Life is Lived in the Ordinary Moments

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.”

Cesare Pavese

Photo Credit

We are waiting for that mountaintop experience. We are waiting for a great day with our children. We are waiting for life to get easier. For our marriage to get better. For a new job. For just a little relief from the daily grind.

And we get there only to find out that we have already spent a good part of our lives. While we were busy waiting for the perfect days, magical moments, and peaks, life happened. And we cannot recover those days.

That beautiful thing we call life is lived right in the ordinary moments. It is lived by ordinary people. Life itself is the daily grind.

I don’t know where we will be living a year from now. At this point, it could be anywhere. It is easy, when life is in constant motion, to always have our minds on the next step. Where we will go. What we will do after my husband finishes schooling. When my kids will begin school. Always looking ahead to the next step, the next ‘big moment’ of life.

As a mom living very much in the daily grind, I often lose sight of the beauty of today, because I am looking ahead to what might be next.

Often times we project our adult view of life on our kids. But there is no better person than a child to remind us that we do indeed remember moments, not days.

My children do not care that we don’t know where we will live in a year. They really don’t care that we are in a small apartment, living in a temporary season of life. They don’t have any concept that most people our age are settled down in a house with steady jobs. No, they just remember moments in the day.

Life is being gloriously lived, each day, each moment from the innocent hearts of little people that just love life. From my children’s perspective, not much would change even if we got “normal” jobs and a house. They would still just be living life. I have a lot to learn from that.

Life is not lived in the mountain peaks. It is not lived in the valleys either. Life is lived moment by ordinary moment. A smile, a word of encouragement, some tears, some laughter, the pancake breakfast, the family hug, the swings, the weeds, the diapers, the giggles, the messes, the joy.

At night when we are putting the kids to bed, I often ask them what they remember about the day. It is a lesson in embracing the ordinary moments.The day could have been full of temper tantrums, and correcting, and messes, and mistakes, and my son will say he remembers the tickling fest. The day could have been full of glorious mommy moments, with Pinterest-worthy crafts, and plenty of smiles and laughter to go around. He remembers the pancakes.

Ordinary. That is how we live.

My Christian life is lived much the same. There are days when we feel so close to God. Other times we feel distant. But our lives are lived daily submitting to God. Daily obeying. Putting down selfish desires, and seeking His glory one moment by ordinary moment of the day.

This perspective reminds me to not despair in the valleys, and not to live my life hoping for the mountain peaks. It helps me embrace the ordinary.

While I daily obey God and serve my family, beautiful, ordinary moments are being etched into memories. That is living life.

How do you embrace the ordinary moments in your life?

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Comments

  1. Steph says:

    I needed to be reminded of this today. Thank you. It’s so easy to get distracted by the future or in waiting for perfection to happen that we forget to live right now. And when we’re waiting for the mountaintop or dreading the upcoming valley we miss so much in the steady, daily living of our lives.

  2. Liz says:

    AMEN for the ordinary moments and the extraordinary memories that grow out of them! I’ve been slowing down ALOT lately to just observe and listen to my children, and you’re so right–it’s the little ordinary things that are so wonderful to them. And when I see how much they get a thrill out of little discoveries, it brings so much joy to my heart. And then when they see that I’m joining into their joy, it really MATTERS to them and we further build a beautiful, God-given bond together.

    • Johanna says:

      I definitely have seen that they know when we are truly joining, or just putting up with their “insignificant” joys. I’m working at joining in more. :)

  3. Goal setting is a positive. But getting so wrapped up in future plans that I can’t live in the moment is no good. Sharing old family photos and taking new ones always brings me back to the present. Thanks for the reminder to celebrate the daily grind.

    • Johanna says:

      That’s a great point to differentiate between goal setting and getting wrapped up in the future. I totally agree! Love your idea of looking at old pictures!

  4. This s so important to remember day to day, isn’t it? We’re always thinking the next stage s going to be better and we miss out on the greatness of NOW. When I look back at pics I’m reminded of how great those moments really were and I didn’t recognize it at full value then. :(

    • Johanna says:

      It’s a daily thing I need to remind myself…so easy to get caught up in the future and fail to live today.

  5. Rachel says:

    LOVED this–beautifully written and such a wonderful reminder to be thankful for the ordinary moments which make up life!

  6. Rebecca says:

    There is so much to be gleaned from this post but this paragraph was awe inspiring to me because it is so TRUE and I never considered it before! We too are in temporary season of life but I know that my children don’t realize this. To them, we’re just living! Thank you for this beautiful insight!
    “My children do not care that we don’t know where we will live in a year. They really don’t care that we are in a small apartment, living in a temporary season of life. They don’t have any concept that most people our age are settled down in a house with steady jobs. No, they just remember moments in the day.”

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