What bores you?
Here’s a short list for me (although, I could make it longer):
- going through the mail
- cooking (at times)
…okay, many of the things a stay-at-home mom (or anyone) might be expected to do.
I say “might be expected” because I often put them off…
…to do “more important” things…or at least more exciting things…
…do you know what I mean?
But is this really helping me?
The mail piles up, the piles pile up, and the cooking, well, I do try to do that because we have to eat. And fortunately for me, my husband does like to cook quite often if I don’t get to it.
But do the things that usually bore us have to be boring?
I don’t think so.
I’m not saying we should do boring activities all the time.
If that’s the case for you(as it used to be for me), you may want to read this post about how to wake up excited for your day by following your dreams, so that you will have many more interesting and exciting activities in your life.
But there are some things that bore us that still may be necessary to do, and when we DO have to do them, I think there are ways to make these times feel much more fulfilling.
Here are some ideas that have been helping me bring more adventure into the mundane:
1. Listen to Podcasts.
There are so many great podcasts out there that can both entertain us and help us grow.
From learning about becoming a more effective leader, to learning to become a better mom, to learning a new hobby, listening to podcasts can be like getting your university degree from home (or wherever) while you do those things in your life that don’t require a lot of thought. They can also help you grow spiritually.
Here are a few of my current favourites:
If: Gathering Podcast–educating and inspiring women to grow closer to God and live lives that make a difference.
The Phil Vischer Podcast–the creator of Veggie Tales does some really deep thinking with his guests–with lots of humour sprinkled in, of course.
Inspired to Action Podcast–great one to inspire moms to live lives to the fullest.
2. Pray for Others.
Honestly, maybe the idea of praying to you sounds even more boring than doing your other tasks.
But if we really understand how powerful prayer is and how much it really makes a difference in this world, we would see that this is actually one of the MOST effective and exciting thing we can do with our time.
Someone literally on the other side of the world can and will benefit from your prayers– and I’m guessing one day in heaven will thank you.
So use your otherwise boring times to make a major difference and pray for those issues and people on your heart, nearby and faraway.
Here’s an amazing website called Prayercast that has powerful videos to help you pray for issues and countries around the world.
3. Meditate on Truth.
What we think about has a huge impact on the rest of our lives.
Are you tempted to think about all your worries as you clean? I get that.
Or do you rehearse over and over in your mind the mean thing someone said to you ages ago? Been there, too (and sometimes still am.)
Or maybe you just let your mind wander around, thinking whatever pops in your head.
Be intentional with your thinking time and learn to think thoughts that are going to encourage you, fill you with faith, and make you more confident in the truth of who you are.
Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyers is a great book that can help with this.
You can also go straight to the Bible and find powerful words to help you. Write some of these down on a 3 by 5 card and you can carry it around as you clean.
Saying the words out loud can even better.
Why not say something to yourself like, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” over and over as you think about different situations in your life, and you might be surprised over time at how your faith grows and enables you to face those situations more confidentially, depending on God.
4. Prayerfully Dream and Plan–and Listen for God’s Leading.
Along with praying for situations around the world (often called intercessory prayer), God wants us to talk with Him about anything in our lives.
I say talk “with” Him, because He is more than willing to teach us and give us wisdom, ideas, and leading.
Present him with a question and then quietly wait on Him as you go about your day. Your attitude of waiting on Him may provide you with answers during the cleaning time or later on when He chooses to reveal the solutions to you as a result of your faith.
You can talk with God, for example, about your calling and ask Him to make it more clear to you.
Practice believing He is right there with you (which He is) and interested in every aspect of your life and that He wants both to hear your heart and communicate with you (which He does).
A great book on this is the classic Practicing His Presence by Brother Lawrence. I need to practice this much more often, as well.
Over time, this reality will become more and more real to us.
5. Listen to worship music.
Sometimes when my toddler is at my heels, it can seem just too hard to concentrate on listening to a podcast or praying.
Music can put both my son and I in a better mood as we listen and sing along.
Your house can become a place of beautiful worship that fills you with joy, grows you closer to God, and even causes an impact for the kingdom.
Here’s a wonderful song I’ve been listening to lately: Hillsong’s What A Beautiful Name.
Training and Growth Routines?
Could the mundane routines in our lives actually be precious training ground for drawing us closer to God and making us more effective people for Him?
I think so!
I, too, have to work on my attitude and perseverance in this area.
Sometimes I’d rather just put off the boring tasks until later, and focus on more “important” stuff instead.
But cleaning and tidying can really become a time of “important stuff” –along with making the house look nice–and make a lasting impact in my own life and that of others.
Oh, and by the way, even just to be able to remember to do this, to be willing to do this and to have the discipline to do this, we desperately need God’s help.
So don’t forget to often ask for His help often in making the boring times a productive adventure (and receive His mercy for when you don’t.)
If we can schedule those cleaning and other routine times regularly and then use them for communion with God and growth, I believe they can become some of the most effective and– dare I say– “adventurous” times of our week!
How about you? Want to join me in practicing this?
What’s your list of boring activities? How do you think you could you use them well?
I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!