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Monthly Archives: February 2013

thankful

grace, peace & morning light.

the weather earlier this week was that sort of icky that gets deep down in your bones & my mood pretty much matched it– sad, cranky & generally gloomy. but wednesday night david & I played chess & went to church & talked for awhile. & as I drove back to clinton, I was overcome by thankful. & I kind of have been since then.

thankful for david who is kind & gentle when I am crummy & reclusive. thankful for his humble leadership, his steady love, his unwavering rationality. thankful for the seemingly unending grace god gives him with me. thankful for a tiny glimpse of what it’s like to be loved by christ, a taste of how god sees me.

thankful for the kind of friends that help me understand why people can’t shut up about community. thankful that my best friends from college are mostly in the metro area. that’s really rare. thankful for those people that talk sense into me, spend time with me, make oreo balls with me, pray for me. thankful for friends who let me deep into their lives. thankful that we were never ever ever meant to do any of this alone.

thankful for a mom who is the most organized & helpful wedding planner, for a dad who sends valentines day cards still.

thankful for a job that never fails to challenge, to inspire me to be better & work harder. thankful for people who teach & support me. thankful that although my life is hectic, it is never boring. thankful for my 287 new friends who consistently push me, frustrate me, & make me laugh really hard (usually all three in the span of 30 minutes).

thankful that I get to live in this city I love so much, this city full of people so dear to me. thankful for the neighborhood, the park, tutoring, friends across the street, friends from clinton who drop by. thankful for this warm little house Jenna & I share. thankful for grace, peace & morning light. & also chickfila breakfast before prosat.

when the world looks grey for multiple days & you’re really cranky it’s easy to forget to say thanks. it’s easy to forget what a magic existence I’ve been given. anne lamott says the two best prayers she knows are ‘help me help me help me’ & ‘thank you thank you thank you.’ this year has taught me a lot about the former. but I want to pray (& live) the latter just as desperately.

on not being able to do everything

bedtime reading. "we cannot do everything... this enables us to do something... an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter & do the rest." thankful.

I want to be a good teacher & start a Spanish club & hang out with my sister & run half marathons & tutor & have a birthday party for everyone & write some grants & cook something new every week & plan a wedding & have all my neighbors over for dinner & hang out with David lots & be part of a great small group & keep my house really clean & go pick up things from craigslist & put coupons on my kroger card & plan really engaging lessons.

but I can’t do all those things at the same time. some things have to lose. unfortunately lots of times the things that lose are things like sleep, a clean house, & grocery shopping… which are the very things that make the other things possible.

when I can’t do everything it sometimes makes me feel like a failure. like I’m not as strong or organized or responsible as I should be. like if only I did a better job of time management I could fit everything in. & if I did a better job with time management, I could probably fit a couple more things in. but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do it all, no matter how well I use my iPhone & planner.

so I’m trying to learn to prioritize. to learn that saying no doesn’t make me selfish or incapable or a bad person. & to give up the idea of control, the idea that things will fall apart if I don’t do everything. a lot of my frantic-ness has to do with a lack of trust, a lack of belief that god will “pick up the slack” I am leaving behind. that’s wrong. & it’s a pretty prideful way to look at life. so here’s to breathing deep, saying no, & not feeling guilty for resting. I don’t know how to do any of those things. but I want to learn.

p.s. the book pictured is this common prayer pocket book, which I recommend.
p.p.s. this is a good post from a favorite author about living anti-frantic.

engaged

well tonight @dmossthered gave me the shiniest present ever. & I cried.

so last friday david gave me the shiniest present in the whole world & asked me to marry him. I nodded a little & cried a lot & finally said yes. the story is over on david’s blog. this post isn’t really about the story, though.

I’ve been thinking a lot about all the happiness & joy surrounding engagement. david & I are so happy to be getting married. all of our friends who we shared the news with have been thrilled. all my third grade girls squealed & ooh’d & aaah’d on the playground. (11 little girls have asked if they can be the flower girl & one bold little 2nd grade boy asked if the best man slot was up for grabs.) brett & leslie & others threw us a very happy party. hannah made ruth ann & david cookies. it’s been a week full of lots of fun.

I struggle with doubt & worry & anxiety. but my often muddled mind is as sure that our marriage is pleasing to God as it is about anything. & I am so, so happy about it–happy that David loves me, happy that God has allowed us to be together. & as I was driving home from church last weekend, I thought, “you know, I wish I was this happy about everything I believe to be the will of God.” I believe that being a teacher is the will of God for me right now. I know that waking up a little bit earlier to pray & read & collect myself before work is something God wants for me. I think that taking my thoughts captive & fighting worry is what God would have me to do. but lots of times, I’m not as happy about those things as I am about marrying david. those things are inconvenient & painful. I fuss & resist.

so when I look at the ring on my left hand, I smile. because I am about to marry my favorite redheaded boy who plays drums & is an incredible leader & always beats me at scrabble. but it also pricks me a little bit inside, reminding me that so often my faith is weak. many times I buy into the idea that God’s will for me & the things in my life that are pleasant are one and the same. & that is just not true. in fact, it’s actually pretty preposterous in light of the story of creation & redemption.

most of my fussing & resisting is really just a manifestation of my disbelief that God is a good Father who gives good gifts to his kids, wants the best things for his kids, only requires hard things of his kids when it makes them (or our world) better. so lately I’ve been trying to imagine what my life would look like if I really believed that everything God wants for me is good. just like I believe this marriage is good. so I want to embrace early alarm clocks & long days at work just as much as I’ve embraced marriage & wedding planning. because God is a good father who loves to give good gifts. even when our faith is weak & we can’t see clearly.

p.s. this is a fabulous book on the concept of ‘god’s will.’