Embrace the Ordinary {1}

When I think about what it means to truly embrace the ordinary I think of how my life has flopped since becoming a mama. I never knew how incredibly ordinary and yet completely foreign my days would be.

I never knew that a simple trip to the store would be everything but simple, and yet still something I would be called to embrace. Called to embrace the little tidbits of fun in the form of smiles and giggles that my kids would offer throughout our errand. Or, called to embrace the tears and tantrums because they're having a hard time and need their mama for whatever toddler reason they decided on at that time.

Gina over at Someday Saints started a new link-up which I'm excited about. It's called Embrace the Ordinary.

You see, Gina's right! Our sweetly simple, day-to-day, ordinary trip to the store is where I was called at that time and wherever I am called is where I am meant to be. And, wherever I am meant to be is where I can learn and know Him who loves me more than ever. My daily ordinary is where I can find His Beautiful Face if I choose to seek Him.
Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor... Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting. 
-Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
I never knew that vacations or trips back home, something we've done for years, would look so very very very different. I never knew a sweet trip to the beach would be as exhausting as it would be relaxing. Or, as despairing (at times) as it would be filled with a joy I've never known before.

I never knew my sleep would not be my own. That I would yearn for a complete 8 hours of sleep (uninterrupted) as if I had been starved for a whole year. But still, in my exhaustion, experience the sweetest snuggles filled with the sweetest love I've ever known.

I never knew waking up in the morning to begin a day of service and self-giving would bring me so much personal struggle and personal growth. The kind of growth I've prayed for since before I can remember.

Use me, Lord.

Help me to share Your Love. 

Help me to know You more. 

I want to serve You. Show me how.

I never knew that in this place I would find answered prayers from long ago. Answered prayers that I sometimes embrace joyfully and other times, not so much.

My list of I-never-knews can go on forever. And, I'm thankful for that in this moment. The list can go on forever because there is so much ordinary in my day-to-day. And, it is good. So very good. Even on our worst days.

So, with that, I'm thankful for this link-up that will help encourage me to continue to seek to embrace my daily ordinary with a joyful heart. A thankful heart. So that God has room to work in and through me.

At the end of each of these ordinary days, my sin is what keeps me from sharing the true and beautiful desires of my heart: To make a beautiful home filled with love and goodness for my husband and my boys.
I shall accommodate myself to them as far as I can, and as long as I live I shall serve God in them in unfeigned love. 
-St. Bernard
The hard thing is my struggle not only hurts me but my family too. This is such a challenging reality that I have yet to reconcile. I'm not good at putting others before me. It does not come naturally to me. I just pray that while I'm working through this, trying to be the mother and wife I know I desire to be and, with God's grace, can be; my family will still feel loved more than they know. Because the truth of it all is that I love them more than they'll ever know. Each one of them. I just have my struggles at embracing my little place in life (especially on no sleep with a dose of major back pain). My little place that is truly good and beautiful is just that. And, with God's grace, I pray that I embrace it - with more smiles and joy than grouchiness and short-tempers!

Here's my new little prayer that has been helping during my difficult times:

Come Holy Spirit. It is good that I am here. Amen.

After the Edel Gathering, I came back refreshed, yes, but also knowing that what we do is tough. Which is why, when Haley shared some wisdom from Lewis, I felt encouraged, solidarity, and like I need to stop resisting my little path to Home.

The more we get what we now call ourselves out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become. 
-CS Lewis
I know it's a lengthy, Embrace the Ordinary, but thanks for hanging around! Promise the next one will be a little more to the point. Till then, here are a few photos of my recent ordinary:
The boys love emptying toy bins and running around with them over their heads blindly or scrunching themselves up inside. The best is when daddy uses his muscles to lift them. Homemade roller-coaster.
Drums and cars are on the daily lately. Lots of zooming around and banging on anything and everything.
This little boy *loves to drum. All day. Every day. My ears will thank him when he learns the art good of music.
This boy loves to snuggle. I love him for it too, because I am all about the snuggles!
Days with no-naps usually have afternoons that look like this. Not too terrible. This time of day is when I really need to learn to get out of myself. 
Our snuggler has been getting out of bed (nightly) lately to come sneak into ours. I or my husband wake up with him smashed up against us. Because - snuggles. I know he won't want to do this forever. So, for now, pray I can embrace the sweetness as well as continue to encourage the return to his own room to snuggle with Curious George.
This teething toddler has wreaked some major havoc on my sleep. But the way he needs/wants me is sweet and truly filled with a good love.
Ah, yes. Beer is good. Especially with my love. I love these nights together, babe. I really do.
They're good together - these brothers. And, I love them so much for it. I love them so much for this and more.
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Comments

  1. Beautiful reflection, Amanda. Thank you!

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  2. So glad you joined up this week! <3 Your post is so honest and heart-felt. Love the Bl. Mother Theresa quote--it's been one of my faves for years.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Gina! And, thanks for having me :) Blessed Mother Theresa really is so wonderful! This quote is one I often return to for the reminder that it is good that I am where I am and it is here that I am called to share Him - not always easy to remember. So thankful for those who have gone before us and their wisdom!

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