Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Longing to Be Extraordinary

My bad attitude is persisting into today. Rats!

I was brushing up on some Facebook and catching up on blogs I enjoy reading and suddenly was overcome with a longing to be extraordinary. I see so many people I follow succeeding in their quest to down size and I am not only at a standstill… I’m bouncing back and forth with the same blasted 8 lbs.! I really not interested in posting pictures because it is very evident I’m not making progress physically. (Up to today I felt fairly confident that I was making progress spiritually and emotionally… then a serious case of “pity party” moved in which I’m determined to kick to the curb). On Facebook I watch a former student of mine do extraordinary things as a professor at a major university. I barely teach at a local dance studio… 8-12 kids, tops. I got the alumni magazine for my university today and the thing was full of people doing extraordinary things. I live day to day keeping within my 50 mile radius. Woman in my stake are all training for triathlons… I’m not. I’m nursing a sore ankle that is determined to cause me great discomfort.

As a teen I dreamed of being extraordinary. I dreamed of starring on Broadway… until I discovered I didn’t really like being on stage. I liked bossing people from the side line. In college my dreamed changed and I dreamed of being a fabulous director of spectacular ground breaking productions… then I got married and discovered that raising a family was far more adventurous. As a newlywed my husband and I dreamed of huge estates and attended all the Parade of Homes in the area daydreaming of the perfect house to raise our family with all the niceties of life at our finger tips… then reality hit. We had to pay bills. We dreamed of visiting exotic far off places such as New Zealand, the English countryside or Japan where my husband had spent 3 years living and enjoying the culture… until I discovered I was a home body and didn’t really enjoy living out of a suitcase even to go visit family. After I had children I dreamed of becoming thin, fit and trim… then I had more kids and the stress of paying for and caring for five kids took a toll on my body. Then I started my journey to better health – more than once I might add – and I dreamed of becoming famous for the speed and skill in which I accomplished the task. I even dreamed that I’d become a famous author and articulate just how I did it and it would be a huge hit… than the never ending plateau hit and I blog with a hand full of reader (thanks guys! It does make a difference).

I dream of making a difference in this world and so far I see myself surviving the laundry room, trying to find a clean cup for a measly drink of water and hollering at my kids to pick up their stuff or finish their school work.

This morning I felt very ordinary and most definitely not extraordinary.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who are we to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a Child of God: your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you." --Nelson Mandela

You got to love that! I’ve been taught that I am a Child of God my whole life at home and at church. I’m pretty sure that Nelson Mandela does not share my religion, but how wonderful that he shares the same belief in a beautiful principle!

Maybe what we think is a need to escape or be entertained is actually a God inspired longing…for the extraordinary. If that is the case, than it could explain why many people turn to addictive behaviors to satisfy their longings. It also explains why those who turn to God for the help they need seem to satisfy that longing more permanently.

Think about it. There are all kinds of ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things:

David was a mere shepherd boy until the day he was anointed by Samuel. From the top of his head to the tip of his toes he was covered as a providential sign of his calling. From that pivotal point on, his life was rocked. An ordinary shepherd boy began to do extraordinary things. Oh, you know, like killing beast of the fields and slaying giants. Average stuff for a teenage boy called to greatness.

Deborah was part of the tribe of Israel until she was called to be a judge in the land. To painfully point out the obvious, she was a woman. But this ordinary wife was a leader, foreseer, and motivator to the masses. She led Israel into a successful battle, when women of this time were non-entities of society. No matter what other people thought, she did was God called her to do. She was extraordinary.

Peter was a fisherman. No… not like Captain Ahab. Fishermen at his time were over-looked by society, but this ordinary fisherman was chosen to be an extraordinary fisher of man. He walked on water, participated in miracles, and gave one of the best apologetic defenses of the gospel even today.

How? How do you take ordinary and make it extraordinary?

When God calls us, He equips us. These extraordinary individuals relied upon the work of the Holy Spirit to fill them... to do the extraordinary.

John 14:12, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that beleiveth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…

Maybe I can be extraordinary. With God everything is possible. It occurs to me that extraordinary is really EXTRA-ordinary. I can be EXTRA-ordinary. I just need to have an EXTRA dose of ordinary. LOL. When I go the EXTRA mile I am EXTRA-ordinary. When I spend EXTRA time with my kid I am EXTRA-ordinary. When I triumph over EXTRA chocolate chips or that EXTRA helping at dinner I am EXTRA-ordinary.

I guess I don’t need to be a Broadway star or a famous director or fabulously rich or “model” thin. I don’t need to be a professor at some university or have all the money in the world to spend. I can be EXTRA-ordinary (emphasis on the EXTRA) in my own little world. I can be EXTRA-ordinary to my 5 kids and the people I teach, and the people I serve at church and the people I meet. I can be EXTRA-ordinary for one person at a time and it will be ok. Besides, it is God that take ordinary and gives it the EXTRA!

The question is simply, am I willing to stop living an ordinary life?

Nope… I want EXTRA-ordinary!


  1. You have been more than EXTRA wonderful for my wife and kids (and to me, in different ways). You find ways to serve, uplift, bouy up and refocus my family in ways that nobody else ever has. You may not feel EXTRA special sometimes, but you have literally been a savior to my family so many times. Thank you for being you, and for SHARING you.

  2. If the world were filled with ordinary people like you, Satan would have no power on this earth! I think that's extraordinary.