Living a Mundane Life

Living a Mundane Life

Yes, this was me forty years ago on my nineteenth birthday. I was celebrating it with my friends from Westmont College. At this point in my life, I had no aspirations to be a career woman, rich, or famous. I had lived a relatively mundane life and dreamed of continuing to live one by being a wife, mother, and homemaker, if the Lord blessed me with a husband.

I grew up in a relatively stable home with a mother and father. I went to church and public schools my entire childhood and then a Christian college. I received my teaching credential, taught a few years, then the Lord indeed blessed me with a husband. We had four children, while I stayed home full time to raise them. Yes, my life was mundane.

This is all I ever wanted to do – be a wife and mother. I didn’t care about a college education or a career. I never wanted to write a book or even considered being a writer since I didn’t like English or writing. I poured my life into my family for the many years my children were home as best as I could despite being ill most of their growing up years. I loved it, however, for I was right where I was supposed to be.

This past weekend, my college friends (only five could attend since Lori G. was home for her first grandbaby’s birth) gathered together for three days in Ventura. We became close friends right after beginning college and have been ever since. Here we are our sophomore year:

Lori G, Me, Sandy, Jan, Denise

The New York Times had an article titled You’ll Never Be Famous – and That’s Okay. “The most meaningful lives, I’ve learned, are not often the extraordinary ones, but the ones lived with dignity.” The article tells of a woman who had high dreams and ambitions but becomes only a wife and a mother and learns to “embrace her life as it is and contributes to all those around her…”

“…connecting and contributing to something beyond self, in whatever humble form that may take…meaning is not found in success and glamour but in the mundane…a good life is a life of goodness.”

All six of us married when were were in our early twenties. We are still married to the husbands of our youth. We all had children and were full-time mothers. We lived mundane lives of cooking, cleaning, serving, raising children, and being help meets to our husbands. This is all any of us wanted to do.

I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully (1 Timothy 5:14). This is God’s prescription for young women and it is perfect. Yes, we have all gone through trials and sufferings but we are stronger in the Lord and in our faith because of them.

While we were in Ventura, we visited Denise’s 86 year old mother, Sue. I asked Sue what her marriage was like and she quickly responded, “I was a submissive wife and my husband was the head of our home!” Denise told us she never heard her parents argue and she lived an “idyllic childhood” which she assumed everyone was blessed with! Sue was home full time and continually taught her four children about the Lord and His ways. I remember her back in the college days as always being warm, cheerful, and kind. We spent many weekends in her home.

Here’s five of us (plus Jan’s sister, Lynn, who became close to us during those years, too), forty years later, from this past weekend:

Sandy, Tracy, Lynn, Me, Jan, Denise

Tracy shared with us that after the first year of college, she left because all she ever wanted to do was to be a wife and mother. She said her mother, Trixie, and all of her mother’s friends were homemakers while she was growing up but in order for Tracy to attend Westmont Trixie had to work at a retail store. Trixie developed migraines from the stress of it. Tracy didn’t want her mother to have to work for her to go to college when all both of them wanted to be were homemakers so she quit and worked until she got married.

All of our lives were considered mundane in our feminist culture but they were exactly what God has called women to do. None of us would have chosen to do anything else. We loved being the ones home to raise our children and were blessed. You may feel that you live a mundane life, women, but it is a good life and God’s perfect plan for you!

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.
1 Thessalonians 4:11

17 thoughts on “Living a Mundane Life

  1. Lori, this post made me reminisce about my younger years in nursing school. I remember having to attend career placement sessions with my guidance counselor. He stated by the looks of my achievement testing , I was cut out to be a nurse. I remember thinking …. But all I want to be is a wife and mother and homemaker. Instead of listening to the WONDERFUL COUNSELOR, I heeded the advice of my guidance counselor . In my opinion, I wasted time and money on pursuing a nursing degree I would never use since I married in my early 20’s as well. Children came right away, and I had the best years of my life living the “mundane” life of helping my husband be successful in his job, raising my children, and keeping our home. What a blessed, fulfilled life!!!πŸ™‚Thanks,Lori, for your post.

