Meaning in the Mundane

Meaning in the Mundane

The majority of life is made up of one mundane moment followed by another. Occasionally, we have exceptionally exciting events, but then, as surely as autumn follows summer, ‘normal life’ kicks back in. Floors need sweeping, plants need watering, food needs cooking and messages need responding to. I wonder, which are the moments that truly matter?

Is it those times when the sea miraculously parts, like it did for Moses? Or when fire comes from heaven and burns up a sodden sacrifice, as it did for Elijah? Is it the dramatic occasions in life – or is it every mundane moment in between?

Whilst the big moments do leave us with special memories to hold onto, arguably, it is how we spend our ‘normal’ time day to day that really indicates who we are. It is how we behave in our daily life that matters to the people around us, and, perhaps more importantly, to God.

The Message* translation of Romans 12:1 says this:

‘So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.  Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.’

Why does our everyday, ordinary, life mean so much to God? What I would like to explore in the next few blogs is, how the everyday activities we engage in, can reflect something of the glorious character of God. Whether it is tidying up, preparing food, giving up our time for others, or even grappling with the desire to have children.

As we begin to embrace who God is and what he has done for us, we can begin to find renewed meaning in each of the seemingly mundane moments that fill our days.

*The Message translation is a translation of the bible that seeks to capture the tone of the text and the original conversational feel of the Greek, in contemporary English. The Message (MSG) – Version Information –

Corn studies

Sweetcorn is one of those vegetables we eat almost all the time. What could seem more mundane than a kernel of corn? How wrong I was!

This year was our first attempt at growing corn, and it was so much fun watching the tiny sprouts turn into huge plants. Eating fresh corn was almost more enjoyable than watching it grow.

When I recently saw ‘For the Love of Homeschooling’ giving away a free study on corn, I had to snap it up.*

We took a whole day to explore everything we could about corn.

First, we looked at it’s anatomy and lifecycle. It was great fun recapping on the different stages of the lifecycle we got to see this year.

Next, we looked at the kernels themselves. We cut one open, and looked at its anatomy, learning the reasons why it becomes popcorn when introduced to heat.

We then explored the rich history of popcorn from its beginnings with the Aztecs, to its popularity in the American Great Depression, to its introduction to cinema theatres.

Then, of course, it was time to get the popcorn machine out for a snack!

With full tummies, we did a few experiments with some of the un-popped kernels. First, we put them in a bicarbonate of soda and vinegar mix and watched them float up and down.

Then we mixed them with salt and explored why the kernels separate to the top of the mix when you shake the mixture gently.

Next, it was time to get the corn flour out. We’ve played with oobleck before, but who doesn’t love an opportunity to get your hands back in the weird mix that is cornflour and water! If you’ve never experienced it, oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid that does not follow the normal rules of solids and liquids. Rather the liquid becomes solid when pressure is applied, i.e. when you squeeze it in your hands. Then when you open them up, it runs through your fingers.

We also made some cloud dough with conditioner and cornflour. Again, it is amazing to play with, but be warned, these activities are very messy!

Finally, we had a go at an engineering activity. The children were all given a piece of paper, glue, and tape. They each had to make a container that would hold exactly 20 pieces of popped corn, without seeing the 20 pieces together. Most of the containers were a bit too large, but one managed it perfectly, by building a tall cylindrical tube.

We finished the day wiped, but in awe of the incredible diversity of such a simple and easy to grow crop. What brilliant mind could have conceived of such a plant?

“How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all” Psalm 104:24

* ‘For the Love of Homeschooling’ frequently give away free resources which are rich in content and beautifully illustrated. They also have a number of paid for resources and subscriptions.

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5 Replies to “Meaning in the Mundane”

  1. I love this. Your children are getting such a rich education with plenty of hands-on experience – just what they need, and what keeps them interested. Be encouraged, your efforts will reap a rich reward.

  2. I too agree wholeheartedly with Graham. What an extraordinary rich and fun education these children are receiving in an energy of interest, curiosity and exploration. Wonderful energies to store in their minds for venturing into adult life. 🙂

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