When the Pursuit of Excellence Meets Dirty Diapers

We've all done it.

Shrugged our shoulders, washed our face, sighed, and faced another day. Another diaper. Another attempt to tackle Mount Laundry. Another day of the mundane. The sacrosanct world of discipling tiny souls seems to only have value in sermons and devotionals. But, in the thick of it all, it starts to slip, starts to feel like anything other than holy.

Our current mommy culture seems to be hurtling toward the pursuit of the elusive free time. Give us ALL the life hacks... from crock pot meals to keurigs, we want things done quickly so we don't have to do it anymore. Now, of course, this doesn't apply to EVERY mom. But, as a whole, we really just want more time for sitting, for reading, for exercise videos and make-up tutorials. "After all," we demand, "aren't we supposed to value SELF care? Doesn't that make us better mothers?"

Yes. Yes to that. But, if our goal is simply for more time for us, and that involves cutting every corner necessary, those of us who legitimately want to excel at this "mediocre" life we've been given, start to feel as if perhaps we are being a little silly. Why on earth would I want to learn to make homemade bread? Why on earth would I truly want to research better ways to fold laundry or scrub my floors? I start to feel as if maybe I am being a little self-aggrandizing in my pursuit of excellence. I am a stay-at-home mom and, like any other job, I want to improve my performance.

I can concede that this might seem silly. But, the truth is, I legitimately value what I do. I want to be proficient at it. No doubt, the whole parenting thing is entirely resting on God working through me... but what about making my home? Cooking meals to serve my family? Washing their clothes? Cleaning the sippy cups? All of these small, seemingly-menial tasks add up to a home, to a life, to an essential part of each of these children I am raising.
Image result for homemaking public domain
Improving my performance seems silly in the sense that no one else might be noticing. There's no quarterly review or hope for a raise on the horizon. I might always win Best Mom in my home, but the field of competition is narrow. But if I truly believe that God is sovereign and that He has strategically placed me here, mom and home-maker, that I need to live like it. I need to value this calling, and pursue excellence. Colossians 3 says WHATEVER you do, to work heartily, as to the Lord. I think this might include the oft-overlooked occupation of homemaking. Working heartily in the home is undoubtedly going to vary from household to household, as God has gifted each of us uniquely, but in my case it looks like learning how to fix a little girl's hair, how to get my bathroom to stop smelling like urine (toddler and preschool boys... ew!) and how to manage laundry and multiple meals.

So, maybe it seems silly for someone who is "just a stay-at-home mom" to try and hone her craft. But I am determined to communicate to my kids that they matter and that my job of tending to them and their father and their home is a worthy sacrifice. And, if I am shlepping around in sweats and no one can see the floor for the toys or find a place to sit amidst the unfolded laundry, then what am I communicating? No one else cares, so why should I?

So, here is permission to pursue excellence in all that you do. Your resume might remain unedited and it's likely no one will notice. But have the long view of eternity and pursue your calling, whatever it may be, in a way that matters... and pursue it with joy.


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