Episode 68: Christine Fisher on Seeing God in the Ordinary

you Jan 24, 2023
Christine Fisher knows Seeing God in the Ordinary

In the midst of busy, fast-paced lives, how do we find God in the ordinary things?

Christine Fisher is known for looking for God in the mundane things of the everyday. Christine appreciates everything around her that she keeps her eyes and heart open to see God and His goodness in everything even in the simplest things and actions.

Connect with Christine on Instagram, Facebook, or her website.

Find her Books

God's Love Illuminated: Treasured Thoughts to Inspire Walking in God's Abundant Love  
God's Presence Illuminated: Treasured Thoughts to Inspire Hope and Light  
God's Compassion Illuminated: Treasured Thoughts to Inspire Following God's Way 

Christine's favorite time saving resource? Her weekly routines If you need help figuring out your routines, check out the resource How to Organize Anything  

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This is a transcript of the This Mom Knows Podcast - Episode - 68

Jennifer Uren
Christine Fisher is a mom I'm looking forward to introducing you to. She has three adult children and lives in upstate New York with her husband and she is a writer who just published her third book, as well as weekly posts on her blog "Hope to Inspire You". So welcome, Christine.

Christine Fisher
Thank you. It's great to be here.

Jennifer Uren
I'm so glad you're here. So that was a very high level bio told us what you do but tell me a little bit more about your family and life in New York. Like did you grew up there?

Christine Fisher
Yes, I grew up in New York state here. Again, upstate so not near the city.

Jennifer Uren
That's right. Two different worlds,

Christine Fisher
Right? Yes. Yes, I always lived here. The same with my husband and his family since he was born. They were always around here. Yes, I have one child now that lives in Florida. So my oldest and then I have a local daughter that's local. And then the youngest son is finishing college in New York as well. So

Jennifer Uren
Okay, excellent. Any grandchildren yet?

Christine Fisher
No, no.

Jennifer Uren
Okay. Okay.

Christine Fisher
My youngest just got engaged. So getting married in 2023. So...

Jennifer Uren
Oh, that's exciting. Congratulations on that.

Christine Fisher
Thank you.

Jennifer Uren
That's great. Well, today, we're going to talk about something you know, which is a little less strategic than a lot of the conversations we often have here on This Mom Knows, but we're going to talk about seeing God in the ordinary things. Now, I was introduced to you initially through our mutual friend, Mary, and she describes you as someone who is looking for God in the mundane things of the every day, which I think we would both say are the ordinary things, right? So tell me a little bit more about what that means and what that looks like.

Christine Fisher
For me, you know, just seeing God, I see God's presence everywhere, like, I think we can, if we have our eyes of our heart, maybe open more to it. You know, like, I first probably realized that, mostly when I was growing up, when I would go to the beach, like I just remember, even at a young age, I would, I would feel God's presence at the ocean there, just you know, on the shore, and think about the vastness of the ocean and, and seeing the sky. And so, so the last few years, especially, I think I've been more in tune with that. And, like, seeing him in nature is one of my, the ways I see him most. You know, seeing just the beauty of the sky of the sunrises, the sunsets, the trees, you know, especially in the fall time here in upstate New York, where, you know, we have the beautiful colors, and you know, but then I think we can also see, see God in others, you know, maybe the person that holds the door open for us, you know, when our hands are full of groceries and whatever. And I think we can join with God in prayer many times throughout the day, you know, just seeing somebody and maybe think they could use a prayer, you know, just Lord bless that person with whatever they need.

Yeah, so you mentioned like, opening the eyes of our heart a little bit. And, and you talk about seeing things in a new light, too. And so, is this on par with sort of Aha moment? Or is this more like, you know, when you go to buy a car, and suddenly you see that model everywhere, but you hadn't noticed that before because now you're, you're in tune with it.

I hope that it - yeah - that we're able to incorporate those moments in our lives, you know, that God will use them to change us little by little, you know, to be more aware of his presence, and how we can reflect that presence to others, you know, as we see others also doing for us, you know, in our lives.