  2. Beautiful post Lori. How wonderful that you all stayed friends! You all look so healthy. I have to put my 2 cents in here and say that my life as a stay at home wife and mom has been anything but mundane. When I was dating my husband back in the early 1980s I told him I wasn’t one of those career girls. I wanted to be a wife and mother and that was it. I wasn’t a serious christian at the time either. He said he wanted lots of kids, and I said I did too. After we married I took on some very part time jobs. It was peer pressure really. I was the only one that didn’t have a job. I found the jobs to be mundane, and all I wanted was to get back home to my family. My husband loved the kids and had lots of fun with them while I was working. The problem was he wouldn’t take care of them. I would come home to a huge mess, and soaking wet diapers, sometimes literally dripping down her legs. He would call his mom to come and change her. πŸ™‚ The day the diaper was dripping was the day that I gave my 2 weeks notice. I feel being at home is so much more fulfilling. I can learn or do anything I put my hands to. I am so glad that I don’t have to toil for hours in someone else’s business. That is what is mundane to me. I can work and toil at home with my family, and love and teach my kids everything that I want them to know. I learned so much myself along the way. My husband is an excellent provider doing what he likes to do. It’s perfect and what’s even the best is that it’s God’s will.

    1. Mundane means “characterized by the practical and ordinary” (like changing hundreds of diapers, fixing thousands of meals, washing tons of clothing, etc.). It’s not a negative word to us, Diane, but it is by many in the world and this is why many women refuse to be home full time with their children. God has called us the do the practical and ordinary for His glory.

      There is one very well-known, godly man who spent years just peeling potatoes but continually felt the presence of the Lord in doing this which was extremely mundane. We are to find joy in the mundane and perfect jobs that the Lord has given to us!

      I do want to add that the reason they all look so healthy and in shape is that they all take good care of themselves. I did watch them while we were eating and none of them ate too much but used portion control and ate slowly. They ate until they were satisfied and stopped. This impressed me since self-control, when it comes to eating, is not that common in our culture today.

      1. I guess I don’t find this a mundane life because I love doing house work. I also find it a privilege to stay home because I know so many women can’t. Every man that my husband works with has a working wife. I am so glad to do my laundry in the morning, hang it up outside and spend all day finishing it up, as compared to throwing a load in before work every day, and drying it before bed. I do understand though that most people think it is mundane.
        I have been trying so many different ways of dieting over the years, when it is really so simple. Self control and quitting when we are satisfied instead of full or stuffed. So glad to have another 12 pounds off this summer.

  3. Good post; there is such peace in following God’s ways and His will. Interestingly enough, just this morning I heard a report from a Christian news source about an entertainer who says that fame has left her feeling empty.

    1. Women who seek fame and fortune give up all of the important things in the process, Lady Virtue, and realize it when it’s too late, unfortunately. Women who have careers are doing the same thing. I recently spoke to a woman who worked full time while raising her children and she did admit that she missed out on a lot of her children’s growing up.

  4. Great post Lori. We moved from the Santa Barbara area last year. I don’t come across people online who went to Westmont.
    Anyway, I’m sure it was fun getting together with old friends and I wouldn’t trade my “mundane” life for anything!

  5. I love my “mundane life” of cooking, cleaning and taking care of my husband (our children are grown)! I never wanted to go to college or have a career. I have worked in the past, not by choice, and hated every minute of it. All I could think of was how I wanted to be at home taking care of my family, right where God wanted me to be!

  6. Lori,

    My heart is cheering with joy for you and your friends… and for myself and all those whose choice was the mundane over the monotonous! Yippee yay for us!

    AND I was so excited for Lori G. and her first grandchild! I’m flying to the mainland Monday in time for our daughter’s baby shower September 16. I’ll get to see both of our girls and many friends and family. Besides many of the decorations and food requests made of me, I am asked to pray the prayer for the mommy-to-be before the shower begins. My heart is bursting with joy! My children walk in Truth. I have NO GREATER JOY.

    *hugs*
    Kelley~

  7. Beautifully written Lori! πŸ™‚

    I went to college for a year, like your friend, and knew that wasn’t what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a mother and a wife! I wanted to care for my home! The Lord brought my husband to me and we were soon married! A few months after our honeymoon, we found out we were pregnant (which we were excited about….although my husband was nervous! Then I got sick….oh terribly sick with my pregnancy. My husband held my hair back while I puked and was so loving and understanding of me…..!). I have been a wife and mama since September of 2000! We will celebrate 17 years of marriage in a few weeks! I love my husband more now than I did then! The Lord blessed us with four children (one we lost, unfortunately…to my utter sadness). I have been raising them up and homeschooling them! I am FAR from the perfect mother but truly striving to live my life mirroring Christ and as a servant to my family.

    Anyway….I am not trying to pat myself on the back nor go on and on about my life but I just wanted to share that my heart was directed the same way as your friends in college! I felt like an odd ball because most of the women around me were so career focused. My life may seem “mundane” to some….but I am very content and joy-filled because I know this is where God wants me! πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing this look into your past and friends!

    1. You’re welcome, Katy, and thank you for sharing a part of your life! It’s fun to hear of other women who only wanted to be a wife and mother. It’s the best job in the entire world! Blessings to you.

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