Cherishing Ordinary Days: Its Beginnings
It’s very early morning. I’m sitting at my desk in the stillness all around me, an unusual thing for our home these days…and I’m contemplating the title of this post and when my cherishing of ordinary days actually began. Pondering a bit, I’m coming up with my childhood days…I’m thinking that’s the answer to my question of where it all was birthed as I reflect back to my earliest memories.
As a child, I loved my summer days full of countless adventures, that rolled into balmy nights with brilliant stars and tiny fireflies the only source of light in our large yard. I remember running around with some neighborhood friends in my front yard, catching those little lights, with squeals of delight, in jars with holes punched into the lids for air. After watching them light up in our jars we took great joy in setting them free moments later, just as happy to see them fly into the darkness as we were to capture them.
“As a child, I loved my summer days full of countless adventures that rolled into balmy nights with brilliant stars and tiny fireflies the only source of lighting our large yard.”
“Summer suppers” consisting of all things chilled: cold lemonade to drink, tuna salad, egg salad, potato salad, fresh veggies all cut up and arranged beautifully on a platter. And of course a home-made dessert, which was something that was served every night of my life as a child! We’d sit together at our pine picnic table on the screened-in porch and delight in the summer evening. Then, as if to make the night complete, my mother would say “yes” when I begged her if a friend could spend the night, and ‘could we PLEASE sleep out on the porch on the very comfy studio couch we have out there?’, I would plead!
Lilacs seemed to stay in bloom long enough for countless bouquets, filling our home with their beautiful fragrance. Every day we’d sip the sweet nectar out of the honey suckle, always in full blossom. Yum! I picked blueberries for my cereal every morning for what seemed like weeks, but I realize now that it was a very short season. Summer vacation from school seemed endless to me as a child. Now that I’m grown, I realize how fleeting the days are.
And the WINTERS? Didn’t they last forever as well? I remember one snowy day, December 23rd, probably 1958; it was the day we were performing our grammar school Christmas pageant, “The Littlest Angel”, and our last day before Christmas vacation. I was especially excited for this day to arrive because my grandmother was sewing me a brand new dress especially for our pageant.
To this day, I can remember waking up and listening to the sound of the sewing machine, going into the wee hours of the morning the night before our pageant. When I got up, there was my breathtakingly beautiful, black velvet jumper, colorful pansies appliqued on the swing skirt, with the sparkling embellishment of sequins scattered among the pansies to make it even more delightful!
The blouse was a crisp, pink organdy with short, puffed sleeves, donned with a tiny black velvet bow on each sleeves’ gathered edges. To say I felt like the most beautiful girl in the whole world was an understatement! And Oh! How I couldn’t wait for our spectacular performance! I came down the stairs, dressed in my finery, so excited for the day! But alas…didn’t I mention the snow? We had such a blizzard that day that of course our school was canceled and we NEVER put on our performance that year! I DID get to wear my beautiful jumper though. As I relive this story, I have fond memories of my mother and grandmother making most of my dresses when I was young. Whenever they were sewing something special for me, it was always hanging downstairs where I could see it when I woke up!
“I encourage you to join me in living deliberately, seeking God’s face and His heart as we travel this side of Heaven.”
Didn’t it feel like seasons seemed to last forever when we were children? As I ruminate on this idea, I’m thinking that may be why God has placed this precious gift in my heart to share with all of you; because seasons come and seasons go so quickly! Life is flying by! And in today’s world, due to how fast-paced life has become, we can so easily miss out on those precious moments each day! But we can embrace our days and our moments NOW, enjoying them NOW, and having the joy of their memories as the years go on as well.
Cherishing Ordinary Days, embracing the beauty of everyday moments, seems to be a lost or long-forgotten treasure for so many of us today. We live in such whirlwind days that often leave us falling into bed, absolutely exhausted each night, or lying awake unable to sleep from worry, fear, or downright overstimulation! How much more God has for us as His children! It’s with this in mind, God knowing our plight living in today’s society, that I believe Cherishing Ordinary Days has been birthed in my heart. Though I carried this heartbeat from childhood, I never realized until recent years how healing it can be to take time to view all our blessings…to search for them…to recognize them even in the hard times…to count them…to list them…recording them on the pages of our hearts to share with others, looking through a lens of gratitude as we do.
I have so many reasons to be grateful, and one of them is for those of you who share in this joy along with me. I would love to hear from you and be able to read some of your cherished moments. It doesn’t take long to call back our special, daily moments and our treasured memories. Somehow as we do, we find our hearts filling with joy and laughter, maybe some sadness and pain, but nevertheless, they are all part of the tapestry of our lives, woven together by God who loves us.
Though we may have disappointments, difficult times, and trials beyond what we feel we are able to bear, as we take the time to ask the Lord for a spirit of gratitude, we will begin to see His hand, even when we feel that the road is too long or too hard for us to travel. We’ll come to that living reality that we are never walking alone. He is right there by our side and promises to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), and “He will truly work all things together for good to those that love Him and are called according to His purposes.” (Romans 8:28) He promises to make “ALL things beautiful in His time”(Ecclesiastes 3:11), even if that’s not until we reach Heaven’s shores. It’s been my experience that even in the most dire of circumstances, there hasn’t been a single day that has gone by where God hasn’t given me something I can be grateful for.
In closing, I encourage you to join me in living deliberately, seeking God’s face and His heart as we travel this side of Heaven. Each day, as you get up and put your feet on the floor, whisper a prayer of thanks for the gift of another day to live. What a privilege it is to walk through this life knowing Him! Remember the lives all around you that you have the potential and privilege of touching as you are willing to embrace and cherish your everyday moments with a grateful heart. Don’t only gather them for yourself~be willing to sit down with someone else, maybe over a cup of tea, sharing some of your recent, precious moments and your memories with them! I have found it to be life-changing and heart-strengthening. You’ll be so glad you did! I am sure it will bring joy and comfort to your soul!
On this journey together,