Finding the Beautiful in the Ordinary

Tea Anyone?

I’m just plugging away at life.

Nothing extraordinary or exciting to report.

But–oh–life is so sweet and beautiful at this moment, exactly where I am! Some things are smaller–like my immediate circle of friends–somethings are harder–like balancing work, school and IJM responsibilities–and some things are crazy–like the fact that I’m an aunt all over and again and that I’m traveling to the Philippines in two months.

I’ll be honest: being present is a struggle. Especially after tasting life in DC. Especially after spending a summer–and now the fall–working a part time communication internship. Especially when many of my friends and work and leadership responsibilities are everywhere but in Boone. Especially when I am so eager and excited for the next stage of life.

BUT… that is not where I am called right now. I’m called to small acts of faithfulness in familiar places. A friend reminded me of Jim Elliot’s quote:

Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.

Another reminded me that being present, like anything else, takes discipline. It takes putting one foot in front of the other and walking the path you agreed to walk with God.

I like to see end results. I am impatient when I write, paint, read, work, study, or employ myself in any activity that creates a product. That translates easily into other aspects of life, too. I get so caught up in trying to get things done, that I forget half the joy comes in appreciating the process. I don’t want to live life that way–I want to learn to enjoy every single stage and aspect of life, even if I’m waiting or working towards the next one.

I’m starting with my classes. I asked the Lord to give me joy in the mundane and see beauty in the small things. Here’s a few I love:

  • Client meetings with the Solar Decathalon PR team every Friday. I get to dress up, arrive with an agenda and list of questions, and learn learn learn so much about how to utilize social media, create and sustain campaigns, and work with a variety of personalities.
  • Staying up late in the evenings to study with my roommates. We put on classical music, brew some tea, and institute 40 minutes of silence followed by 5 minute Youtube breaks. Kid President is one of our faves.
  • African dance every Tuesday/Thursday. I’m horrible, but by golly, I’m learning to branch out, be confident, and laugh laugh laugh at how fun it is.
  • Answering emails. I know it’s such a small thing, but since “through words we build our world” I enjoy taking a few creative moments to craft responses.
  • Blogging (nearly) every Friday. Regularity is good for the soul.
  • Driving back from school in the evenings and viewing my mountain from 421. It’s so majestic and beautiful.

We all live busy lives. How easy it would be to cover our ears, close our eyes, and numb our senses to the world around us. How easy it would be to live so much in the desire for tomorrow that we forget to live today. But I’m not called to what is easy.

So that’s what I’m working on.
Here is where I am.
Here is where I want to be.
I’m excited for what’s next. 
I’m loving what is right now. 

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