I only remember one thing from my eleventh grade Physics class: the concept of entropy. I remember because I see it happen daily. It’s the reason why we moms can’t get anything truly accomplished. Entropy is the process of decay and a descent into chaos. You do the dishes, rinse the sink, and rest your sponge on its drying spot. As you look proudly on your completed task, you turn your attention to the laundry. No more than 15 minutes later there even more dishes in the sink than before and you’re starting all over, feeling exasperated. When will it end? you think.
Mom life sometimes seems like the birthplace of entropy: dishes, laundry, diaper changes, discipline, cooking, cleaning…it goes on and on. You clean, and it’s dirty; you feed the masses, and they’re hungry again. You vacuum, dust and wipe down the house for company on Saturday. By Sunday night there are a zillion toys or three random pairs of underwear around your living room.
No human is immune to entropy. That’s the nature of this life: a big ole downward spiral that’s impossible to fight. So, should we just collapse into a heap of antipathy? No! Actually we can allow this crazy cycle to point us to the One who is dependable, capable, and forever patient.
How do we moms reconcile our place in the monotony? Remember that our role matters! When we embrace our role enthusiastically, as repetitive as it is, we are modeling Christ to those around us. Skim through Proverbs 31:10-31. I know what you’re thinking because I’ve thought it too: that passage brings to mind a seemingly impossible standard; we almost grow to dislike “her” because we think there is no way to actually be her.
The truth is, we already are. Look at the numerous action verbs in this passage: selects, works, bringing, gets up, provides, considers, plants, sees, opens, extends, makes, speaks, watches. There is no mistaking this woman is busy. She’s probably not having a 3-hour quiet time in the morning; like so many of us, she’s up before sunrise. I can relate to that!
Verse 31 encourages others to “honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her work bring her praise from the city gate.” Our hands do amazing things; it’s okay that those things are not held up as great achievements by Hollywood. Paul, in Galatians 1:10 NIV, asks, “[Are we] now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Can Jesus really relate to us mere mortals? Absolutely! His mission on earth was to the do same thing over and over. We often mistake our work as inconsequential. Imagine if Jesus saw a young woman about to turn to Him and He thought, Again? I just saved someone yesterday. This is getting really old. Can I have a new assignment with a little more unpredictability and excitement, Lord? No, that’s very silly. The Bible says, “…there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
I’ve always been told there’s a party in Heaven when a person accepts Jesus. Who get tired of parties? Not the Lord. Each person who turns to the Lord is celebrated even though that has happened thousands of times (Luke 15:10). Jesus was never irritated by the monotony; He embraced His calling wholeheartedly.
The next time you feel like you are stuck on the hamster wheel of motherhood with endless dishes, a messy floor and a mountain of laundry, remember God has placed you in the chaos to use your hands in a way that honors and imitates Him, no matter how many loads of laundry it takes.