I can't tell you how many times I've heard it: "Everything you do, do it for the glory of God." A beautiful sentiment, right? But it always left me going, "Yes! But...how?" How do you change a diaper for the glory of God? How do you cook dinner for the glory of God? How do you [insert menial task here] for the glory of God?
No one ever answered that for me, LOL. But this past week, it finally clicked. For me at least, the secret to that how lies in one simple realization:
To explain my simple epiphany, I need to use the example of dealing with kids. At this point in my life, that's what most of my interactions are, what most of my day consists of, and what most of my other tasks go back to. So.
Think back on some of your memories from childhood--the little ones. That day you helped your grandma plant something. That time you were sick and your mom let you eat Jell-O in bed. That day on the playground when you felt so very alone, because your best friend was playing with someone else. The panic that came that day when you turned around in the store and couldn't see your family anymore, even though they were right around the corner and got you in about half a second.
These are the memories that no one else remembers. These are the memories that have shaped you. These are the little things, the snippets of ordinary days, that have made you who you are.
These are the things that matter.
I don't know what my kids are going to remember...but I can pretty much guarantee it's not going to be all the things I remember about their days as little ones. For all I know, my Bad Day is going to be the one to stick in their memory, not all the good ones around it. That response I make when they ask for a treat even though they didn't clean their room like they were supposed to.
In our Bible study, we've done both Sacred Marriage and now Sacred Parenting. What I love about these books is that they're not about how to be happy in our relationships--they're about how to be holy. One thing the author points out is that it's helpful to remember that our spouses and children are children of God. They, not just strangers, are the ones Jesus is talking about when he said, "I was naked and you clothed me, I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink."
By providing for them, we're providing for Jesus. By loving them, we're loving Jesus. By yelling at them, we're yelling at Jesus?
That's where my realization came in. Now, don't get me wrong. I think sometimes we need to raise our voice to get the attention of a rambunctious kid. To get the point across. But it was eye-opening for me to stop and think, "What if this is the thing they remember?" I want my every response, my every reaction, my every lesson taught and hug given, to be something that will build my children up and make them understand what it is to be godly.
Or in other words...I want it all to be for the glory of God.
The same lesson applies to every other thing I do. When I stop to think "This matters," then I do it with care. I do it with prayer. I do it for those around me, and I do it for God. Because I never know how it's going to strike someone. How it's going to impact someone. What they might remember. What I might remember, and how it might shape me.
That load of laundry matters...because it allows me to clothe my loved ones. That dinner matters, because I'm feeding them. My attitude matters, because God sees it.
It all matters. And when I remember that, then I'm a step closer to leading the holy life He wants for me and from me.