My life is about as ordinary as they come. I suppose the fact that I have five kids might seem a little crazy to some people. Admittedly, the demands of a large family do orchestrate a good deal of chaos on any given day, but I cannot imagine my life any other way. To me, it is unremarkable.
I am not accomplishing grandiose things like so many prominent online influencers. My house is filled with evidence of family life (ahem…messes) instead of beautiful furniture and decorations. I have few Instagram-worthy moments. Mostly, I do laundry, beg people to pick up after themselves, go grocery shopping (and listen to constant complaining that we have NOTHING TO EAT), cook meals, put out fires, and drive over 200 miles every week to ensure everybody gets to where they need to be.
My kids are good kids, but they often give me headaches with their crazy antics. Plus, they don’t like me to publicly talk about them because acne, mood swings, and friend drama are not especially flattering, and that is where we are at right now.
While the stage of life I am currently living is my favorite so far by a long shot, I often wonder why I feel compelled to share my experiences online. It would be much easier (and arguably just as fulfilling) to write in my journal instead where my life would not be judged and critiqued by people who have never met me.
The truth is, I am a fairly private person. I don’t want to live in the spotlight. Sharing so much of myself with the world is difficult for me. I don’t even like posting status updates on my personal social media pages that are followed only by friends.
Yet, here I am, pouring my heart onto a page for whoever wants to follow along. It is often exhausting and uncomfortable to show up consistently. But each time I have wanted to walk away from this space (and there have been many times), I have heard the same words clearly spoken in my mind by a voice I have learned to recognize, “I need you to write.”
Sometimes, a personal request from the Lord can be so inconvenient.
For four years now, I keep getting the same answer to my prayerful pleas for direction:
So I write.
There are times when I love it – when the words flow like a river of inspiration. But other times, it feels impossible because life is hectic and raising five kids can be all-encompassing. My creativity is usually the first thing to suffer when I have a million things on my mind (hello, teenagers). So I sit there and stare at a blank screen, my fingers willingly perched on the keyboard while my brain refuses to produce a single coherent idea.
In those moments and so many others like them, I think, “Maybe I wasn’t cut out for this.”
But then I hear those familiar words with perfect clarity:
Don’t Quit. Keep Writing.
I don’t know why my offering of sentences and paragraphs is so important to the Lord. I have yet to figure out the grand design of my work that feels so insignificant in the vast Internet world. However, I have recently realized that questioning the Lord’s wisdom will get me nowhere.
His gentle rebuke came the other day as I, once again, pleaded for a roadmap for this online space that requires so much of me. His response was clear and piercing:
You know what I need you to do. Now do it.
I might not ever know why the Lord wants to me to write in such a public way. His will is obviously different from mine. But my vision is limited while His is infinite.
It is not for me to question, only to trust. To follow. To share my ordinary life with the world, even when I would rather keep it to myself and live without the pressure of additional onlookers.
Perhaps insight with the potential to uplift and enlighten flourishes while in the thick of seemingly mundane living. Perhaps joy and perspective are always hiding in the cracks and crevices of daily chaos, waiting to be discovered and embraced. Maybe life doesn’t need to be extravagant, awe-inspiring, or grandiose to be worthy of sharing.
Maybe, just maybe, ordinary is where the magic happens because that is where life is truly lived.
So I will embrace my unglamorous life and keep giving what I have, however small it may seem. I will continue to write, even when the going gets tough. And I will be grateful every day for those who believe in me enough to come along for the ride.
Joy is waiting. Let’s uncover it together, one ordinary day at a time.