July 29, 2015

1,000 Words: Apartment


I've always been more a words person than a visual person. I like things in my mind's eye. But I've also always enjoyed the phrase"a picture is worth a thousand words." I'm not a photographer, won't even pretend to be. But I want to be better at telling our story with pictures too.


Other 1,000 Words:

July 27, 2015

Eden


"If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world." --CS Lewis

Next time I am unable to lose myself in the moment; next time I am anxiously dissatisfied and I cannot understand why; next time a subtlety reminds me of something familiar and sublime that I never actually knew--I will stop. I will remember that, though I am called to this time and place, this is not the world for which I was made. The insatiable yearning tugging at my soul, a gut-feeling of longing that cannot be shaken, it is beckoning me home, hinting that, here, I am a foreigner. I am transient. I was created for something else.

I will relish the glimpses. The moments when my nakedness does not feel shameful; and my heart feels indescribably at peace; and my mind only is, not jumping forward or wandering back. These are instances of desire turned realization. The day will come when I can bask in the plush green of Eden, surrounded by the songs of birds I've never heard of and smells I've never before inhaled--but I will know them. The day will come when I can lie on my back in velvet grass, the breeze blowing over my body and the sound of rushing, living water beyond--and it will comfort me. The day will come when I will no longer hate my ruined soul but will instead be at total rest. 

One day I will return to the home I was made for, to the place being prepared for me. 

July 21, 2015

Spontaneous (Or Indiana 3)


She still had the sheets pulled up over her head, relishing the morning breeze blowing through the room, when he said, "Do you want to go to Indiana this weekend?"

And she just said, "Yes."

Because of course she could have thought it through at least three times. She could have made packing lists and scurried about. She could have crunched numbers and calculated travel times. She could have considered the grocery order on its way and the irresponsibility of abandoning fresh food. Her heart yearned to be reckless. She loved the idea of spontaneity. Her head was pragmatic. This was her way.

But she would be with him. And he could always do that for her: Make her wild in the best and smallest ways, the kinds of things that declare, "Every day of our lives holds adventure and surprise."

July 10, 2015

True


It has been a long, dry stint. I've forced words on to the paper, and I've wracked up the pages from the effort; but the last bit has been wrong, all wrong. And I'm only halfway through. Who wants to continue in wrongness?

Then last night it stormed. The house was quiet and the skies were certainly not. I sat in the kitchen in the dark, motionless, save for breaking off a piece of chocolate now and then from the bar to my right. Maybe it wasn't just like this, maybe it's just how I want to remember it; but it seems like at the very moment the skies unleashed their water something unclogged in my brain and everything came rushing out. 

My friend Suzy pulled out the stop. She said, "You're not really saying what you want to be saying." And like she was brave enough to tell me the hard thing, I was suddenly brave enough to scrap what was wrong, despite the time it had taken me, and start rebuilding the right way.

There have been a few turning points in my life where I've fooled myself into thinking I was moving onward, when really I was treading water. I've not been able to see this, and I've been lucky enough to have someone tell me so. This is not so much to say that there's no benefit in trudging forward, because certainly perseverance is good; but that to be true is the most important. You have to be true to yourself, and you have to take a slap to the face when it is handed out in love. 

In the morning, you don't feel the sting. Today the earth is washed clean and the air has been cooled and the trees are dancing, watered and refreshed; and I'm sitting in my kitchen once more, basking in the breeze, excited to be typing anything again, but most especially what feels like the truth.

July 3, 2015

To Seize a Moment

This is the month I turn 31.


Which you knew, because last year, at this same time, I turned thirty--a very big deal. Quite over-documented. But for reasons.

I told myself this was going to be the year of grace, and now I am being forced to put that into practice. Repeatedly. I have been riding hard and fast waves in 2015--rise and fall and rise and fall--for not a lot of good purpose, though that doesn't make it less real. Something is changing in me, I think.

And probably that doesn't have much to do with turning 31, or it has everything to do with turning 31. It has nothing or everything to do with trying to let go of younger identities, trying to behave like a true grown-up, trying to sort out philosophies bigger than what can fit inside a day's thoughts. Up until 30, I was of a "move forward" mind. This was good and right, and the struggle was only trying not to move through it all too quickly.

But, oh. I'm [almost] 31. Suddenly that's old enough to remember an awful lot with only fondness. Where are angst and navel-gazing when I need them anyway? Now I'm like a cartoon with my head back and forth violently, everything in the middle totally blurred. Maybe that's where the bumpy tide came from.

I think there's a lesson we miss in grace sometimes. We know that grace covers a multitude of wrongs. Grace creates community. Grace exudes love. Grace commands, "Dust yourself off and try again," maybe with a less Aaliyah attitude than that. But grace also instructs us to seize the moment. We aren't called to live in grace when it's convenient or once we've stored enough of it up to dole out proportionally or certainly not selectively. 

To be gracious and graceful is a mindset and a way of being, and so its essence should be about us all the time. Even now. This second. And this one. That's how you don't skip any opportunity. That's why a life lived in grace is a full life, because nothing is being missed.

I imagine I will have many more moments like this one. I imagine the years get shockingly faster from here on out. But I hope I still have enough growing up to do that it starts to feel right to be here, just as I am, living all the parts of this very moment without looking forward or backward.