Extra. Ordinary.

On Saturday, my friend Alece, came to stay with me and go see the Help Haiti Live Compassion benefit. Needless to say we had a great time. The concert was incredible. And I absolutely adore spending time with Alece. She is easy to be around, smart, authentic, and just a little sassy.

But do you know what my favorite thing about her is?

Alece is Ordinary.

When you meet Alece, you meet a girl who is instantly relatable. You meet a girl who seems just like you and me. A girl who seems ordinary.

You don’t feel uncomfortable being real with Alece. You aren’t constantly worrying about if you are smart enough or Godly enough. Alece makes you feel completely at ease. It’s as if she is nothing out of the ordinary.

But then you start asking a few questions and Alece’s story comes out. And you realize that she is not, in fact, ordinary. She is actually quite the contrary.

Alece is Extra. Ordinary.

You see Alece picked up and left her comfortable life in the United States at 19 (yes, that is right 19, the age I was worrying about boys, keg parties, and the seemingly unavoidable freshman fifteen) to move to South Africa. This self-proclaimed “city girl” felt God pushing her to love on the people of Africa. Now years later she has built a successful ministry in South Africa, Thrive Africa.

Thrive Africa’s vision is to disciple Believers, equip leaders, and strengthen the Church in Southern Africa. We accomplish this through AIDS prevention, pastoral development, discipleship classes, youth camps, mission trips, and more.

In addition to what Alece has created at Thrive, Alece ministers to thousands of folks each day through her blog. She talks about her very real struggles, her very real divorce, and her very real feelings. Some days her writing brings me to tears and some days she leaves me laughing out loud.

I have no doubt that God is looking down on Alece with a huge smile. He is loving watching her put the talents and passions He gave her to work.

All this to say, spending time with Alece was an apt reminder that extraordinary people are not created differently. Extraordinary people are simply ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Extraordinary people live in their “sweet spot.” Extraordinary people use their God given gifts and passions to seek out the life God created for them.

So what are you waiting for? Don’t you know that God has created you with extraordinary in mind? Don’t you know that He keeps hoping that you will put your talents and passions to work?

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • She is an incredible woman. What a story she has to share with all of us.

    What I had been waiting on was God to say go which He did this weekend. A lot of work is ahead of me but I feel like a new man as I chase it.
    My recent post LAST DAY to try and win tickets to the Home Foundation Benefit!

  • She is an incredible woman. What a story she has to share with all of us.

    What I had been waiting on was God to say go which He did this weekend. A lot of work is ahead of me but I feel like a new man as I chase it.
    My recent post LAST DAY to try and win tickets to the Home Foundation Benefit!

  • I am a friend/reader of Alece's and clicked over to your blog today.

    This was so encouraging to me! I know that God has something extraordinary for me but I let myself get caught up in routine and fear far too often instead of letting God show me the extraordinary things He has for me. Thanks for the encouragement today to let God do His work in me with those passions that He has given me.
    My recent post Excuses.

    • Good luck Hannah! I am there too. Trying to find where my gifts and passions meet.

    • i know He's already done extraordinary things in and through you. i've been blessed to be able to see some. but i know He's far from done. can't wait to see what else He has in store for you, my friend.
      My recent post maybe this is my new normal

  • She’s definately EXTRA- ordinary.

    I remember a story she wrote several years ago about her beloved grandmother that she had lost. I remember so well how she described a simple sweater and how she put it on. It was a that blog post that I knew that I loved her extra-ordinariness. We have become feirce friends since then and this Spring we Finally finally get to look eyeball to eyeball. (she’ll be standing on a box tho, ha)

    • You will love her eyeballs 😉

    • i'm smiling so big right now. i can't believe you remembered what i wrote about wearing my grandma's sweater like a hug.

      i can't wait to stand on a box, on my tiptoes, and look my Fierce Friend in the eye! love you!
      My recent post maybe this is my new normal

  • Great post, Lindsey. This really encouraged and challenged me, and also made me very thankful for the ordinary extraordinary people God has placed in my life.

