5 minute friday Now that I’m trying to dive back into blogging, I’m back to participating in the Five Minute Friday exercise. The main rule is to write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking – on the topic that Lisa-Jo posts about each week.

This week’s topic is: Ordinary

My friends always used to joke that my life was never dull.  Really, to me it seemed pretty ordinary.

Four months ago next week, though, everything got turned even more upside down than it had been, and now it’s hard to recall what my old ordinary life even consisted of.

Now ordinary means doctor appointments most days, more ER visits than I’d had in my entire life (quadrupled) and enough Urgent Care visits in just over a month to have averaged three a week.  Ordinary means talking more with medical people or insurance people than “actual” people in my life.

Ordinary now means a counter even more full of medication, a home health nurse that comes once a week, a PICC line – and therefore a fridge full of more fluids and meds than even food or other staples.  Ordinary means finding saline, heparin and alcohol swabs floating around my purse, my counters, and my kitchen.  Ordinary means a house that hasn’t been really cleaned or put together like I’d like because I’m not supposed to lift, move, or carry anything over 5 lbs once a day – and it means a house full of medical supplies, complete with an IV pole.

Ordinary used to mean being the first person on the campus where I worked each morning, besides maybe a lone maintenance person who might occasionally beat me there.  Ordinary meant a job I loved dearly and people I loved working and serving alongside of every day.  Ordinary would mean being bundled up in sweaters, scarves, and jackets because this Californian is admittedly wimpy when it comes to the cold.

Now ordinary means only having left the house for hospital stays, doctor appointments, and a very few errands that fall in my limited radius of places I can drive to.  It means a handicap placard, and sometimes going days not even able to leave the house at all.  It means having missed nearly two entire seasons, being relegated to wearing only a few things that work with my PICC line – all of which are short-sleeved – and my cute scarves decorating my house and not my wardrobe.

Ordinary means rejoicing if it’s a day I have the energy to go through the process necessary to be able to protect my line and shower, putting on ‘real people’ clothes, rarely doing more than putting my hair in a simple braid, and laughing when the girl who always did her hair and make-up now is told how great she looks if she’s got even a smidge of powder or lipstick on.  (Then again, anything’s an upgrade after what a few of them saw some of the early days in the hospital!)

Ordinary meant a life full of friends I loved, lots of places to go, my passport always at the ready, art to be created – and, of course, meant being a notorious multi-tasker.  Now, ordinary means being happy if one thing on my to-do list got done, or if I was able to get through a few pages of a book.  It’s meant God slowing me way down.  Ordinary now means only seeing the people who are willing to make the effort to come over, see me many times not looking as much like “me” as I’d like, and who are willing to look past the chaos of my current situation to just come and “be” with me – realizing going and doing all the time just isn’t what God has for me right now.

There are two things about my old ordinary and my new ordinary that are the same, though.  I’ve seen that God’s blessed me with some precious friends that have come alongside me, prayed faithfully for me, and are walking this most unexpected and long and winding road with me – friends who have walked the extra mile…and then some.  Mostly, it’s meant seeing that God’s still God and still in control – even amidst the fog and the questions and the unknowing, God has His hand in the ordinary, and I trust that He can and will bring something extraordinary from it!