how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. ~annie dillard
“this one is my favorite,” tripp declared. he was standing at the bathroom sink next to me wearing his soggy dollar t-shirt…the one he got during our family vacation in st. john a few years ago.
i looked at him and smiled. then asked him why that particular t-shirt, out of an overflowing drawer full of t-shirts, is the one he liked the most. at which point he goes on to share with me that it is the perfect weight – not too heavy, not too thin… that it is super soft…and finally, that he likes the design on the back.
he then goes on to tell me that every time he goes to his drawer to pick out t-shirts, it’s like looking at a scrapbook of all the places that he’s travelled.
oh. my. heart.
i just looked at him and smiled again. gave him a smooch on the cheek and told him that he was too cute. and then i walked out of the bathroom and on to whatever task was at hand.
a couple of weeks later, i was standing over a laundry basket heaping with a kaleidoscope of cotton t-shirts. one by one i took each one out, gave it a snap to shake out the wrinkles, laid it on the bed, smoothed it out, then folded it so that the design on the front was facing out. because he likes to see the designs when he’s looking through through his drawer naturally. and then i realized it…i was smiling.
people… i was SMILING while folding clothes.
i was smiling thinking about tripp and our conversation in the bathroom that day. i was smiling thinking about his t-shirt scrapbook drawer and oh my God. i was feeling grateful for tripp, thankful for our good life. and there it was bubbling up… joy. right there in the middle of my laundry basket.
i don’t know about you, but that doesn’t happen to me very often.
celebrate the Sacred in the ordinary. ~sarah ban breathnach
i feel like i say this all the time, but i think it bears repeating…and that is, i lead an extremely ordinary life. i go to work. buy groceries. fold clothes. empty the litter box. cook dinner. these ordinary tasks…i suppose one could argue that there is little opportunity for inspiration and joy in the mundane routines of life. but i am slowly starting to learn that this is not the case.
in her book, pursue the intentional life, jean fleming writes that it is indeed possible to make Art with our lives. even an ordinary life like mine. because this kind of life, with all its “various-sameness,” is actually “a scaffold of discipline and creativity.” one part routines, tasks, and schedules…one part variety, light, and beauty. and it is upon this scaffold that our lives take shape.
looking at life this way makes it harder to bitch and whine so much about my household chores. i need to quit complaining about how all this ordinary life stuff takes time away from my Art. how my Art is suffering because of my ordinary life.
my ordinary life is my Art.
take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. ~romans 12:1
my ordinary life, my God-given creative spirit…they work together. when get it right, i glorify God…i make Art. and when i am grateful, there is joy and inspiration.