Brother Lawrence was a 17th century French monk who spent most of his life as a humble monastery cook (shoe cobbler was another of his noble professions). Not much is known of his life, save for his collection of letters and writings in what is now known as the classic, “The Practice of the Presence of God.”
The man was brilliant. He understood, as a simple cook, what the wisest and intellectually astute of our age fail to grasp. And what this mama fails to grasp, time and time again.
Who we are is not defined by what we do. Our daily work is given to us as a gift from Him, not as the etched nameplate of our identity. The liturgy of laundry and scrubbing of bowls is a divine opportunity to give Him glory — not only by using their monotonous rhythm to focus on prayer, but to do our work well as a means to please Him. To give Him thanks for an opportunity to serve.
From God’s perspective, there is no difference between twilight hours of Scripture reading and running our daughter to ballet class with a happy heart. Our moments of paying bills on time and sweeping the floor under the highchair are as glorious as kneeling before His throne, hands upward in praise.
It was said that:
“Even in the busiest times in the kitchen, Brother Lawrence still preserved his recollection and heavenly-mindedness. He was never hasty nor loitering, but did each thing in its turn with an even, uninterrupted composure and tranquility of spirit. ‘The time of work,’ said he, ‘does not with me differ from the time of prayer. In the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great a tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Supper.'”
Do you praise Him in your daily work?
As mamas, we can radiate the beauty of grace when we kiss owies and bless them with Band-Aids.
When we work diligently in the workplace and handle the drudgery of paperwork with thanksgiving, we recognize God as the giver of all good gifts.
When our husbands relay their excitement about the playoffs and we listen intently without our minds wandering, we acknowledge God’s creativity in how He has crafted us each uniquely with passions, gifts, and desires.
We can gladly sweep the early fall leaves off our front porch, knowing He is honored when we steward the home He has blessed us with.
We can fold the laundry — again and again and again — knowing that He is honored because we are delighting in where He has us.
When my firstborn was an infant, I had this quote from Brother Lawrence inked on a notecard and thumbtacked to the wall:
“We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.”
You can change diapers to the glory of God. Be encouraged that His Spirit pours forth over your hands as you work, diligently, diligently, diligently, for His pleasure.
What seemingly monotonous tasks do you have today? How can you honor your Maker through them?
By Tsh, Simple Mom