Although we couldn’t meet in the same room due to social distancing, I absolutely loved this conversation with my friend, Bethany Guthrie. In this episode, we talk about everything from chickens, to music, to parenting a child on the autism spectrum. I appreciate Bethany’s fresh and honest perspective about both worship and parenting, and I came away from this conversation encouraged. I think you will too.
Bethany grew up with a love of music and can play many instruments. In this interview, we discuss some of the music that has been influential in her life. She talks about how music engages all of her senses and how playing the piano has not only helped her express her emotions but also helps with managing anxiety. Bethany explains that at one point in her life performing was a way to show off, but, after becoming a Christian, playing music became a way for her to worship and show who God is.
Bethany also shares in this episode about her experience of parenting a son with autism. She talks about walking through the diagnosis process and explains not only some of the signs of autism but also some of the unique gifts that her son brings to the world. Although she hasn’t always liked the phrase, “it takes a village,” Bethany says that, when it comes to raising a child on the autism spectrum, it really does take a village. She has found speech and occupational therapy to be incredibly helpful for her son and explains that having a brother has been one of the most helpful therapeutic interventions for him.
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I am a big picture idealist. Reality and details drag me down. This makes it difficult for me to muddle through mundane tasks and focus on seemingly meaningless work, such as loading the dishwasher, folding laundry, or cleaning the bathroom sink. Sure, I know those tasks need to be done, but they just feel like drudgery. Contrast that with comforting someone who is hurting, recording a podcast, or getting together for a Bible study. These options feel much more meaningful to me and worthy of my time and attention.
There is a lie that our culture believes, and often I struggle not to believe it myself: follow your dreams and passions, for this will bring you happiness. Although there is much to be said for working hard for your dreams and knowing what you are passionate about, these things do not guarantee happiness. What about all of the moments spent doing the hard things? Or moments that seem insignificant altogether? Sometimes worship happens in the mundane moments. These moments too can bring joy, but they are not always accompanied by an emotional high.
For example, a few years ago, I remember enjoying a sweet moment of worship while driving down the road. Overcome with emotion, I lifted my hand and belted out the words to a worship song. Oh, my heart swelled with love for God. It was at that exact moment, that a child called to me from the backseat.
“What do you need?!! I was worshiping!,” came my impatient reply.
Wow. I felt convicted on the spot. What message was I sending my child? Would Jesus have said that? No way. He was willing to be available and to meet the needs of others even when it felt mundane. Even when he probably would have rather been communing with His Father. In fact, it seems to me that much of His worship was humbling himself and serving, in obedience to His Father. Obedience and service can be acts of worship too.
Obedience. Servitude. Those are not words that bring up heartwarming emotions, yet with these elements God brought His Kingdom to earth.
In this season of life, I am learning that each moment, each action, each inaction, can be an act of worship. Reluctantly, I’m reminded that servitude can be a piece of that too. Motherhood for instance, is the largest act of servitude I have ever before experienced. Much of it is filled with mundane tasks – reading the same book, brushing the same little teeth, filling the same dishwasher over and over and over and over. These tasks must be done. The question is, with which attitude will I complete them? My natural attitude is to do them begrudgingly, but I have the option to do them with humility instead, as an act of love to my family and God.
Of this, I will need to be reminded minute by minute. (No really, each minute.) Every moment has an opportunity to help build His Kingdom here on earth. Every moment counts…even the mundane ones.
Pause: Take a moment to quiet your spirit. Take a deep belly breath and exhale. When you feel settled, read Philippians 2:1-11. What do you take away from this passage about servitude, humility, obedience, and worship?
Renew: In what areas do worship and service come easily for you? Which parts of life feel more like drudgery? Ask the Lord to change your attitude and see those acts with a fresh perspective.
Next: Over the coming week, be aware of your attitude towards the people and tasks in your life. Find moments to give thanks for each, and consider how each might glorify God and benefit His Kingdom.