When The Oh So Ordinary Looks Extraordinary- Day 1

Joining The Nester and hundreds of others for a 31 Days of… series. Joyfully reading there and writing here for 31 Days. Would you join me? It would be a gift.

Yesterday I wrote an introduction of sorts for this series. You can read about it here.

Ordinary. Ooh la la ordinary. A new ordinary. Different but same, changed in the blink, because of the eyes.

The eyes of the heart.

In the monday, small case, days and the plain and mundane. There is no such thing.

You turn a monday, small case day on its head and shake it gently until the coins fall from the pockets. And the sparkle is revealed. The something of value is discovered.

Discovered because it sat there all along. Stumbled upon, tripping you up in the wonder of it all. The plain turns to fancy and the ordinary becomes extra so extra-ordinary.

Small is grand and simple is elegant, and the lense turns the world upside down. Its wild and wonderful.

Its an ordinary day in an ordinary life.

The dull becomes bright. The eyes frame the mundane with the frame of wonder and discovery.

And there in the middle of the mundane small case monday, is the height of the unspeakable beautiful.

She walks her monday walk and she breathes her monday air and she turns her monday corner.

And with nothing more than a change in perspective, of measuring the abundant and marking the glass to the line of the full, not half, not whole, but spilling over, she sees her black and white before oz world turned upside down as the colors are thrown on the life canvas.

With reckless abandon.

She sees the ordinary, beautiful.

She hears the ordinary, beautiful.

She comes to see all in the ordinary. Seeing as Alice saw. Wonderful whimsy in the cat and the child and the tea-cup.

A laugh is eeked out. The imagination is sparked.

But it was really there, all along. No imagination is needed. Not really.

The life-art pops and Wonder and Glory are revealed. Just everywhere.

If you look close.

When a dandelion is as a peony or a rose. Beautiful is in the plain.

Simple looks exquisite and marvelously faceted because her lense of love and thanks compounds the what just simply is.

Brown is sepia, dinner is fellowship, a friend, a life-giver in a conversation dipped in grace.

A spider-web is art, a pile of mess is the heart beat of the home.

The weary spirit is we lived with zest in celebration of a marriage.

And the owl and the pussycat take a ring from the nose of a pig. Its grace. It’s all they need.

Well that and honey. And Christopher Robin has bear. And the woods. A friend and a forest seem simply enough.

While a note, a call, a word, a smile carry extravagant small case monday love. Notes of grace, sing a song to the aching broken.

Shine light in the dark shadowy.

Steady a shakey gaping wound. With a word, a whisper.

For you and her and they and we and the ones who walk down-trodden and dejected.

In the black and white, seemingly graceless places of pain. Where you can color it Hope and color it Healed when you speak the words He gave.

She wipes the tear that cleared the way. After the poured out sorrow. And sees the river of joy, wet streams of Living Joy, running rapidly right behind.

And all the burlap, rough brown ragged wrapping of the moments right there,

They shine like silk, soft and beautiful, wrapped around the small case monday,

Through the lense of the not so ordinary after all.

And she continues counting, quietly today, but counting…. the gifts in the ordinary that really are extraordinary.

After all. If you count it all Joy.

linking with Ann and Laura.

The Stairs

I love Amber C. Haines’ writing. And she is inviting us to write with her on a concrete word prompt. Today its stairs. You may recall The Necklace. You will want to go read Amber—she has a truly lovely way with words. Her voice is distinctive and full. You won’t want to miss the words she weaves; art. Pure. Simple. Art. Her words. I write in good company when I write in community with Amber.

You could mark a life
by the number you choose. And by the speed
pace, rate,
like a heart rate.
The rate you take
the sairs.

The child me chose
to ride a bicycle down.
Child me
thought
it sounded
like a good
idea
at the time.

Grown me, well
they never grow
tired of telling
the tale.
It has a life
of its own.

What child rides
a bicycle down
a staircase?

The one who is
child full
of life
and child
full of wonder
wondering what
joy lies
in going down
a different
way. Not the
route
all the others
took.

