Stewardship

Gold in the Laundry: Finding Value in the Mundane

By M.R. Conrad, reposted from Rooted Thinking.

Bathe the children. Cook three square meals. Weed the garden. Repair the fence. Beat back the vines of the encroaching jungle. Unclog the outhouse. Patch the hole in the roof. Help the neighbors. Such was the life of missionary Mary Slessor. Far from the conveniences of her homeland, this Scottish woman found the mundane chores of daily life in Nigeria consuming her time. Is your life similarly filled with repetitive, mind-numbing tasks? Do you feel there is little value in the mundane?

Daily Monotony vs. Spikes of Excitement

As a child listening to missionary stories, I never saw this side of Mary Slessor. Yes, Slessor saved infants from being murdered. She rescued slaves and battered women. She calmly knitted while armed chiefs raged at one another. Most importantly, she introduced the gospel to areas few missionaries dared to go. However, biographies often leave out the boring parts of everyday life. They must, or you wouldn’t keep reading!

In her correspondence, Slessor candidly reported the mundane tasks that consumed most of her days. Summing up, she wrote, “So, you see, life here, as at home, is just a record of small duties which occupy the time, and task the strength without much to show for it.”1 Years passed, and her work remained a mostly domestic affair with no churches planted in her region and few converts to report.

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Both body abuse and body adoration fail us

"'You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body' (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). We are to glorify God with our bodies, not glorify our bodies. As Christians, our bodies are sacred, as the Lord has taken up residence in our lives. If we speak poorly of your bodies we are speaking negatively about where God lives, about His house." - Church Leaders

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18 in '18: An Adventure in Weight Loss

I set out on a journey to lose some weight this year, partly expecting to fail, as in the past. To my surprise, I’ve reached my goal with three months to spare.

My motives for the project were mixed. I wanted to be a better steward of my body, abilities, and energy (1 Cor. 6:19, 4:2). I wanted to demonstrate to my son the power of daily discipline over time (1 Tim. 4:8, 2 Tim. 1:7, 1 Cor. 9:27) and strengthen my ethos in conversations with him about his personal goals. I also just wanted to look and feel better. I have to be older, but I don’t have to be heavier.

What has worked for me may not work for anyone else. But if you struggle with your weight, there may be some ideas here you can use.

Principles

Many factors went into making this effort successful. The biggest influence was unexpected success at work in pursuit of complex, but measurable, goals. I wondered: if, at work, I could reach what seemed at first to be impossible output targets, could I get rid of pounds the same way?

The target took shape as a New Year’s resolution: I’ll lose 18 lbs. in 2018—given my past patterns and my small frame, a substantial goal. The following were the core principles.

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