The Sacred in the Ordinary

 

My church calendar says it’s ‘Ordinary Time’. Easter lilies and decorated eggs are a distant memory. My artificial tree and ornaments sleep in dark boxes in the attic. Christmas is months away.

The calendar stretches out in shades of white. Weeks lay before me, brimming with open space, with the stillness of a flag on a windless day. No major holidays. Just the typical and familiar.

I went to the Arboretum today, and was reminded that the earth stands in this same season of transition. Summer flowers no longer stand tall and bright. Blooms bend down to the dirt now, the edges of the petals curled and spent. I can feel the last weak threads of summer’s pulse in the once vibrant gardens.

The trees are still green. Just a few renegade leaves turn yellow, tucked in the bottom of their branches. Fall is just beginning to tip her hand, not ready to reveal the full house of color.

It’s not summer. It’s not fall. It’s Ordinary Time.

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Have you ever experienced a quiet season? You have if the blooms of your hurried pace wither, with nothing in the immediate future to urge your pace.

My Ordinary Time, like the calendar and nature, is now. The two grandbabies we expected were born in May and August. We visited my son in the spring, and spent a week with my daughter and family in July. Home now, with nothing special for a few weeks, I am living deep in the stillness.

I am aware that even though my church declares this time as ordinary, God still lives and moves and has His being. The motionless lake teems with life under the surface. My resting body covers the beating heart, the filling lungs. Ordinary still holds wonder and work, it’s just not as obvious.

It’s like the world, and all that’s in it, chooses to hide itself. It’s a waiting time. A gap widens now away from the busyness, creating time for holy repairing of my mind, heart and soul.

In the open air of the prairie, I can hear the waterfall before I see it. The wind isn’t howling, and not filled with the sunny call of the birds. In the stillness of the water’s surface, I see the small circles of wavelets made by the frogs and fish, soundless below the waterline.

The gift of quiet is handed to me in this slow and sanctified time so I will stop. Stop and notice that I am apart of a holy rhythm of life. Calendars and seasons will have a turn again to splashy, gala times of color and celebration. But not just yet.

It’s a dance for two now. Just me and the Holy Spirit, as the love of God pours and mends and revives. I barely detect the whispers of construction, the repair, the renewal. Nothing blares or shouts. IΒ sit undisturbed and undistracted. It’s quiet enough to recognize that work is going on, but it goes on without me.

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I am surrounded in peace, tucked gently in the Holy Ordinary.

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Linking today with: #RaRa Linkup

 

68 thoughts on “The Sacred in the Ordinary

    • Hi Bill! I think we all flow in and out of seasons. Mine is just quiet right now, and I am loving it.

      It wouldn’t be very efficient if we were all in the same place. I wish you joy in your busyness, and great goals in your work!

      Sunday blessings,
      Ceil

  1. Hi Ceil! There’s something special about those ordinary times–in the life of the church and in our own lives. Ordinary times, can be times of rest in between the times of busyness. Perhaps, it’s in these “ordinary” times that God is preparing us for something “more”–a “more” that is some where out beyond where we can currently see? (Oh, do I sense a blog post for my blog in this comment? πŸ™‚ ) Even in what seems to be quiet, ordinary, mundane great things can happen or be preparing to happen.

    Fall is certainly coming, fall in the Midwest is interesting. I’m certainly seeing some hint that it’s coming.

    Blessings!

    Kim

    • Hi Kim! I do remember reading something about moving forward after a quiet time. You reminded me of that, thank you! I hope you do have a blog post idea from reading mine. I think we all get inspired from each other, it’s a wonderful thing.

      Fall is coming, I know that! I just saw a meme that asked if I was ready for falling leaves, popcorn and Halloween. NO! I am not!! I’ll just rest here a while…

      Blessings,
      Ceil

  2. This is wonderful writing, Ceil. It flows so smoothly and is so descriptive you can envision every word you say in one’s mind. Just like poetry. I wish I could write like that.

    Instead, my writing seems jagged by comparison. I’m envious.

    You know, when things are quiet around the house and everything seems like ordinary times … I liven things up by taking a few sticks of celery … waving them through the open kitchen window … and shouting “The Triffids have landed … The Triffids have landed …”

    I don’t think my sense of humour is appreciated around here.

    God bless you and your family. Thank you for a brilliant piece of writing.

    • Hi Victor! Oh thank you so much for your comment today, it means a lot. I’m so glad you liked the writing. Your writing is certainly not jagged. It has a quiet understanding. You know I love your Fr. Ignatius character very much.

      I had to look up what a Triffid was (I have not read John Wyndham), so I understand your joke!

