Monday, December 14, 2015

Seeking Beauty in...Monotony

Back when my boys were tiny I felt like I was getting a repetitive motion injury to my brain.  Every day was the same to the point of absolute monotony.  I could count on diapers, laundry, and tears.  The highlight of my day, people, was getting the mail.  Bless it.  It’s not that I didn’t enjoy being home with my babies—oh my goodness, it was a blessing and an honor.  However, the sameness of every day was extremely difficult for me. 

These days, as a stay-at-home mom to school-aged children, every day is wildly different.  There is a pattern to my weeks, certainly, but my days are pretty varied.  Between volunteering, Bible Study, working from home, being with friends, working out, blogging and shuttling kids to their activities, the days are a whirlwind and each one is different. 

I was thinking about this change recently as I headed out for yet another walk with my oh-so-energetic puppy.  He needs a minimum of 45 minutes a day walking and at times it has felt like a burden to get him out each. and. every. day.  Yet it’s been dawning on me that there is beauty to be found in the repetition of this act—dare I say, in the monotony of it.

You know where I am going with this, right?  These days, I’m finding that a little monotony is good for me.

It’s not just that my daily walk gets me out into the natural world (that might be a post for another day).  It’s the actual repetition that is so beautiful.  By engaging my body in an activity I could do automatically, I’m giving my mind some space.  As I head out each day my thoughts turn first to deciding on a route.  Then, the route settled on and the dog into his good trot, my mind just…settles.  It settles in a way that is hard to explain.  It’s like coming back to myself. 

So, my mind can settle and turn toward what’s important.  Sometimes it’s planning blog posts.  Oftentimes, it’s praying for people or asking God what he would like to show me that day.  Occasionally, it’s just enjoying some silence.  My body is busy but my mind is at rest.  Rest in an almost sanctified space which I can rarely find without the monotony of the walk.  The repetition of familiar sights, the repetition of step after step after step, the sameness of it all--it is all just incredibly soothing.  I guess you could say it’s a form of meditation.      

This feels really personal to me, so why am I sharing it?  It’s because I hope to encourage you to seek beauty, even in monotony.  Perhaps especially in monotony.  If you have a long commute, turn off the radio and let that repetitive drive become an opportunity for your mind to turn toward what’s important.  If you are home with a couple of tiny things, folding your seventh load of laundry, try making that your time to pray, to focus on what’s important and lovely, to meditate.  

So what do you do every day, over and over?  Whatever it is, let that be your moment to seek God’s face.  If you consistently carve out those moments, I promise he will show up.  And that is beautiful.

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