Everyday life can seem so humdrum...nothing special. You know how it is - routines, schedules, commitments, and responsibilities - is there any room for amazing in the midst of laundry, cooking, cleaning, diapers, car pools, etc? It's easy to get caught up in an attitude of getting-through and miss the opportunities where God invites us into the miraculous...the moments where He leaves His indelible fingerprint in a person or situation.
I suggest a new perspective! The adventure of amazing in the midst of the ordinary begins with one small word packed with a big punch: influence. Influence, both a noun and a verb, is the power to change or affect someone or something; a person or thing that affects someone or something in an important way.
As a mom, I usually think of influence in terms of my kids; who is affecting them and how they are affecting others - hopefully more positively than not. Though sometimes hard to see or imagine, each of us has the potential to influence the people around us, daily. As moms we affect our kids and their friends; as residents we can impact our neighbors; as employees we can affect our co-workers - and these are just a few of the possibilities.
The fact is that each of us lives within a "circle of influence". This circle involves the people we come in contact with on a regular basis, and can extend to those who stop in once but we never see again. Our impact doesn't have to be world-changing. Most often, life-changing moments occur in the midst of the ordinary.
In fact, you never know if your trip to the grocery store is God's cover for placing you at the right time and place to help someone, who was previously feeling lonely and discouraged, grab an item that is out-of-reach. Or maybe that Mom & Tot Storytime at the library is really where He is orchestrating a "chance" meeting with someone who will become one of your dearest friends for a lifetime. Not to mention that soccer game, the one where you're looking forward to watching and cheering for your son...maybe it's His excuse for having you run into another woman who needed to know she isn't alone.
This week is part one in a five part series of posts on influence. I will introduce you to several everyday people whom the Lord has used to change something about me, and therefore altered the way I live in an area of my life. It is my hope that through these stories, you, too, will see that ordinary life has the potential to be extraordinary on any given day of the week, in any moment of life, when we live with the intention of making a small difference somewhere or for someone.