Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I was channel surfing on the DVR menu this past weekend and I ran across the Hallmark movie, The Magic of Ordinary Days, starring Keri Russell. It had already started, but after reading the synopsis of the film, I made a mental post-it note to watch the entire thing if it was broadcast again.

The title of the movie triggered my muse and spoke to my soul. Hmmm. Ordinary days……

I talk to God a lot when I walk my 2 miles every day. On more than one occasion, I have explained to God how I would answer Him if He were to audibly ask me why I wanted my life spared. It would be something along these lines: I want to serve You and Your people here on earth with my whole being, and I want more time to simply love my family.

And now I know I would add a final clause to my answer……to simply love my family within the magic of ordinary days.

Since day one of this cancer diagnosis, when I felt utterly hopeless, I have dared to ask myself how I would want to live out the remainder of my days. Would I want to travel the world? Visit all my friends around the country?Would I want to remodel the very outdated bathroom in our house? Have lots of parties or cash in my retirement IRA and spend it? A legit question, methinks.

I can answer it. There is only one way I want to live out my days, whether that is 5 years or 30 years. I want ordinary days. I want the familiarity and mundane routine of “ordinary and usual.” I want time to wake up next to my husband and rub his head, do my Hy-Vee shopping, have lunch with D on our old pedestal dining table, check on my elderly neighbor, take my walk, play a little piano and write some emails, clean my kitchen, call my boy, do loads of laundry, make dinner and cozy-in with a quilt and watch a movie. I want ordinary days.

Cancer teaches you the value of these days. A day without excess or fear or chaos. No highs, no lows. No drama, no hitting any emotional or circumstantial jackpots. A day with immense possibility for simplicity. A day open to love and service.

I think I took these days for granted. I was always looking ahead to where we might go on spring break, or what day we might leave for the cabin or what projects we needed to accomplish around the house in the upcoming season. I was always a step ahead of life. That was me. It is me no longer. I have found yet another treasure in darkness. The magic of an ordinary day.

Cancer has taught me many things. But this lesson is perhaps the most tangible and relevant. I have gleaned how I believe God wants me to live the days He has ordained for me……I will be grateful for my simple small-town life on a Missouri River bluff where I am deeply cared about by my church family, friends, and co-workers, and where I am loved beyond measure by my family. I will delight in giving back what has been given to me, and I will treasure the gift of each very ordinary day.


gevermillion said...

Thanks. We all needed that.

Pat said...

Mary, that was so beautifully said, The Magic of Ordinary Days". God Almighty is carrying you through the valleys and Blessing all of us, your family & friends, with the strength & human legacy of your journey.I continue to pray for you daily. Pat

Risa said...

Thanks Mary for the reminder. You are so right! I really needed to hear/read this.


dkbrcarlson said...

I remember you said that very thing to me when we spoke shortly after you found out you had cancer. I had said before you start feeling terrible (if you should) be sure to go somewhere or do something with D & S. I thought your response was beautiful in that you just wanted to enjoy more of "the same"; specifically going to the cabin next summer. I think that's a beautiful statement on how you have centered your life:)