How to make peace with the ordinary in your extraordinary life

Originally published Tuesday, 12 January 2016.

Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. Colossians 3:15-17 (MSG)

The question comes up fairly often, “Are you going to write a book?”

When people ask this question I know they're talking about a publishing house choosing me to be an author. They’re not talking about the kind of book I offer for free on this blog. 

To be honest being chosen by a publisher to write a book is why I started blogging, but years later it isn't what keeps me blogging.

I've been through the process. About two years ago, a major Christian publishing house approached me and asked me to write a book proposal for them. With a little help from some published friends, and this template from Mary De Muth, I put it together.

Then months later they got back to me. They told me they liked the concept but wanted to hear more about my platform. In publishing speak that basically means how many people do you reach and how many influential people do you know that will help promote your book. 

Well, the truth is my platform is really small, and my group of influential friends and family even smaller, and my interest in fighting my way through to a large platform even tinier than that.

So I sat with my laptop on the desk and I truthfully tapped out the numbers: subscribers, followers, likes. I contacted the few people I knew and asked how they could help me get the word out. Hoping that perhaps someone would come back and say, “I’m best buddies with Oprah”. And I looked at all the responses and thought, “These numbers are not going to get me published.”

And instead of feeling gutted, I felt relieved.

One thing I've learnt about the publishing world is that it doesn't involve tapping out a book and then getting to hold it a year or two later. It involves stepping into the public eye, marketing yourself, marketing yourself, and marketing yourself. And right now I'm not comfortable with that. I like being in the background. I like being the person behind the scenes, not the person on the stage.

I would be lying if I said that seeing something I wrote for sale doesn't excite me. I was able to contribute 5 new devotionals to this NIV Bible for Women recently. Opening the box up with copies a month or so ago and holding them made me feel so proud to have my writing in print. Having my writing alongside the likes Shauna Niequist, Margaret Feinberg, Tsh Oxenreider, Katie Davis and Rachel Held Evans felt pretty good too.

I loved holding that Bible in my hand but the truth, that is hard to write, is that right now, I like living small. I enjoy every ordinary day. 

I like my life where I live quietly with just my husband and my dog and friends coming over to share meals. I don't like traveling away from all of this. I find where I am right now is extraordinary. And I am so grateful to be living my life. 

I know a person is not supposed to admit that they like living a small, ordinary life. 

After all aren't we all meant to want to live bigger and better?

Isn't ordinary not good enough anymore? 

Is not life all about how many followers and likes and subscribers I can accumulate?

Am I not meant to be striving “to be better than” and “have more than” everyone who knows me?

Maybe it's because I'm in my thirties now but I feel like ordinary isn't something to be worn with shame, that living simply in arms reach of the ones I love can be holy too. Maybe the holiest thing of all. 

Jesus chose small. He came as a baby. He didn't come as superstar. He chose 12 people. He said, “Love your neighbour.” Jesus showed that small can change hearts and that changed hearts can change the world.

Jesus lived in a way that speaks to every heart that wonders if a small life/ministry/job is enough. (tweet this)

Even as I write this I’m careful because Jesus didn’t only live small, he also embraced large. Jesus spoke to thousands, he fed thousands and he died for billions. 

I love that Jesus wasn’t either/or. He was both/and. He showed that you can live a small, quiet life for him or live big loud life, and both can change the world. 

I also know that the one constant in life is change. And that maybe 3, 5 or 10 years from now this small life I love right now will feel like a cage. Or maybe I will long to be seen and heard.

So I’m not saying, “I’ll never write a book” (and if the opportunity arises to write a book without a platform I'm there) but I’m speaking to anyone who wonders if by choosing not to pursue big things they are somehow missing out or failing at life. 

Listen closely: choosing a quiet life can be just as holy as standing in front of thousands and sharing Jesus.

There is nothing that says choosing an ordinary life means your life will never be extraordinary. The extraordinary life you live might simply be shared with only a handful instead of thousands.

I know it’s not cool to admit it, but here I am. My name is ________, and I like living small. (tweet this)

Ponder: Do you feel called to live a big or small life right now? Are you content with the current size of your life?

Prayer: Let every detail of my life—words, actions, whatever—glorify you. Amen.

**Some affiliate links (to pay for my book addiction) included in this post.

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- This was orginally published on my site in October 2015. To read more devotionals like this go to