Jennifer Uren
So it can be, it can be a significant, memorable moment, or it can be sort of a gradual "Oh, I didn't even realize this was happening".

Christine Fisher
Right? Yes. So I guess a combination of both.

Jennifer Uren
Gotcha. Okay. Okay. And so is there let's see here. I'm thinking how to word this in a way but is there a way to nurture that or to it is that, is that start with a simple prayer? Or is there a practice that you have for trying to become more in tune with seeing where God is around you?

Christine Fisher
I think maybe for me like it, it has a lot with being more still, you know, like, be still and know that I'm God. But I'm more of an introvert. So that's probably easier for me than, you know, than some people. You know, but just taking time alone with God, which I really probably didn't start much until the pandemic in 2020. And I've just seen the fruit of that in my life now, you know, like, so I would start going, because then I started working at home for two years, you know, so being home all the time, I wanted to get out, you know, to get out of the house, when we couldn't go anywhere to do different ministries or anything,

Jennifer Uren
Right, we always want the opposite of what we have, right?

Christine Fisher
Right, so God kind of use that, I think, to draw me more in you know, like, so I would go daily to, to near one of my churches and walk around. Well, actually, I first started sitting in nature. There was a little prayer garden there with a cross and some benches and, and, like bricks and everything, and it was just so peaceful, even though it's right, kind of in the city near Main Street, but I would just go there and sit there and, and I would see like three birds, you know, remind me of the Trinity. I would see shadows of a cross on the one wall there, you know, so that kind of drew me really into His presence there. You know, and then taking that out from nature more to people and, you know, in our daily lives.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah, that's, that's excellent. I chuckled when you say you're more introverted, and someone else might not find it easy to sit and be still because I went to a retreat that our friend Mary led, and her quote, "selling point" was that you would have like five hours of silent solitude in the afternoon, and half of us were petrified, and halflings were like, "Well, that sounds lovely". So yes.

Anastasia Corbin
I understand, yes.

Jennifer Uren
I was in the petrified camp, by the way. So well, once someone, once they kind of get this glimmer, when they start to notice and observe, and they start to see God, and I'm thinking at first it's like evidence of God right in nature, but then like you said, there's, there's those reminders like the Trinity, so how do you take that? And how do you embrace it in such a way that it starts to take root and grow and kind of push out the things that we believe before or you those, those untrue, those lies, we think about ourselves, or those, those old patterns that didn't, didn't help us see God, but just sort of, you know, see ourselves in situations?

Christine Fisher
I guess, I guess mostly, through prayer, maybe, you know, like, and trying to be open to a, you know, a simple prayer maybe to for God to help you to see it and for it to take root in you. I think maybe the more you do it, the more easily it is and then it will take root quicker.

Jennifer Uren
Okay, so how do you reinforce do journal like a gratitude things you saw? Do you do like, how can you reinforce so you don't just go "Oh, yeah, I noticed that" because if you're like me, which you may not be because I'm much more "Go Go Go Go", but I will think of something and I go "oh, wow", and then three minutes later, I can't tell you what that, I can just say I had a great thought and I don't know what it is. So how do you train your mind to continue to remember and look for these things? And see these patterns?

Christine Fisher
Well, I'm probably a little different but for me, yes, like I don't journal but actually, I do, but I don't. I don't for personally, well, my journaling is my website and that's where I write about, like, my aha moments or something that strikes me and so like, through my writing, I get to share that, to help me process my faith, you know. So all those things are like just little events that, that God brings to my mind, you know, that are special aha moments, and that if I can share that with somebody else, and help them see something different than then it's all worth it, you know, but that's actually how I, how I remember those moments, because then once I write about it, you know, it's with me and I can always go back to it. So I guess journaling would be a good thing like for somebody that's more of an extrovert or going you know, doesn't have as much quiet time maybe.

Jennifer Uren
Right?

Christine Fisher
Yeah, I think that would be a great way, you know, and then you can always reference those moments like, you know, even if you just jot a little something down at the time because I need to do that more, you know, like just, while I'm thinking of it, just jot it down, and then you can always, write more about it later.

