64 In Faith/ Life

The Sacrament of Living


We finished up Tozer’s The Pursuit of God last night in our small group, only after we were tricked into eating barf & rotten egg-flavored jelly beans. {…a quick rabbit trail, if I may… Monday’s are my favorite day of the week because of baking sweets, percolating coffee, meeting in our home with wonderful people, worshiping together, laughing our heads off, and studying God’s word. I can think of no better way to start the week.} Ok, back to Tozer, I hadn’t prepared by actually reading the chapter but after our discussion I was encouraged to read it today and I am so glad I did. The last chapter talks about how our human nature is to categorize our lives into two areas– the sacred and the secular, which results in the sacred-secular antithesis… what he calls a “creature of misunderstanding”. {All of this is very similar to what Brother Lawrence writes in The Practice of the Presence of God}

Basically we categorize our lives into tasks that are for the Kingdom {prayer, Bible reading, hymn singing, church attendance}  and those that aren’t {eating, sleeping, working, baking, decorating, laundry, dishes, etc}.  And Tozer does an excellent job at explaining and encouraging readers to “practice living to the glory of God”.

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is our perfect example, and He knew no divided life.

Paul’s exhortation to “do all to the glory of God” is more than pious idealism. It is an integral part of the sacred revelation and is to be accepted as the very Word of Truth. It opens before us the possibility of making every act of our lives contribute to the glory of God. Lest we could be too timid to include everything, Paul mentions specifically eating and drinking. This humble privilege we share with the beasts that perish. If these lowly animal acts can be so performed as to honor God, then it becomes difficult to conceive of one that cannot.

As a group we talked about this and came to the conclusion that it’s easier for us to say our mundane tasks are for His glory but we are more reluctant to say things that bring us great pleasure  are also for His glory, primarily because they bring us great pleasure, it’s hard for us to reason that things that bring us pleasure also bring our Father pleasure and glory. For whatever reason, we bring guilt upon ourselves for delighting in our earthly pleasures, especially those that have little, to no sacred value. I think mothers are even more likely to heap on a scoop of guilt for doing things that they enjoy— reading, running, napping, or even escaping for a night of solitude. Last night we were encouraged by Tozer that the Lord’s love for His children is not limited to sacred acts; He delights in seeing us be delighted. One couple made the illustration of watching their son build something with Legos and what delight it brings them to merely see him be delighted. It was freeing for me to be reminded that the Lord loves to see me do what I love, to delight in something that doesn’t necessarily seem sacred by any stretch of the imagination. It goes without saying that He also loves seeing me give of myself sacrificially, but for some reason, a lightbulb went of last night at the other end of the spectrum, not the sacrificial tasks but the ones that I enjoy {photography, sewing, blogging, etc…} but am reluctant to consider them an act of worship.  

Paul’s sewing of tents was not equal to his writingof an Epistle to the Romans, but both were accepted of God and both were true acts of worship.

This has brought me to think more more about what I do, what I love, and what I love to do…

being outside

… and today, I am encouraged by and have found freedom in the fact that these things {like Paul’s tent making} can all be true acts of worship! Contrary to the things that I love to do, the things that I do but don’t necessarily love: sweeping floors, washing dishes, folding laundry, making beds, and cleaning toilets can all be done to the glory of God as well. But the clincher is: It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it. Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act. All he does is good and acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.




I was going to post earlier today to inform y’all that my rice bags & boo boo bags were posted on the Craft Hope for Haiti etsy shop… but sure enough they were already gone! But go ahead over and look… there’s still some great stuff left! If I make some more, I’ll be sure to let y’all know!


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  • Katherine
    February 16, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    All I can say is Amen sister!

  • Christi
    February 16, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Thanks so much for the good words! I’ve been so encouraged by your blog! It can be so hard to live for the Lord amidst the daily duties of a wife and mother. Thanks for helping me keep a right perspective!

  • Lisa @ lists in my pocket
    February 16, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Great post! What a nice reminder. I wanted to let you know that we also had barf, rotten egg, mouthwash, and dog food-flavored jelly beans! My mom has a “gag gift” every Christmas, and this year it was the jelly bean game. Fun, but gross!

  • Jennifer
    February 16, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Thanks for this post – going to hop on the library website and try to hunt down Tozer’s book!

