There is an Internet trend of choosing one word (or for me, one phrase, because I cannot follow the rules) to guide your year. Last year, my word was “Sure”, which was the result of this epic and typically angsty email to my best friend, Anna:
“Have you heard of the thing where you pick one word as the theme of your year and kind of mediate on it? Well, my one word for this year is “SURE” because back when we very first got matched with Jia and everything felt really good and really right and I was riding the high of getting matched, (and please pardon how over spiritual this sounds because BLECH, but it’s how it happened so…) I really felt like God said “listen, you need to remember how sure and right this seems right now because things are going to happen that are going to make you wonder if this is the right thing to do and it is, but it won’t always feel like it”. So I am gripping that with all the will I can muster right now.”
I clung to the word “Sure” like a life raft last year, reading that paragraph over and over because there were, indeed, moments when the doubts and challenges pushed hard on my surety. 2015 was one of the best years, but also one of the heaviest, and through it all, I focused on Sure.
So when it came time to choose a word for this year, I kept coming back to the word “Normal” as in, this will be the year we find our normal. But it didn’t really capture the entirety of what I was looking for. So I kept searching, and in my New Year’s Eve Facebook post, I finally found it – a combination of two words that really got at what I was hoping for this year – glorious ordinary.
In all reality, we haven’t had a year of ordinary in a long time. We started fertility treatments back in 2011, so every year since then felt like constantly sitting in anticipation and what if’s and why’s. And then we started the adoption process and, I don’t know if you know this, but the process of adopting a kid is KIND OF BONKERS so we had the opposite of an ordinary year in 2015.
We spent last year bearing witness with wonder and awe at some REALLY BIG THINGS that have happened and we would have had to be blind to miss them. But now that we’ve found something a little closer to normal, the wonders that happen are smaller, less dramatic, more, well…. ordinary. And glorious ordinary is an invitation to make sure we’re still paying attention, still embracing the wonder, still standing in awe. That we aren’t missing the quieter miracles we see every day.
Glorious ordinary is seeing Jia run off to play with her cousins like she’s been in the thick of them all along. Glorious ordinary is feeling like we can actually go on a real date and leave the kids with a babysitter because they’re finally ready. Glorious ordinary is watching Jia and Eden play their favorite games because they HAVE favorite games now, which they’ve made up together. Glorious ordinary is hearing my kids fighting because, umm, yeah, they are absolutely real sisters. Glorious ordinary is being surprised when we realize someone hasn’t met Jia yet because it’s like she’s been here forever. Glorious ordinary is watching Eden just come into her own self, her own skin, and shine brighter than ever after a rough end of summer. Glorious ordinary is morning snuggles, reading books, home work, temper tantrums, bike rides, and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star at bedtime. It’s the stuff we take for granted because it’s like it has always been that way but I don’t want to miss the miraculous in the mundane.
2016 is my year of glorious ordinary, embracing the quiet wonders, the everyday, the little stuff, imperfectly, as best I can, because, let’s be honest, no one really, honestly relishes temper tantrums, glorious ordinary or not.