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From Humdrum to Hallelujah

Description

Michelle Hutchison shares how to find the joys in the small jobs of motherhood--like making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every single day.

The countdown has begun—the countdown to reading, writing, ‘rithmetic… and routines. This year, I’ll be joining the Legion of Lunchmakers and to be honest, it’s required nothing short of a battle plan to prepare for Operation: Nutrition.

First, there was the lunchbox. Thankfully, I was able to sneak my daughter past the rows of deceptively impractical lunchboxes (you know, the plastic ones with the cartoon characters emblazed on them). To my satisfaction, she enthusiastically selected the oh-so-functional, insulated lunch satchel. Hey, it’s hot pink and purple so I like to think of this as a win-win.

Battleground 1: Compromise Successful.

Thanks to the lovely folks at Arctic Zone, our new lunch sack also included a cool little bento-style lunch container. However, my excitement was tempered when I discovered this particular trendy/eco-conscious container is not sold a la carte. Anywhere.

Hand-washing this lone bento on a daily basis sounded pretty awful so I decided to seek out some doppelgangers. Commence patronage of every major discount store within a 10 mile radius…

… including subsequent visits to return purchases that did not fit in the aforementioned lunch satchel.

Battleground 2: Additional Bento Boxes Secured—2 (also pink).

Finally, it was time to get to the business of meal planning. Now, the child could eat peanut butter and jelly every single day. However, knowing a food strike could be in our future, I decided to look for some additional standbys.

(By the way, don’t ever research kids’ lunches on Pinterest. It’s full of crazy intricate lunches that you’d have to be a food artist to pull off on a daily basis. Save yourself the guilt and skip it.)

Now, I’m no fool—stuffing untested and unapproved food into my daughter’s lunchbox is a surefire recipe for failure. I decided a test run was in order for the few items I did come across in my research. The results?

  • Homemade apple butter sandwich: “Apple butter is good, but not as good as peanut butter.”
  • Banana & peanut butter “sushi” rolls: “You know what this needs, Mom? Chocolate!”
  • Pinto bean “meatball” mini- muffins: Day 1- “Mmmm!” Day 2- “I don’t want this anymore.”

So, peanut butter and jelly it is. Thank God it’s not on her school’s “Verboden” list.

Battleground 3: Postponed.

Despite all this negotiating and scavenger hunting, I’m reminded that what we are really preparing for as a family is a new year of growth, with new adventures and opportunities. While it is easy to lose perspective in the monotony of routine, one piece of wisdom has been fortifying my heart on the eve of this new season:

“And let us not grow weary of doing good… .”

Paul mentions these words at least twice in the New Testament, each with a somewhat unique context. In 2 Thessalonians 3, this verse is more of an admonition against idleness (i.e. keep on doing good so you won’t be tempted to do something bad!).

But in Galatians 6:9, Paul also reminds us of what lies ahead. He says” for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

Though perhaps not intended this way, I think of how this verse applies quite literally to cultivating my own little “household of faith.” That by intentionally and outwardly infusing joy and thanksgiving into our daily routine that my children might come to appreciate the satisfaction of serving the greater household of faith. Every little effort can matter if it’s done in service of the King. After all, how much of life is made up of these small things? A lot!

So, as I stir, smear, and smoosh together yet another (all-natural) peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I am reinvigorated by the God-honoring potential of our daily routine. 

Scripture quotations from the English Standard Version Bible (2001).

Written by Michelle Hutchison

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