So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work life - and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Romans 12:1
As we walk through the season of Ordinary Time, I'm trying to recognize the profound beauty and sacredness found in the ordinary moments of my life. I'm reading A Theology of the Ordinary right now and the opening scripture from the book is this verse I shared from Romans. It really had a huge impact on me! I'm always thinking that I need to do something momentous, something incredible for God; and that the everyday is somehow not important.
But Paul says that could not be further from the truth! Paul instructs us to embrace our ordinary lives and to offer them up to the Lord. Paul says that that is actually the BEST thing that I can do. How amazing to think about! That when I am loading the dishwasher, buying groceries, or paying bills, I am to offer it all up to the Lord. What if these ordinary moments in my life hold the potential for deep encounters with God? What if embracing these ordinary moments can lead to the discovery of His presence in the everyday? How wonderful would that be?
Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite books that invite us to embrace the ordinary and celebrate the holiness of everyday life.
A Theology of the Ordinary by Julie Canlis. Julie Canlis offers a fresh perspective on the ordinary, illuminating how our everyday experiences can shape our understanding of God and His work in the world, ultimately leading us to a deeper theological appreciation of the ordinary.
Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren. This book is so good! It takes you on a journey through the ordinary moments of our day, uncovering the sacred rituals and practices hidden within the mundane and inviting us to encounter God's presence in unexpected places.
Every Moment Holy by Douglas McKelvey: This unique collection of liturgies offers prayers and blessings for everyday activities, reminding us to infuse our ordinary tasks with sacred intention and find glimpses of God's grace throughout our day.
Good Enough by Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie. I really like this devotional. It is a compassionate and thought-provoking guide that encourages us to let go of the pressure to be perfect and instead discover the joy and freedom that comes from embracing our authentic selves.
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson. One of those books that I go back to time and time again! Our society is still obsessed with quick fixes but Peterson's time-tested prescription for discipleship remains the same―a long obedience in the same direction.
The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. I'm sure you've heard of this book. It features the timeless wisdom of Brother Lawrence as he teaches us to cultivate a constant awareness of God's presence in the midst of our daily routines and ordinary tasks.
by Wendell Berry. Really any book or poem by Wendell Berry will do! He is such an insightful voice who eloquently captures the beauty of nature, community, and the simple rhythms of rural life, reminding us of the sacredness and interconnectedness of all things.
These books have served as treasured companions on my journey to embrace the extraordinary in the ordinary. Through these beautiful books, we are invited to slow down, open our hearts, and discover the profound beauty, joy, and spiritual depth that awaits us when we fully embrace the holiness of everyday life. May these books inspire and guide us as we seek to live fully and faithfully, finding God's presence in the ordinary moments that shape our lives!