I was eight months pregnant with my second of four babies. I had stayed up late one night to paint our master bedroom, that made more sense being a playroom. I fell in love with a simple motif on the curtains I had purchased for the room — primary color squares with childlike drawings of animals and letters. I wish I had a picture to show you, but it was during the era of 35mm film.
I endeavored to re-create the squares as a border around the room by hand-painting them. It was a more tedious job than I imagined, and took much longer than I thought to hand-paint a drawing in each one. As I was painting, I apologized to the Lord. “I am sorry, Lord, that I am painting instead of spending time with you right now.”
And His reply changed how I walked with Him, forever.
“May I paint with you?”
I stopped in that moment and worshipped. With that simple whisper from Father God, a heavy weight of guilt was lifted. I understood more about the Father’s desire to commune with us.
Before I was married with four children, it was easier to set aside time to seek the Lord. But my time with God was different now that I was a wife, mother, and homemaker. And I carried guilt for it.
I was not seeing the work I was doing in keeping of a home; raising children, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, and even decorating, as service to God. I knew the words of that directive Paul gave were for me also. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” (Colossians 3:23 NIV) But I believed it would only please God if the work seemed spiritual.
The truth is, if we are living a life surrendered to God, and the work we are putting our hands to do, we offer pure to Him, then in the words of A.W. Tozer, “it opens up before us the possibility of making every act of our lives contribute to the glory of God.”
I know the necessity of staying connected to the Vine. I understand the importance of pulling away and having time with the Lord alone. But I also know that God can do in five minutes, more than we can accomplish in a lifetime. I have felt God nearest while worshipping and twirling and dancing with my little ones.
I’ve learned to walk with Him, pray without ceasing, and live without guilt for not spending hours alone with God everyday. He walks and talks and cleans with this everyday mama, and paints with her, too.
And as a wife, mama and daughter of God I embrace the few quiet times that I get steal away with God, and can “supplement those times by a thousand thought-prayers as I go about the job of living…Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find Him there.” A.W Tozer, The Pursuit of God which is free on Kindle, here.
As we journey into this new year, let’s lay aside the guilt that can weigh heavy on us mamas, and instead, how Brother Lawrence puts it,
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.