(Disclaimer: I received a free advanced copy for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own, and I have received no compensation for a positive review.)
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!
We all have those moments where, in the midst of dishes and dirty diapers and picking up toys for the gazillionth time, we wonder if our life means anything. Does our mundane serve a purpose, or is a just a waste of life as so many in our culture say that it is? Can we actually find purpose in our daily grind and insignificant moments? Kari Patterson’s book Sacred Mundane is an invitation to live our everyday grind with purpose, allowing Christ to use the daily mundane to transform us.
I first heard Kari Patterson speak about 4 years ago at a women’s camp, and I instantly resonated with her message. She spoke about finding significance, purpose, even worship in our daily tasks—our mundane tasks, like doing dishes and scrubbing toilets. Kari invited us to live a “sacred mundane,” where our life is hid with Christ in God, where we do all things for the glory of God. I’ve heard Kari speak a couple of other times since then, and I love what God is doing in and through her. When Kari mentioned she had a book coming out, I instantly jumped at the opportunity to review it for her, and it’s been every bit as inspirational as I anticipated.
Sacred Mundane includes 8 chapters that delve into this topic of finding significance in our everyday by changing our perspective and inviting Jesus to work in our everyday tasks and frustrations to spiritually strengthen us and make us new. Sacred Mundane also includes a “small group” study with daily questions and readings to delve deeper into each chapter’s topic. The study takes a chapter a week and includes additional Scripture to study, a memory verse, and application questions. At the end of each week’s study, Kari also includes recommended resources for delving even further into each area of study.
Friends, this is how we are transformed: not by escaping dreary domestic duties or difficult relationships, and not by dreading the daily grind or grimly bearing these weary days until we can fly away to some celestial shore. We are transformed by engaging in the here, the now, the conflict, the tension, letting God change us from the inside out. ~Sacred Mundane by Kari Patterson
Kari is humble, gentle, and authentic—it comes out in her book as she shares her journey through discouragement and disillusionment to finding freedom and purpose in her own life through this truth, and it comes out in her generosity. All royalties from her book will go toward World Vision’s work with women and children in need. Kari is also offering a free copy of Sacred Mundane to one of you! Enjoy an excerpt from Sacred Mundane and then scroll down to enter the giveaway, or purchase your own copy on Amazon.
Drunk Goggles & God’s Word
Without God’s Word as lens, the world warps. -Ann Voskamp
I only wore the drunk goggles once, but it was enough. I’ve never forgotten their lesson.
Technically they’re called alcohol impairment simulation goggles, a teaching tool used to illustrate the effects of intoxication. Every September, as college freshman flocked to our college campus, the police department set up a booth, offering a considerable prize to anyone who could walk a straight line while wearing the warped lenses. Of course, overconfident youth lined up dozens deep, eager to prove their ability to remain unaffected by the distortion and win a prize in front of their peers.
No one could.
We all took turns trying them on, laughing hysterically at each other as we tried to walk a straight line while impaired. Inevitably we each stumbled, or tripped, or leaned so heavily in one direction we wound up falling down altogether. It was uncanny, really, how a simple thing like visual impairment could affect even our ability to stand up straight. I couldn’t perform the simplest task while wearing the distorted lenses, let alone navigate other obstacles. If I had had to face physical challenges—say, climbing stairs or jumping hurdles—I’d have failed for sure.
I don’t know whether the goggles kept students from consuming alcohol, but they impressed me with a foundational truth I’ll never forget:
If we can’t see clearly, we fall.
Now, imagine attempting to live while wearing these drunk goggles. Imagine trying to drive, swim, type, run. We’d be misstepping and crashing and falling and drowning! We’d never survive.
Further, imagine if these drunk goggles equally impaired our minds. Our emotions. Our behavior. Our decisions. Imagine if all of life, every action and relationship and spoken word, were filtered through a tragically flawed lens. Imagine if we lived looking at every aspect of life through this severely skewed perspective. Imagine if this distortion even extended to how we viewed ourselves—and how we viewed God.
The result would be disastrous, yes?
So many precious people, created in the image of God for purpose and beauty and glory, are stumbling around spiritually, crashing and falling, drowning in deception, lost in this labyrinth of life, desperate for direction but unable to see. We may have perfectly presentable lives on the outside, we may have success and tidy homes, we may have kids with manners, a decent marriage, maybe even a 401(k). But something’s skewed ever so slightly, and the result is dizzying and disillusioning. We want to see clearly, of course, but our default is drunk goggles and we don’t even know we’re wearing them.
We battle a subtle sense of hopelessness, or wonder why nothing seems to satisfy as it should. We pray for one thing and the exact opposite happens, and in honest moments we’re not quite sure any of this Christianity stuff really works, but of course we can’t say that out loud. So we go to church, smile, sing, sip coffee, and hear another sermon, then return to real life, where exactly nothing has changed.
Perhaps we have a vague sense of guilt over not reading our Bibles and praying like we should, or not giving more to orphans in Africa, or not volunteering in the nursery at church, but the truth is we’re just trying to keep the wheels on. Sometimes, in quiet moments, we sense we were made for something more, that there might actually be greatness bundled up deep down somewhere.
But life feels so overwhelmingly complex, and there’s barely enough energy to clean the bathroom, let alone tackle something like human trafficking. By the time the dinner dishes are done it’s just so much easier to flip on the TV and tune out.
Greatness can wait.
No matter who you are, whether you have walked with Jesus five minutes or fifty-five years, we all have one thing in common:
We need to see more clearly. Nothing matters more.
No amount of practical instruction will do us a lick of good if we’re seeing everything through distortion. This is why we need the Word of God. We must see the world through the Word.
The only way to take off the drunk goggles is to look instead through the crystal clear, perfect perspective of God’s holy Word. See, every single day we are handed the drunk goggles. We don’t even have to look hard to find them. I find that I wake up wearing them (argh!). It doesn’t seem fair that drunk goggles are the default, but they are, and shedding them is the secret to true transformation.
Scripture tells us not to be conformed to this world (Rom. 12:2). The world around us is constantly pressing us into its mold, telling us what to think, how to look, and what to want. It’s feeding us its flawed perspective every single day. But the Bible is clear: Don’t be conformed. Don’t let the world slip those drunk goggles over your eyes and make you stagger and stumble. Lift up the Word of God and look through it to see clearly, to never fall.
The rest of that verse reads, “But be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” How does transformation happen? By a renewed mind; we refuse the distortion and choose instead to renew our minds daily by the truth of God’s Word. Only then will we see clearly and know God’s good and perfect will. Only then will our lives begin to change.
Excerpt from Sacred Mundane: How to find freedom, purpose, and joy, available through Amazon or directly through www.karipatterson.com. Kari reaches thousands of women worldwide through speaking events and her popular blog, Sacred Mundane. She’s a pastor’s wife, homeschool mom, Bible teacher, mentor, and passionate seeker of truth. All royalties from the sale of this book will benefit World Vision’s work with women and children in need.