Seeing The Miraculous In The Mundane
I have the privilege of being a nanny for two little ones Monday through Friday, 35-45 hours a week. God reminds me daily that I have been given a tremendous responsibility to care for them, love them, and teach them the best that I can, for as long as I can.
Being a nanny can definitely be challenging. Many days they challenge my patience (and quite honestly, my sanity!) by repeatedly telling me, “No!”, or refusing to put their coat on when it’s 11 degrees outside, or throwing their first, second, or third tantrum of the day.
One afternoon at work I was driving back from errands. The day had been trying and full of meltdowns, meltdowns, and more meltdowns. I found myself thinking only about how tired I was and the next task I needed to accomplish when the 4 year old in the back seat said quietly, “Miss Kara, look at all of those beautiful flowers. I love them. They are my favorite color and I love God for making them for me.” I was speechless. She had the same difficult day as me, if not more so, and still she had eyes to see the miraculous beauty that God had placed all around her.
What sweet and open hearts children have. They LOOK for and SEE the miraculous. This, I think might be the greatest challenge for me not just as a nanny, but as a follower of Christ. Do I look for and see the simple in my every day and declare it a miracle, and give thanks to God? Let’s be honest, giving thanks to God in the everyday mundane can be hard sometimes when there is yet another mess that needs to be cleaned up or another pile of laundry needs to be done. Lord, give me a heart like theirs.
Ann Voskamp, the author of “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are”, challenges all followers of Christ to begin to look and see and give thanks to God for the everyday miracles in the mundane. She says in her book, “Eucharisteo means 'to give thanks,' and give is a verb, something that we do. God calls me to do thanks. To give the thanks away...When the laundry is for the dozen arms of children or the dozen legs, it's true, I think I'm due some appreciation. So comes a storm of trouble and lightning strikes joy. But when Christ is at the center, when dishes, laundry, work, is my song of thanks to Him, joy rains.”
I want joy to rain! It’s so easy for me to lose focus and never look up from the task at hand and allow God to show me where He is in each one. When I don’t look to Him, I can’t see, and when I can’t see, my heart’s focus shifts from God to myself and I cannot see the miraculous and have a heart of thankfulness. This is a daily lesson that God will forever be teaching me: I am dependent solely upon Him and He is in control, not me. He is in everything I do no matter how small, and He is worthy of my thanks. A verse that I have memorized and repeat throughout my day is Psalm 34.1: “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Let that be so, Lord.
So how do we begin to have eyes and hearts that can see? For me it’s simply asking. That’s the hard part; relinquishing whatever control I think I have and then asking God to show me what it is that He wants my mind, eyes, and heart to see. And when I do this, He comes back into focus.