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The Meaning in the Monotony

Stephanie is a young mother with four children. Her typical day includes waking up at dawn, diapering and feeding one child while clothing another, preparing lunches for the rest, doing a couple loads of laundry, cooking dinner, and putting the kids to bed—all before falling into bed herself, exhausted. The exhaustion runs deep. Aren’t there more important things I should be doing? she asks, lamenting that she doesn’t have the energy for prayer and study. Many days, she suffers quietly and alone.

For all of us who struggle to find spiritual meaning in our daily work, Stephanie’s story resonates. And the longer we stay rutted in our routines, the more pressing our questions become: How is this work shaping my heart and mind? Is it strengthening my relationship with God and others? Does it even matter in the world?

Author Bradley Nassif writes:

Mundane duties (are) like God’s heavenly sandpaper. They (can) mold character, cleanse away impurity, and transfigure a person to reflect the beauty of Christ. Where we labor is where our character is formed and we are made Christlike. Much of our work, especially the more menial tasks, teaches us to repent and die daily to our sins. Our highest vocation is not the kind of work we do, but the kind of people we become doing it.

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