Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

The Glorious Ordinary

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Not all occupations are created equal. Just ask any mom.

They wipe snotty noses. They make lunches, spreading peanut butter and jelly before anybody else is even out of bed. They scrub jeans covered in grass stains. They cut coupons and count pennies, making a budget stretch faurther. They attend soccer games early Saturday morning, cheering louder than anybody else. They help with homework late into the night, trying their best to remember what a predicate nominative pronoun is.

The work is hard. The days are lung. The pay is awful.

The job is so filthy and smelly and hard and ordinary, who would ever want to do it?

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photo by Viewminder (creative commons license)

What Moms Do

Nobody dreams about this type of job. Nobody imagines themselves living out this kind of story.

Nobody takes on school loan debt to get a degree in changing diapers. Nobody is hoping that their big break will come some day and they will get to clean the dirty underwear of other people.

Nobody aspires to the ordinary.

And yet our moms are the most incredible people in the world. They do more for us than we could ever repay. They give, never asking for anything in return. They sacrifice. They put their own needs second. Moms give and give and give.

Why are our mothers so important to us? How do they do a job that is this hard? How do they make such a difference in our lives?

Moms take the ordinary and make it glorious. 

Why Moms Do It

Why do all of this? Why work so hard with so little reward? Why give away so much of your life when there are no stock options that will make you rich? Why do a work that nobody will even notice?

It isn’t the work they love, but rather the people they do it for.

Our moms love us. They start there. The first second they held us, they were gone forever.

And because of their love, the ordinary becomes worthwhile. The plain work that nobody else wants to do becomes important. They see something beautiful in what is undesirable otherwise.

In choosing the ordinary and in in choosing to do it well, our moms become the most important people in the world to us.

What I Want to Do

I want a glorious life.

I want to do incredible things. I want to solve problems that nobody else has been able to solve. I want to have countless followers on Facebook and Twitter. I want to write a book that makes every possible bestsellers list. I want to have financial independence.

I want people to notice.

The last thing I want to do is to be stuck in something ordinary.

It is natural to avoid the ordinary. It is normal to see it as not worth our time. The basic elements of our lives are so uninteresting, it does not make sense to pursue it.

But it is in the ordinary that we can do the greatest good in this life. Making the ordinary glorious is the way we can show love towards other human beings.

The ordinary isn’t hard to find. Itsurrounds us. It is everywhere. But like our mothers, will we notice?

Will we choose to love?

About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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7 Replies

  1. Christina Quist

    Wonderful! Insightful. Love this.

    1. I bet you could tell some incredible stories of how the ordinary matters.

      1. Christina Quist

        Before I had kids, it was my greatest fear to be ordinary, or “just a…” But now I know, there is no such thing as ordinary.

  2. Right on and I totally agree. But let’s be honest. The REAL reason you wrote this is to get some brownie points with your wife, right?

    1. I certainly could use a few.

  3. Great piece; but I want to tell you about someone who does aspire to all those things that you wrote: “nobody wants to…”

    She attends our little church and she’s just given birth to her fourth son. Her & her husband demonstrate what great parents are: the evidence is lived out in their four boys.

    She spoke awhile back at church on the joys of “mommying”. How she loves it; how that is her dream job. I wish we had recorded her talk. It was inspiring!

    Her name is Amy Epp. She, and her husband Cam, are anything but ordinary; they are inspiring!

    1. Thanks for sharing about Amy.

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