“Oh nothing as exciting as you …just the day to day stuff…” That’s what my uncle said as we were catching up. I told him, “I promise my life is not that exciting right now.” But after we hung up the phone I was thinking… “Does my life ‘sound’ like it’s so exciting that it makes others feel like theirs is just so ‘ordinary’? I must admit, on Facebook I like to post fun get-togethers and outings…I do. When I update people or post pictures, I don’t show pictures of me struggling or us waiting to figure out what God is doing in our lives. I don’t post or share the inadequacies I feel at times as a parent and the many (many) ways I’ve dropped the ball.
I have been guilty of looking at posts or pictures thinking, “Wow, life looks like a party over there.” Or, “Wow, traveling and speaking all the time, now there’s the gig!” But let’s be real honest for a moment, shall we? There are things and events that happen that give us stuff to look forward to and share with our friends and family. That’s a part of life; a small piece in the life puzzle. But something in what my uncle said struck a cord with me.
I have come to realize that the normal, day-to-day stuff is the stuff that makes life. Someone’s vacation is great, but that’s maybe once or twice a year. Speaking and traveling if you’re called to it is wonderful, but you don’t see the amount of hours and preparation that went into the day-to-day before that one big event happened. I am convinced that our day-to-day stuff is the real meat of life. And the sooner we embrace our day-to-day every-days, the sooner we will realize just how rich life is.
Working and being a part of the tribe that you work with, learning the ins and outs of their lives as they learn yours. Baseball games. Parks. Coffee dates. Walks. Making family memories. Movie nights. Bonfires. Meetings. Classes. Breaking bread together. Game night. Playing dress up & tea party. Going swimming. A picnic. Watching a child play sports. BBQ with friends. Baby showers. Weddings. The people we let in who begin to become part of our story. It’s the people in the day-to-day stuff that matter. The everyday, ordinary, real life stuff is what makes the journey joyful- if we realize it. The hard part is to be in the moment instead of always waiting for the next ‘big thing’. Guys, this is it.
I have another uncle in California (I have a lot of family in California). He doesn’t have a lot of money, but his life is so rich. He’s spent his life investing in people- sewn costumes, shown up for plays, shows up for sporting events, takes pictures for people, records music for family, and the list goes on. I look at his life and think, he gets something that so many of us miss. He’s invested in the real, day-to-day stuff. I’m not always great at this, but God has been working on me. The Lord has been asking me “Will you just show up?” You know, be all there. Be in the moment and hold this moment for what it is. When you see it through God’s eyes, the day-to-day, ordinary stuff is truly holy ground.
I was telling some girlfriends the other day about our beautiful, ordinary night. We went to Academy Sports Store and bought a soccer ball & some cones. Exciting, right? And then we went home and played soccer as a family in the backyard. It was so fun! And then my husband lit a fire in our fire pit. I looked out the window and saw my husband and my teenage daughter just relaxing by the fire. Then we finished the evening off by making smores. Nothing extravagant- just a beautiful, ordinary night. And I think sometimes we miss those moments because in our society, we seem to always need something to look forward to- more. But truth is, most of our lives are lived out in the day-to-day stuff.
My brother in law has cancer and has been undergoing chemo for the past 8 months. Ya’ll, what he and his wife wouldn’t give to just have some ordinary day-to-day stuff going on. What he wouldn’t do to just go to work and come home and have dinner or spend quality time with friends and family. Please, don’t take your every day life for granted. Invest in people. Always. Every time. You will never go wrong investing your time and energy into friends and family.
Let us love deeply and drink up the ordinary. Let us be there for one another, and embrace our day-to-day, sometimes messy, sometimes clumsy, sometimes stressful, ordinary, holy life.
Lord, I pray that you would help us to realize that the big things really are the little things. Each day is a gift from You. Help us not take it for granted. Remind us that we’ll never get this day back. Help us to embrace our ordinary, because it’s in that ordinary day that you open our eyes to see the extra, to make it extra ordinary. And Lord, sometimes when we’re going through something hard, we just want to get through the day. Would you show us that you’re with us, send people our way, and even in little things, remind us that You’re in this day. In Jesus name, amen.
“That might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most.” ~Russell from UP