  • Donna
    February 16, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Thanks so much for this wonderful post…with Lent and Easter approaching I’ve been reading alot about “do this, don’t do that, my way is better, you must live this way, and on and on…It can be a bit discouraging…and although your post did not directly address those (Lent, Easter,etc) it is so relevant to the season at hand! You expressed so clearly my hearts desire…and I feel truly God’s desire is that we take our everyday ordinary lives and submit them before God as an offering! Thanks so much for your willingness to share, and for how you share!!! Blessings to you!

  • Megan
    February 16, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Wonderful post! I’d love to read this book…..
    There’s nothing like “doing life” with a Small Group! So glad you’ve got one!

  • Leah
    February 16, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    You are precious. Thank you.

  • Susan
    February 16, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Hey! Loved this post! You are the second person today that has reminded me that scrubbing toilets can be done to glorify the Lord! When things are repeated, God is talking!! I love the Tozer book that you mentioned…we don’t have that one. I do have the one by Brother Lawrence–it’s great. I posted about what brings us joy–not happiness–tonight. Your post is just what I needed to hear.

  • runningtwig
    February 16, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Great post! I found your blog a couple of weeks ago and really enjoy it! Don’t think that I am some kind of crazy stalker person, but I went back and read some of your archives and I found the one where you did 100 things about you…I moved to Louisville after college and I coached at CAL and worked with Mr. Imlay. I coached the first ever soccer team, basketball, and softball there for two years. And I went to Southeast while I lived there. And my husband went to Auburn! How crazy!

    Anyways, I love your blog. Keep it up!

  • Abby Maddox
    February 16, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Oh Darby, How I needed this! Thank you 🙂

  • Amanda Thrasher
    February 16, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Blog away—you are bringing Glory to God and your fellow readers. These pix of the kids on the bed are priceless. In your free time : ) would you please give me some photog. lessons. I haven’t made the time to read my new Nikon camera book.

  • amy
    February 16, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    what a lovely post. that book is so fabulous. i read it right after i was saved, so it has a special place in my “spiritual biography.” 🙂
    i’m so thankful for simple, accessible truth written in a way that makes us both stop and think and then apply it to our daily lives.

    you are such an encouragement, darby! thanks for sharing!

  • Cha Cha
    February 16, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Isn’t that huge, just living can be done for the glory of God. You have been called to such a time as this, is what I keep telling myself, every day. That for doing your day for the glory of God and sharing with us.

    Cha Cha

  • Kate
    February 16, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Darby – how do you like your chenille bed cover? Easy to wash, care for, etc? It looks gorgeous on your bed – especially with those 3 little bits on it too!

  • Carly Winborne
    February 16, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    What a timely post! Just this afternoon, I stumbled upon a note I left myself with a book that I wanted to read, The Sacred Ordinary: Embracing the Holy in the Everyday by Leigh McLeroy. And while I haven’t read it yet, the description listed on Amazon leads me to believe it fully supports the conclusions you have come to in this post. And like another commenter above said, when things are repeated, God is talking! I suppose I need to read both these books now! Thanks for sharing.

    PS: I made your adorable chocolate “cups” for a fancy Valentine’s Dinner this past Sunday. Instead of splitting our family’s time between grandparents, I had everyone come to my house for dinner. The dessert was a hit for sure. My four year old ended up with the ice cream and melted chocolate up her nose after diving into it all. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • nicole
    February 16, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    such a good word! john piper says God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him…i think that includes things that we enjoy, like creating, baking, blogging, etc…

  • Ashley
    February 16, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Excellent. And well explained. Turnbulls own both of those books, but I’ll admit I have had a hard time reading Brother Lawrence’s book. I will pick it up and read a few pages, and then put it back down (going on years now). I love that your c-group is doing such a wonderful study and having deep discussion. This doesn’t happen often enough in today’s church (you know, candy-coated Christianity is easier to digest). Love it. You are an excellent example of doing things as acts of worship…and encouraging to us who are trying to do the same!

  • Jacci
    February 16, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    That’s right, girl, break out the Tozer! 🙂 LOVE IT. Love getting theology right alongside homemade marshmallows and cute blonde kids. Love it, I tell ya.

    I *do* think that I have to be very prayerful about discerning “why” I really pursue some things – nothing sheds light on my motives more than an interruption to my plans. If I’m really painting/sewing/writing to the glory of God, will I get completely bent out of shape because I need to stop short and take care of that spilled water/leaky diaper/preschooler fight/waking child? Seems like if my motives are Godward, then my response to the circumstances around my plans are likely to be Godward as well. I need to ask for His grace to be faithful about 50,000x a day.

