Back to the normal. No Amazon experiences this week, no adventure travel, no Miami airport random screening, no worms to eat and no snakes to worry about. In fact it’s raining, dark and cold here in the Northwest, and my dog is mad because I won’t take him for a walk in this weather.
I had to pause for a moment today when my middle daughter decided to whip out a little riff on the piano of Bon Jovi’s, “Sweet Child of Mine.” I pulled away from my computer screen to listen, and it was fairly impressive. It made doing an expense report on a rainy afternoon far more fun. I am not complaining here, but I will admit, working on an expense report is not my favorite part of the job.
Sweet child of mine, the weather, and the expense report got me thinking. How do we live the ordinary life in an extraordinary way?
I have friends that often comment on our lives of travel and adventure and I realize that indeed this is extraordinary… with all the travel and stuff. But I do come home and find the ordinary again. I love being home so much and I appreciate home more than ever, however, there were many years when I was raising young children and not working a formal job and time passed…s l o w l y (say that in slow motion). I would become depressed in the winter months while my children drove me crazy in the house because the weather was not conducive to outside play. I would drive Steve crazy with all my hair-brained ideas as I searched for the extraordinary in redecorating the house over and over again.
How do we survive the ordinary then?
You know, I realized the other night that God gave each of us something to handle the ordinary. I believe inside each of us is a bit of an artist. After all, He created us in His image, and friends, I have seen His artwork all over this world. While some of us can’t paint to save our lives, there are other ways we can be creative. And this creativity can help us in the ordinary moments. I know some people never had a chance growing up to discover what may possibly be the creative side they have, but I think each of us has something.
Some people are artists of words. Ann Voskamp falls into this category. Not only can she take a good photograph, but also this mother of six ended up on the New York Best Sellers list because she decided to write a book.
Some can paint. My friend Janet Bentley Jones , (she is not my relative so I didn’t have to say this), started painting recently. She hadn’t painted since the 3rd grade but she started painting as a way to worship God. I can’t believe some of things she is coming up! It’s beautiful and inspiring.
Some like music. Do you love listening to music? You know, learning an instrument is one of the best things you can do for your mind. I’ve played the piano a good portion of my life, but I took lessons a few years ago when my kids were little, and I learned how to play jazz. It was a blast! I love music and playing music, and as my daughter Grace says, “Music takes away the stress; can I get some bag pipes now?”
Some like cooking as a creative outlet – In the Amazon they like cooking rat. I like cooking about 2 out of 7 days a week. However, I have friends that are so skilled in the culinary area that I would eat forest rat if they prepared it. My friend Karen is amazing.
Some like scrap booking. Ok, I never got into it. But I can see that many find pure joy in the artistry of designing the pages to go into the books.
My husband, he likes fixing things. He can spend hours creatively thinking of ways to solve a problem and fix something. And he finds joy in this.
Some like Photography – I love a good subject and I am grateful that my man bought me a good camera. This is something that I truly enjoy and find passion in. I don’t even care if it’s perfect, because I see beauty in my favorite subject. Awwww!!
Some like gardening – I kill things, my mom grows beauty. Her yard is her joy.
Even the poor of this world find creative outlets to pass the time to make the ordinary life extraordinary. I can’t even tell you how many excellent musicians I have come across in all parts of the world. And some of the artists we run into? Wow! The way some kids can express themselves through art amazes me.
What is your creative? Maybe you don’t know it yet because you have never had the opportunity to explore this side of you. Maybe you haven’t given yourself time to be creative.
Well, I think this is a gift that God has given each of us, and whether it is big or small, we all have a creative side. I am sure of it. As I listen to a beautiful song, or see a beautiful painting, I know that the Creator is behind it all. And deep down inside there is something inside each of us stirring to come out. We just have to figure it out.
My goal this winter is to be more intentional with the creativity that God has given me, especially on the dark rainy days. I challenge you all to do the same and I bet the ordinary life will become a little more exciting.
Life, Family, Faith and Travel...the life of a Jones
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