Jennifer Uren
Yes, yeah, those key things to trigger the memory.

Christine Fisher
Right.

Jennifer Uren
Well, speaking of people who don't have a lot of time, that's moms, and especially moms of littles. And the thing about moms of littles, especially that season of motherhood, I think, is that there is a lot of the mundane, you know, and things that we sort of disdain, actually diapers and the endless bottles, and the sink, always full of dirty dishes and the chores never ending. So, how, what would you tell a tired mom who's mired in the mundane? How would you help her to see God's presence, goodness and grace in those very endless, seemingly endless, tiring moments?

Christine Fisher
Yes, like, I remember those those days, you know were definitely a more difficult time consuming period, you know, in my life as well. I think the best we can do at those times, is maybe just say, a short prayer, even like, Come Holy Spirit, you know, when you're in the middle of it, especially maybe if you're going to feel like you're just gonna explode, from from everything. I think like a short prayer, and maybe God will help you see, like, the face of Jesus in your little one, like, because they're a child of God too and maybe a short walk in nature, you know, like, especially during the times that are really rough, and you just need to, to get out. But I guess I'm thinking like, prayer is a great one, you know,

Jennifer Uren
Yeah,

Christine Fisher
Because we can do that no matter what we're doing. You know, and sometimes I think it's big help, just to reach out quick text to a friend, you know, if you're in the middle of that struggle, and, you know, could just use an extra prayer to like, just knowing that there's somebody else that's caring, and, and we'll pray you through, I think is a gift to us.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah and I think that's a good point because sometimes when you're not in the middle of the mire, you see things differently, and you can put a spin on it that you can't see when you're in the middle of it, like, you know, hey, you know, you're, you're very energetic child, you know, that, that's the future star quarterback, and you're, you're nourishing him and whatever, you know, so I think sometimes you can encourage with, with, by seeing something differently than someone else and sharing that with them.

Christine Fisher
Yes. Yeah.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah, so how do you, so we've talked so far about, like, personally learning this perspective, but I know that you've instilled this in your kids or tried to pass this on to them as well and make this sort of a family culture, you know, a signature of who you all are as Fishers. So tell me what this looks like and how you did that?

Christine Fisher
Like, for me, I guess, the main thing would be that I, I've always been feel like one of my gifts is helping and serving others. Like, even in the simple, you know, just behind the scenes. I don't want to be in the limelight or anything so, so I just think that, that was important. So there had heard a sermon when my youngest was one and a half, so my kids were one and a half to eight years old and I just felt like convicted, you know, or inspired that it would be nice to do a family ministry together. So I had known our church youth group had gone to this one particular church to help, you know, usually once a year, you know, so I got the courage and called there and got a hold of somebody that paired us up with this wonderful couple older couple that their children were grown, but they embraced our family at one and a half to eight year olds, like bringing them to the soup kitchen. Once a month, once a month for Saturday lunch, and we would help prepare and serve the dinner and then clean up. You know, so I remember many days, like my littlest one falling asleep on my shoulder and trying to work but you know, but I'm so glad God gave us that opportunity because I think that's helped them to be more loving and helping you know, if you see somebody that needs something to try and reach out and help them.

Jennifer Uren
Right. So you are leading by example by by actually doing it and instilling it as a habit. Did you talk about it afterwards? Did you process things or did it just sort of become its own life lesson just by experience?

Christine Fisher
I probably not, probably wasn't as good talking about the things at the time so it's probably more just the example. You know, and, and it did take me a while to become more open to the people there, you know, but eventually God was softening my heart too you know, just trying to be more friendly with them because again, kind of being an introvert, that's a lot harder for me.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah.

Christine Fisher
You know, but I saw God working on me, too.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah. And I would venture a guess that your kids embraced the people pretty quickly, because kids seem to just jump in and accept people in a way that adults struggle.

Christine Fisher
Right. So we were blessed to actually do that 18 years. We did it until the pandemic, so you know, so

Jennifer Uren
That's fabulous. Yeah.

