Again. He left his smoothie cup on the counter overnight again. My husband, Dave, is a gifted, brilliant man. But sometimes kitchen-related common sense eludes him.
Now there was no way the crusted blueberry bits were going to come off of this cup without some serious work on my part. I started talking to myself aloud. “I don’t have time for this,” I mumbled. I gritted my teeth and set to scrubbing with vigor, and when Dave passed by the kitchen I let out an exasperated sigh and exaggerated my scrubbing efforts. “Gee, I hope I can get this cup clean. You didn’t rinse it out.”
Dave apologized and said he had simply forgotten.
How rude, I thought. He knows how much work I do. The least he could have done was rinse out the cup. But really, I was the rude one, and I knew it.
The Holy Spirit brought to mind the famous love passage in 1 Corinthians 13: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” (verses 4-8). The New International Version translates verse 8 as “love never fails.”
I knew I had failed to show love. Again. I fail at this every day. What hope is there for me to sacrificially give my life away as Jesus did, when I can’t even love others by doing something so menial like washing dishes? My only hope must be in the God who is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6).
Grace and hope for every day
This is such a stereotypical example of my life. I’m the wife of a busy church planter and mother to three kids, four years old and under. We live in the Middle East where sand seeps into every crack in the windows and doors and leaves a gritty film all over the floor for me to sweep. I do eight loads of laundry and clip four sets of fingernails and toenails each week.
My life is all things ordinary.
That’s why I loved writing Glimpses of Grace. I need this message of grace and hope every single day. That’s because sometimes I launch into full-blown pity parties like the one you just read about.
I used to think this sour kind of attitude about homemaking was necessary, acceptable, and even a rite of passage. After all, a common encouragement to someone in the midst of the trenches in homemaking or raising children is to console them with thoughts of, “This, too, shall pass.” We “grin and bear it” and talk about everything we’re going to do “someday” when we “get our real life back.”
Those colloquial phrases used to be the summation of my hope. I believed that if I could just get through this awful and seemingly interminable season, then I would come out on the other side bruised and worn down; but at least it would be over. Perhaps then I would be free to serve the Lord with gladness, and I would be content.
But I was wrong.
When I attended a marriage conference taught by Paul Tripp, he said something that devastated me. Tripp said, “If God doesn’t rule your mundane, then He doesn’t rule you. Because that’s where you live.” Dramatic, life-altering moments come only a few times during our lifetime—that’s why they’re dramatic. The rest of our lives are lived in the common, ordinary mundane.
Home managing is my ordinary. Regardless of what your normal is, I’m sure we can agree that that’s where we live.
Adapted excerpt from Glimpses of Grace © 2013 by Gloria Furman. Published by Crossway. All rights reserved. Used with permission.