    • Now that I open my eyes to the extraordinary people in my life. I find them everywhere. It keeps encouraging me along my path. Their extraordinariness is contagious.

    • i'm so thankful for those in mine too! and there are MANY!
      My recent post maybe this is my new normal

  • I agree! Alece is a gem!
    My recent post Leading & Loving It

  • Chrystie

    Yay! I am even more excited to get to have coffee with her on Monday! This was a beautiful post!
    My recent post Joy Unspeakable

    • You guys are going to have a wonderful time. If I'm honest, I'm kind of jealous, wish I could be there, smack dab in the middle of your coffee date.

      • i wish you could be there too.

    • think we'll recognize each other without needing to do the whole "rose in a book" thing? 😉

      looking forward to our coffee date!
      My recent post maybe this is my new normal

    • think we'll recognize each other without needing to do the whole "rose in a book" thing? 😉

      looking forward to our coffee date!
      My recent post maybe this is my new normal

  • tam

    mmmyes!!! alece deserves every single word in this post.

    she is a dynamo woman. she is loved, admired and respected by hundreds and hundreds of people.

    we feel safe with her. THAT is huge.

    i love that girl.

    and you too.

    • Thanks Tam. Right back at ya.

    • "we feel safe with her" – that is hands down one of the best compliments i could ever be given. thank you, tamster. i love you.

  • Bianca Juarez

    I just found her blog through your Twitter link on Monday. I'm SO glad I did 🙂

    Thanks for this word-picture of Alece!
    My recent post servant and slave of all…

    • Her blog is captivating. I can't stop reading it. Proud to have introduced you to it.

    • i'm so grateful you linked over, bianca!

  • "Extraordinary people are simply ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Extraordinary people live in their “sweet spot.” Extraordinary people use their God given gifts and passions to seek out the life God created for them."

    WOW.

    • i know, right?! that's some good stuff right there.

      • patricia

        thank you lady for being an example of an extra ordinary woman…just by being you. =]
        My recent post breathe (part 1).

  • I just started reading her blog tonight, and I've read a lot of the archives already. Though it is 2 am and I should go to bed! My husband sent me the link…he knows Alece from the missions organization she was with in Texas before she went to South Africa. Wow, she is amazing!

    • looooved hearing that you got "lost" at the Grit. such an encouragement to my heart. thank you, becky.

  • Hey Lindsey!

    Just wanted to thank you for all the links back to our site!! We really appreciate it!

    Marc Lipovsky
    Thrive Africa

    • i got excited to see all the thrive promotion going over here, too! i'm working on getting lindsey to come out to SA next year! holla!

  • "Sassy" – yes, that is the perfect word for her!

    • really?! (can you picture my face all scrunched up when i ask that?)

  • I love this post…and I love Alece. She makes me want to go and do extraordinary things.

  • linds…

    this felt like such a wonderful hug for my heart. i so appreciate all the head-shakingly amazing things you wrote (not the least of which was calling me ordinary). thank you.

    thank you for seeing me beneath the title of "missionary" and all the layers of what's going on in my life right now.

    i am so thankful for your friendship.
    My recent post maybe this is my new normal

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  • Thank you for writing this, Lindsey. I know you blessed Alece with your words.

    • she totally did! (just like you did with your 'madame president' post!)
      My recent post four-minute friday: tight

    • i loved your post about her as well. i think it is the same sentiment. you forget how extraordinary she is because you just feel so comfortable hanging with her and then she does her thing and you are like oh my….

  • Lindsey, like everyone else said- you are right on about Alece. I am thankful she has friends like you to shine the love of God so brightly in her life while she is busy loving on everyone else.
    My recent post Banana Bread and Silly Sisters

  • A beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul!

    Loved this!

    It's great to meet you Lindsey!

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