Let's not be afraid of ordinary

There is so much pressure these days to be extraordinary.  

Write the blog post that goes viral. Then craft a dinner with flavors and plating that would please the foodies of the world. After that, make sure to decorate in a way that would make every room of your house Pinterest worthy. And when you throw your kid a birthday party, please make sure that every single trinket, food item, and activity revolves around a central theme with all of it perfectly coordinated into a seamless activity.

 

No one can do it. We know that don’t we? No one can be extraordinary all the time. It’s just not possible.

 

Why does being ordinary frighten us so much anyway? What are we afraid will happen if we enjoy days that are simply normal?

 extraordinary eyes

I wonder what would happen if we spent less time trying to do extraordinary things, and more time trying to see with extraordinary eyes. To notice that the same things that feel mundane to me would be unbelievable blessings to someone else.

 

I don’t want to take the ordinary for granted. I want to drink it up like a cool refreshing glass of water.

Five Minute FridayThis post is linking up with Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. A weekly prompt with strict instructions: write for 5 minutes and post. No over-editing. No do-overs. An practice of freedom. A way to let go of perfectionism. An exercise for some not often used writing muscles. Read more posts or link up over there. Today’s prompt was: ORDINARY. (Note: I spend only 5 minutes on the writing, but I do take a little extra time to put together the image. I can't help myself.)

Permission to Have Ordinary Days

Source: overcoming-obstacles.tumblr.com via Stephanie on Pinterest

“What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.” –Author Unknown

I ran across that quote on Pinterest yesterday and immediately repinned it. I love words that push me to seize the day. To not take any moments for granted. To live life to the fullest.

These words challenge and inspire me. Usually.

But something different happened yesterday. After I read this quote, the words planted an unwanted seed in my thoughts: discontent.

I tend to think of great days as ones on either end of a spectrum. I adore days that are gloriously wasted in fun and relaxation. I also feel satisfaction when days have been strategically used up for work and accomplishments.

I have a tendency to loathe the days in between. The days of television watching and errand running and dish doing and game playing. Days filled up with time slipping away and me wondering how I wasn’t able to do that other thing.

Yesterday was that kind of day. It actually had a few extraordinary moments, as I sent my oldest off for his first day of kindergarten. Before he left, we took pictures. When he got back, we went out for ice cream. Smiles brimmed wide as we forged memories. But besides those moments? I don’t know what happened. My day slipped away.

I went to bed feeling restless. Streams of discontentment meandered around my thoughts as I wondered for what I had just exchanged a day of my life.

That is not a faith-filled perspective on daily living.

It seems to me that belief in God is meant to bring a sort of balance in how we see time.

Life is brief. We are dust. Like chaff blown in the wind.

But we are also eternal. We have a never-ending future in front of us as this life flows into the forever God has prepared.

An emphasis too strongly on either side seems to miss the abundant life we are meant to have in Jesus.

The key element of keeping our perspective in balance, I think, is trust. We need to trust that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do.

That means trusting that there is in fact a heaven waiting for us. We don’t need to suck the marrow from the bones of each day because this life is not all that there is. We can be content in good days and bad, extraordinary days and ordinary ones, knowing that our future is a long winding road of everlasting life.

But it also means trusting that God is moving in and through us each and every day. That our lives are an act of worship, and God cares how we spend them. That we should walk with open eyes and a sensitive spirit. That no moments should be taken for granted.

I love to dream and accomplish and experience and squeeze the potential out of everything. It’s no surprise, then, that I struggle with the former more than the latter.

So today, I am giving myself permission to have more ordinary days. I need to learn to seek contentment in God, not in my experiences. This is my act of trust.

Do you need permission to have more ordinary days? Or do you need to be pushed to seek more extraordinary ones? How do you keep a balanced perspective on time?