I am an everyday daughter of the King.
Or, I am a daughter of the King every day.
It’s all a matter of how I hold those words—wrapped sweaty and sqeezed together in the palm or held up to the Light. I’ve come to see that the way I order those two words—where and how I place them (carefully, purposefully, or thrown in)— completely changes my identity. Every day either cuts an impression or shines new, raised alive and lit. My everyday—or my every day—either precedes the grave or proclaims Resurrection.
Sometimes I wonder what it’s all for, the everyday, if Anyone really notices, since mostly my everyday doing falls undone again in only moments. This morning I changed Adam’s sheets again, stuffing them in the washing machine—the washing machine, but I missed the gift—noting that I have at least five more loads—five more loads!, maybe six or seven, that seem to have appeared out of nowhere. I sighed, thinking about things folded and stacked on the beds, waiting for the kids; thinking about dinner and the rush of the afternoon; thinking about parent teacher conferences and puzzles to solve. Every day I wash and straighten and fold and tuck and chop and simmer and teach and guide and insist and stir and listen and list and plan and sign and wish I could sit down. And they have clean clothes to wear and they sleep sound on sweet smelling sheets and they come home to things cooking for their supper. Last week I told Kevin that a large part of my day every day goes to making sure that our home doesn’t smell like a barn or a trash can. And sometimes I do wonder if the kids realize that it isn’t just that way, that it isn’t an accident that they walk on clean floors and live in rooms that smell like perfume instead of sweat. And because I want them to know how to do it without me, every day I squeeze their helping me into hours filled with homework and eating and so much preparing for again tomorrow. In the quiet moments, I ask God about their future. I have meetings and ask questions and make things to help them understand. Every day I pray for what I need for the everyday, for Him to multiply what He does through me, because honestly, sometimes I’d really just like to step away from my everyday. In the middle of that dream, I miss the gift that I can.
And when someone asks about my week and it’s just been the everyday, I don’t know what to say, because the words are gripped and smashed together and cramped up in the dark. ”Well, you know, same ole, same ole…”
But that’s when God shows me this, just a few verses, tucked safe:
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9).” And this one, so often neglected in my heart: “Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years (Deuteronomy 8:4).” He smiles, somewhere only I can feel it, and whispers,
What you do for them, I’ve always done for you. Every day.
And in my heart it’s like a flood, this way He cares for me. I hear Him, clear. ”Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. …See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry about these things…your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kindom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:25-34). And—Give us this day our daily bread (Matthew 6:11). And—…my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). And—His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness (2 Peter 1:3). And— …whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst (John 4:13). And—…he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you—the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore (Psalm 121:4-8).” And so the flood pours on and over and covers me, washing away the shadows and loosening my sweaty grip on the everyday.
God gives me eyes to see that every day and over and over He meets my needs and cares for me, and not just with the barest things, but with a table piled high, and my head anointed with oil, and my cup overflowing (Psalm 23: 5). I am lame in both feet, and yet He has prepared a place for me at His own table (2 Samuel 9:11). He lavishes love on me and calls me His daughter (1 John 3:1), and I am chastised for the way I order those words, for the way I squeeze them together, for the way my perspective makes me miss His gifts.
Every day, I live redeemed. And when I hold my everyday raised up, I see it full lit with Glory, glinting with grace. Every day, my children wear clothes and shoes, and not something cast off, but something they like. I don’t wake up every day wondering whether or not my children will feel full or empty and gnawing hungry. Every day, my children live clean, and they smile, and their lives smell sweet. Every day I get to be here for them, and through all my everyday, God shows them a far greater thing that He has done through me. Every day, He feeds them and clothes them and loves them and teaches them and sets a place for them at His table. Every day, He loves them as His children, and the gift is that He uses my hands to do it.
It matters how I order the words, whether or not I crush them together.
It matters how I hold my every day.
He teaches me, every day, to hold the over and over up to the light, to see it new. He teaches me to count all the sweeping touches of His fingers, all His preparing, His clothing and feeding and filling of me. My living is far from ordinary, far from enough to get by, far from lacking. By grace, I live abundant, extravagant, lavished and fragrant and wrapped radiant. I get to walk this earth robed with Christ (Galatians 3:27), with joy (Psalm 30:11), with strength and dignity (Proverbs 31:25), with salvation and righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). Every day.
And so do you.