Thérèse Meacham | The joy of the unexpected | Columns

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My words were dripping with sarcasm.

Guess I’ll sit down and write something inspiring now.

It had been a busy day and my children were sick with their first colds of the season. I don’t know if others can relate to themselves, but when my kids are physically under the weather they are almost always emotionally fragile.

Multiply that brittleness by three children, ages 5 and under, and that has the makings of more than a few slumps. Maybe even for mom.

I had just put my boys to bed for their naps after a hectic morning. And I collapsed on the swivel office chair next to my husband, who was working from home for a few hours. It was time for me to write.

But, about what?

I wanted to write some happy, positive words and essentially the opposite of the snotty, tired and angry morning we had just had.

After asking my husband how his morning was going, I casually – albeit sarcastic – told him that I felt more than ready to write something that was hopeful and spirited.

And I sat down, staring at the screen. But then I thought about encouragement and inspiration and all the places I usually get it from.

The truth is, a lot of my inspiration comes from those runny nosed little boys I was so excited to have for their nap. I am often encouraged by the times we share doing simple things, learning simple lessons. Growth is slow, but obvious. There is so much hope.

Often times, I am motivated by those who do not live in glory or in ease. Rather, I am impacted in unexpected places by unexpected people.

Like the child with special needs who offered to split the $ 5 just in his pocket so his classmate could buy lunch.

The older brother who was holding his younger brother’s hand as she carefully guided him around the playground.

The mom who didn’t know I saw her when she picked up a heavy item from the grocery store shelf for an elderly woman.

The father who chased, laughed and tickled his son on the sidelines of an older brother’s soccer game. And never once took out his phone.

I am mostly inspired by ordinary people who live everyday life, but do it in an unusual way.

Of course, inspiration can come from famous and renowned people who have accomplished powerful and inspiring things.

I love to read biographies or watch movies about these people. But to be honest, sometimes their lives seem so beyond my reality that it’s hard to draw a line between them.

Show me someone who is faithful in the mundane, and I promise you that will impress me as much as anything. After all, it is the struggle and the challenge for most of us.

With this thought in mind, I began to write.

I’ve realized that more than flashy words or a fantastic message, I want to encourage through nothing more than my loyalty to what’s in front of me. My commitment to doing everyday things the best I can – raising kids, cooking meals, wiping my nose, writing words.

Just like the boy with special needs, the mom with a helping hand, or the dad with an eye for his son.

We can encourage acts of kindness or generosity without extravagance.

We can inspire without writing or uttering outrageous optimistic notes.

How? ‘Or’ What?

By doing our unrecognized and ordinary things with the greatest fidelity and the greatest care.


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