An (extra)ordinary Life

A4F20BA7-2A67-48D7-87C5-73A1E7A53BD5Over the past few years, I’ve struggled a lot with the comparison of an ‘ordinary’ lifestyle and living RADICALLY. I have often felt that if I wasn’t in ministry or abroad doing missions (living a radical lifestyle) that I wasn’t living up to my potential as a follower of Christ. Luckily, God has really been working on my heart in that area, or I might be missing out on this wonderful phase of my life and the sweet babies that I get to nanny for each day.

After leaving YWAM and going to university back here in the States, I began to form the idea in my head that my lifestyle had to look radical in order to live more passionately for Jesus. The more radical your lifestyle looked, the more ‘spiritual’ or closer to God you must be. While you might tell me this isn’t true or you’ve read books or heard people speak on ordinary life, most of you have thought about it one time or another. I’ve heard and seen Christians putting missionaries, pastors, and other people in ministry on pedestals…Our Christian cultures sometimes seems to view these people as ‘more spiritual’.

And the reality is that they aren’t…necessarily. They still struggle with sin, emotions, and conflict with others. But what I am learning is that a life that looks seemingly ordinary on the outside, does not mean that a person cannot live radically FOR Jesus. As I was beginning to grapple with this, Phil and I joined a small group that happened to be reading a book called “The Liturgy of the Ordinary” by Tish Harrison Warren. I hope to write about the book more later, but this book goes through the process of an everyday life and how ordinary moments and routines can become sacred moments and habits in our relationship with God.

Right now Phil and I live in an apartment in the suburbs of Philly and both work ‘normal’ day jobs. Two years ago if you would have told me this is where I would be, I would probably scoff and say “Nope…I’ll be on the mission’s field” (I also wouldn’t think I would be married). But God had other plans and since He has been working in my heart, He has made this place so much more enjoyable. Now going to work each day and caring for babies, making dinner, cleaning up the house, going to bed, spending time with friends, and going to church isn’t necessarily radical..

However, it doesn’t mean it can’t be. I happen to have one of those important jobs in the world (in my opinion). Caring for the lives of two beautiful little human beings that will someday grow up to be a part of this crazy world. I not only get to teach kindness, encourage play, and give lots of snuggles, but in the midst of the diaper changes, feedings, and clean up I have the opportunity to pray over those sweet little smiles…over their development, relationships with God, and their future jobs and lives. (Side Note: Thank you to the working Mama’s who have given us nannies the privilege of helping to raise your precious children).

Not only do I have the time to pray for them, but I can spend my days in prayer for their parents, for my own family, for my church, and for my friends. I also have the opportunity to do other cleaning around the house and get to be a blessing to their parents. And with the flexibility of nannying, during some of my free moments, I am able to work on writing and have extra time to spend with God. Outside of work, with both of our (Phil and I) job flexibility we have the opportunities to start getting involved with Young life, mentoring college students, and we are able to be involved with things like mission’s board and the worship team.

Phil and I are praying about going overseas in the future…but in the moment I know I am exactly where God wants me. And not only that, but I can live each moment purposefully. My life can be mundane if I allow it to be, however I’ve come to understand a new foundation behind “radical living”. Jesus is what makes my lifestyle radical. It isn’t about where your house is located or the people that you work with, so much as that it is about seeking after Jesus in every little moment. The more we grow to love Jesus the more passionate we become. And as we transform, that is when our lives begin to be truly radical.  
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7 thoughts on “An (extra)ordinary Life

  1. Totally agree with you on this! Pouring into the lives of others, no matter their age, is a way to serve…..and frankly it is somewhat radical in the culture in which we live! Make sure and remind me to tell you the story about potty training while I had a few other children I was watching 🙂

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    1. Yes I agree, but it is so easy to get caught up with things like paying bills, focusing too much on the future, or even just trying to get through the day that we forget the importance of each moment and people that God puts in our paths. Haha I can’t wait to hear it 🙂

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  2. Lauren, this is so true. And the funny thing is that most of the time spent on the mission field is doing mundane things! The key is being faithful and teachable in the mundane and the extraordinary moments! Each of these moments can bring glory to God or not! Loving radically is choosing to glorify God, whether we are changing diapers or “changing lives”, teaching babies, or teaching new believers how to “walk”, feeding with a spoon or feeding with the Word of God. Each has its place, its learning moment, its blessing and its “glory be to you, God!” And we have the incredible privilege of experiencing it with God! And He makes every moment of our walk with Him EXTRAORDINARY! Thank you for your awesome writing. I am so edified every time you share! And thanks for this weekend! ❤️

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    1. Agreed…I think it’s easy for people living “ordinary lives” to view a family on the missions field or fulltime ministry has having radical lifestyles…but each day is made up of little moments and tasks. It’s in the attitude and the why that our lives become radical! Thank you for reading and we loved having you over ❤️

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