Christine Fisher
So I miss it.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah, yeah. Well, and for everything, there's a season, right, it's prepared you for all these other things, and right, it's hard to say, it's hard to say goodbye to things that we enjoy but it's always nice to have that space for the next, the next thing,

Christine Fisher
I'm definitely that's definitely teaching me that and trying to make it easier for me those transitions, yep.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah. Well, this has made me wonder, are there any major life crises, big things that you kind of went through where having this focus really helped you walk through it well? You know, I don't know, a job loss or illness or something like that. Have you had any experiences like that?

Christine Fisher
I did have an, sadly to say, I feel like my faith. You know, it was back 2013, I was diagnosed with stage zero DCIS breast cancer, but, you know, so it was the best kind of hack because it's, you know, littlest, and I always struggled with stage zero, same cancer, but that's what, you know, they would send me all these cancer brochures and everything and I thought my faith was stronger then but this the minute I heard those words, you know, cancer, it was like, I felt like I crumbled, you know, in my faith. You know, the hardest thing is, I ended up having two surgeries because they didn't get enough margin for the first one and the hardest part was deciding whether to do radiation or not because the chemo doctor thought that it was small enough and caught early enough that it wouldn't need the chemo or he was okay if I took the drugs or not after, and I opted that too. The radiation doctor was very protocol and said, you need to do this but something in me, it was the hardest decision I ever made but I just didn't feel like it was right for me, you know, and I'm not one to go against medical protocol or anything, but, you know, but I praise the Lord, that's eight years plus later and, and he's kept me kept me safe and healthy. So you know, so yeah, that always bothers me so I'm trying to work on that. I think God is working on me slowly, like in big adversities like that, you know, not to panic or fear, to try to trust him, or,

Jennifer Uren
Yeah. Well, it sounds to me, like, the structure of your faith, you know, the anchors, the pillars, whatever we want to call them that they were solid, it was sort of the external things that you hung on it that kind of fell apart when, when life did. And so with that, you were able to hear God's voice and make that right decision when he directed you. So I think I'm actually encouraged by your story because we think that faith always looks strong and perfect, and I don't know that that's true because we are humans in a fallen world. And it's what is supporting that faith that matters. And it sounds to me like you had a really good foundation to your faith there.

Christine Fisher
Thank you for sharing that because I, you know, it's nice for people to point those things out because I wouldn't necessarily see it that way.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah.

Christine Fisher
That is, I think that is true. So thank you.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah, yeah. Well, you've been described as in we talked about this a little bit as modeling your life after Jesus's ministry. And I know he came for all of us, but he describes it as the least of these. So what does that look like in I'll say 2023 because that's probably when this will be airing. What does that look like? In a post pandemic? Post-ish pandemic world? How do we love the least of these?

Christine Fisher
I think it's like reaching out to those in need, you know, like you said, the least of them. So like, it could be you know, so that hopefully we take the focus off of us and ourselves maybe like our wanting things or, maybe selfishness, thinking of others, something that could look like sponsoring a child in a foreign country, like that somebody we'll never meet until you're in heaven, like, just being able to help them get food and education. It could be just going out and talking with a neighbor, that you see. And like, yeah, just think of a story I did. A neighbor was out the cat, she's a widow, and I came in the house, but then I felt that nudge, I should go out and talk with her, it wasn't on my agenda, like a to do list, you know, like write things to markoff, but I felt God inspired me to go out and talk to her and she gave me the biggest hug, which was the first time like, she just embraced me, and you know, so thinking of, like, she lives alone, so, you know, it could be more lonely. So reach out. You know, serving at the soup kitchen. I feel like that's a great way to do that. Just even assisting friends and family, that are older that need help, that don't have anybody. You know, I think they also fit into that category. Visiting the house, the homebound for sure. You know, just putting others first. Yeah. Like, yeah, I miss, we used to go sing Christmas carols, like, at nursing, did a few, you know, but then with a pandemic again. I guess they see it also as relationships, people over our to-do things, even though those are important, too. You know, there's things we have to do, but, but just maybe keeping the focus on others and relationships. And I think it's it's most important to have like the loving, caring, compassionate heart, just seeing who, you know, even a smile can change somebody's days.

