By: Beth Doohan
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.” (Romans 12:1–2 MSG)
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How does your day usually begin? For me, it used to start with the sun just peaking up in the sky as my dawn chorus alarm clock chimed. Squinting my eyes against the light, I flipped my nightstand lamp on, opened my favorite worship Pandora station, and stretched my relaxed muscles into motion. Next, I picked out my outfit, brushed my teeth, combed my straight, honey-blond hair and lotioned my face, in whatever order I felt like before heading to work as a paralegal. This was my morning routine, how my day began.
These days, I wake up several times in the dark of night to nurse our infant son. When it is time to get up for the day, between seeing my husband off to work, getting our two-year-old son up and ready, and more infant feedings, I navigate the narrow windows of time to grab a shower, brush my teeth, do my hair and skincare routines, and apply makeup.
Although these daily parts of life can feel commonplace, we all experience them, and we can still wake up each day with purpose and for a mission. For some of you, your day may begin at a faster pace, or with teenagers getting ready for school, or surrounded by the demands of an ailing relative who lives with you. Yet no matter what our seasons of life, we can still live intentionally and with purpose as wholehearted women of God. As a daughter of our Lord, I understand that my life, even in the little things, is designed to glorify Him. My life, all of it, is meant to be worship to Him.
One of my favorite passages in Scripture is Psalm 103:2-5, which says, “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!” This has become my life’s mission – that I would praise the Lord with all that I am.
This Psalm 103 prayer has helped me time and again to navigate the routine, mundane parts of life and to live on purpose as a wholehearted follower of Jesus. When I approached my work as a paralegal, I didn’t want to just check off tasks for my performance review but endeavored for my work and who I am to reflect and glorify God.
When I respond to both the joy and responsibility these days as a stay-at-home mom, I long for the orientation of my heart in it all to be one of surrender to Lord. This different season of life requires and demands constant self-sacrifice, energy when I may not have it, and leaning on the Lord for wisdom. Through His Word, the Holy Spirit, and Christian community, God reminds me that He is ultimately the one working through me and that honoring and loving Him is my ultimate purpose no matter what the details of the day look like.
In Romans 12, Christians are instructed to offer their lives to God as a holy sacrifice. Verses 1-2 explain, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” The Lord asks us to surrender our entire lives to Him and to live every day as worship to Him!
Yet, sometimes I find the everyday ordinary tasks to be mundane and tiring. As I take care of cleaning (revolving the dishes from cupboard to table to dishwasher), beauty maintenance (shaving my legs, again), and taking care of my family (making weekly grocery trips and meal planning), these daily duties can become overwhelming or commonplace. But when I avoid them, the work just builds up and gets out of control. Instead, I’ve learned to look at these duties as part of my worship to God.
Each detail is important to show others and God that I care and is an opportunity to glorify God and to experience Him. When I tether my heart to this, the details of life become opportunities to orient my heart toward Christ! It leads me to pray that the work I do is always with my heart as for the Lord…That when we invite others into our home, for the order they see and the hospitality they experience to show that we appreciate them…That my self-care shows that I care not just about how I look but represents the God who made me in everything I do…That serving my family becomes a way of worshiping and honoring the Lord and showing my family that I love them and desire to take care of their needs…And so much more!
Ladies, the daily details of life are an extension of our walk with the Lord. They are constant opportunities to lift up the eyes of our heart in dependence upon Him. Psalm 37:5 exhorts us, “Commit everything you do to the Lord.” I encourage you to live intentionally as unto Him. May we worship Him in all that we do – even in the daily details of our lives. May we draw closer to Him as we live life on purpose each and every day!
TIME TO REFLECT
1) Focused, daily devotion time in God’s Word is so important. But what does our walk with the Lord look like for the rest of the day? Spend time meditating on Psalm 16:8a, which says, “I have set the Lord always before me.” What is the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart?
2) The daily details of life are ongoing opportunities to orient our hearts toward the Lord in worship to Him and to actively live out our faith. Consider Romans 12:1-2. What would the “spiritual act of worship” described in it look like in the daily details of your life? In the lives of your family members? In your church?
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Some excerpts of this devotion topic are from The Wholehearted Woman: Who She Is and Why She Matters by Beth Doohan and Jenni Walker.