My toddler-son has a pretty limited vocabulary right now, but he knows one word for sure: more. It’s almost a guarantee when he’s finished with breakfast, within minutes he’s strutting back to the table and shouting, “Mooooore peeeeease!” His big, blue, smiling eyes are hard to resist, but since he is all me in the personality department, I know his desire for more all too well. He’s tasted something good, and now ten bites are not enough. He’s a ravenous little thing, and he comes by it honestly.
Craving the Ordinary
For most of my life, I’ve wanted more. More money, clothes, food, success, affirmation—the list is endless. I am all but finished with a project before I’ve mentally moved onto the next thing, the next life event. It’s unfortunate to say it aloud, but my default is hustle, discontentment, and dissatisfaction. More used to equal “better” until the pace was too much.
Our life two years ago, when I was seven months pregnant with our first child, is unrecognizable to me now. Almost every night, I leaned into our fridge to find something that could barely count as dinner before running off to the next place. Clutter filled our countertops, our fridge was empty from weeks of forgetting to grocery shop, and I was exhausted. We were living at an unsustainable pace. With two demanding, people-oriented jobs and opposite work schedules and lives, our marriage was starting to suffer. Not in big, obvious ways, but in quiet and passive ones. We were silently depriving each other of companionship.
Those were my first years in ministry, and I found them difficult. I started to dread being around people. For a major extrovert, that should have been a big warning sign, but we didn’t make time to see it. I didn’t have the words for it then, but I was craving a mundane life. I was desperate for a little bit of boring. I wanted some rhythm and normalcy. I deeply needed space for ordinary, dull parts of my day. We were drowning and in need of reprieve.
Squelching the Itch for More
Before those years of chaos, I associated mundane with dull. I thought that an adventurous life meant seeking the next thing, running and chasing for more. I didn’t know that the thing that would give us more—what we needed so badly—was to make space for the mundane. I’m learning that when my soul starts itching for more, it’s not more that I usually need. I’m finding that my itch for more is actually an alarm that I need to wake up and see what’s actually right in front of me. Our marriage didn’t need more money, more activities, or more stuff; we needed space to live in the mundane together. I didn’t realize that God wanted to speak to me in the normal rhythms of my day, if only I would make time to listen.