My past twelve days have been fairly uneventful. As many of you know I am recuperating from foot surgery. Doctor’s orders are to stay down as much as possible to heal as quickly as possible. I am being a good patient thanks to Gene and the girls.
While I am very thankful for the visits, calls, and texts, I have had more alone time than I need. I have watched so much HGTV and spent hours on Pinterest and Instagram. Other than reading a couple of books, I haven’t been inspired to be productive. One friend asked me if I had any moments of inspiration or insight—uh, no. I feel pretty lazy.
Some days I prayed—God, what do you want for me in this day?
We don’t need to be recovering from surgery to ask God the same question. Many seasons of life might cause us to ask God—What is Your purpose for me today?
- The season of being a young mom—especially if you are a stay-at-home mom.
- You work a job that is not fulfilling but pays the bills.
- Your kids are older and don’t need you as much, maybe you are approaching the empty nest.
- You happily fulfill your daily responsibilities but wonder if you are doing enough with your life.
Each of us could add our own set of circumstances to the list. In this day of seemingly instant celebrity via social media, reality TV, the latest trending books, etc., the message we often hear is that we need to be heard and seen to have a life of purpose.
I’ve been a stay-at-home mom over thirty years. While I no longer have kids in the home, this is how I automatically identify myself when asked, “What do you do?” Then I remember—Not any longer. Yes, I am an author and speaker, but I still give the majority of my time to my family and friends. For the past fourteen years, my parenting and writing have been two of the main threads weaving the fabric of my life. If I had to pick one of my efforts to last for eternity, I would pick my family. My most important purpose has been and remains to be Gene’s wife, mom to our girls, champion of our son-in-laws, and Nana to our adorable Grand.
You’re probably saying—Who wouldn’t pick family over anything else we do? Hopefully we all would. But the dedication to my (and yours) family—it takes place mostly in the ordinary days of life—
- The days of changing my plans to stay home with a sick child.
- The days of cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, errands, food preparation—all those things that keep a family going.
- The days of looking in every store for the only thing on your child’s birthday list. (No internet shopping when our kids were little!)
- Of being available to hear about your child’s day and your husband’s as well.
- Of changing so many diapers for what seems like years and then. . . .
- Potty training each child for what seems like years.
The ordinary–the stuff life is made of–is not seen by others. No one will “like” or even know about all you pour into those you love. If we’re not careful, we may subconsciously believe that the ordinary, the days where it seems not much happens, doesn’t matter.
From my view on the couch, I grew to know that every day matters. If I look carefully, I find joy in each day, even though I didn’t “do” much of anything that day. I am thankful to have loved ones help during my recovery. I am thankful for each ordinary text, phone call, lunch, and visit. Because the ordinary things of life are the threads that weave together to make an extraordinary life.
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.