- Michelle Jansma
The Beautiful Mundane
It was our 7th anniversary, and I was scrubbing toilets; my third one of the morning, actually. A ding from the washing machine down the hall let me know that the load of laundry I had started before beginning on the bathrooms had reached completion and was ready for my attention. From there, I needed to get into the kitchen to prepare a bread for my husband’s upcoming night shifts. My three children, of course, were making noise over some, no doubt, crucial issue, but thankfully my husband was home that morning, so I didn’t have to deal with that right then too.
I mentally laughed to myself as I finished that last toilet. There was nothing special about today. My husband and I were supposed to have had our date to celebrate two nights before, but our one-year-old daughter had come down with a little fever that afternoon, so the evening was cancelled. So much for a romantic anniversary, right? Our quiet date night was cancelled, and the day-of would be spent like all the others, cleaning, cooking, and caring for children, and I wouldn’t even be able to spend the night with my husband because he was working an overnight.
But then a thought crossed my mind. My natural tendency was, of course, to look at the details of how I was spending my day and think that they were unfortunate, uninteresting, and definitely not ideal. But as so often is the case, if I just adjust my way of looking at a situation, it suddenly appears in a different light, even though nothing has physically happened to change it. And that different light makes all the difference.
I could choose to see my cancelled anniversary date as a reason to complain, or I could step back and remember that the reason why it was cancelled is because I have a beautiful daughter who needed her mommy that night. I needed to clean bathrooms and do laundry, but the very fact those tasks were there to be completed means that I have a home to care for, a family to clean it all for, and clothes to put on each one of their backs.
I also needed to prepare food for my husband’s shifts and spend our anniversary night without him, a bit of a “downer”of a night. However, when I take that step back and view the situation in a different light, I can also see how that means he has a job that provides for our needs, and I have a husband who takes the care of his family seriously.
Yes, those undesirable, never-ending, mundane tasks of being a mom and wife actually mean that you possess some of life’s greatest blessings, and the alternative of not having any one of them is something I don’t ever want to think about.
I would never say that life isn’t full of legitimately frustrating circumstances, but I want to get in the habit of seeing the mundane of life in a different light - the light of the gospel. Because once you step back and view your situation in the light of the gospel, then you can see beauty and blessing in those mundane details. My “boring” anniversary that had nothing special about it, could actually be seen as a beautiful blessing. If a “regular, boring” day means caring for my home and the children God has blessed our marriage with, then maybe I should start seeing those days as the “special” things that they actually are…and be grateful for each one. Every little mundane task and detail could be an opportunity to delight in my Savior and all He’s done for me if I but choose to shine that gospel light on my circumstances. No, I don’t suddenly love cleaning toilets and doing laundry, but I sure am grateful I have them there to clean!
And yes, we went out for a “re-do” date later that week :D.