‘What did you do today?’

Glen comes home to find me, face-down on the sofa.

The house looks like we’ve been burgled. The kids are hollering and trying to find a comfortable sitting position on my spine.

‘How was your day?‘ I mumble into a cushion.

‘Yeah, fine.  Couple of meetings.  Finishing scripts for new Christmas videos.  Skyped someone in the States.  Wrote my talks for the conference and sent off a manuscript. Sent off the funding applications and did a session on Trinity with the interns. How about you? What did you get up to?’

I rack my brains as tiny fingers push play dough into my ears.

‘Er – .’

Tried to stop my son from climbing into the washing machine/scaling the fridge/eating cat treats/ taking off his nappy/pushing his fingers into sockets/pulling cat’s tail/dropping plastic cutlery down the toilet. Pretended to be a bin lorry/bin man. Drafted half an email. Forms for school. Texts to friend. Shopping.  Ironing.  Listened to a psalm. Cooked lunch (which son threw on floor). Made truck noises. Scraped unidentifiable foodstuff from  floor. Replied to message from daughter’s school saying she’d had a minor accident, (nose bleed. Cause: aggressive picking). Cooked dinner. Wheeled out recycling bins (making bin lady noises).

‘Nothing.’

Didn’t march for world peace. Didn’t write a novel.  Didn’t set up my own business.

Didn’t sort out the filing cabinet.  Didn’t return the library books.  Didn’t break the internet, (except for unplugging the router by mistake). Didn’t take the kids to Disneyland or overcome a major illness.  Didn’t run a marathon (or even run). Didn’t see the Northern lights.

‘You can’t have done nothing.’

He’s right.

Let’s reframe:

Cared for a little person who can’t care for themselves

Ironing: subdued a little piece of the earth (including some very stubborn wrinkles)

Created a home.

Listened to words of life that fed my spirit and my soul.

Made a chip in some important admin.

Invested in my daughter’s education

Foraged (well – shopped for) my loved ones, (including sausages, which picked up a daughter who was overtired after school)

Encouraged someone who is struggling.

Walked all day with the living God

Helped my husband to go and share the gospel

Oscar-winning portrayal of a bin lorry

At this stage in my life, I’m home-based, with small children. Sometimes it’s wonderful and sometimes it’s hard. But whatever my brain tells me, it’s not nothing.

How about you?

Maybe you’re a student, cramming for exams. Maybe you’re in a retirement home; or busy commuter.  Maybe you’re at the peak of your powers and achieving all you ever dreamed of.  Maybe you’re struggling; with sickness or grief. Maybe you feel like today’s been a success.  Maybe you didn’t leave your bed.

Think of someone like Dorcas in Acts 9.  She didn’t write a best-selling novel or plant a church or perform in front of a stadium of people. We don’t know if she was married or single; attractive or plain. We know one thing about her: that she quietly served others.  And her acts of kindness will never be forgotten.

Whatever you’ve been doing, it’s not nothing. And with the eyes of faith, the most mundane tasks are achieving a weight of glory.

 

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12 thoughts on “‘What did you do today?’

  1. Oh I needed to read this today! I often think oh I’m just at home with the kids- I’m not- it’s so much more!!

  2. AWWW. I hope I didn’t come across too dampener/humblebrag (zero intent, acknowledge on hindsight how it might have been put across – sorry if I came across that way 😔) about the 10k! I walked the first 2k (cos, trudge along the path sleepily, it was 6.30am and I woke up too early and was still only half awake then lol) and then the last 2k as well hahaha. The latter cos everyone was converging to finish and it felt like 5millionpeople were there in too narrow a pathway lol.

    HMMM you can always feel free to add “encouraged Dee” to your list ;-) I’m not sure how in the midst of keeping two small beings alive (lol I can’t, let’s be honest 😂), also keeping a pet alive, cooking/shopping/chores, and being tiredexhaustedmom after ALL OF THAT, you still find time/space to read/reply/encourage amidst the tiny whiny things I say (not a spelling error for “teeny weeny”, I *do* mean whining over small things 🙃)

    You SAHM-ed, Emma! that’s what you did – and I think that’s fab (in addition to being my friend too of course. Which is also fab.) hugs x

  3. This reminds me of a lyric in a song by Keane, ‘the way I feel’, often the smallest steps are big. ” And they say that you should move on But you can’t even get your shoes on”

  4. As a man and a pastor it is easy for me to be “critical.” I’m not since we have been married for 46 years and my wife is retired (that means she keeps getting tired). But she is a fantastic mate and supporter (although she would like me to slow down and retire…but I can’t $$$). She gets her stuff done (sometimes) and then likes to sit and veg. She has worked for many years outside the home, helped raise to fantastic daughters and has been a great supporter of my ministry. You have helped here, Emma, by showing a women’s work is never done and needs to be recognized.

  5. So true! A great read, thank you.
    “Faithfulness does not feel like what it is accomplishing.” Rachel Jankovic, You Who?

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