It’s a universal truth: moms are the ones who change the toilet paper roll. Just one of those things that everyone jokes about, it’s funny because it’s true.
I even got a chuckle last spring when I went on a little mama getaway to visit The Fixer Upper silos in Waco and The Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile in Oklahoma, had the opportunity to go and tour The Lodge on her ranch where she films her cooking show, and guess what? Had to change the toilet paper roll. It is just a necessary task, and for whatever reason, we are often the ones to whom that task falls.
Recently I have been working hard to cultivate a spirit of gratefulness for this house full of little ones that comes with mess and laundry and yes, empty toilet paper rolls. I’ve experienced the loss of my children, and I’m thanking God for the ones who are here and healthy. I prayed so hard for a husband and family of my own when I was single, and here they all are, playing and laughing and loving me and each other, and I’m so very thankful. But somewhere amidst the mess and the monotony, between the spills and the diaper changes (we are still potty training), I forget.
I forget to be thankful. I forget that this mess and noise and work comes with the gaggle of littles I so desperately desired and whom God so graciously gave. They’re a package deal.
Not only that, but in addition to this lovely bunch, we have been given a home both to live in and to clean, food both to eat and to dirty dishes, toys both to play with and to step on. These daily tasks become blessings when we look beyond the chore for the gift.
And so I’ve started something new. I’ve started thanking God for toilet paper, every single time I change the roll.
Thank you, Lord, that we have a house full of people who are using this (or learning to), and thank you for the means to purchase more when we need it. Thank you for the ability to take care of my family in this way.
Friends, it has changed my whole perspective. Sure, I still get frustrated by the near constant mess, but the frequency with which I need to change the toilet paper roll ensures that I am reminded again and again that there are people behind this mess and that I love those people. I’m using the empty toilet paper as a tool to remind me to be thankful for it all.
Try it. The next time you need to change that roll, try lifting a prayer of thanksgiving for the toilet paper, and for all of the things that an empty toilet paper roll signifies. It’s probably the easiest task in my day. Easier than changing a diaper or making dinner or doing the dishes. Easier than making a bed or vacuuming the floor. That quick task and the short, whispered prayer that comes with it are reminding me that even the most mundane tasks are sacred when we view them as a means of showing love to the actual eternal souls behind the seemingly eternal mess.
I’m reading about this and about loving God through these kinds of behind-the-scenes tasks in a book called Sacred Mundane right now, and keep going back and forth between goosebumps and tears. This book seems casual and easy to understand, but it carries with it some weighty truths. I know God is speaking the messages in this book straight to my heart that was just fearing that what I’m doing isn’t significant enough. Because I read this:
Many people rise as great athletes, performers, pastors, and missionaries. They may have millions of fans and followers worldwide. They may please many. Yet those who please God are men and women who bear spiritual fruit, who reflect the character of God from the inside out. This can be done in the spotlight or the shadows, whether running for president or running water for a child’s bath. If God’s pleasure is our goal, then all of life becomes significant.
And because this is how God talks to me, you can be sure that the author, too, mentions the “upside-downness” of His kingdom (yes, in those words – that’s where the goosebumps come in).
She later quotes Brother Lawrence, who says:
Sanctification does not involve changing what we do, but in doing our normal activities for God’s sake.
Well, if that doesn’t bring sacredness to the mundane, I don’t know what does.
It inspired me to create this little reminder to offer it up. We can offer up everything we do for His sake. We can offer up all our cares and worries to Him. We can offer Him all our joys and sufferings. And we can trust that He is good and trustworthy and will use it all for our good and for His glory.
The downloadable, printable artwork can be found in my Etsy shop, which is finally back up after a long time off during my year of rest. I currently have it framed and on my mantel (alongside my brass chicken). I figure between the living room and the bathroom, I’ll take all the reminders I can get. Because somehow this is a lesson I need to keep learning.
This week I am hosting a drawing for a FREE download of the “Offer it up” print in either 5×7 or 8×10 if you leave a comment on this post. I’ll choose one comment at random and contact the winner via email on Friday, January 26th to let them know they’ve won.
And before I sign off, I want to share two more things with you that I’m enjoying right now. First of all, this beautiful boxed set of the Wrinkle in Time quintet is on sale at Amazon right now for $10.99. For ALL FIVE BOOKS! We are hoping to read them before the movie comes out in March.
And finally, I have been spending much of the last six months or so enjoying the Bible Study journals put out by both Blessed is She and Take Up and Read. They have accompanied me through Advent and blessed my rest time last year, and the newest one from Blessed is She is a Lent devotional and journal written by my friend, Laura. I ordered mine last week and then received an offer code to share with others so that you can receive 20% off of an order with them. I know they sell out of their seasonal journals quickly, so if you’re interested in getting one for Lent, run – don’t walk! – and use this link to get 20% off all products.
Try giving thanks for toilet paper this week.
**This post was updated on Wednesday, January 24 to change the terms of the giveaway. You don’t need to share the post to be entered. Just leave a comment. ❤️