Show Your Stripes!
Recently, I was in bed reading trying to leave the TV off in hopes of making me sleepy vs. wanting to stay up and watch 5 episodes of House Hunters (because I already finished all 6 seasons of Sex and the City). I was reading Jen Hatmaker’s Of Mess and Moxie, and if you haven’t read a Jen Hatmaker book, then, ladies, you should. I would personally skip her book called SEVEN because there is no possible way I could limit myself to only 7 items of clothing for any length of time. I’m pretty confident I have on 7 articles of clothing right now: bra, undies, socks, duck boots, leggings, tank, raincoat. Yep. 7 items on me right now. I appreciate the ability to try and do with less things and live more minimally, but I know myself well; I like clothes. Clothes and having options in my closet makes me happy, so while I love me some Jen Hatmaker, I will not be reading or tackling her “Seven” challenge. I did adore her book For the Love, and if I’m being 100% honest I feel I connect most closely with her writing than I do anyone else I have read. I value her ability to be able to write as if you were talking to her, which I think is one thing people tend to appreciate about my own writing. I want you to feel like I’m sitting next to you having a conversation or trying to make you laugh. Jen Hatmaker is a Christian writer who manages to walk the line of being a good Christian without the judgement or pretension. She drinks, laughs, admits her faults, but she still has a strong positive Christian message. I was VERY excited when I saw she came out with a new book called Of Mess and Moxie. It’s worth the read!
I tell you all of this because I was reading her book, and on one page the word extraordinary was split onto two lines due to it running out of room on the line. It then turned into extra-ordinary, and I asked Mike if he reads the word as “extraordinary” or “extra-ordinary.” He said, “extraordinary,” which made me think…do we want to be “extraordinary” or “extra ordinary?” I looked up the exact definition, which is below…(I even cited it correctly…getting crazy up in here).
a: going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary
Would we ever want to be extra ordinary?! I certainly don’t want to be. I don’t want to be unmemorable. I suppose some people are very happy being a wallflower, but I am not that person. I want to be great! I want to be extraordinary! I don’t know exactly how to do that yet, but I’m eager to figure out how. I do think that we can be extraordinary without a massive effort. We can be an extraordinary friend just by reaching out and checking on them and giving them what they need when the need it. We can be an extraordinary spouse by tuning into their needs before ours. I never read the Love Languages book, but I think I’ve figured out Mike’s and he’s figured out that I work on praise. If I know what makes him happy and at his best, why would I not do that? He does that for me! Something as simple as that can make your relationship extraordinary. We can be extraordinary parents by just doing something as simple as taking the time to talk with our kids, eating dinner as a family, turning off the electronics in the car to have a conversation while we drive from point A to point B, or giving our kids boundaries that they so desperately crave. We can be extraordinary at our jobs by doing what is asked of us with a smile on our face and creating a positive environment.
Look- I don’t think it necessarily has to take a lot to be extraordinary and decipher yourself from being extra ordinary, but I do think it may take a conscience effort. Let’s be genuine, and let’s be honest, but let’s also be kind and considerate. We can tell the truth in a kind manner (usually…sometimes it’s just hard to have to deliver some truths). We can support those that we love and appreciate without throwing someone under the bus. Let’s just start by being pleasant to be around. Smile. Look up from your phone and speak to someone. Tell a stranger that you like their shoes, their shirt or simply the color they are wearing. Hold a door for someone. Simple acts of kindness are extraordinary. Have you ever read the children’s book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? The premise of this book is that we all have imaginary buckets, and the goal is to fill others’ buckets by being kind. In return, your bucket will fill as well. What an amazingly great concept! We discuss this at home, and I will sometimes tell the kids, “thank you! That just filled my bucket!” Maybe by introducing and reinforcing this simple concept we can inspire our kids to be extraordinary too.
People are often asking me how I’m doing, and I love that this blog allows people to be “in the know” on how I truly am feeling. The reality is that I am doing much better! I probably feel the best I have felt in almost a year! My back pain is gone, I’m on MUCH less medication, and I am feeling physically stronger. All great news! Unfortunately, I’m being plagued by a new concern where the blood seems to be pooling on my right side of my abdomen and my abdomen decides to expand like a balloon turning me into a tree trunk as the day goes on and eating makes the problem worse. We’re not sure if it’s just a vein type issue, a digestive issue, both or something entirely different that is odd and unusual and typical of what my body likes to grow. If it’s weird and unusual, then I’ll probably get it. Let’s rewind for a second, and I won’t use the dramatic phrase of “being plagued.” This problem doesn’t seem to be of massive concern to my doctors, (although I do wish it were a bit more concerning to them so we could work more quickly on a solution), BUT compared to it all it is more of a nuisance than anything else. I go back to Tampa in June to do an MRI, check on my tumors in my abdomen, check on my liver and see how those “spots” are appearing, and check my blood work to see if my platelets and blood counts have decided to behave and improve on their own. I am ready to feel extraordinary…not extra ordinary. I want to feel GREAT! I don’t think I know what feeling great feels like anymore. I really don’t remember the last time I just felt amazing. Wow…let’s not stay on THAT thought for too long, because that is a bucket of depressing. That’s a bucket dipper- not a filler!
I leave you with this…let’s try to be kind and extraordinary in some way. Let’s be human. Let’s be polite. Let’s put our phones down for a second, look up and say, “hi” to someone we don’t know. Let’s be an example for our little people, and let’s all take one more step to being extraordinary!