When Making Oats is a Moment of Worship

Susan Narjala   |   September 13, 2022 

Almost every morning I do this absolutely insane thing.

I make oats.

(I know, radical stuff there, right?)

The thing is, I don’t like oats. I don’t eat oats (Is that sacrilegious for a mom to say? Shouldn’t we stoically eat our way through all things deemed “healthy”?)

But I make oats for my husband’s breakfast. (Yeah, this chocolate-inhaling, give-me-sugar-already gal married a guy who naturally prefers healthy foods.)

It’s not complicated. I take an unchipped ceramic bowl, scoop out 1/3rd cup of oats into it, pour in water, and microwave it for exactly one minute (because 1.5 minutes in our microwave and there’s a Quaker carnage).

I then add a dollop of butter, a sprinkle of salt, a handful of chopped cranberries, and some brown sugar to the oats. I set the ceramic bowl on a nice tray with a cup of black coffee and vitamins and carry it upstairs to my husband for his breakfast.

In today’s culture, serving your husband like a wife from the 1950s would be considered certifiably insane. (Now you see that the first line of my article wasn't just clickbait.) Critics would say that my husband is quite capable of getting himself breakfast. They may add that he should be getting me breakfast. Both of those statements are not untrue.

But to me, serving my husband his breakfast on a tray is a meaningful part of my daily routine. What may seem ridiculous to some or frivolous to others, has become something I enjoy doing. Yes, it feeds into the “happy homemaker” stereotype but it makes this homemaker pretty happy, so . . .

It’s a tiny but tangible way I can bless him for all the hard work he does to take care of our family.

It’s a small, simple act of service that shifts the focus from me to someone else (well, in this case, my husband).

It’s a moment to pause and thank God that I get to do this for my main man of 17 years.

As 1 Corinthians 10:31 reminds us,

“Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

I believe that “whatever you do” in that verse includes repetitive tasks that you may not be able to capture for Instagram, but that hold meaning because they are small gestures of blessing.

Maybe you’ve been doing something on loop for years together now. Maybe it doesn’t feel like a blessing but more like a burden. Friend, could I invite you to recast that task as not merely utilitarian but as sacred? A small shift in your perspective about that simple act could give you renewed purpose. It could take something mundane and make it meaningful.

Maybe our buckets of ‘spiritual’ and ‘secular’ don’t need to be distinct because God is everywhere and in everything we do.

Maybe it's about acknowledging God’s presence and purpose in everyday moments.

Maybe we can learn to worship right in the midst of the ordinary. Even if it's over a bowl of oats.


Photo by Food Photographer | Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

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When she's not smuggling chocolate past her kids or drinking gallons of coffee, Susan Narjala can be found writing, baking and (thinking about) working out. She grew up in Chennai, lived in Portland, Oregon, for the last ten years and is now back in India with her family. She finds nuggets of humour in the everyday, and writes about it on on her blog, www.susannarjala.com

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