Like most people, I look forward to celebrations and parties, holidays and highlight occasions, and it’s tempting to start the year, striding seamlessly from the old to the new, barely pausing for breath…

But over the past few years I have come to appreciate the liminality of those few precious days between the holiday season and starting back to work, that enable me to press the pause button and prayerfully reflect on the year that has gone and the year to come.

What went well? What was I most proud of?
What was hard? What did I not enjoy?
Where in my life was God in the last year? Where would I like him to be this year?
How can I change things to create a better outcome this year?
What might need to stop to enable other things to happen? What might I begin?
How would I like to live my best life?

I spend a few days, deliberately easing myself into the New Year, as I ponder on the past, present and future. It makes me feel more prepared and intentional in my approach to a new beginning.

IMG 1751Returning from the Christmas break, with all its wonder and busy excitement but unfamiliar, often unpredictable days.. to the relative comfort and ease of unassuming ordinary and a greater degree of certainty and control over our days, I really enjoy embracing ordinary days, after a spell of special events. There’s something deeply reassuring about whatever is ordinary for wraps itself around you, welcoming you into its safe familiarity … and it’s from that familiar place of regularity that you are able to function to create, work, give out, and live your extraordinary life.

Living ordinary lives is terribly underestimated, and in a world that promotes excitement and endless activity, ordinary is often side-lined as undesirable. From where I'm looking, right now, I would disagree...

The Joy of Ordinary Living

For a variety of reasons, many of us have lost the joy of living ordinary.

Living patterns of self-care, creating a home, caring for other people, honest work, simple leisure activities together with a rhythm of prayer and focus on God and an emphasis on community and hospitality seem
to me at this stage of my life, to be all that is needed right now.

For when we accept with grace, the often mundane aspects of our ordinary every day, workaday lives, and commit to them in an attitude of reflection and worship there is the potential to be transformed by them. Though it often doesn't feel like it, amidst the humdrum of the ordinary, God provides each of us with the daily potential for personal growth and transformation.

Benefits of Ordinary Living

Living ordinary, enables us to deal with the extraordinary when it comes along. Living ordinary gives us a groundedness, energy and gratefulness to enter into the difficult days when we are challenged with barriers to living
joyfully- the human struggles of illness, family crises, unemployment, financial difficulties, anxiety, bereavement...the list goes on...

Living topsy-turvy, precariously balanced for long periods of time, on the pinnacle of extraordinary, makes me ill...wired, weary, anxious. I'm feeling that it would be so much better to be more grounded in the solid basis of prayer, and the simplicity of ordinary days.

"So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it..."  The Message, Romans 12:2

So, this year I'm trying again to welcome in the ordinary ...allowing myself time for the pattern of ordinary to be imprinted onto my life, so I can draw upon strength gleaned from the rhythm of my ordinary days to
manage and cope with the extraordinary and difficult times ...

Happy New Year!New Year in sand pexels engin akyurt 13088177

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