Embrace the Ordinary

I H A T E folding laundry.

The monotony of folding shirt after shirt… matching sock after sock annoys me.  How do socks just disappear by the way?

I dread it.  I avoid it.  I wish it away.

But inevitably I find myself with a pile of laundry that I have to face.

And once I begin, I start to get lost in the busywork.  My mind wonders.  I dream of things I want to do.  I think through ideas that I need to develop.

The monotony of the simple task allows my mind room to breathe.

Sometimes I think I over-stuff my life with tasks and projects that constantly challenge and stimulate rather than allow me time to think.

Do you ever feel that way?

I’m beginning to think that the ordinary tasks of life exist to create a more balanced rhythm in our lives.  Rather than see them as annoyances, I’d like to engage them as a natural breather in my otherwise chaotic world.

What ordinary activities do you dread?

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  • Paul Atkinson January 31, 2011  

    Jenni…thanks for your post today. Last night I was reading the book One.Life by Scot McKnight. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 3: “Jesus wants his listeners to see that the kingdom of God is at work in the ordinariness of everyday life. God is at work, God is at work, God is at work-in the most ordinary of things we do.” The ordinary is quite extraordinary if we’ll recognize it. Thought of that this morning as I read your post. Hope it brings encouragement as week after week we continue to fold laundry…both physical and spiritual laundry. Have a great day!

    • Jenni Catron January 31, 2011  

      Thanks for sharing that Paul! I think sometimes I’m guilty of needing to see direct purpose in everything I do… I don’t want to waste time, but sometimes when I’m doing the most ordinary things is when I hear God speak to me the most. Appreciate you chiming in!

  • Natalie Robertson January 31, 2011  

    I dread putting the cleaning disches away. The worst is when one or two items don’t actually get as clean as you want them and then you are forced to wash them by hand! i do need to see this as a welcomed break and not a frustration.

  • Michelle Sarabia January 31, 2011  

    I agree Jenni! Although I hate the mundane activities of keeping a house together and trying my best to make it a home. I find that in these times God talks to me more so. I guess it’s because it’s the only time I’m not thinking about a to-do list that needs to be completed but in silence.

  • Jeff Goins February 1, 2011  

    Pretty much any kind of cleaning. I’m learning to live in the ordinary, that God often shows up in the areas where we least expect him. Isn’t that one of the lessons of the manger? That Immanual — “God with us” — essentially means that he is Lord of the mundane?

  • Kenny Silva February 1, 2011  

    I feel the same way about dishes. If I cook a large dinner, they sink-full is going to get put off for the next day. The other day, however, I had to empty the sink and clean the kitchen from top to bottom for company. I dreaded the task, but ended up finding it as a nice way to zone out and escape for a little while.