Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Most days I am surprised at how my life has turned out. And not in the good way. Surprised as in slightly disappointed. As a child I did not imagine myself at almost 30 washing dishes, heating a frozen pizza for dinner, and zoning out on my phone on a Friday night. I don’t think any of us do? We dream of being hugely important, fighting bad guys, and having lots of fun doing it – an extraordinary life. For some reason the faithful dish washing, laundry folding, house cleaning, dinner making moments don’t make it into our childhood daydreams.

We exclude the ordinary from the big picture but end up realizing much of our life is made of these very mundane moments.

Why are we so dissatisfied with the ordinary? Why do we dread the mundane? Our culture has left us lustful for busy false-importance and longing for something other than what we have been given.

Sure, we see our quiet times with God as eternally important and extraordinary. But what if we carried that significance with us into the rest of our day? What if we woke up in these seemingly mundane, repetitive tasks to see the beauty all around us? I was “busy” mindlessly scrolling through Instagram recently, checked out from the life happening around me, and was stopped in my tracks by a quote from Emily Jensen of Risen Motherhood. Emily writes,

“It might be mundane to fold laundry. But it’s extraordinary to do it patiently with joy and a heart of love. It might be mundane to sit on the couch and read another book to a whiny four-year-old, but it’s extraordinary to show kindness and mercy to an undeserving sinner. It might be mundane to fill the fridge with groceries, but it’s extraordinary to praise God for his provision. Our everyday moments might be ordinary. But when we accomplish them while displaying the fruit of the Spirit, they reflect our extraordinary Savior.” –Emily Jensen, Risen Motherhood

What if we reframed our perspective on the ordinary tasks and times and saw the potential for God to do something extraordinary with the whole of our lives? Acts 17:28 says, “‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’” Jesus is inviting us to reflect him in the everyday. As Emily so beautifully put it, that makes everything extraordinary!

Take in Jesus’ invitation below. He says in Matthew 11:28-30,

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”  –Matthew 11:28-30 The Message (MSG)

The extraordinary in the ordinary is walking with Jesus, working with Jesus in the “unforced rhythms of grace.” Whether you feel important or not by the world’s standards, your life in Christ is an extraordinary thing. His very presence with you in every moment is sacred and beautiful and eternal. It is my prayer God shifts our perspectives and reframes our understanding and purpose in the everyday, seemingly menial tasks.

On this journey, God has brought two resources into our lives I simply must share with you today! The Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren is such a helpful and incredible book that helps reframe the everyday tasks of life as worship to God. I can’t tell you how life-changing it’s been. Another is a reading plan on the Bible App called The Blessing of the Ordinary by Matt Orth. Both are easy ways to take a step in this direction, of honoring the ordinary and claiming it sacred.

I hope you’ll join me on this journey. I know for certain God has so much in store. Pray this prayer with me:

Jesus, you are the best friend. May I keep you close today, and not push you away. Help me not to numb out in the ordinary moments of life. May everything I do today be worship to you. May you be glorified but also delighted in me today. I long to practice your presence and acknowledge your faithful nearness. I want to walk and work with you, learn from you the unforced rhythms of grace. To know you Jesus, is to live an extraordinary life full of riches and glory I cannot begin to comprehend. You are everything. Thank you for the life you’ve given me.

 

Find the resources linked below:

The Liturgy of the Ordinary

The Blessing of the Ordinary

 

Rachel Denison | Rachel writes to help others draw near to God in every season of life. She and her husband Craig live in Dallas with their two boys, and spend their days enjoying their kids, cooking, watching the Office, and leading worship together. Find more of her articles on FamilyChristian.com and ChristianParenting.org.