I'm a big fan of being completely swept away by ordinary life.
It started today at a nine year old's birthday party. I actually had never met the birthday boy, but his Mom has become a dear friend of mine over the last few months. I had been nervous about going, but decided to shove away my anxieties and seize the day. I bought myself a pretty new shirt (that I like so much I will wear again tomorrow!) and loaded the birthday boy's gift bag with lots of candy, since I had no idea what else he liked! When I arrived, I was happy to see that there were a very nice group of parents from our local elementary school all sitting around, nibbling on fruit and chips, and chatting under a cluster of trees on the edge of their lovely lawn.
The kids were happily engaged in bouncy house and trampoline activities, along with zip-lining (amazing fun!) and water games. And, a breeze came along that cooled my face, and that signaled me to look around and realize that I was comfortable. I felt peaceful, surrounded by people I didn't know extremely well, yet I knew their names, their kids names, and I knew that it was okay to be me.
And, once I felt that happen, I joined it. I chatted. I asked questions. I cheered kids on during the zip-lining, I talked in silly voices, told jokes, and had a really great time.
Even though I had been scared to go.
And just like that, life swept me away in a beautiful, simple, dance.
I came home, smiling, being proud of overcoming my social anxiety, yet exhausted from it as well.
So, I asked my husband for time to read. I'm about a decade behind the times, but I have borrowed Eat. Pray. Love. from our local library on my Kindle. I know some Christians would be horrified that I'm reading that book, but honestly, Elizabeth Gilbert is one of the most captivating writers I have read recently, and the book is has so many interesting characters, descriptions, and moments recorded in it, that even if I disagree with many (maybe even most?) of her spiritual thoughts, the story itself is delightful. Beyond that, I just adore reading about people who are different than I am. Isn't that part of the joy of reading itself? (Half-Joking-Disclaimer: This is not a push to read this book...just so I don't get blamed for anyone's spiritual demise!)
Anyways, so here I am, on my porch, with my pretty new porch chandelier swaying above me, and my Boston Fern Plant hanging proudly just beyond that, with a delightful read in my hands. The wind chimes are audibly dancing, and David is playing with the kids in the sand box in the front yard. One of our favorite neighbors walks by, and several neighbor kids pass by on bikes and scooters. It's so simple, yet so beautiful.
Nothing life-changing was happening.
Yet, I'm overtaken. By the ordinary. By the blessings that are hidden right in front of me. And I'm thankful.
I'm grateful for a day that I worked hard, played hard, overcame anxiety, and slowed down just to enjoy life.
I'm amazed by life's beauty. And the people that make my life so beautiful. In short, if you are reading this, I am humbled that you are taking the time to read the words bubbling out of my soul tonight. And, you, my friend and reader, are sharing in my little miracle of life today.
Hallelujah. And Amen.