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Time in the Trenches

Time in the Trenches

“Why do I have to clean my room? Nobody’s gonna see it.”

My preteen’s angst seeped into her words and body language, and I worked to keep my cool. I wanted to say, “You’ll clean because I’m telling you to clean.” But after a pause and a long-suffering sigh, I offered, “You will clean your room and you will do your best because you want to honor God with your work, right?”

The muffled, unenthusiastic response and the slow shuffle to her task left me shaking my head and fighting a mom eyeroll.

Later, as I attacked the laundry and stared down the dishes in the sink, I thought of my reluctant offspringWas it possible her attitude was simply a reflection of mine? In the day-to-day, did I live my teaching? Did I actually believe what I said to my children?

Is this the Lord’s work? Does my attitude toward household chores make a difference? Really, Lord? When I’m scrubbing the ring in the toilet, I’m serving You? When I’m cleaning messes made by others, You can be glorified?

Teaching Sunday school, now that’s the Lord’s work. Preparing for a drama at church? Yep. Visiting the hospital or nursing home? Of course.

But the everyday yucky stuff of life? Dirty dishes, floors, and toilets? As soon as the question rattled around in my brain, that verse—you know the one—tackled my thoughts and brought purpose to the mundane. Colossians 3:23-24 filled my heart: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving (Colossians 3:23-24 NIV).

“It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

The toughest part of our Christ-walk is the time in the trenches. The times when no one is watching and there are no accolades. When our work is invisible and doesn’t seem to matter to anyone—except for the King of Kings.

  • When your boss is unreasonable and your stress-level skyrockets—It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
  • When you just changed a dirty diaper, then clothed and strapped the baby in the car seat—only to smell another blowout—It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
  • When your class of 3rd-graders will not stop talking or fidgeting—It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
  • When you are the caregiver for a home full of toddlers to teens, and you haven’t worn makeup or showered in a couple of days—It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Oh, mama in the trenches! He knows, He cares, and His Spirit provides an endless supply of strength. Can you hear His loving voice?

Consider my servant, (your name) . See how she honors Me!

Do you ever feel your work is invisible? What helps you to remember your purpose in Christ?

By: Leigh Ann Thomas is a wife, mother, grammy, writer, and Peanut M&Ms enthusiast. She has penned four books, including Smack-Dab in the Midlife Zone—Inspiration for Women in the Middle (Elk Lake Publishing Inc.) and Ribbons, Lace, and Moments of Grace—Inspiration for the Mother of the Bride (SonRise Devotionals). You can find Leigh Ann on her front porch daydreaming story plots or blogging at LeighAThomas.com. Connect on Twitter at @LThomasWrites.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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