I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your families and are enjoying the new year. I’ve vacuumed up pine needles and packed away all the Christmas decor. Now it’s time to settle in for a long winter’s nap. Er…well, maybe not.
I always find January to be an emotionally challenging month. In West Michigan we barely see the sun this time of year. April and spring (which don’t always coincide) seem so far away. We have months of ordinary, gray days ahead of us. (Currently, we are buried under at least a couple feet of snow with wind chill temperatures in the vicinity of -20! AND we’ve had an extra 3 days of Christmas break due to weather!) I really, really want to just crawl under the covers with a good book that allows me to live someone else’s adventure while I wait for the ground to thaw and warmer adventures to come my way.
But lunches need packed and dinners need cooked and articles need to be submitted, and a whole host of ordinary matters require my attention.
As I reflected on 2013, I made a list of extraordinary events – things I was proud of and happy about, like publishing my first book right down to how we handled cancer and surgery. As I looked at the list of a dozen things I realized that a whole lot of ordinary happened between those events.
In fact, a whole lot of ordinary prepared us for those extraordinary highs and lows.
I think the major lesson that I took away from 2014 was this:
Your Ordinary Matters Matter.
Ordinary, forgetful events happen everyday. They matter. They’re important. They train us, they discipline us.
Before you run a marathon with a cheering crowd and a shiny medal, you run hundreds of boring miles when no one is watching. But you need to run those mundane miles in order to run the race.
Before there’s a major health crisis, you have countless days to cultivate a relationship with God that will come as natural as breathing when breathing is hard.
Before you publish a book, you write a lot of paragraphs and pages that get thrown away. But those scrapped sentences help you discover what the book is really about.
Before you send your child off to college, you have thousands of hours to spend eating meals together, running errands, sharing bedtime stories. Will you make those ordinary matters really matter?
This is my theme for 2014. To see the meaning in the mundane. To see the beauty in the boring. To make the ordinary matters matter.
I’ll be unpacking this in the coming weeks and months through a variety of stories. I hope you’ll join me in the discovery of ordinary matters.
What about you? What was your biggest lesson in 2013? Do you have a focus for 2014?
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This year discover the beauty in the boring, the meaning in the mundane.
Ordinary events prepare us for the extraordinary.