
And now, in this season of my life I find this truthful quote to bring so much comfort. During a time when I am raising my babies. A time that can seem so far from extraordinary.
From the time I wake up to the time my babies go to bed I am "doing" something usually for somebody else.
Through cleaning the house, picking up laundry, reading the same book aloud over and over with many interruptions, picking up the playroom only to watch it become a disaster again in 30 seconds. Sitting down for a minute to fold the laundry and then watching the one year old spill her dry cereal all over the floor. Going on a walk for the 10th time around the neighborhood because it is the only thing that quiets my daughter during the witching hour. Sitting outside watching my son ride his bike when I can think of so many other things I could be doing inside.
At times, it can all start to feel mundane and I begin to wonder what is my purpose?
And then recently I reread this quote and it reminded me that through it all, through the craziness and the chaos. Through the moments of peace and quiet, I am encountering God.
When I clean the kitchen and do the laundry I am encountering a God who serves.
When I apologize to my four year old for losing my temper with him I am encountering a God of forgiveness.
When I am losing my patience with my children because I know what is best for them yet they won't listen to me I am encountering a God with a sense of humor. Sometimes I feel like I can almost hear Him saying "does this remind you of anybody? You try to control your life yet I know what is best for you."
When I check on my sleeping babies at night, watching the rise and fall of their chest, wondering how on earth I deserve the goodness that they bring into my life I encounter a God who heard my prayers.
Life as a mom (parent) can sometimes feel exhausting. If I'm not careful I start to feel like I'm going through the same motions over and over, but when I step back and look at the big picture I see the Lord with me through it all. Showing me that these aren't just motions over and over but they are opportunities to live life together. Opportunities to show my children grace, forgiveness, love and kindness.
It may seem simple, and it may feel far from a spiritual high or mystical experience but I see through the simpleness of it all I am encountering God in every moment.
And I pray that through everything I do I am a living example to my children and husband of what God is doing and has done in my life. That I don't get caught up once again in trying to figure out who I am, but I realize that right now, in this time in my life I am serving God through serving my family. This is my calling and this is my simple presence that I am thankful for.