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Day 19 of 28: Engaged in the Ordinary



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Engaged in the Ordinary

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.”

Imagine this with me.

You’re doing your ordinary, everyday work and minding your own business when out of nowhere, an angel appears. You’ve never seen an angel before, so you’re struggling to conceive that one is standing before you. Of all the people this angel could visit, why you? That seems pretty unlikely. After all, you’re a shepherd.

To fully understand the gravity of this part of the story, we must forget everything we think we know about shepherds except the sheep. The sheep can stay. We must throw off the images in our brains of men with bedsheets over their heads, wrapped in layers of linen, peacefully watching their flock through the night. 

During this time period, shepherds were considered the lowest of the low in society. 

They were despised men.

They were men who couldn’t be trusted.

They were men so rigid and weird that they were kept on the outskirts of society.

And yet God chose these men.

These men were so engaged in their ordinary, everyday calling when God broke through and altered their lives with the best news they’d ever heard.

So often, I catch myself 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 I’m tempted to write off as just that– normal– 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 decided that night, “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.

Remember those Passover lambs we talked about in the message about Bethlehem? These were the guys. Bethlehem was their neighborhood. These shepherds who looked after the temple lambs were the first to witness the Lamb of God. Only God could orchestrate such a significant moment.

Ordinary men in the fields, doing their everyday work, encountered the message of hope first.

Friend, I know how hard it is to 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, it 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.

Something happens 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 engaged in my everyday ordinary.

It’s easier to think five years in the future or romanticize the past—that kind of thinking robs us of the here and now.

I remember my therapist explaining to me one time, “The prayer goes: give us this day our daily bread. This day is enough. Just be where you are and invest in that.” Refuse to worry about tomorrow.

I love how God shows up to these shepherds– these outsiders to society– when engaged in their ordinary calling. It pumps me up and gives me a new appreciation for the daily work I have to do because I know God is 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?

When these men were paying attention to their daily job, the angel showed up to say, “Fear not. I bring you good news of great joy for all people.”

Let’s dig deeper into that good, good news tomorrow.


Luke 2:8-10

Steal This Prayer

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

I Love Hearing from You!

In moving my blog to a newer platform, I sadly had to let go of the thousands of comments and conversations that came from readers over the last 10+ years. This grieves me deeply but I know there will new conversations, fresh words of wisdom, and opportunities to create close community once again. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section. I’ll be reading + replying on a regular basis.


  1. Fiona says:

    Please approve my comment….

    My boyfriend is back after he broke up with me 3 months ago ____

    Thanks to this relationship doctor for restoring my relationship,

    He made everythings possible…

    I am the happiest lady on earth,

    Stop Infidelity.

    Stop Cheating.

    Stop Betrayal.

    Stop Mistrust.

    Stop Divorce.

    Stop Poor communication.

    Stop Long-distance woes.

    Stop No emotional connection.

    Stop Lover from breaking-up

    Stop Toxic or abusive behavior.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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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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