Some of my most cherished memories from growing up are from when we would go visit my cousins on the northeastern tip of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. The little town of Port Townsend was one of my favorite destinations with its ornate Victorian buildings and its proximity to the Puget Sound.
As we drove into the city, down its lone main street, you could smell the salty air and see the wind causing ripples over the waters of the Sound. My excitement would mount as we passed the restaurant my uncle owned and the Sandcastle toy store, where we were sure of getting a present.
During our time there, my cousin and I would spend hours on the rocky beach, dreaming and imagining all sorts of scenarios. We found old boats and went on pretend voyages, we hunted for crabs and seashells. We went up to our ankles, but no further, in the frigid waters of the Pacific.
And we searched for treasures.
Walking along the line made by the foam of the ocean as it washed up on the shore, I would scour the path in front of me.
A glimmer would catch my eye.
Calling out to my cousin to join me in my find, we’d bend down and stare into the water.
Smooth from being tumbled about by the waves, glistening as the rays of the sun bounced off it, the color enhanced by the water from the ocean.
Tied up in our shirt, stuffed in our pockets, carried in a bucket; these treasures would accumulate throughout the weekend. When it came time to head for home my parents were reluctant to allow any of my collection to accompany us. And by that time I could usually see their point. The color had faded after the water dried; what once had seemed extraordinary was now everyday.
As a single teenager, my treasure I sought was a godly guy who would ask me out and accept me for who I was.
As a college age girl, I now longed for that ring that would change my name.
As a newlywed bride, I dreamed of the days when I could stay home with our small children and take care of our home.
As a young mom, I look forward to end of diapers, spit-up, and sleepless nights.
The treasures that I sought as a child at the beach and as I’ve matured into a woman all have something in common: my perspective is what makes them important. As the sheen comes off, the newness fades, the extraordinary once again becomes everyday.
Yesterday I talked about my battle with depression.
One of the things that has helped me in this battle over the years has been to recognize what things in my life can trigger a depressive episode. Those situations, states of mind and seasons of life that naturally lend themselves to an oppression on my spirit.
Repetition. The mundane. The everyday. These things are hard for me to endure. I’m severely task-oriented. I thrive on to-do lists, goals, vision-casting and deadlines.
Being a SAHM, much of what I do is never-ending. There will always be laundry to do, dishes to wash, meals to cook and bathrooms to clean. Many times I am not able to cross a chore off my list because it doesn’t get finished before I have to start again.
However, I choose how I view my life. Instead of seeing these things as mundane, I can recognize that all throughout my day there are moments that are extraordinary.
Celebrating the small things does not come natural to me. Most of the time, I am in survival mode, thankful to make it to bedtime. That is why I so love this project. For these moments, in this place, I slow down. If only for a few minutes, we have permission to take the time to unwrap the small, secret gift of the everyday. I’ve set aside Tuesdays to share a moment that may have otherwise disappeared under the pile of daily tasks. Instead, stop. Notice. And be thankful. (Emily, Tuesdays Unwrapped)
It’s a change in perspective. It’s recognizing that although they seem never-ending now, these moments will not go on forever. It’s once again making the everyday extraordinary.
Instead of feeling frustrated that Silas would not stay asleep unless he was being held yesterday, making it impossible for me to get anything done, I can rejoice in the fact that he giggled in his sleep and I didn’t miss it.
Rather than getting annoyed that Ezra is once again taking 10 minutes to climb up the stairs to our house, I can rediscover the sounds, sights and smells of the world around us with him.
Usually I would impatiently hush Cora’s constant singing and chattering, but instead I can recognize that my daughter is people-oriented just like her father and that she just wants to connect with me.
Elijah might have spilled cereal all over the floor in an attempt to make his own breakfast, but I can choose to recognize his budding independence and encourage him for trying.
These might seem small and trivial to you, or maybe that’s another lie from the enemy to make me feel that my life is unimportant.
I am choosing a perspective that says:
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17
Even if it seems every day and ordinary.