When Life Doesn’t Seem Instagram-able: Courage to Live the Ordinary

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” ~ Acts 4:13 NIV

It’s been an extraordinary summer for me. I conquered my mountain, turned in my glasses for LASIK surgery, launched a new blog, checked off the number one item on my bucket list by going to Sydney for Hillsong Conference, then I slept it all off at the beach.

Pretty amazing.
I’m incredibly grateful.
I posted pretty much all of it on Instagram.
I mean, come on, that’s what it’s for, right?

It’s taken me a few weeks to settle back into life as normal…back to reality… in a city I love, going to work everyday at a place I love, surrounded by people I love and a dog who follows me around like my very own shadow.

I say often, while this is not the life I originally chose, it’s a really great life.
It really is.

But to be completely honest, I struggle with the daily ordinary of it. I struggle with living in the ordinary. I struggle with doing every day life by myself.

For the last few years, I’ve preferred to live for the extraordinary travels, events, that next best thing. I’m always looking for something to look forward to. That’s not a bad thing, especially when life is really tough, but it’s just not sustainable, it’s not reality.

So often, I’m like my dog Ralphy in this photo above, watching the door to see who or what is coming next.

My best friend Casey called me at the beginning of last week, just as I could feel that slump coming on – all the things I was looking forward to were over, with no more fun excursions in sight for weeks. It literally took one sentence for her to know how I was feeling. God continues to use her over and over in my life to speak Truth, to spur me on.

She gently challenged me, “Perhaps it’s time for you to learn to be okay with life in the everyday ordinary.”

The everyday ordinary. Ordinary Melissa.
Who wants to Instagram that?

But she is so right. Later that night, I uncovered the verse above in my notes from a talk by Louie Giglio at Hillsong Conference. Under it, I had written, “The more ordinary I am the greater potential for what I can become.”

Being okay with ordinary. I’m a week in to figuring out what this looks like for me.

I’m learning that it takes discipline…discipline to not become distracted…discipline to stay in it, to not escape from it…discipline to lean in and do the very things God has uniquely given me to do.

In the everyday…even if no one else is watching.

And that’s the kind of discipline that takes courage…courage to stay the course, to not settle, to not give up when life just seems like more of the same…when it’s just not exciting enough to post on Instagram. (Well, at least if I’m trying to not be one of “those people” who posts an entire play by play of their day … ain’t nobody got time for that!)

Ironic thing is that I’m learning that ordinary is not a bad way to describe life after all. Ordinary gives me balance, it gives me breathing room. Ordinary allows me to lean in and be present with the people in my path. Ordinary gives me time and space to do the things that bring me life, like writing, and ballet class, and family time. Ordinary allows me to be ready to do ministry, to encourage, to pray for, to serve, right in the moment, not just when I have margin to get around to it.

Ordinary allows for sweet precious moments with my Savior, moments that bring me to tears as I think upon His goodness and grace. He becomes more in my ordinary. His immeasurable extraordinary meets ordinary me in my everyday life.

And that, that, makes my ordinary extraordinary.
And that is way better than anything I can ever post on Instagram.

Dearly loved, in the ordinary,

One thought on “When Life Doesn’t Seem Instagram-able: Courage to Live the Ordinary

  1. Carolyn

    Wow! I needed this so much Melissa. It’s exactly the way Ive been feeling lately as well. Made me smile as I read every word. If you ever want to be ordinary together give me a call. Love this and love you.

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