I am a lover of the everyday ordinary.
Lest you think my life in Thailand is beyond crazy or a “I-could-never-do-that” kind of thing, know that this life is filled with the ordinary in the midst of the extraordinary. It’s filled with trips to the grocery store and to the bank. It’s filled with work and staff meetings and deadlines. It’s filled with alarm clocks and dishes and errands. It’s filled with busy weeks and days off. It’s filled with friends and game nights and movie nights. It’s filled with delicious food and leftovers and eating out. It’s filled with the planned for and the unexpected, the anticipated and the spontaneous. And it’s filled with significant ministry moments. It’s filled with days teaching English to 160 kids. It’s filled with moments at the border. It’s filled with youth group and Braverly small group and worshiping alongside people from Thailand and Burma and America.
And isn’t that so beautiful?
No matter where I live or what I do, the Lord constantly reminds me not to miss these beautiful, ordinary things in pursuit of “more.”
Like the dad who skips with his daughter to the bus stop in the morning.
Like the puppies who live at the end of my street.
Like the blood red moon that filled the sky last week.
Like the smell of grilled pork on the side of the road.
Like the sweet lady on the corner who sells mango sticky rice.
Like the view from my bike as my friends and I go on a bike ride.
Like the nights Kristy and I listen to Frank Sinatra as we cook tacos for the third night in a row.
I never want to miss these moments in pursuit of the bigger thing, the more obvious thing, the thing our culture celebrates. We love movies with a big plot twist or big reveal. We love the dramatic love story or the superhero. We love impossibilities and underdogs and the things that leave us speechless. I certainly am a sucker for these things. You’ll always find me rooting for the underdog, and you better believe I want that underdog to have a big moment.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with these big moments, absolutely nothing at all.
Unless they leave us discontented with our incredible lives.
Unless they leave us craving more and more and more.
Unless they keep us from missing the beautiful, extraordinary, ordinary things around us.
Unless they create a set of impossible expectations that no person or job or place or work or life could ever meet.
Unless our hearts become hardened to gratitude, to saying “thank you” for the big and the little.
Unless anything smaller than that big thing we’re chasing is seen as a disappointment.
What an incredible challenge, am I right? At least I know it is for me. I’ve realized that I deeply struggle with contentment, with this idea of enough. My spirit seems to long for more, for something bigger, grander, more abundant, and in the meantime, I forget that the Father has already given me more than enough. There is nothing but abundance in the Kingdom of God.
If I stop
If I pause
If I notice
If I look
If I see
It’s there. More than enough is there.
It’s in the finances that come in each month from beautifully generous people.
It’s in the dinner around the table with good friends.
It’s in the bike ride to work, the one that leaves me sweaty but also feeling so very a part of my community.
It’s in the team I get to worship and pray with every Tuesday afternoon during staff meeting.
It’s in the videos of my nieces and nephew that my family sends me.
It’s in the smile of Paw Wah.
It’s in the sound of Hser Ku Paw’s singing.
It’s in the hug from MyLatte.
It’s in the rain that cleared the smog that hung over Mae Sot.
It’s in the very mundane, very average, very routine parts of my life just as much as it’s in the big moments, the ones that donors love to read about.
In this season, the Father is teaching me so much about the word “enough.” Enough doesn’t need the big or extravagant to be content. It doesn’t need to be stuffed. It’s the opposite of gluttony in every sense of the word. Enough is rooted in contentment. It’s rooted in gratitude. It’s rooted in dependence on the One who constantly gives more than enough. When I’m constantly searching for more, I miss the very tangible, very beautiful, very holy things the Father is already doing around me.
And I’m tired of missing those things in pursuit of more.
He’s already given me more than enough. He’s given me abundance.
I don’t want to miss those things.