Jennifer Uren
Absolutely. And I think that's part of what I'm hearing you say is that we don't decide who the least of these are. God knows who they are. And so it might be that very well dressed woman at the store that we just say, you know, may I hold the door for you. That might be what she needed that day. And we would never know if we didn't just stop and and think of somebody else first instead of being in a hurry. So yeah, those opportunities that are in front of us, and I'm very task oriented. So that's always a struggle for me.

Christine Fisher
I am too, that's working on me.

Jennifer Uren
Yes, yes. Funny. I, in fact, they joke that when I respond to an email, I answer the question, and then I go back, and I go, thanks for writing. How are you? And I put all the fluffy stuff in after but it looks first, right?

Christine Fisher
Now they know.

Jennifer Uren
That's right. Now they do because I've just announced it. But well, let's go back to your writing for a minute because I know this is your main avenue for encouraging others but and I know you said you've had your blog for eight years. And that's your your kind of a public journal for processing but were you always a writer? Was that something you did, you know, from when you were younger? Or when your kids were little? Or is it more of a recent-ish thing.

Christine Fisher
It was funny to think about it and reflect on my life when I did my first book launch, you know, where I tried to give some information. And when I did that, I did discover that even at a young age, like maybe like 10, I have a couple construction paper, little booklets I made up, of like hand cursive written like little poems, you know, like little thoughts I thought of, and then a few Bible verses even it was very interesting to see that, like, the few Bible verses that, God has always been in my life, you know,

Jennifer Uren
Yeah.

Christine Fisher
and important to me. You know, so yeah, so that was neat. I had, like, two of those things. And then it was around my late teens, early 20s, that I did start writing a little bit. And, yeah, like I would, where I worked at the time, there was a pastor there that eventually got involved in his church for a while, but, like, we would have lunch together, and then he would read some of my writings, just to see because I feel like I need somebody but, but like, that kind of inspired me, I would put into spiral bound notebooks, some of these - have them printed up at a printer, you know, like, and even they're called treasured verses and give them to family and friends at Christmas time especially, so my writing started more official event. I also put some in a church newsletter at the time, just but they were a lot shorter than I want to right now.

Jennifer Uren
Okay,

Christine Fisher
This grown me, I think, but

Jennifer Uren
Okay.

Just like seeing God in the ordinary, it sort of started and grew, it wasn't like you.

Christine Fisher
Right.

Jennifer Uren
Always, always were or that you suddenly when they were it just sort of.

Christine Fisher
Right. Like the different stages, you know? Yeah. So then yes, like, once I started my family, then I didn't take as much time to write, of course, you know, being busier, I think it did sporadically. But then it was in 2013 so the, most almost 10 years now that God used. I was at a Women of Faith conference in our state, and I heard the Christian band Third Day and I'm not musical at all, so but their music really touched me, especially the lyrics of the songs that are most important to me, you know, being a writer, and God to use that to get me to join social media. So I had never done and, and from social media, especially it was Twitter at the time, I ran into some Christian bloggers that would do like, writings every so often. And there was this one particular man that did them daily, he did short little. Just kind of yeah, like, had scripture with it ended with a scripture. So I kind of took his format, but and then sharing an ordinary event in life, so it was September of 2014 that we he was like in Virginia. So we just, you know, we're able to correspond via email. And he, because I'm not was not as technical savvy either but I managed the website - got me started on it. And it was a test in September 2014, to see if God would provide inspiration for me weekly. And he has he's been so good and faithful that this journey, yes, yeah, anything I envisioned or anything, but...

Jennifer Uren
Yeah, I was going to say writing a blog post every week is one thing but publishing a book is quite another and I know you didn't set out to be a published author, so how did God use the blog and turn it into the book?