    And yuck on those Jellybeans. I would’ve totally hurled.

    ~Jacci in Ohio

  • Whitney
    February 16, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Ah…such a great topic! Thanks for writing about it. I studied this a lot in college, especially while reading Luther and Chesterton’s Orthodoxy. Both, especially the latter, are amazing. You will find yourself totally cheering with it, I promise. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Montye
    February 16, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    Thanks for the beautiful post. Darby, you exude Christ’s Love!

  • Laura
    February 16, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    What a beautiful post. My husband and I just joined a small group (we are reading Crazy Love) and we are so blessed by the new friends in our lives. Have a great week!

  • Kate
    February 16, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Tonight as a family we were reading in the scriptures and came across one of my favorites that goes right along with what you said in your post. “…ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul…” I had honestly just finished telling my kids one of the reasons we need to pray always, is so He can bless us in (and through) the small things we do throughout our day. So cool to then read your post. I just love your blog.

  • angela
    February 16, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    I can’t remember if I had commented to you yet but thank you so much for sharing. I have your blog linked on mine. Hope that’s ok! I love reading what you have to say and your kids are absolutley adorable. It’s refreshing to “meet” other Christian women through blogging.
    p.s. I’m one of Ashley Eiler’s worker bees from Mississippi. 🙂

  • Janna
    February 16, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Your children are gorgeous! And I really appreciate what you wrote tonight – thank you!

  • Jen
    February 16, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    This is so great. Thanks for sharing. I too have a guilty conscience of so many things I do but am also starting to see in the everyday what blessings and gifts He gives each one of us. It is how we go about our daily tasks and what we feel in our hearts as we are doing them. I know I am stopped in my tracks several times a day needing to change my attitude or my tone while doing laundry or unloading the dishwasher for the 3rd time that day. I am so thankful that He gives us hobbies and joys we can enjoy while on the earth for such a short time. His love his sweeter than honey, this I am so grateful for!

    Precious precious pictures of your little blessings on your bed.

  • Alli
    February 17, 2010 at 12:40 am

    your children are so beautiful! I love you pictures!! Another great blog. These pictures make me want a little boy to add to my bunch.. Take care girl!!

  • grace
    February 17, 2010 at 2:28 am

    wonderful post darby!!! your words always stay with me. hope you have a blessed week!



  • Sarah
    February 17, 2010 at 8:17 am

    “Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act.” Loved this line, how freeing! This was a good reminder that to worship God and give Him glory does not mean a life chained to the miserable (for me washing dishes;) but abundant joy. Thanks!

  • Katie
    February 17, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Awesome, awesome, awesome post!! I seriously cannot explain to you how this is fitting into what I am thinking and experiencing in my own life right now. Thank you so much for sharing all this! God is using you! :o)

  • MB
    February 17, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Your blog is refreshing! The word that keeps coming to mind is ‘authentic’. I love cooking, decorating and writing, but sometimes I feel as if its not important. I get caught up in the whole ‘perfectionist’ thing. The phrase ‘knee deep in the river and dying of thirst’ comes to mind! Thank you for reminding me that my life and work is important and that the Lord works in mysterious ways! Cheers, MB

  • Lauren
    February 17, 2010 at 9:41 am

    This was such an encouraging post. My husband has read that book and after I read you post last night I went searching for it in his nightstand. Understanding that everything I do can be worshipful to God is a big thing. Can’t wait to read the book myself!!

  • Bailey
    February 17, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Beautiful post Darby, inspires me to get a group together in Chicago for some quality fellowship

  • Jennifer Womble
    February 17, 2010 at 10:16 am

    A wonderful, encouraging word…thank you for sharing!

  • Kathy
    February 17, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Lovely, encouraging words. Thank you.

  • Bonnie
    February 17, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Well, your blogging is pleasing to God, and you do it well. I’ve been encouraged just reading it. You have a Blog Ministry! It made me smile knowing, the Lord delights in my projects. His grace amazes me…I really don’t deserve Him… I am SOOOOOOO blessed, pinch me!

  • Whitney
    February 17, 2010 at 11:20 am

    As a soon-to-be college graduate, your words on giving glory to God in everything we do are so inspiring. I love love love reading your blog and just wanted to encourage you today that you’re a humble example of what it means to love God and love others gives me an incredible example of what God is calling me to be. Be encouraged today that there are many young college girls out there who want to grow in the Lord and love our families the way that you do. Thank you!

