Our apartment is five stories above a major road in the city. When the windows are open in the spring and fall, the sound of cars zooming by becomes our constant soundtrack.
I often close my eyes and imagine the ebb and flow of traffic is really the sound of waves—how they build, collect, and dissipate.
We wake before the sun. A few cars travel in their empty lanes, headed quickly downtown, while trucks delivering packages move in the opposite direction.
At noon my husband goes to work, and the kids and I stroll past the mart outside our apartment complex. Workers shift boxes and produce off the sidewalk to let us by.
We end up at the library, our home away from home, where we settle on the floor, barefoot and curious. The kids flip through stacks of books and outdated encyclopedias while I sit quietly and softly exhale.
At 4:30 we meet our neighbors at the playground. The kids run laps around play structures, occasionally hovering near the grandmothers who always hand out sugary snacks.
We eat dinner together, brush our teeth, and I wait for the traffic sounds to once again lull my kids to sleep.
This is the sacred rhythm of my daily life in this season. The rhythm of motherhood and our neighborhood. All the beautiful and noisy, the chaotic and boring, mingle together on sidewalks and playgrounds. The place where I stand is holy not because of the location, but because of who stands with me.
My husband and I moved from China to Korea when I was pregnant with our daughter. While our time in China was largely characterized by freedom and exploration, my perspective and experience here in Korea is largely shaped by motherhood. The rhythm of life as a mom is so much different than as a single teacher. Instead of exploring my neighborhood and being available to meet people, I am now confined to playgrounds and my sofa during nap time. Still in these moments, the kingdom work is significant and the love for my neighbor is just as important. The rhythm of life is different, but the sacredness is the same.
Sometimes all it takes to enter into a holy place is simply to pay attention. As I push the double stroller down the sidewalk, yellow butterflies kiss the leaves of nearby bushes. Car horns beep. Bicycle bells ring out. Sounds that once felt abrasive serve as reminders that I am not alone. This is the way God speaks loudly to me in motherhood and in my neighborhood. He invites me to stop striving, to stop complaining, to stop trying to do my own thing. He invites me to notice and be still, and when I start moving again, He invites me to move with Him.
In these moments I’m learning unexpected lessons of faithfulness, holiness, and meekness. Love and beauty flow heavy like rush hour in my life if I just take the time to pay attention. It’s easy for this season to feel less important and more menial. As I reheat leftovers and change diapers, receive package deliveries and hang laundry, it often feels less sacred and more common. But God in His mercy is calling me to see it like it is— to embrace the sacred rhythm of an ordinary life.
When I feel like my life is unbearably different than it would be in America, when I’m bored or overwhelmed by daily tasks, it helps to stop and feel the rhythm of obedience, of consistency, of a Faithfulness steady like the movement of traffic, of a Love constantly in motion like the sea.
Whether you’re studying language full time, wrangling your kids, or working 9-5, how does God remind you of His presence among the rhythms of your everyday life? How does He encourage and speak to you on the days you feel overwhelmed