In this season of motherhood, it is tempting to dream, wishing myself away to a time when I can do something “important”. It is a challenge to be present in the moment and notice God in the mundane, the scrubbing floors, peeling carrots, wiping noses, brushing tangles and car pooling moments.
Frederick Buechner, a favorite writer of mine, has a fabulous challenge, “Listen to your life… In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement… because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”
So I’ve been trying to be more attentive and listen, to see God in the small things in the unexpected ordinary places and have been pleasantly surprised to find God in the car pool. Almost every day I haul four little people in my car to school and mostly I do it in survival mode, praying: “Let me get there on time and may the kids not fight!”
As I take time to notice, these two children have a lot to teach me about God.
The other day I decided to be selfish and keep the radio tuned to my talk show and forgo “Psalty the Songbook”. A lady was sharing a story of how God met her in the most painful time of her life, when her son went to prison. She shared that as they drew close to God in the midst of the ache, the verse from Genesis 28:16 came alive to them. ““Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” Jacob was amazed that the place of painful wrestling was truly God’s place of meeting with him.
Tears were rolling down my cheeks and I realized that my sniffling was the only noise in the car. A holy hush had descended upon my Honda. The kids had stopped talking and were actually listening to the broadcast. We arrived at school, I shut off the radio and we sat in the silence for a minute until our 3 year old friend, Clara, spontaneously broke out into a “Psalty” love song for Jesus. “I love you, I love you, sing to the Lord, I love you”. Soon Lily and the boys were joining in the song. We were having church in the car seats, fogging up the windows with our praise.
Surely the Lord was in this place, this car pool, this mundane, everyday routine, and I had not been aware of it.
Take the challenge; look for God in your boredom, in your daily details. He is there, even when you are not aware of it.
15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. ”
16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”