everyday

everyday. adjective. The routine or ordinary, as contrasted with special occasions.

image via Pinterest

image via Pinterest

The morning air is cold. I pull myself out of bed by the rungs of the bunk above me, my eyes tired. The sky outside is all icy morning light and bare tree branches. I trod to the shower to warm and wake. The water is too hot. My skin prickles, the frost of sleep melting from my shoulders and my lids slowly lifting.

I make tea last-minute on my way out the door. A splash of milk, a small spoon of sugar, a tea bag tossed in a travel mug. In class, I breathe out, cooling boiling water. I scorch my lips. I drink it in, spice and sweetness. For a moment, I think of China: hot, sticky mornings in hotels with boiled eggs and rice, asking for yi bei cha.

I sit behind the TA desk, buried behind folders and a Dell. The professor I work for monologues about her busy schedule. I grade grammar homework and nod along. My red pen scratches, halting as I untangle sentences aloud. When I was taking the class, I thought the TA was all-knowing, a real grammar goddess. Now I doubt myself, scribbling over badly added scores and forgetting what grades I’ve posted online.

The harsh afternoon light is softening when I sink into the couch. Laptop cords, binders, and books circle me in a net of responsibility. I am torn between deleting emails and finishing assignments and checking Facebook. Conversations pull my eyes away from the screen, back to real life and real people who gaze steady right back. Sometimes the words end exactly at 11:00 pm. Sometimes they stretch past my bedtime. I forget to do the dishes.

I sit under blankets in the glow of Christmas lights. My journal fills with words that unwind messy thoughts and beg for wisdom. I look back, tracing God’s fingertip through my hours. Some days I see him in blazing Technicolor. Others I see only a faint pencil outline. I wonder where he’s leading me.

This is my everyday life. I don’t always notice the beauty in it. It’s easy to miss in late fall, when the flaming leaves have frozen and fallen and the semester gains speed each week, sifting through my grasp like sand. Sometimes I’m blind to the sparkle on yesterday’s snow, the wide-open, wondering eyes of my students, the small and myriad ways God is slipping blessing into my hands.

But whether I notice or not, these everyday snatches of beauty are there. They, the steady and ordinary, lend solid support to the life I’m building. And these ordinary moments have potential to be extraordinary. Evenings in sweatshirts with messy hair can be as meaningful as fancy nights when I wear lip gloss. The pink-striped clouds at sunset can shout of God’s radiance as strongly as a swelling praise chorus. The smile of a third grader can buoy my heart like a shot of espresso to the soul. In the season of thanksgiving, of calling out blessings, I want to see more of this ordinary beautiful. I want to see how God is stepping into my small life and moving in my everyday moments. I want to remember the rich, deep ways he continues to bless me, day after day.

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. I want to see you.

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5 thoughts on “everyday

  1. I remember those days, especially the TA desk and triple-checking scores because each time I added the numbers, they came out differently… I’m sure you’re doing an amazing job, even when it doesn’t feel like it! Thank you for the reminder that the ordinary can be extraordinary.

  2. Thank you for this, Anna. As usual, you have articulated the struggle beautifully. Funny how God can stop us with daily grace in the midst of chaos, if we let Him. I’m learning a lot of the same things.

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