      Sunday blessings to you and yours my friend. Keep away from those Triffids. They look scary πŸ™
      (You really did make my day),
      Ceil

    • Hi Sandi! I hope that’s true. I’d love to think that God is building me to help Him in some way. Thank you for that encouraging thought!

      Sunday blessings,
      Ceil

    • Hi Susan! It is an interesting dichotomy isn’t it? What seems so ordinary is filled with miracles…they’re just hiding for a while to give me some rest.

      I’m glad we’re becoming blog-friends!
      Ceil

  3. Oh, I love this. There is always something EXTRA-Ordinary going on in God’s Kingdom…in our lives, our hearts, our souls. Even when it’s an in-between time…God is working, repairing, healing, strengthening for the UN-ordinary days to come. This is wonderful. Thank you for making me think in very UN ordinary ways. Love it!

    • Hi Pam! I think you’re right. So much is going on, under the surface, behind the clouds…it only seems like it’s hidden now. I am enjoying the quiet shifting of priorities and reflections in the quiet. I think God knew I needed it.

      I’m so glad you liked the post. Thank you for your supportive comments, I really appreciate them πŸ™‚
      Ceil

    • Hi Linda! We can all use some ‘calm’ that’s for sure. I hope your first day of classes goes well today! I know you’re going to rock it πŸ™‚

      Blessings,
      Ceil

  4. He speaks in the ordinary, in the daily, in the quiet, in the routine. Often, that’s where I hear Him best.

    And your pictures draw me in to your words, friend. I hear your heart. You lead me to Jesus.

    I am always grateful.

    Hugs for you today!

    ;-}

    • Hi Linda! I often need quiet, and I think it’s so the noise in my life gets some balance time with silence. I also believe that God speaks in every time and season of our journey, ‘ordinary’ time being one of those.

      I’m glad you liked the post today, thank you for your kind words. I was wondering what happened to you? But I saw on your blog that you were having some glitches. Welcome back my friend πŸ™‚

      Happy Monday!
      Ceil

  5. Ceil: I have never thought of any part of the year as being ordinary. This gives me something to think on. I find my energy level different during this time of year, leading up to the fall. Thank you for this new concept.

    • Hi Cecelia! There is grace in every day and every moment of life, but now it’s a slower, more hidden time for me. I am enjoying the shifting of priorities, and listening to the Lord is easier without all the hoopla. I hope it lasts!

      I also hope you are enjoying your blog break, and getting some time to be ‘ordinary’ too.
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  6. many times in our noisyness we miss His Presence. I think when it quiet peaceful or as you described ordinary, we can sit still and really listen in. Rather than mere activities!
    Thanks friend.
    God Bless Ceil

    • Hi Ifeoma! It is peaceful right now in my Ordinary Time, and I definitely think it’s easier to hear. Not easier to follow what I hear, but there is definite peace in knowing that quiet brings its own blessings!

      I hope you are enjoying your season now, as you connect with what God is saying to you.
      Monday blessings,
      Ceil

    • Hi Lisa! I love Ordinary Time too. So peaceful! I am beginning to settle in, and get used to the new pace. I suppose as soon as I do, it will change.

      I better get my rest now, you’re right!
      Monday blessings,
      Ceil

  7. “God still lives and moves and has His being.” I love this thought. Summer passed far too quickly for me, and it saddens me to see some flowers slowly losing their vitality. But what beautiful hope you have given me today to know that God is still alive and active in our lives and hearts no matter what the season. Oh, how I love this – “It’s a dance for two now. Just me and the Holy Spirit, as the love of God pours and mends and revives.” Blessings and hugs!

    • Hi Trudy! Thank you for your kind comments about the post today.

      I think it’s always ‘dance time’ but I feel it more in the quiet than I do when I’m really busy. It’s a still moment for me, I think God wants me to rest a bit. So I’ll try to settle more and more into that.

      Have a great Monday πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  8. Mine is quiet right now as well. I am loving it so much! For how much my heart aches for my daughter who will not be swimming any more, I have begun to relish all the free time we now find on our hands. I am fighting to not make that free time a vacuum either. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Patty! I do understand what it’s like in that transition time. I hope you will find great things to take the place of swimming, and that your daughter does too.

      Change is always confusing and interesting, isn’t it? I know God has good things in store for you and the family. It will be fun to discover πŸ™‚
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  9. Ceil,
    Congrats on the safe arrival of two grandbabies πŸ™‚
    And this: “It’s a dance for two now. Just me and the Holy Spirit, as the love of God pours and mends and revives. ” What a lovely description …and our garden is winding down, too…blessings to you during this time of being with God πŸ™‚

    • Hi Dolly! Thank you! We are so blessed with our grandsons. And the fact that I’ve met both is really wonderful πŸ™‚

      Thanks for your kind words on the post too. Quiet is a good place to be for now. Who knows what comes after it? Best to enjoy in the moment!

