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Q is for Quotidian

I've been looking forward to writing this one. This strange little word was once brand new and foreign to me. This word gave me a completely new perspective on my role as wife and mama.


: ordinary or very common
: done each day

I first heard this word when a friend recommended a book: The Quotidian Mysteries. This article is not a book review, but I hope to share a glimpse of what I learned from this book and if what I learned speaks to you, then I highly recommend reading the actual book which is scads more enlightening than my gibberish.

I was at the stage of parenting when my children were small and the laundry was unending. There were always dishes that needed washing, bodies needing bathing, floors needing scrubbing....I was overwhelmed. Daily, grinding, boring, common, unending jobs that always had to be done again, and again, and again....

and what if that's the point? They are repeated, like liturgy, again and again, turning our minds towards the Provider of all things. Everything we do affects who we become, even these mundane acts influence us. They can be performed with a contemplative spirit.

Each day, we need to bathe. The job isn't something you do and get to call Done. Our earthly bodies are so very human and temporary. The tasks that care for these bodies need to be completed again and again, daily needing more bread. Give us this day....because we need it every day. Every day we are dependent on gifts from our Father. And every day we can be grateful for them.

In light of this, these dreary chores that can be performed mindlessly with the only goal being to finish them and move on to the next are instead transformed into an act of worship. Each floor that is swept can be done with thanksgiving. Each meal that is cooked, when we are already so tired, can be cooked as an act of offering.

It has changed my outlook on daily life and I've been able to raise my children with an attitude of thanksgiving. No one enjoys doing the dishes, but we are all thankful that we were able to eat a healthy (some nights) meal and that we are able to share that meal together as a family. Those dishes are a symbol of God's mercy.

Quotidian. Mundane. Mercy. Thanksgiving. Worship.

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"Man lives by affirmation even more than by bread." - Victor Hugo