Hans Christian Andersen wrote “The whole world is a series of miracles, but we’re so used to them we call them ordinary things.” Born in 1805, I am certain that Andersen’s every day ordinary things were quite different than those we have today, however, ordinary for him none the less. Thinking about the many ordinary things that occur every day in my own world I am reminded that quite often the ordinary is not ordinary at all; if we pay attention that is.
Intrigued by this every day is a miracle idea I began to ponder just what ordinary means. What defines ordinary? What causes either or both to become a miracle? One article I read questioned whether having an appreciation for the ordinary is innate, meaning it comes natural or learned? I think that having an appreciation for anything, ordinary or otherwise, is a combination of both. While the ordinary is often un-noticed, acquiring a deep appreciation to it I think requires encouragement and teaching. We must learn how to notice and appreciate the true miracles of everyday ordinary life.
In today’s world the “next big thing” comes along almost on a daily basis. The minute the latest and greatest gadget comes out the next one seems to be close behind. We are always looking for the big, the sparkly, and the extraordinary when the most extraordinary is the simple day to day things that keep happening in spite of it all. How often do we stop and pay attention to the ordinary things that constantly surround us? How often do we notice the so-called insignificant and realize that there is grandeur in everything if we only pay attention.
Life is full of everyday extraordinary things that when focused on brings a richness to our lives. Sister Melannie Svoboda of Notre Dame writes in her book Everyday Epiphanies “Happy are they who have a keen feel for everyday human life, whose ears are attuned to the roar of the ordinary. Happy are they who get a kick out of the commonplace, for they shall encounter joy and pleasure wherever they go!”
As I write a gentle breeze blows through the open window causing the curtains to dance freely. The breeze is a subtle reminder of spring as it carries the sweet melodic notes of the chirping birds along the way. As ordinary as it may seem the breeze is really quite remarkable. Unable to be seen it’s always there; ever changing. With the power to change landscapes the cool gentle breeze can turn into a cold fierce wind leaving destruction and misery in its path; there’s nothing ordinary about it. Quite often the wind goes un-noticed until it changes dramatically; only then it becomes extraordinary to us when in reality it is extraordinary all of the time.
Every day ordinary events appear ordinary because we do not take the time to notice them. Reflecting on those ordinary every day miracles will wake our souls allowing us to become more compassionate, thoughtful and appreciative of the simple things that can make our life beyond ordinary.
I encourage you to take time out of this ordinary day to recognize some of the ordinary things in your life that might bring you joy, comfort, pleasure and peace. For me it’s the warmth and security of falling asleep next to my husband at night, the smell of rain on a cool fall afternoon, a Friday afternoon phone conversation with a special friend, laughing children, quiet time with God, a springtime flower blooming randomly in a field of weeds, the scent of a charcoal grill smoldering somewhere in the neighborhood and a bright red cardinal perched on the fence singing to me as if he were carrying a message from far beyond.
Life doesn’t have to be filled with overwhelming activity to make it special; what we do with the ordinary makes it special. Be aware, be appreciative and be open to the possibilities of the everyday being an extraordinary miracle.
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!