Finding the Extra in My Ordinary

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What’s new? It’s a question I hear all the time amongst friends. When asked of me I seldom seem to have a good response. What is new? I don’t want to answer with “Well, yesterday I got all the laundry washed, dried, folded, and put away.” Because that seems a bit . . . well . . . boring. And yet, when that does happen I’m usually pretty excited. Still, it’s not like getting the laundry done is really making a huge difference in the world. Let’s face it, most of us aren’t moving mountains or coming up with a cure for cancer on a daily basis. But what if we start to look for the “extra” in our ordinary.

Last week I had the opportunity to have breakfast with a young woman I met this summer. She has two kids and lost her husband at the age of 25. I think she’s pretty remarkable and having time to sit and talk with her was a sweet part of my day-a little extra in my otherwise ordinary day.

My friend had to leave breakfast for a meeting but since I was in no hurry I stopped to meet some women at another table. While we’d been eating we heard them at the table on the other side of the wall very quietly singing the doxology. I figured they must be some sort of Bible study group so, before I left the restaurant, I went over to talk to them. (I do this kind of thing pretty regularly, which used to drive my kids nuts. They’ve gotten used to it now. Plus, they don’t live with me anymore so they don’t have to be mortified with my behavior quite as often these days.) Some of the women from the doxology-singing group had already left so I just talked to the four women still at the table. We talked for quite awhile and had a great conversation. They were delightful women. I learned about what they’d been studying and what they planned on studying next. When I walked away I knew our meeting had been orchestrated by God-another little extra in my ordinary day.

And that’s how the weeks go. Conversations with strangers, noticing God’s creativeness as I observe His world on my morning walk, reading a good book, watching the sun set, spending time with my friends; there are so many ways God adds little extras into my days.

It maybe doesn’t seem as exciting as traveling to a foreign country, writing the next great novel, or meeting dignitaries but it’s what I do. It’s what most of us do. Every day, if we’re paying attention, God shows up in some pretty remarkable ways adding a little extra to our ordinary. And, it matters. Maybe the conversation I had with my friend or that Bible study group won’t change the world, but it changed my world for that day, and hopefully blessed the others involved, too.

So what’s new? My extraordinary life. What’s new with you? What are the extras in your ordinary?

3 comments on “Finding the Extra in My Ordinary

  1. Jeneane Herrera

    What a great article, Nancy! I am encouraged and want to adopt this attitude in my own life! I’m so tired of the standard response to people when they ask what’s been going onion my life of, “Oh, I’ve been so BUSY!” Rather, I want to focus on the little interventions of God in my daily routine. Thank you!

    Reply
  2. Helen Wilberding

    Nancy,
    Just rediscovered your blog and so glad I did! Tim and I just relocated to Kigali Rwanda for six months. He is working, but I am “just tagging along”. Okay, we both know God has a plan for my ordinary days. Thank you for sharing with me how to make them extraordinary.
    Love you!
    Helen

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