Everyday Fun: How to Find Joy in the Mundane
For too long, I’ve griped about my daily work. I have to do this; I have to do that. Then slowly, something I didn’t expect started happening. The kids were sounding like me when I had them do their work. Oh, I have to do this again. This work is so boring. I realized how my poor attitude impacted my kids. Sure, they might complain anyway, but I saw how I was setting the tone in our home.
Now I’m learning how much creativity helps me accomplish mundane things in life and curb the complaining. What a gift the Lord has given us! If we are willing to stretch our minds a little bit, every task can go from being a drab necessity to one of excitement. Teaching our kids to see the benefit of creativity also helps them get through school work.
What I’m attempting now is to apply a creative “reach” to everything I do. Making dinner isn’t easy for me. Or fun. But the Lord is teaching me to do everything without complaining or arguing. So instead of moaning, as I stare into the fridge at the chicken meal I’m making for the third time in a week, now I think of how I can make this meal different and fun. Searching for a creative edge changes how I view a mundane task. Instead of a boring routine, it’s becoming an adventure. I try to add one fun element to every meal, like lime wedges as a garnish or chopped cilantro to top a grilled chicken. The same with cleaning; during clean-up time, I like to put inspiring music on in the background. Then I Pinterest at least one creative idea per room to motivate myself. Something so small as adding a picture frame or lighting a candle can be that extra reach that transforms a space.
For my kids’ school work, I try to have them push through the struggle to see the fun in learning something new. Sometimes a change of environment can help this, such as doing a math lesson on the back porch. Also, if I have them work at a time when I’m available to help, this has made a big difference. I love the self-teaching workbooks, but if my kids have a question, and I’m too occupied with some involved chore to answer, they can get pretty discouraged. Why not take the time to answer them? Creativity helps me with this in how I structure our days, making sure that I’m available to help during their lessons. Yes, this does mean I don’t finish every household task, but I probably wouldn’t finish everything I have to do around the house, anyway.
Dear Reader, do you ever feel like you can’t do it all? Allow the Lord to give you joy in each task by infusing creativity. This simple change makes a big difference! May He give you joy in everything.
Carole Ruffin is wife to Jesse and mom of five wonderful kids. She’s the author of Kids, Crayons, and Christ early elementary art curriculum, and also a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art. She vlogs art instructional videos for elementary students. Here’s her vlog: http://www.drawinguntohim.com/homeschool