Just Packing a Lunch

Hey Ladies!

Today, I want to share something that's on my heart.  To be honest, I try not to do this too much because it makes me a little more vulnerable than sharing my favorite new scarf or a new favorite candle.  But this subject just kept coming up, so I decided I must share.  :)

A couple weeks ago a girlfriend and I were talking about the things moms juggle.  Some of us have full-time jobs outside the home, others work from home, some work part-time PLUS we have duties like housekeeper, laundry do-er, chef, Uber driver, wife, mom, and the list goes on and on.  
We were having a moment about packing lunches. When she said she'd heard recently that the mom of the boy who had two fish and five loaves of bread in the Bible story had probably done the same thing that morning...just packed a lunch.

Here's the story...

"Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages[a] to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up,“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” John 6:1-14

First of all, what a miraculous story!  You've probably read this story before but maybe you've never paid attention to or even thought about that boy who had the lunch.  {I know I really hadn't.}
 I must add we don't really know who packed the boy's lunch.  He could have packed it himself.  His dad or grandma could have prepared it.  But no matter who it was, they never dreamed that morning it'd be used in such a way.  They were performing a task...just packing a lunch and WHOA-what a blessing this was to so many. This lunch allowed Jesus to perform an amazing miracle that so many witnessed. That's really all my girlfriend said about it.  Just that one sentence about this story she'd recently heard.  But her words STUCK with me.  I thought about it all night long when I was doing those mundane tasks...more laundry, cooking dinner, etc...she was just a mom packing a lunch. And what a blessing she was.

I hope this reminds us all that no matter how small the task, our big God can work in mighty ways.  Even something as simple and routine as packing a lunch.

And like I said above, I had this on my heart and planned on keeping it to myself.  A week or so later, Tab and I subbed in Nixon's Sunday School class and you'll never believe what the lesson was on {or maybe you will because God is awesome like that}...this story of Jesus performing the miracle with two loaves and five fish!

**Okay, so after a couple comments, I'm going to add that apparently this perspective of this bible story is shared in Melanie Shankle's new book, Church of the Small Things.  I have it sitting on my night stand but haven't read it yet and CLEARLY it has good stuff inside.  Just wanted to give the book some credit.  (And it sounds like I need to start reading ASAP!)  I'm also going to assume that the lady who mentioned it in the bible study has read this book.**

I hope you guys have the BEST day!
XO

42 comments

Talley Family said...

So needed this encouragement today! Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing what God laid on your heart! Blessings!

Britt Hensley said...

Love this reminder! I love how God uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary, and that includes me! Thanks for sharing today.

Susan said...

I love when God show us things like this! I have been reading a book with some girls from my Sunday School class called The Lifegiving Home by Sally Clarkson. You might enjoy it. It has touched my heart in so many way with how I serve my family and the eternal difference it makes.

Andrea said...

I LOVE this!!! The other day I was cleaning our house and I was trying to go quickly so I could enjoy the silence of nap time and the Lord suddenly brought a verse to my mind. Do everything wholeheartedly as if it is unto the lord. (Bad paraphrasing) so I started taking my time while finishing up cleaning. But you never know what the lord will use or do!

Meagan @ The Clanahan Fam said...

Oh, what a great Tuesday encouragement! The mundane tasks can so often breed discontentment so what a fabulous perspective this is. Now, off to pack some lunches. Be bold today, kiddos! {maybe the Twix will help ;) } Hugs, friend.

Tish Ferry said...

I LOVE this! When I struggle with laundry, cleaning, etc (which I often do!), I try to remember to be thankful for my husband and four kiddos and our chaotic life. As hard as it can be at times, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm sure we all feel that way but it's easy to get the "Mom blues" when doing those mundane tasks over and over again. Thank you for being faithful and obedient and sharing what God laid on your heart today! It blessed me!

Owen Davis @ Davis Duo said...

Wow I needed this today!! Such a miraculous story and I have never thought of it this way. Thank you! Xo

BrownieMom said...

Thank you for sharing/reminding us that God does indeed still perform miracles. He is oh so worthy of all praise! Have a beautiful day!

Jessica said...

This was in Church of the Small Things! I love it! :)

Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said...

I heard this story too! I'm thinking it must have been in Melanie's new book? It's behind closed doors (and sleeping puppies), or I would go look right now! Such a wonderful perspective!

Erika Slaughter said...

How funny! I have that book on my night stand but haven't started yet! I'm guessing the lady in this Bible Study (who shared this story with my friend) has in fact finished the book. Ha! Good stuff-we should all read that one!!

Narci said...

I love when you share your heart! Great perspective, friend! XO N

Mix and Match Mama said...

I love this so very much!!

Perfectly Port said...

That book is a great reminder and the notion of doing the next right thing has been coming up a lot on The Next Right Thing podcast with Emily P. Freeman. It's so good. I have been trying, as a result, to do the next right thing regardless of its size or impact like packing a lunch :). PS you have to read the book, it's funny!!!! xoxo ERIN

Nikki Lehman said...

Thanks for sharing your heart! Love the fresh look at this story!

