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Jan 10

In Other Words: Have You Noticed?

“If I can’t find God in the ordinary places of life,
either I’m not looking hard enough
or he’s not nearly as approachable as I need him to be.

This is a paradox too.
God appears in all the ordinary places,
burning bushes,
naked Barbies,
plumbing disasters.
But when he does,
those places become holy.
Moses had to take his shoes off.”

~from an interview with Marcus Goodyear,
Barbies at Communion

While folding the laundry this morning I was reminded (for some reason memories long-buried seem to surface while doing the most mundane tasks!) of times as a young wife and mother when it seemed that my life was on endless treadmill of drudgery, with no appreciation, recognition, or value to what I was doing every day, all day long. That was partly a result of my personal struggle with hearing every word that was whispered or shouted into my heart from the world around me, including my Christian community. Even the silence was an overwhelming voice that seemed to remind me that “just” being a stay-at-home mom was insignificant, and the daily responsibilities that come with caring for several small children were not really very important . . . . but gee, someone has to do it, so I guess I should just put a smile on my face and carry on.

As time went by, however, I encountered opportunities to discover that there was a different way of looking at the hidden life of a woman in her home. I’ve written about this book before, so in passing I will just refer to one of the first books I found that inspired me to realize that my calling as a wife and mother was “ordinary” but it was also extraordinary – at least in God’s eyes. That book was “The Hidden Art of Homemaking,” by Edith Schaeffer, and in that little book I learned that everything I do, every day, including the mundane “ordinary” tasks of cooking, cleaning, and caring for small children is an opportunity to express the creativity that God has put into my soul. Because, after all, if we truly believe that we are created in His image, that will include creativity in one degree or another because He is (0bviously!) a creative being.

So when I think about those “ordinary places of life” where God shows up, it is not surprising to me that He is, indeed, actually THERE. Little moments to treasure, that we just might miss if we aren’t looking, like the day that we moved the bookcase in the hallway and there, scrawled in childish handwriting, I read: “I love you, Mom.” This beautiful and cherished little piece of childhood (which had apparently been hidden behind that bookcase for several years!) was a touching reminder that even things like children secretly writing on walls (which of course they should never, ever do!) can be a gift from God. So, as we removed all of the old wallpaper so that we could paint the hallway, that particular piece of wallpaper was  carefully preserved and now has its very own page in a scrapbook. Memories . . . . .

Or the other night when Annie came across a card that I was going to give my husband, just because I love him, and she sweetly took it upon herself to write on the envelope: To Daddy, From Mama and Annie. Of course, we all love our Daddy! Ordinary gifts from our Heavenly Father to remind us of the truth. Time keeps ticking off the minutes, days, and years and we must stop long enough to see Him in the simple, regular events of every day. Even if those ordinary things are dollies in their birthday suits, roller skates clattering along the sidewalk, or unexpected hugs from a child. I’ll take them all, especially the regular ol’ ordinary stuff!

If you would like to participate with “In Other Words” this week, please visit Cynthia at Great Brain Ideas where you can leave a link to your blog post on this topic. You can also find the links to the other participants’ blogs so you can visit them and read their thoughts. Hope to see you there! Nina

3 comments

  1. Cindy

    Hey you! This was absolutely lovely! And just so deep down bone real. Your use of “just” can be applied to so many areas of my life – “just” this and “just” that.
    I am truly grateful you linked up today, Nina. Your words have been pocketed or should I say written on the wall to keep.

    All thru Him,
    Cin

    1. Nina

      Hi Cin – thanks for stopping by! Today the “ordinary” event that is a gift from God is your sweet message ;o) Hope you stop back again soon. . . . you might find something else to put in your pocket! Nina

  2. Ricki Jill Treleaven

    😀 Sweet post.

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