  • JJ
    February 17, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Amen!!!! Your words have touched me this morning with something I really needed to hear. We sometimes get so caught up in our daily tasks that we (or at least I) don’t think of it as serving God as in worship. I needed that reminder and appreciate your walk with God. Blessings on you and your family.

  • Megan
    February 17, 2010 at 11:40 am

    I’ve been thinking on these exact things lately and its like your post summed up what God’s been speaking to me recently so succinctly. I’ve read about half of Tozer’s book–this gives me the push I needed to go back and finish it! Thanks!

  • jade
    February 17, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Great post Darby! I just set up a cleaning schedule for myself, because I HATE cleaning. Especially the toilets. Today was bathroom day. But I totally agree with you on the ‘why he does it.’ A very nice reminder indeed.

    Sounds like a book I should check in to.

    And I knew your things would go fast in the Craft Hope for Haiti Etsy shop. Thanks for donating them! We’re leaving it open for a few more days, and adding some more items from the Craft Hope book today.

  • Lori Lucas
    February 17, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    How wise you are for such a young mother! How wonderful. We just finished Francis Chan in our Bible study. I saw you had his book too. Just so you know, I had FIVE children in 6 1/2 years. (gasp!!) (no multiple births, and we are not Catholic or Mormon ha!), but just wanted you to know that I did indeed survive. And if you really want to know, where you are now is the easy part. Just wait till they are all adolescents, then teenagers, then all of a sudden they all leave at once! It is SO much fun tho. Enjoy. Great post.

  • Taylor
    February 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    “It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it. Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act. All he does is good and acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”- LOVE IT!

    I used to not want to pursue becoming an interior designer because people kept asking me if that was really “God’s will” for my life. It made me doubt that I was on the right track…I kept feeling like God’s will would have to “look” more sacrificial to the rest of the world. Wouldn’t he rather I move to Africa and work at an orphanage than convince someone they need a new couch??? Then I learned more about how he sees the motive of my heart and doesn’t look at me the way the world does- even the way my Christian bothers and sisters look at me. If my heart is truly devoted to pleasing him- it won’t matter what my title here on earth is. Thanks for sharing on this subject!

  • Margaret
    February 17, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    This is one of my favorite posts you’ve ever written–and I SO needed to read that right now. God is most definitely working through you! Love the pictures of the children, and my youngest just received that same bunny as a gift yesterday! 🙂

  • allison
    February 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    I’m so shallow and superficial…I love your chenille blanket! Is is new or “vintage”. I have such a hard time find one for King beds, espcially in that gorgeous white.

    Today, in our church starts Lent, so I also liked reading your post today:)


  • Sarah
    February 17, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Thank you, Darby, for the reminder to be joyful in all things. Now, a non-spiritual question, does your headboard stain easily? I am thinking of buying or making something similar and I’m afraid that it will get head marks on it (gross).

  • Beth
    February 17, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Darby, thanks so much for your consistently authentic and beautiful posts. Thank you for this post in particular. Our Bible study is doing an inductive study of Ephesians, and we were just talking last night about the sect of gnosticism and the still prevalent belief in the separation of secular and spiritual elements. I know someone has already mentioned the well-known Piper quote from Desiring God. “God is most glorified in man when man is most satisfied in God,” but I’ll repeat it because reading and processing that idea was such a watershed moment in my life, and I mention it in order to say that your blog is such a sweet symbol of this very idea. Your honest and hilarious stories, your open and real images of your family, and your humble voice are so intertwined with your descriptions of what you’re learning in the Word and what you’re experiencing in your walk. I don’t mean to sound like a crazy stalker, but I just wanted to say that your blog is a great example of overlap and dialogue between the secular and spiritual.

  • Beth
    February 17, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Also, I think Colossians 2:23-24 speaks to this whole issue, too. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

  • Lori-Anne
    February 17, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Wow, that’s a fascinating way to look at life and spirituality! The first thing that came to mind while reading your thoughts were, if mundane tasks like cleaning, napping, and feeding hungry children can be a form of worship, then what about other “secular” areas in our lives – watching TV, listening to music, reading, … surfing the internet? I wonder if I would entertain myself in the same way, or put the same things in my head, if I merged the spiritual and secular sides of myself!! Certainly a challenge worth exploring – thank you! And I’ll be looking up Tozer’s book, I think!

