Meaning in the Ordinary

So as usual I’ve been thinking a lot

I am a fervent believer that God speaks to me. Thing is the way he speaks to me most is through themes. That might sound odd on first glance, but stay with me. You see when I keep hearing a train of thought, when it seems people in my life even strangers are all pointing  me back to a certain idea, and I keep being drawn to books focused around this one theme I really listen. It’s not all the time, but without any intention on my own part I might notice that everything I’m reading and the conversations are all about forgiveness or friendship.

So what’s the theme?

Right now in my life I seem to be hearing these connecting themes, I am enough and there is meaning in the little everyday thingsYou see in my short life I am already concerned if I’m living my life meaningfully. Living out my purpose. Honoring God with my life. Being true to myself. However you want to phrase it, more days than I care to admit I feel like I’m falling short.

Over Easter weekend I spent time with the best friend in MaineWe laughed our butts off, went to a beautiful Easter service, ate tons of maple syrup in celebration of Maple Sunday, had many late night chats, petted alpacas, and ate many wonderful meals together. It was a wonderful refreshing vacation and every day my heart was full and grateful. It just got me thinking about how much I can spend time obsessing about my potential career, money, success, and yet at the end of the day this is when life feels richest.

It’s petting an alpaca for the first time and feeling just how soft that is.

It’s eating maple syrup drizzled on ice cream with your best friend of five years.

It’s laughing until your cheek hearts.

It’s late night chats about life, death, and everything in between.

It’s prayers at meal times and flowers in a cross.

It’s hot meals with quality meats and cheeses produced by the Amish.

It’s crossing the Zakim bridge and feeling that overwhelming sense of I’m home.

It’s coming home to my husband and feeling like I one thousand percent belong.

It’s coming back to a house full of people and being glad you chose community.

It’s always having a space for far flung friends to crash

A new perspective

I haven’t always been this was I would say a lot of it has to do with The Awesome Housemate (We’ll call her TAH for short.) She has a way of seeing great worth and beauty in the ordinary. She shines God into ordinary things as well. She tells me she hasn’t always been that way, and yet her perspective helps me to slow down and really take in life. Right now we’re reading Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman together. Se writes about how much of life is built on an ordinary Tuesday. She reminds us to breathe and slow down and that many worthwhile things take time to build.The author even writes in a way that forces you to slow down and really absorb what she’s saying.

Simply Tuesday

Still learning

I feel so grateful for the ordinary things I got to do with my best friend (well okay maybe petting alpacas isn’t that ordinary), and yet in my job I feel like what I’m doing is worthless. The fact that I’m making Miss J’s families lives a little easier doesn’t really help either. Yet, God placed me here for a reason. I often glimpse him in my (sometimes heavily) ordinary life. I also have friends on the World Race, friends working around the country in jobs I deem exciting, friends who seem to be doing amazing things, while I remain here. Of course I forget that even in the most amazing lives dinners still have to be cooked and laundry still has to get folded.

Meaning in laundry?

I guess I’m starting to wonder more and more that even though no one but my husband really sees it, there is holiness to the laundry. There is weight and significance. That God is at work in the stadiums, but he’s also at work in my handful of friendships. That part of why I can gain so much joy from a long meal with people I love is because at the end of the day we all need to be loved and nourished.

Let’s look to Jesus

I look to Jesus himself, what do we most often see him doing? Praying, talking, sharing meals, connecting with individuals. Of course he raised people from the dead, did miracles, and healed so many people. Those matter too, we all have those extraordinary moments, times when we can only point to God. But still so much of the Gospels is Jesus simply telling stories and caring for others. Nurturing friendships through 12 ordinary men–who ignited the church as we know it today.

I want to continue to find God in the ordinary. I need to remember that God is in the trenches and the kitchens. I want to find meaning in my life as it is. I want others to see God in my simple life so they realize that He is not unattainable. He calls all of us into his love. He created this world in all of it’s extraordinary every day beauty so that we would enjoy it. So how can I enjoy it better, notice it more, and inject love into even the most mundane things?

So what do you think, dear readers?

What moments in your life stand out? Is it always the big things, the mundane, a mix? Do you feel your life has meaning?

Love and care,

Juanita

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3 thoughts on “Meaning in the Ordinary

  1. “I want others to see God in my simple life so they realize that He is not unattainable”

    That’s exactly what you are supposed to be doing… that and writing about it and BEING around your friends. Jesus did not shove His truth at people; He reflected it. He displayed the love of God. People saw it and they wanted more. They wanted what He had: peace and close connection with the Father. Nor did Jesus travel very far. His main influence was with the dozen or more men and women that he spent most of His time with. But like ripples in water expanding concentrically around a drinking deer, His influence spread because those people knew other people…

    You are where you are supposed to be, doing what you are supposed to do. If God wants you elsewhere, it will happen.

    I, too, follow the signs and even occasionally hear the voice of Jesus..not out loud…but He speaks to me (and He’s smiling at you and me now because He is pleased).

    About the laundry…monks do their assigned tasks every day. It is done as if it were prayer itself.

    Watch those themes, dear. You’re in touch with God.

    • Kitsy, thank you so much for your beautiful words. Your insight and affirmation mean so much to me. As I grow I realize that while God is everywhere when I can find him in the most mundane of moments that is how my integrity and testimony will be most clear. Thank you for reading and following.

      • You are so welcome, dear. And good morning.

        If it were not for my newly found ‘soul mates,’ I would be a bit lonely. I have recently moved from NC to upstate SC and my ‘friends’ from NC seem to have moved on; I email them about my writings but I seldom hear back anything.

        So, thank you for Your affirmation. And God’s peace…

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