photo by Jennifer PinkertonI am an ordinary woman. I live a simple, ordinary life. I work hard, but sometimes it can be difficult to find real meaning in endless dusting and in the folding of laundry and the vacuuming of floors that fills my work days.

It is easy to look around me at the accomplishments, and the seemingly great and beautiful purposes that my friends and those I meet are living out and wonder if I do anything at all that matters in light of eternity. I wonder if I am missing something, or if I am failing to make a difference

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” -Helen Keller

It is not for us to measure the success of our lives by the standard of another woman’s life work. We cannot compare our work with theirs for God has made each one of us for a purpose all our own. Even the most humble, obscure and quietly lived life, has beautiful purpose. No life that is lived for God is ever lived in vain. In the middle of our ordinary lives, we can find that passion is not always in doing something great, but sometimes it is the small passion of making the most of this moment, of this day that is ours, and we can discover that there is nothing ordinary after all.

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. -Marian Wright Edelman

I may never go across the seas and serve God’s children there. I may not write books, or be known by anyone outside of my small circle of family and friends. But when my heart is tempted to feel like I have failed, I will remember the motto I wrote down in seventh grade and take courage in my simple life that it is the faithful doing of the little things that matters to Him. And may it be all that matters to me, to us who live just ordinary days.

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

-Emily Dickinson

photo by Jennifer Pinkerton

7 Comments

  1. I love the quote by Helen Keller that you used. it’s so interesting to me that she said *that* as well as “Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” They sound contradictory until I realize that the ordinary can be extraordinary. 🙂

    1. Yes! I thought that was intriguing as well, although I do believe that some of our most daring adventures can be found right amongst the ordinary things of our lives, because sometimes, those are the hardest things we will ever face. 🙂

  2. Thank you for this post! I like to remember George Herbert’s poem when I am dejected or overwhelmed by the ordinary-ness of life at home:

    Teach me, my God and King,
    In all things Thee to see,
    And what I do in anything,
    To do it as for Thee.

    Not rudely, as a beast,
    To run into action;
    But still to make Thee prepossest,
    And give it his perfection.

    A man that looks on glass,
    On it may stay his eye,
    Or, if he pleaseth, through it pass,
    And then the heav’n espy.

    All may of Thee partake;
    Nothing can be so mean
    Which with this tincture (for Thy sake)
    Will not grow bright and clean.

    A servant with this clause
    Makes drudgery divine:
    Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws,
    Makes that and th’ action fine.

    This is the famous stone
    That turneth all to gold ;
    For that which God doth touch and own
    Cannot for less be told.

    “The Elixir” by George Herbert

  3. Samantha R says:

    Beautifully written, Chantel. This almost seems like it was written about my life and my difficulties in trying to figure out if there really is more meaning to it all than I can see. I know I’m serving Christ where He has placed me and if I keep that in mind, it is more than enough.

  4. Great post! Thanks for sharing. I love how we can be serving Christ even by doing the ordinary jobs, laundry, dusting, and washing dishes, be a part of building His kingdom. Anyways all these people doing amazing things? Somebody was probably cooking for them, doing their laundry…..the world needs ordinary people doing ordinary work:-)
    Stefanie

  5. Neha Ashok says:

    Wonderful post,Chantel!
    It reminds me of the hymnwriter who sings “Morning by morning new mercies I see, all I have needed Thy hand hath provided”..:) Our Great God, the lover of our souls and the Creator of this Universe is sovereign over our ordinary lives.All things ,great or small, come from Him alone.Truly,no life is wasted that lives for the Glory of our dear Heavenly Father.

  6. This post is so ordinarily…me! too:) and I love how extraordinary just being and doing simple life work can be, because God used it all, big and small! And it all really matters, to Him. Soli Deo gloria

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