Christine Fisher
So it was like said the blog started 2014 and from that, like people did, would mention every now and then, "oh, you should make, write a book", and I'm thinking, I don't know how to do that I don't have any English degree or anything. I mean, I'm just an ordinary person but then in 2019 in one, in a church bulletin, there was an advertisement for an author that was going to do a talk and near me, so, so I went, and I gave at that point, I only had my website. So I gave a website card to the leader, the lady who was in charge and she said, oh, you should wait and after the speak, the talk, you could talk with this Mary and, and all I remember is I must have shared about by the website that I have, and, and she, I just remember that she prayed over me. I can't remember what but I have to believe it was about the writing. I mean, you know, and then, much to my surprise, like, a few months later, she was emailing me how to write a manuscript for a book. So this was like November of 2019, so then I got to thinking more seriously about trying to do it, you know, I mean, she sent me all this information. And I also figured it would be a little easier for me, because if I use my website, reflections, you know, I have a basis already, you know, like, I could not imagine writing a book

Jennifer Uren
From scratch.

Christine Fisher
So, God, it was, you know, yeah, just see God at work, which was never anything I could imagine. You know, so then, so then I did start and especially with the pandemic in March of 2020, then, you know, when the shutdown happened, then I had a little bit more time because I couldn't do my usual ministries that I like to do and little did I know that this Mary would end up publishing my books, I had no idea she didn't tell me until like, I think I had everything ready like in a manuscript, that she actually is also helps first time author self publish, you know, and she really felt the Lord wanted her to do it just through her I think interactions with me. That was such a blessing because otherwise, I would never know how to do it. You know? so she does all the hard work and like I said, I just have to worry about writing more and, and she's also an editor. So it's been great that, especially that first book, like I was very wordy in my writing so I've grown a lot. She's helped me like I told her with my third book here. I was so excited for her to get it because I could hear her little voice "you don't need that in there. You don't need this". Just funny. Just, I only met her in person that one day but you know, with media, computers, the amazing technology we have, you know, this is...

Jennifer Uren
Yes, with her soft Texas drawl,

Christine Fisher
Right.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah. Oh, well, Christine, I have enjoyed this conversation very much. And as we wrap up, there's a couple of things, this is my favorite question because I'm a gadget person, but what is your favorite time saving gadget system or tool?

Christine Fisher
Well, I'm sorry to say I don't really have like gadgets but for me what worked and I don't know have a lot of technology but what I found worked well, for me is to have on the computer, a weekly schedule. I'd like the static things by day, you know, Sunday through Saturday, or whatever, that I print out each week so the static things are on there just to remind me, and then I can fill in the things that they're very, you know, so.

Jennifer Uren
So when you say static things, it's like, every Tuesday I do laundry, every Thursday, I clean the bathroom, that kind of stuff.

Christine Fisher
Right? Like, we're like, you know, church was a certain time because we were at different times and places. So, yeah, it just makes it easier for me to see it there. Okay. And then you can also put that like, on the refrigerator like, for the family if you have the different things. So

Jennifer Uren
Yeah, that's yeah, that's good. And it takes off your brain from trying to remember.

Christine Fisher
Right?

Jennifer Uren
Yeah, so that's excellent.

Christine Fisher
Especially as we get older.

Jennifer Uren
Right? Well, tell us, how can people find your blog or find your books?

Christine Fisher
My blog is I guess I'll just spell it out, like or

Jennifer Uren
You say it and then spell it. Yeah.

Christine Fisher
www.hopetoinspireyou.com, so it's www.hopetoinspireyou.com. that's all one word. And my books, I guess, I already mentioned, my books are actually like 3 90-Day Devotionals. So there's 90 short stories in each of them, that incorporate, usually, a personal story, and then scripture, and you know, like that some might not have a personal story. Some are more scripture based because I just, you know, just different things like that. So they are more like, 90 day devotionals. My last one just published finally and I'm just excited for that one because it has, I was able to go to the Holy Land in February this year. So it has, I wrote about the places there, and it's, you know, those stories are also on my website, where there's, like, my website has colored pictures and everything, so people can always look there.

Jennifer Uren
Oh that's great.

Christine Fisher
But, but yeah, so it was really neat to be

Jennifer Uren
So impactful. Yeah. Well, I will make sure that we have links to all of these things in the show notes so people can find them. But thank you so much for joining me today.

Christine Fisher
Thank you. Appreciate it.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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