Everyday worship. Those two words don’t seem like they should go together. Everyday is dull and ordinary—it’s dishes and laundry and kids activities and what’s for dinner and who left the door open so the toddler could get outside. Worship is uplifting and beautiful—Sundays with a church choir and massive organ and no kids shrieking because their sister just threw a hymn book at them. And yet everyday worship is the topic of Ruth Chou Simons’ new book, Beholding & Becoming.
Book has been provided courtesy of Harvest House and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
I’ll be honest that I picked up Beholding & Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship because worship has been sadly lacking in my life lately. I am guilty of the busyness that consumes so many moms today—rushing the kids here and there, planning our homeschool curriculum, trying to throw up a blog post and get the laundry done and do I really need to clean the bathroom this week and oh I should pray too and check the Gospel in the app on my phone but the kids need breakfast and I want a coffee.
Worship? I’m more likely to grumble about the rain and complain about my lack of sleep than praise God.
Beholding & Becoming more like Jesus
Beholding & Becoming is down-to-earth and honest. It spoke to me on every page, from the beauty of the watercolour paintings that left me tracing the lines of butterflies and flowers, to the words Ruth pens from her heart to mine. Each chapter is short—two or three pages—with concrete advice and takeaway to think on or apply in my everyday life. Ruth includes Bible quotes and sayings from other giants of faith to inspire our everyday worship.
Each chapter has two parts: beholding something about God and becoming more like Him. For example, Chapter 2 focuses on Beholding God’s Faithfulness in a Day and Becoming: Be Glad in Today. Chapter 5 is about Beholding God’s Example for Family and Becoming: The Mission Field Is at Your Kitchen Table. Each chapter also has small, concrete things we can do, like just being mesmerized by the moon as it appears each night. (When was the last time you stopped to stare up at the moon and marvel at God’s work in space?)
Ruth says, “Despite what social media or newsstand magazines try to convey through picture-perfect lifestyle images, no one is exempt from the ordinary aspects of life.” And yet it is in these ordinary aspects of life that we can find God, if we stop to look for Him. Beholding & Becoming is an invitation to slow down and to see God in the world around us, in our families, even in all the daily tasks we have as moms.
Many years ago, I wrote a post on the monotony of motherhood. Ruth echoes that: “If I’m honest, it’s not cleaning the refrigerator, washing the dishes, or doing the laundry I dislike; it’s the feeling of never being done in the work of the everyday that chafes my checklist-loving heart.” There are few trophies for moms, no Giller Prizes or Oscar Awards. And yet Ruth says that God sees our ordinary work: “To our all-seeing God, everyday faithfulness is an act of worship and not just an act of survival.”
Like Ruth, there are many things I’d rather be doing that cleaning my pantry or checking my daughter’s math problems. Blogging is fairly close to the top of that list—when I write and publish a blog post, it stays pretty and perfect, unlike my kitchen counters or kids’ closets. Yet I’m fairly certain God is more pleased when I read stories to my toddler than when I ignore his pleas for attention in order to finish crafting another sentence or editing another meme. Beholding & Becoming has been a reminder to focus on the right thing, and yet also an affirmation that this is the right thing.
Beautiful Words & Art for Your Soul
Back in January, I went through a personal struggle over the death of a dream. At one point, I joked on Facebook that God and I “weren’t on speaking terms.” In the hurt and sorrow and depression I’d sunk into, it was hard to look up to a loving God, to see His plan in the ruin of my plans. Music was one of the things that helped pull me out of this slump—worship music that spoke to my soul of God’s faithfulness through dark times. Beholding & Becoming has been reinforcing many of the lessons I’ve learned since January, and also helping me to get back into everyday conversations with my Savior.
In a world battling for our eyes and attention, this is a deeply important book for our times. These pages are more than a feast for the eyes — they are direly needed manna for souls who want what fulfills… A masterpiece forming us more like our Master. Behold. Become. Be held. ~ Ann Voskamp
Beholding & Becoming includes over 850 individual works of art. I have to say, Ruth’s artwork is amazing. One night as I was reading before going to bed, my six-year-old came tiptoeing into my room for a hug. As I read, she looked at the paintings on the page—flowers and butterflies. Then we flipped through a few more pages, as she oohed and aahed over the beautiful illustrations. I love Ruth’s lettering and calligraphy, and almost wished the pages were removable so that I could hang them on my wall instead of hiding them in a book. (Many of the prints are available for sale on Ruth’s website GraceLaced.)
More about Ruth Chou Simons
Ruth Chou Simons is an author, artist, speaker and mom of six boys. She shares her journey of God’s grace intersecting daily life with word and paintbrush through an online shoppe at GraceLaced.com and her Instagram community of more than a hundred thousand. Ruth’s first book, GraceLaced, won a 2018 Christian Book Award.
If you like journaling, check out Beholding & Becoming: A Guided Companion. This beautiful book is a thoughtfully designed way to engage in deliberate soul-work—to linger longer in God’s Word and reflect on developing a deeper relationship with the Savior. This companion will guide you on a journey of becoming more like Christ as you behold Him in your daily life.
How do you worship God in the everyday? Have you read Ruth Chou Simons’ books?