I wish I could say that this particular day was filled with extraordinary accomplishments, however it felt anything but.
I vaguely remember preparing school lunches, doing laundry, running kids to their extracurricular activities, figuring out what to eat for dinner, making sure my youngest has taken day six of his antibiotics (which in mom life feels like day 300 if said child is not fond of taking said medicine), cleaning up the kitchen for the nth time, and then mentally gearing up to do it all over again the next day.
It was the most ordinary of ordinary days.
Until I requested my “ordinarily” sweet and compliant preschool-aged son to do his homework. It was then that I was met with inordinate amounts of whining, vitriol, and absolute resistance.
I remember thinking, “Is this it? Is this what my life has come to? Spending what little reserve energy I have left to convince a preschooler to complete his cut-and-paste alphabet letters and coloring sheet?”
Now granted, there were some bigger life lessons at play here regarding attitude, responsibility and life balance…but in that moment I could only see the glue stick for the trees and was desperate to be doing anything but having the conversation I was having. Thankfully, my husband graciously intervened as I waved a giant white flag and headed dutifully to car line to pick up my daughter from school.
More ordinary. And that’s where God met me.
I had been reading a book called Prayer in the Night by Tish Harrison Warren, and as I sat in car line feeling a bit weary and undone, the author took a moment to highlight something about Jesus’ work here on earth that often gets overlooked: his ordinary work as a carpenter.
She writes, “Jesus was a tradesman…. God became flesh and built some furniture. During all those decades that he spent building things, he wasn’t preaching, healing, or clearing out temples. He wasn’t starting a movement or raising the dead. The light came into the darkness and did ordinary work.”
In that moment, I felt seen. Seen by a God who understands what ordinary is. Who spent time doing ordinary things. And who walks with us…in the ordinary.
What’s more though, is that what often feels ordinary is in fact purposeful, necessary, and redemptive. Warren goes on to write, “All of Jesus’ work brought redemption. Not just the work that awed the crowds—the feeding of the multitude, the Sermon on the Mount, the raising of Jairus’s daughter, but also his quiet craft.”
The same hands that whittled wood also brought healing, provisions, and eventually salvation to mankind.
In that quiet moment in car line, God redeemed my ordinary day. I wasn’t just being an ordinary mom. I wasn’t just cooking another meal or doling out medicine. I was bringing healing to my sick child. I was providing nourishment for my family. I was offering instruction and encouragement to my son.
I was doing ordinary things with extraordinary purpose.
And friend, I hope you know that you are too. Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. Don’t underestimate your value. Miracles happen in the mundane. Richness can be found in the routine. Purpose is discovered in the predictable.
And in the most ordinary of moments on the most ordinary of days, you…were created to be extraordinary.