I’ve been busy. Really busy.
But I’ve been happy.
I’ve been trying to consciously focus on the beauty that surrounds me every day. I am rich. I am blessed beyond measure. I am surrounded by luxury that most of the world can’t even fathom. My cupboards, on their barest day, are vast storehouses of abundance to the mother in Ethiopia. The books on my shelves…the magazines on my tables…the Internet at my fingertips is a fathomless well of knowledge that the woman in North Korea can only dream of. I can only imagine what the domestically inclined mother of one in China would think of my four children that fill my home with laughter. I step in a hot shower every day, choose from an array of wonderfully scented soaps, scrubs, and shampoos, and I marvel at the decadence. I open drawers and peer in my closet, and I am astounded at how much I have. I have debated whether to send my children to a private Christian school or to choose from a plethora of available resources to homeschool them, all the while knowing that if I chose to do neither the public education system would educate them for me. We are so blessed. We are filthy, stinking rich, and most of the time we don’t even notice.
I decided to notice.
I have noticed that my house is always messy because it is filled with children. Children who live and laugh and love in this house every day. There is dropped and forgotten food on my kitchen floor more often than not because we have plenty. They have plenty. They never go hungry. It’s always available for them to help themselves when the least feeling of hunger presents itself, and that is the story that the cracker crumbs and sticky yogurt residue tell. The laundry piles up when I’m busy with other things because we have clothes to last us many days without doing laundry. If we run out of anything, we go to the store. If we get sick or hurt, we go to the doctor. If we want to go to church, we go. No one stops us. No one even makes it difficult. We are rich and free and abundantly blessed and we didn’t do one thing to deserve it anymore than those who live in Ethiopia or North Korea or China. God has showed us his unmerited favor, and that has a way of changing your perspective.
I’ve chosen to look around today, and marvel in the beautiful ordinary. The ordinary mess that is the rule rather than the exception. The noise level that can drive you crazy if you don’t take the time to see that it comes from wrestling boys, a little girl learning to play the piano, or the baby singing, “Mommy! Daddy! ‘Lijah!” in a musical testimony to being surrounded by love and family and good things from birth. The busy schedule. The college education, the good job that pays well, the church family, the karate lessons, the piano lessons, trips to the park, playdates with friends, family get-togethers, a little brother’s football game, and on and on and on.
How can we not realize how beautiful our lives are? We have everything we need! We have Jesus. We have family. How can we not revel in every beautiful day? How can we not marvel that our ordinary lives are beautiful, decadent, extravagant displays of wealth and favor?
Take a look around you. If you are rich enough to be able to log on and read this blog post, you are blessed. You are rich. I dare you to notice your ordinary today. Gratitude will follow.