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Day 17 of 26 :: Engaged in the ordinary.



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In Luke’s account of the Christmas Story, Christ is born and the story immediately pans out to a field in the same region where shepherds were watching their flock. An angel of the Lord appears before them and tells them, “Don’t fear— I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”

Can you even imagine?

You’re doing your ordinary, everyday work and minding your own business when out of nowhere an angel appears. It seems pretty unbelievable and it likely was for this pack of men.

To see why this matters so much, we need to forget everything we think we know about shepherds except the sheep part. The sheep can stay. But I think we often see in our minds these peaceful men with bedsheets over their heads, wrapped in layers of linen, watching their flock through the night. In reality, during this time in Bible history, shepherds were considered the lowest rung of society.

They were despised men.

Men not to be trusted.

Men who were so rigid and weird that they were kept on the outskirts of society.

But you know what I love about this picture? These men were engaged in their ordinary, everyday calling when God broke through and grabbed them with the good news.

So often, I am caught thinking the present moment isn’t good enough. I could be doing something so much fancier, so much more noteworthy. I could be traveling instead of cleaning my house. I could be speaking on a stage instead of scrubbing the dishes or doing paperwork. There is so much of the ordinary life that I am tempted to write off as just that– ordinary– because it doesn’t fit my standard of what’s exciting.

And yet God shows up to meet us in the ordinary.

What if one of those shepherds made a decision that very night, saying, “You know what, I’m over this. I’m so tired of showing up to this calling. I am going to go off and forge my own path.” He would have missed what God was doing.

God showed up to these men as they stayed present in their calling, not abandoning responsibilities for something fancier.

Friend, I know how hard it is to just stay where you are. In the job you don’t like. In that marriage that feels stale. In that situation that, no matter how hard you pray, never seems to shift or change. There’s nothing easy about it. There will be days where– plain and simple– you barely muster up the strength to be present.

But something happens when we show up to the here and now despite someone else’s highlight reel looking better than ours.

When we keep showing up.

When we decide: I cannot see the entire future, and I pray to God I won’t be in this spot forever, but I can see today and today God is giving me the strength to stay.

It’s easier to be 4 years in the future or wondering what will happen next month. That kind of thinking (that isn’t really forward-thinking but rather forward-worrying) robs us of the here and now.

I was just talking about this with my therapist the other day, telling her I get so wrapped up in “what’s next” that I miss the “what’s now.”

“The prayer goes: give us this day our daily bread,” my therapist explained to me. “This day. This day is enough. Just be where you are and invest in that.”

I love how God shows up to these shepherds– these outsiders to society– when they are engaged in their ordinary calling. It pumps me up and gives me a new appreciation for the daily, mundane work I have to do because I know God can be in that, too.

Where are you weary, friend?

Where are you losing hope or thinking things will never change

It’s okay to wish you were somewhere else but are you missing out on something important by not being present?

It was when these men were paying attention that the angel showed up to say, “Fear not. I bring you good news of great joy for all people.”

They were included in that “all people” even though society likely would have counted them out.

You and I are included, too.

Let’s dig in deeper into that good, good news tomorrow…


Luke 2:8-10


Dear God, it is so hard to stay engaged in everyday life when everyday life feels so bland and mundane. I’m afraid I miss out on the very best stuff because I am stuck belittling it or envying the lives of other people. I am ready to clear a new path and put my eyes back on you. I am ready to pay attention to what you’re doing in my life and meet you there in the daily grind.




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Hi, I'm Hannah

I love writing about all things faith, mental health, discipline + and motherhood. Let's be penpals!


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