And two’s and three’s
at a time
mark youth
she skips many
unnecessary steps
tedious boredom
in going a
decidedly predictable
way.
Life has much
to offer.
Why waste time
going up slowly
when you can
run down three-by-three.

The first
time he said I love you
there on a flight
of fancy stairs
frozen there
on them
frozen
by the words
Numb in love
The Patient One
held me
captive
in and on the
stairs.
Caught in a word web
of love.
The bridal portrait
tells a story
hanging from a nail
in the well of the
stairs.
She said I do
He did too.
Months later
bride me
portrait
speaks
to words
said in love on
the stairs
before the three
steps to the altar.
After that
its two by two tandem
taking the
stairs
together
for life.
Taking the stairs
A baby
In tow.
More babies
In tow.

They measure the heart rate.
After all. They mark
they measure
they record.

And after a new hip
Older me practices the
drill
in the stairwell
at the hospital
You can’t go
home until
you can climb the
stairs.
I am 52 with a body part
man made, not God-made.
My first prosthetic.
She climbed with a limp
for awhile.
She climbed
with pain
for a season.
She left her limp
behind.

They measure like a
metronome.
They measure speed and rate
Like rings of a tree, telling
age
They tell the narrative
of the life.

Up, down,
slow
fast
alone
well
sick
whole
scared
hopeful
tired
lonely
in love.

The steps on the steps and the stairs hold secrets to a life, lived ascending and decending,

The stairs.

Measuring marking a life, like breath.

Writing the story with every step taken,
a page turns.

the

stairs.

until she’s climbing a stairway

to
heaven.

the

end.

Counting gifts with Ann. Grateful for

*A crisp cool air in the warm deep South, peeks of a change, her name is Autumn

*A walk and a talk with a friend

*Such sweet new friends through the blog

*Such generous and kind friends through twitter

*Restored faith in social media for the good it can be when used rightly

*More and more a passion for writing and more and more grateful for God allowing me to see, use, and steward the gift

*A glimpse into the hope-filled future for a child and his college plans. God is good in revealing daily, that there is a hope, always. Hope for good things. Trusting Him to show us His plan.

*A long heart to heart with a friend. We sat in the dark at church after the last light had been turned off and dove into parenting with our hearts and our words. Grateful for this friend. Grateful for common ground on parenting daughters.

And linking with Ann today at A Holy Experience dot com.

And with Laura

Shhhhh, Can I Whisper Something in Your Ear?

I will whisper because it is so tender and fragile, so the whisper of my heart is a quiet dignity for this and for them.

I will whisper about compassion and Compassion International for now. And the children.

But the cry of my heart is really to shout. And when you see and hear and bend the heart to know more, you may want to shout too. Will you walk over here with me, it means just click and we can go there.

To just pray.

This is what Mark Batterson says in his book “The Circle Maker” about prayer

The hard thing about praying hard is letting God do the heavy lifting. You have to trust the favor of God to do for you what you cannot do for yourself. You have to trust God to change hearts…

Thank you for going there to pray for these children. I will try not to shout. I like it when people speak softly to me too. I like to listen to the gentle.

I like the tender and the soft and the whispers from gentle places.

But the cry of my heart, well its all rumbly and loud. So I may need to ask forgiveness ahead of time for when I scream and yell and get quite loud with the cries of my heart.

Because when I went to choose my child, the one that I sponsor, I wanted to choose the one waiting the longest, and then I wanted to choose two and then I wanted to choose a boy and a girl but I chose a girl. And I wanted to choose the ones with especially special needs. And, well it was hard. But my friend Kris who played a role in bending and breaking my heart for Compassion, she said to me words that were full of grace. She told me to think of it this way, they all need a sponsor, so any one you choose will be right…..well you get the beautiful grace-filled words she spoke to me, in love.

But in the end I chose one little girl in Peru. And I pray that God in His holy math and in His holy name will multiply my smallness.

I am writing a prayer for myself for Compassion International. I will share it with you soon.

But your words and your prayers are much much better. They are your words and your prayers.

Counting my gifts in the quiet of my heart and linking with Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience dot com. You can read about her Compassion trips there.

Linking with Finding Heaven Today dot com

And with Denise in Bloom