Thursday, January 20, 2011

Crafting the Extraordinary from the Ordinary

Someone asked recently what my blog was about which honestly made me laugh. I've read several books on blogging and web-sites and they all recommend having one theme. If more are introduced then it's probably time for a second blog. I've thought about a second blog a few times, but managing one consumes more time than I'd anticipated.
As a result this blog looks like it is about all sorts of things- faith and family and reading and homeschooling. But it is, truly, while inclusive of all of those things, about one thing primarily. And that is this: crafting the extraordinary from the ordinary. For the most part, all of us are fairly ordinary people, living ordinary lives. And that is a blessing. Given the "normal" throughout history the fact that we can live "ordinary" is rare indeed. So, my starting point is that we are, for the most part, starting with ordinary. But then, how do we go from that- the ordinary- to the extraordinary.

I resonate deeply with going above and beyond the ordinary, the normal, the expected. And that is what ties all of the pieces of this blog together- the reading, and the faith, homeschooling, the family. These are the ingredients that we have in our hand, to create something beyond the average, something extraordinary. Something rare and precious and inspiring- like grass- something we assume will be ordinary and average that we expect to have to contain and control and consumes time and energy we'd rather invest elsewhere. But what would happen if we discovered that the grass in our front lawn was gold. Precious and rare, a commodity rather than something that consumes our free time on week-ends. Our attitudes would be different indeed.

I'm proposing, in many ways, that we realize that our "ordinary," our "normal" is really not so normal after all. That the spouse and kids that are ours are no mistake. That the life that we live, no matter how boring, how stressful, how irritating or painful it might be, is the one that we need in order to become the person we are intended to be. And if we believe enough, if we hope and dream wildly, we can see the glitter and shine of gold beneath the tarnished surface of our ordinary. And the common, every place, every day ho-hum will become something we cherish and nurture, rather than something we struggle to get through.

I write all of this, in the midst of a season of feeling beat down and hurt. A season where I have been more discouraged about our "ordinary" than ever before. A season when I've questioned how we've lived and why, where I've felt stuck and wedged so tight that the thought of unstuck doesn't even seem like a possibility. A seasons on top of another season of grief that brought a whole nuther slew of emotions to sort and inventory and late night crying so hard I thought my head would burst open and feelings from decades ago bubbling to the surface to accuse and cause confusion. The though of extra ordinary is great, but not somewhere I'm at. I can't even get to ordinary most days. We still sleep in the living room and I still struggle with my own burn-out in motivating the kids to do school. I'm watching too many movies and letting the kids spend way too much time on the x-box and computer and in front of Dvd's, reading StarWars and Strawberry Shortcake stories instead of inspiring words that will stir their souls.

But still. I have a hope that one day the feelings of being overwhelmed and hurt and struggling will subside. It will be spring again soon. And the kids and I, and even my husband, will go into the yard and pull weeds and plant seeds and watch something grow from nothing, and water and harvest bountiful goodness. And we'll sit at our table, in the prairie evenings, with soft breezes wafting and flowers on our table form the yard, yarrow and lilies and peonies and sage and daisies and lilacs and we'll eat what we harvested that day, vegetables and herbs, and we'll look at each other and smile. Full up of warm sunshine and fresh food that nourishes and know that we've played a part in creating something extraordinary. That in the ordinary, something golden shines through.


Janet Rose said...

I wish I had the perfectly witty yet encouraging word to share with you...but I don't. All I know is that your words resonated with me...not many would know the burden my heart bears at times and the sorrows I feel about similar things as you wrote about in your post. May God bless our ordinary and make it extraordinary as only He can.

LaughingLioness said...

Janet- thank you for your loving words. I am blessed.

Tina said...

Dear friend,
Your recent ordinary IS extraordinary! If you only knew how many times I have considered His ways and thought of you. I know you feel beaten and tired and exhausted; but do you know how high he has raised you? Do you know that, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him *they will ask all the more.* God is using you Now to glorify Him. He uses you through this blog where you take some interesting and rather normal things and bring out the extraordinary in them. You are glorifying your father through all of this. So, while I know you are exhausted, I thank you. I thank you for keeping my eyes on the prize. I praise God that He Can Use You b/c you are Extraordinary in your walk and when He asks you for more, You Give More. It may feel normal b/c you live it daily; it may even be simple obedience (I so get that); but it is amazing and beautiful and wonderful and God-powerful to witness. He has given you much, now, He's just cashing in some of His glory tokens from the bank of Lisa. You are doing a great service to our Lord. Count it all joy, my sister, that we serve an extraordinary God who is working out the perfect work of patience through you. Soon, so very soon, you'll be settled in your bedroom again. Just hold on a little longer. Hugs, my extraordinary friend.

LaughingLioness said...

Tina, Thanks. A whole bunch. You made me cry (again!). Love you, Sister!

Sally Ferguson said...

We cannot measure the effect of our words on someone else. Even those days that feel meaningless all add up to a life lived in obedience.
So glad to catch up to my college buddy again!
Luv u,