Finding the Extra in Ordinary: How to carry on when you carry something you’ll carry for life

‘How do you carry on, when you carry something that you’ll probably carry for life?’

In Africa, dawn is the colour of birdsong and the day wakes brilliant. But this morning the memory of my friend’s question hangs heavy and dark in the sunrise half-light.

I carry her question quietly through an ordinary blistering day. Late afternoon, we decide to hang the Christmas lights. I stand on an ordinary dining room chair to reach up with ordinary zip ties to fix strings of ordinary lights bought at our ordinary supermarket. We have ordinary windows that look out onto an ordinary street.

But something happens when we hang Christmas lights. Something extraordinary.

Christmas lights

My boys catch the magic. They drip from the pool in wet shorts and climb the burglar bars to help keep the tension as I tighten the strings. The lights dance offbeat and we laugh cranberry cookie crumbs onto the kitchen table and a storm brews black. Spectacular thunder splits the sky wide. Clouds cool and crack – flash – rumble deep. And burst torrents. Our lights in the windows glisten through rain but are no match for this electric summer sky that pours big, loud, extraordinary gospel.

And through the storm my friend’s desperate question keeps sounding – about how we carry on, carrying the tension. Because in one hand is the truth that we serve an extraordinary God. And in the other hand is the truth that we live ordinary lives. Our extraordinary God is mighty to save, mighty to heal, mighty to restore and renew. Our ordinary lives are uncertain, unfair, difficult and sometimes devastating. How does the extra fit into the ordinary?

Like, our eldest son is visually impaired. Fact: God could heal him. Fact: God hasn’t healed him. Both are true. We live strung out by the tension.

And we all carry things, right? Things we may carry for life. Singleness, infertility, disease, trauma or soul shrapnel sustained in the ordinary crazy. And it’s possible that, Earth-side, we’ll never even see why we carry what we carry. How do ordinary arms hold such heavy truth?

I’m honoured to be guest posting today over at (in) Click here to continue reading.

. . .

As ever, *THANK YOU* for hanging out in this quiet space. Feel free to share this with someone who may need some bright light this Christmas.

If you’re new around here, let’s connect? Leave a note, or find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or on the pages of –

Dragons and Dirt: The truth about changing the world – and the courage it requires

Get in touch if you’re in SA and keen to place orders for Christmas, or pick it up on Amazon.

Photo credit: Shutterstock


  1. Love this… thank you! Great reminder that although we serve a great God we live in this not so great world. it is a tension and God is still God.

    Liked by 1 person

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