Before I had children, worship was the amazing feeling I got when I sang in my living room or the awe-inspired prayer I’d whisper alone at the beach. These were the moments when the world around me melted away and I felt a connection with God unlike any other.
When I became a mother, diapers and laundry suddenly took the place of singing and oceans. Children filled my hours with activity, noise and demands and I found that I had a harder time getting into a place of worship. I knew I needed it more than ever, but I didn’t have the time and space like I used to.
So I tried to find ways to incorporate worship into my daily tasks. I read books that taught how washing dishes can be a form of worship, meditating on the words of 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” But something was still lacking, no matter how many dishes I washed! Somehow, my heart resonated best with God’s heart through music and nature.
Then I tried to incorporate my children into my worship time. Could I bring my kids to the ocean? There are beaches nearby, but nothing within an hour. And with young children, it would be difficult to keep an eye on them or work around their nap schedules. Okay, how about music? A minute after I’d sit down to sing, almost always a child would call for my help, come and join in or begin singing a different song and want me to join in a verse of Justin Beiber’s “Baby Baby Baby”. I admit that I made excuses….. it became easy to simply go through the motions of housework day after day. As long as the household ran smoothly, what more did I need? I fell into bed every night, feeling accomplished because I was able to check things off my to-do list. But the joy, the reason for my actions, was not there. My soul needed nourishment, but what I was feeding it were imbalanced meals. God designed me specifically to worship Him and I was ignoring that part of me.
My malnourishment eventually caught up with me. I became a tired, grumpy, frustrated stay at home mom of three children of my own and two step children. It took a few years for me to realize the root of the problem: I was spiritually hungry. I had been feeding on crumbs for too long.One morning I took a quiet time opportunity to read the bible.. I began reading in Matthew and verse 3 in chapter 18 jumped off the page! “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven” Jesus, a lover of children, pointed me to the inspiration right that had been right underfoot all along! I needed to look to my children, not away. They had something to teach me about worship.Mason runs to show me a masterpiece he created with Legos. My oldest dances to the music on the radio, and Lily begins to hum the tune Jesus loves me….. their fascination over the little things reminded me that I was lacking humility. The focus should not be on me, but on God. He wants me to worship him even if my song is not perfect and even if I can only go down to the harbor to admire the Puget Sound. By embracing the gift of motherhood God blessed me with and embracing the woman God designed me to be, I am worshipping him because I am devoting my entire being to his glory.
What is worship? Worship is giving the highest worth to God. It is not a matter of what one does, but how and why one does it. The most eloquent prayer, the most beautiful song, the dishes even—none of it would be worship if done with the wrong heart. But every second I breathe can be worship, if the purpose of everything I do is to give God great value. (Romans 12:1-2). Now my favorite part of motherhood is worshipping with my children. When I sing a Sunday School song in the car with the kids, enjoy the view of Mt Rainier towering over our city while at the park, or point out a boat sailing on the water… I am teaching my children to give God the worth he deserves and they in turn are teaching me to become like a child again .. just like He tells us to do in Matthew 18:3.
Until next time …