I’ve been learning so much this summer about how the kingdom of heaven is in the ordinary things. How we can glorify God even through what seems mundane. How to find joy in the everyday. And it’s been such an important and timely thing for me to realize!
I’ve always known and appreciated these general concepts. But they’ve become far more meaningful to me over the past few months. Because of my health, it’s often a major effort to complete daily tasks like doing the dishes, reading a book, or taking a shower. So it’s hugely encouraging for me to remember that even though these small activities may be all I can handle, they’re still places where the Kingdom can come and God can be glorified. When you have to live day to day, it’s easier to live day to day when you recognize how beautiful the day to day can be.
In the words of Jennie Allen in Nothing to Prove, the mundane parts of life aren’t the enemy to God’s movement–they are the soil for it. Elisabeth Elliott points out in Be Still My Soul that the way of the cross is an ordinary street in an ordinary city, an ordinary life lived in the grace of God.
And Sally and Sarah Clarkson share beautiful thoughts about this in The Life-Giving Home, where they point out that the reality of incarnation–the way that the physical trappings of our lives and our use of time and space are places where God either comes in His creative presence or remains at bay–means nothing is neutral. Every rhythm and atom of existence are spaces in which the Kingdom can come. The remnants of Eden reach out to us in the very stuff of the everyday.
These things I’ve been learning this summer have all been so important and freeing for me. And with that all being said, I thought I would share a few of the things in my daily life that have been bringing me joy lately!
I haven’t been able to write as many letters recently, and I’m trying not to push myself to keep up (letter writing is one of those things I do when I’m fake resting–i.e. I’m doing something that aggravates many of my symptoms, but I’m telling myself it’s restful to make me feel better, lol). But I’m still getting out several per week, and it is just so fun!
I’ve always loved to write letters, but I don’t even remember what I used to do before I had enough to keep me busy every day of the week. I love getting mail, I love sending mail, I love all of it! And of course, with writing letters comes the fun of buying washi tape and stationery and stickers, haha. I now have so many supplies accumulated that it’s easy to theme the entire letter and make sure the envelope, letter, and extras all color coordinate and match.
The Frey Life
I’ve known who Peter and Mary Frey are for a long time, and I think I’d watched a few of their vlogs here and there in the past. But recently I became absolutely obsessed with their channel and have been having the best time binge watching all of their old vlogs! I absolutely love them and their approach to life. Maybe one day soon, our paths will cross on a couple of different chronic illness ministry projects that are in the works. The Freys are the best–and in keeping with the theme of this post, they do a great job of showing how the day to day can be joyful and fun!
Oatmeal banana peanut butter cookies
Last weekend I made the most amazing cookies–I’m obsessed with them. They’re nothing special, but in so many ways they’re the perfect meal for me! The base ingredients of these cookies are bananas, oats, and peanut butter. I also added coconut, honey, and vegan chocolate chips. Then I baked the cookies at 350 for 15 minutes (they also tasted good raw–similar to energy balls).
The cookies are decently high-calorie and high-protein. They’re sweet without having a lot of refined sugar. And they have a lot of potassium (which is important for me, because a medication I take three times a day depletes your potassium). Basically, they’re the perfect thing for me to eat, and they seem to sit with my stomach okay most days. They’re also just delicious!!!
These are a few of the things that are bringing me the most joy in my daily life right now. Let me know in the comments what’s bringing you joy in yours!