      Happy Tuesday πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  10. Ceil,
    I’ve been in this kind of season. It’s my favorite though where isbthe stillness, God and me. During the ordinary times sometime God used to talk to me to reflect the pasts and prepare me for next season. I’m now in it.thank you for sharing πŸ™‚ this. Can I mention this post for my next post?
    Thank yiu and love you my friend.

    • Hi Delvalina! Sure, you can mention this post. I’d be honored!

      You are really in an exciting time in your life. Engaged, getting ready to move to a whole new country. Yikes! Quite the opposite of me πŸ™‚

      God knows where we should be, and He is with us wherever we are. That’s the Good News!
      Blessings my friend,
      Ceil

  11. Hi Ceil,
    I love peace and stillness, and I love the Autumn and the winter. To me it is the dying of the old and the bringing to life the new. Just like what is portrayed in your lovely pics there is much to focus on in the quiet times.
    God bless you in all times

    • Hi Brenda! That’s a good point. In the quiet, I can focus better. Less distraction, so I can be more attentive to the ‘now’. Thank you for that thought!

      It’s funny, but I love Autumn the best. It’s a little sad to see summer go, but the coolness and change in the air is really beautiful. I get why you like it, and winter too. (It just doesn’t have to come now, right?)

      Blessings!
      Ceil

  12. Oh what a beautiful season you are in, my friend! I must say I’m a little jealous :). Unfortunately, I always forget to enjoy those ordinary times until I’m reflecting back on them from my high octane busy seasons. I just adore this thought: “It’s a dance for two now. Just me and the Holy Spirit…” I’m working on getting closer to that. Thank you for the inspiration, Ceil.

    • Hi Candace! I agree, I love it right now! Of course, it can change in an instant, so I’m trying to be present to it and just enjoy.

      “High octane” is a great way to describe my life when it’s crazy! I always try to make a point of thanking God for trusting me with so much when I get overloaded. It helps. I’m a real ‘quiet lover’ at heart though.

      Hoping you are doing well today,
      Ceil

  13. Ceil, this is so such a beautiful portrait of waiting and settling and renewing–a balm to my soul. Thank you for posting your thoughts–they are an encouragement to me.

    • Hi Pam! I’m so glad to see you! I’ve stopped by your blog a couple of times to see what’s new…

      I’m so glad that you liked this post. I was very much at peace at the Arboretum, and I think it comes out in the words. What a joy that they encourage you! Thank you for telling me, you are so generous.

      Hope you’re enjoying these last days of warmth,
      Ceil

  14. I am so glad I discovered you this morning on #RahRah Linkup! I LOVE this piece and it quieted my soul as I read it. Your writing style and choice of words are powerful and elegant. I will be looking for you again! I am a grandmother of six who retired just a bit over a year ago and started writing again in May.

    • Hi Pam! It’s a pleasure to meet you today! You have quite a few grandchildren, one more than me πŸ™‚ Aren’t they just the best??

      Thank you for your kind words about the post, and for the FB love too. I hope we’ll get to know each other better, that would be great.

      Coming over to say hi right now!
      Ceil

  15. Oh Ceil… how I just love this!! Your words offer a painting so descriptive it soothes my own heart… Such a gift you are- and what you offered here for me to soak in. Sharing this one for more to be blessed by the splendor of stillness, ordinary, and transitional moments that can be both restoring and nourishing.

    Thank you my friend. <3

    • Hi Chris! Thank you for your uplifting words about the post today, I really appreciate it! You are so kind to share it too, what a generous blog-friend you are πŸ™‚

      It seems like we are in opposing seasons, right? You wrote so well about your stuffed weekend schedule, and here I am in the silence. God is so good to us! He knows what we need.

      Hoping it’s not quite so busy today!
      Ceil

    • Hi Debby! You and me both sister! The quiet helps me to focus and remember to be thankful. When it’s busy, well, I don’t remember as well! Your photos often speak of silence, nature and beauty. I think we’re on the same page my friend.

      Hope today is a good one for you πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  16. Right now I’m enjoying the busyness of life and fearing a bit the quiet that will soon come. Even though the Ordinary Time you describe here is oh so lovely too, and will be needed. I hope you know how delighted I am that you and your husband will be joining us for our special day. It just makes me oh so happy!! And I’d love to plan a trip to the Arboretum with you again too. Your words are always a blessing, friend.

    • Hi Beth! You are in a very busy time of your life, that’s for sure! So much planning, and all the while wondering what the future holds. Not knowing is never very comfortable, but I know you’ll handle it with the grace and faith that you always do.