K Peters said...

Great post today, that I really needed to hear!

Mrs W said...

Thank you for sharing this today, I needed this reminder to not take the little mundane tasks for granted. It's so easy to forget your blessings and concentrate on all the mundane chores and negative things going on, but God works in mysterious ways to remind us of all the good around us. Thank you Erika for opening up my eyes today.

KChow said...

This is one of the best blog posts I've ever read. Thank you for sharing!!

Unknown said...

I'm excited to listen to her podcast! I didn't know she has one so thank you :)

Emily at 'a little bit of Emily' said...

This is something that is going to stick with me, too! Such a great perspective. Thank you so much for sharing.

Tracy said...

LOVE this! I was a lunch packer for MANY years. I packed my kids' lunches all through school and also my hubby's lunches for work. I had other moms give me grief over this when they found out I did it (and my oldest was only in first grade at the time!). They made their families pack their own lunches and were shocked that I did the lunch packing. For me it was a tiny act of love/service that I could do to start off their day. I no longer have lunches to pack but I'm sure gonna remember this when I'm doing all the other "small" things that I do from day to day. Thanks for sharing!

Amanda @ That Inspired Chick said...

Oh, I love this, Erika! xoxo

Laci Murray said...

I thought of Melanie's book as I packed lunches way after my bedtime last night! Always share your heart-we love the real stuff!

Jonnette said...

Oh Erika - thank you for sharing!!! Even though my kiddos are older, I needed to hear this reminder that God is in the small things. The mundane things that we do every day - the smile at the grocery store, the kind word to someone we pass-- in everything that we do, HE uses!!! Love it!!

J Whitney said...

You have no idea how much my soul needed to hear this today. Thank you for sharing. Momming is new to me, and can most definitely be a hard blessing.

Love,
A tired and 7.5 month pregnant wife and foster mom of a 14 month old

Therese said...

Thanks for sharing this. It's easy to get caught up in the mundane and monotony of life and it's important to remember that all of those little things make a difference!

alfulton said...

Thank you for sharing! This story epitomizes the power of "droplets of grace" - small, everyday acts that we sometimes fail to notice (like packing a loved one a lunch or making them a meal - in this story, it feeds 5000 people!). When life is really rough and moving too fast, praying on/for every act of grace helps me slow down and remember God is in control!

MissKimmie said...

Sweet mamma. It doesn't matter who shared it first. You sharing it touched my heart. My days of packing lunches are far gone but it's so awesome to be encouraged and see young mammas encouraging each other. I love your blog. Thank you for ministering to so many. Now, go pack a lunch!!!

Cassidy said...

Last night, as I was tired from a full day of teaching, taking my kids to the doctor, dinner, baths, bedtime, laundry, mopping, and lesson planning, I looked up at the clock and it was already 10pm. I hadn't made my kids' lunches yet. I honestly thought, I'd love to just stop packing lunches every night and see if anyone would pick up the slack in the mornings, or really appreciate what I'm doing for them. I knew it wouldn't get done, so I made the lunches before I crawled in the bed. I obviously had a very bad and selfish attitude about this, so your post hit me right between the eyes today. Thank you!

Jenny Byrd said...

Thank you for sharing this bit of encouragement today!! I just love your heart.

Taylor said...

Boy I love this! Thank you for sharing!!

It reminds me of a quote I've been trying to keep at the front of my mind recently:

“Wash the plate not because it is dirty nor because you are told to wash it, but because you love the person who will use it next.” -St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa)

There is so much more JOY, even in the most mundane of tasks, when I can approach life in this way.

Amy at Suburban Soiree said...

I needed this today! Thank you. :)

www.suburbansoiree.com

Lindsay at Lindsay'sSweetWorld said...

So perfectly said, Erika!

Mommaof3 said...

Beautiful post Erika! Thank you for having the courage to be vulnerable, it has touched many! Glory to God!

Lindsey Thomas said...

Please share your heart more. Vulnerability and Godliness are way more valuable, and long lasting, than clothes. What an encouragement! :-)

Carrie Burke said...

Oh my gosh I love this! I just sent the link to my moms' small group that I host. We have Church of Small Things on our list to read in the spring but I know they could all use this reminder right now. Thank you so very much.

Foxy's Domestic Side said...

I love this so much, going to share on my blog on Friday. So true, we feel like we're just doing mundane things, but you never know what small thing you do and how it can make an impact.

azbaby24 said...

So when I saw this title I thought we were gonna sneak inside what you pack for your kids school lunch. This mom needs some ideas. I opened the email expecting to see something along those lines but man I did not expect this and this mama needed to hear it. Thank you.

Maryellen said...

I love it ! Gives me great cause for thinking. Thank you for sharing.

Kari Bergsten said...

Thanks for sharing! I definitely needed this today. I have this book on my kindle...will start reading tonight.

Farryn said...

Thank you for this. I needed this reminder today. I think all mommas who are having a rough day need this. God knows what we need before we even need it. Praise The Lord.

Paula said...

Wonderful! Thank you for sharing.