  • Aja
    February 17, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    What a great post and reminder! I love the analogy your friend mentioned- watching her son play.. 🙂

  • Christi
    February 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Thanks, Darby! I think the Spirit was moving in you because so many of us needed to hear this! I’m relatively new, but I love your blog! Thanks again and have a great week!

  • Allison McLendon
    February 17, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Hi Darby:)

    I don’t think I have ever posted before? Not sure, anyway just wanted you to know that I am always encouraged by what you share. Whether it is photography, sewing(which I have no ability except to dream;)), baking(which I do to help my ADD:)) or your faith. It is inspiring. But, today this just struck me. We are here to glorify God. He delights in us. Such a great reminder and something to cling to when things get tough.

    “His blood commands my guilt to leave…..” Part of that song called, “Forgiven and Loved.”

    In Christ Alone,
    P.S. I am from Decatur:) My sister Amelia works for BBTN. Two of my sister’s went to Auburn and so did my mom!

  • Natalie
    February 17, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Darby, you have such a gift for sharing what is on your mind and in your heart. It is so refreshing!

  • Chrissy
    February 17, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    I read this post this morning and have been thinking about it all day. Thinking about keeping my house clean for my family, meals made, laundry done … instead of it being a burden … I should be doing it for the glory of the Lord. That thought totally rocked my world. Thanks for sharing … I think I will have to read that book!!

  • The Mom
    February 17, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Your comments about the way that God transcends the ordinary to make it the divine are just what I have been searching for to share with a friend about why Cain’s sacrifice was not acceptable and Abel’s was. You hit in on the head! My my, you just might be a budding theologian…add that to your list of many talents. By the way, The Daughter and I have a link to your and your sister’s blogs on our blog. You don’t know us, but my daughter-in-law and my niece were Chi O’s at Auburn! We love you guys. My mom is an identical twin and instead of being Mamasissy’s they were Ba and Other Ba to the often confused nieces and nephews!

  • Melise
    February 17, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Amen Amen Amen Amen!!!

  • Courtney Walsh
    February 17, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    I’m at such a spiritual crossroads right now. I so appreciate this. It’s so nice and refreshing to read someone else’s revelation…which stands in the gap until I rid myself of my cynicism to find my own revelation again…

    🙂 Thanks for this!

  • Stefanie
    February 17, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog, but especially enjoy reading your posts about faith and God. This one was particularly encouraging. And the pictures of your precious children make it even more enjoyable. 🙂

  • Laina
    February 18, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    I almost didn’t post a comment because I wonder if you really read all 60-something comments. But…I decided to because I wanted to tell you that this was such an encouraging post. I have this book at home and have never picked it up (along with several other books by some of my favorite authors and pastors, even my own pastor John MacArthur). Anyway, I loved reading your thoughts and I believe that your encouragement to me (be it through the blog-o-sphere) bring honor and delight to our Lord! So, THANKS!

  • Angel Antonello
    February 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Fantastic! Our small group is reading Don’t Waste Your Life (Piper) and chapter two is all about what you posted. We just had a discussion on how we should live for the Lord in EVERYTHING we do. Are we always living for Him? What should that look like? etc.. Your post was what I needed to hear (I’m also a stay at home mom) Keep up the good work!

  • Tyne
    February 18, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    The Pursuit of God is one of my all time favorite books, and was highly influential in teaching me how to walk with the Lord when I became a believer. Glad that you were encouraged by it too.

  • Melissa
    February 20, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Darby,
    Just love your blog. I’ve been thinking of starting my own since I have been so inspired by others. Could you please tell me where you got your chenille bedspread?

  • Hannah
    February 21, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Beautiful. I stumbled across you, and am so thankful! It had to be the Lord, giving encouragement through your site. Lovely family…such darling children.

  • Amber
    February 22, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Wow. That first photo of your kids on the bed is my favorite to date. So beautiful!

  • Good News & Bad News - Fly Through Our Window
    February 23, 2010 at 9:09 am

    […] quite the opposite. As soon as I regain consciousness I’ll be back!ps- Our chenille duvet in this post came from Linen Source. It’s a king duvet in white… and we love it. {Thanks, Sister […]

  • Stacey @ The Blessed Nest
    March 6, 2010 at 11:57 am

    What a beautiful post, so encouraging, Thank You!! I’ll definitely be checking out this book. This is what I have been pondering for a while now, and this post so eloquently put it into words. You’re so right that the attitude in our actions is the most important thing! Thanks, I’ll be saving this in my files.