      We’re looking forward to your big day! And let’s plan on the field trip to the Arboretum. I’d love that πŸ™‚
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  17. Ordinary Life. I like how that sounds. You know, Ceil, sometimes I don’t appreciate the quieter times, as sometimes in the silence I am consumed with anxious thoughts and fretful feelings. I lose sight of God’s purposes in the solitude.

    Your post was beautiful, and it brought to my heart once again, the peace that can be found when God takes us through a *still season*…

    I pray that He will infuse me with His comfort and peace, and that His work will go on unhindered, even if I can’t sense it. I pray that I will appreciate His Presence in new ways.

    GOD BLESS!

    • Hi Sharon! I know what you mean about those negative thoughts. It can be hard to fight them off in the quieter seasons…

      Thank you so much for your kind words about the post today. I pray that God will lean close and breathe His calm comfort and peace on you too. We all need to be at peace, and I know He wants that for you.

      Thanks for visiting today πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  18. This line is my favorite truth there: “Ordinary still holds wonder and work, it’s just not as obvious.” Yes. πŸ™‚

    Red creeps up a maple tree several yards away, our marker for autumn, and we notice it over supper, the kids and I, and shake our heads at summer’s end.

    Jennifer Dougan

    • Hi Jennifer! I know, it just goes so fast, doesn’t it? I’ve only seen the slight yellow of leaves tucked back in the trees. And of course it’s going to be in the 90’s this week. So confusing!

      But I’m enjoying my quiet. Might be the calm before the storm, but at least I’ll be ready for it.
      Have a restful night,
      Ceil

  19. I love the season of ordinary times, the stillness, unhurried; it feeds my contemplative nature. Just being here at your post reading your words, viewing your photos is calming to me right now. Excitement, achievement, reaching is great but oh, the ordinary days are a great part of life! I took the Canyon way to Flag a few days back and noticed some leaves turning yellow and await the transition for fall too!

    • Hi Mary! I agree that exciting days are great too! But whatever the season I’m in, I hope I can appreciate it because it’s all a gift. I know you feel the same way!

      I’m a wee bit jealous of your road trip πŸ™‚ I miss Arizona, it’s so pretty, and so many wonderful things to see and experience. I hope you had a great drive.

      Happy Wednesday,
      Ceil

  20. Well hello there!
    I love being able to be still and not busy, but I don’t see that happening for a bit. With this new role in my life and schooling my kids, it just seems to be quite busy. But that’s okay, because I still can hear God’s whispers through all the chaos. I love that you call it ordinary time…great post!
    I hope you have a great week!
    Hugs, Amy

    • Hi Amy! I would image those times are few and far between for you now. God has sharpened your ears to hear Him no matter the noise around you, which is a wonderful thing. He always takes care of us, right?

      I’m glad you liked the post today, and I hope to develop the ears to hear just like you. No matter the season!
      Wednesday blessings,
      Ceil

    • Hi Betty! God always wants us to see Him in our lives, no matter what’s going on. I like your idea of uncovering His character in nature, that is really true. I really connect to nature, and see Him easily in that.

      Thank you for your kind words today πŸ™‚
      Ceil

  21. I’m not familiar with the term “ordinary time” but I like it. There’s so much extraordinary in the ordinary. God is always with us… regardless of the season or what it says on the calendar.

    Such lovely, blessed insights, Ceil.

    Thank you for sharing.
    xoxo

    • Hi Jennifer! I’m not sure all denominations have season names like we do. But I know that everyone can relate to ‘ordinary’, and certainly, like you did, ‘the extraordinary in the ordinary’.

      Thank you for your always encouraging comments my friend. It’s always such a joy to see you.
      Blessings on your Thursday,
      Ceil

  22. Ceil, I’ve never heard of ordinary time in the church calendar? Not sure I have any ordinary time in my life either – but each day is a blessing; so really they are all extraordinary days for us! Andrina X

    • Hi Andrina! I think being thankful makes every day special, and you just illustrated that. What is ordinary? To me, it’s quiet. Not a lot on the social calendar. A time to sit and think, and be thankful.

      Maybe that is extraordinary! Thank you for the wonderful insight.
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  23. Lovely!! I preached about this time of year last week. We have been calling it the season after Pentecost but I prefer ordinary – once you frame it right to find its beauty. You did that with your words. I felt a peace and comfort here tonight – and needed that. Thank you

    • Hi Jean! I would have loved to hear your talk. I know you would have been so peaceful and inspiring, just like Ordinary Time is.

      It’s interesting how different denominations handle this season of the calendar. And some don’t have a calendar at all. But I think we can all relate to a time that’s not taken up by busyness and preparation (at least on the outside!).

      I’m so happy you felt peace. That’s what I’m feeling these days too!
      Blessings,
      Ceil

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