Embracing the Mundane

by nature, I'm a wild and free soul.

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I constantly crave adventure and over-the-top experiences. 

Newness excites me; the thrill of the unknown electrifies my soul. 

I don’t like being in one place for a long period of time; continual movement transforms my spirit.

Travel keeps me discovering new things, and gives me the assurance that change is on the horizon. 

It's all a massive rush.

And while I covet these intoxicating experiences, life just isn't always exciting and the certainty of a routine can attempt to clip one's wings.

As exhilarating as I try to keep motherhood, there is so much of it that is just prosaic: the girls complaining about waking up for school, Nasi trying to write on walls, packing lunches, combing hair, naps, preparing dinner, washing and folding laundry and breaking up sibling fights.
— Iliah, Negra Bohemian

This all repeats itself. 

While in Slovenia last summer, I sparked up a conversation with our Bosnian cab driver. We began to talk about the Third Balkan War of the 1990s, and something he said struck me. He began to reminisce on how he once saw common city birds as pests, until the reality of war drove them away. There was a time in Sarajevo when so many bombs were dropping, that there were no birds in the city for over two years. Now, every time he sees a regular bird, like a sparrow or pigeon, he views them as signs of hope and new life. 

His words were so tragically beautiful.

They reminded me of how easy it is to take ordinary things for granted: sparrows, ants, your garden; riding bikes around the block and blowing bubbles. But when tragedy comes, you long for the routine that once seemed so average.

There’s something about the mundane that one longs for when it's been ripped away. 

Common birds.

Complaining children.

Flies interrupting your summer picnic.

If one of my girls was lying in a hospital bed with no hair because they lost it to chemotherapy, I would dream of the ordinary days of waking up and combing it to get ready for the day- despite all of the frustration and drama that this simple act entails. I would ache for their sibling fights and all of Nasi's screaming over any and everything because this is what healthy children do: they fight, they yell, they live life in all of their emotions in full force.

It's so easy to forget that something as seemingly simple as healthy children is a divine blessing, until health is torn away from you in a horrible manner.

It's easy to abhor the mundane and much harder to embrace it. 

I imagine that if the destruction of war tore through the United States, and the simplest pleasures of life were snatched away from us, we would long for Target runs and grocery shopping- not for crazy adventures. 

I loath washing laundry and folding it, and I'm constantly frustrated by household chores. It's so monotonous and wears on my soul- I often find myself daydreaming of more carefree times in my life, opposed to being grateful for just where I am. 

Then I consider the Syrian mother, braving raging seas in desperate attempts to find the predicability that I often resist. These moments expose the privilege of my first world laments, and I find myself repenting for my pathetic murmurings. 

And with every other woman on social media "building empires" and living their glamorous "best lives" through perfect photos, it's easy to lose sight of how miraculous the mundane actually is.

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I also had to learn to embrace the mundane in my spiritual life.

As a Pentecostal, I was raised in supernatural movings and experiencing tongues of fire. I have witnessed the fullness of the Holy Spirit and his power, and I've seen miracles that would blow your mind. I have also lived through seasons of spiritual drought where God's providence and hand over my life appeared to be non-existent. These were times when even scripture felt as dry as the Sahara Desert, and when no amount of worship could usher me through celestial gates. 

There are seasons in life when God may feel as close and as present as our very own skin, and there are times when God seems as far away as distant planets.
— Iliah, Negra Bohemian

These moments used to confuse and frustrate me because I had no idea how to experience the fullness of God through the mundane of everyday life.

I wanted the drama and the chills; I did not want the boring, empty and uninteresting. 

You see, God can reveal himself in a great earthquake or in the fire that consumed the prophets of Baal. God can also come in a still, small voice that gently whispers loving truth. 

He demonstrates his glory everyday in each sunset and when the trees blow gently in the wind. He is the author of all creation and nature never ceases in singing his praises.

What may seem very mundane is actually profound. 

I have learned to revere the grandeur of God's simplicity, and to connect to him when all seems bleak.

I have found sweet refuge in letting go of the pressures that pursing constant spiritual highs produces. 

I accept his silent times and try to remember that they are not reflections of my standings with him because nothing could ever separate me from his love. These seasons yield precious fruit, teach us new dimensions of God's character and shows us how to truly commune with the Divine. 

To embrace God in the mundane of the everyday is to understand the depths true spiritual maturity. 

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Do you have trouble embracing the mundane?

 

 

 

 

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