Finding Joy in the Mundane

Challenge Central: a CBC devotional

By: Lindsey Lyons

As a mom of three and a “homemaker” (a wife and mom with no job
outside the house), my day is filled with what most of us see as routine and
mundane. Regardless of your walk in life, at some point, you have faced a messy
kitchen after a meal, a full laundry basket, or a bathroom in desperate need of
a good clean. What is your reaction to any of these tasks? I sure don’t rub my
hands together excitedly, anticipating all the fun and enjoyment I am about to
get out of these chores. Even the name we give them shows how we feel: chores.
They are things to check off a list or things that don’t even make a list
because they happen daily ad nauseam. But just because they are boring or
disliked doesn’t mean they are not necessary or that we can’t choose to
approach them with joy instead of dread.

What does joy mean to you? When I hear joy, I think more of supreme
excitement or happiness based on something really good happening; it’s
momentary, not a state of being, but in Galatians 5:22, we are told that joy is
a fruit of the Spirit. So, it is something we should be producing from a
Christ-centered life, not a reaction to momentary excitement.

I’m trying to have this biblically-defined joy be my default as I go through
each day. It is by no means an easy task. However, it is easy to see the steps
I should take to get there. Based on the passage from Galatians, this is part
of the fruit of my growth. We also read about this in John 15, where Jesus says
I need to abide in Him if I am to bear fruit. So, I need to read my Bible,
pray, attend church with other believers, and use my gifts to serve alongside
other believers. Those are still big-picture ideas, though. If I’m reading my
Bible, praying, and being open to serving, I need to apply those things to each
minute of my day, not just when volunteering for church. The people I live with
are the people I should be living these principles out with first─not just to
be decent to live with, but also to teach my children how to live as a
Christian. Am I joyful in putting them first and living with sacrificial love
toward them? What about my spouse? I see my sinful heart in how I respond to
things encroaching on my expectation of what I think I deserve.

  • Why are you out of bed again? (We already said goodnight; it’s “my” time to
    crash and watch TV.)

  • What do you mean it’s this theme day at school tomorrow? (I already did the
    laundry, and it didn’t include that item of clothing.)

  • How are there more dishes?!

It comes down to choosing to serve and love others as Christ did. It’s
always a choice. There is so much we cannot control, but we can always control
how we react to our circumstances and what attitude we bring to them.

I’m reading a devotional by Ruth Chou Simons entitled Beholding and
Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship
. This quote has really stuck with me
about this topic:

“If I’m honest, it’s not cleaning the refrigerator, washing the dishes,
or doing the laundry I dislike; it’s the feeling of never being done in the
work of the every day that chafes my checklist-loving heart. No finish line, no
fanfare, no award ceremony. Faithfulness in the unremarkable daily tasks often
goes unnoticed-but not to the God who numbers your days. To our all-seeing God,
everyday faithfulness is an act of worship and not just an act of

How can we be joyful in everything? By choosing to serve others with love
like Christ has for us and knowing that we can worship Him in all that
we do.

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