Lightening Bugs

Ever get so caught up on big things ahead that you miss the little moments that make life grand?

I hate when I do that. Because I get so caught up worrying about whether
or not I will be happy in the future that I forget to be happy now, in the present. It distracts me from my littler way of just sharing whatever the moment holds with God, the method that fills even the mundane with a little bit of magic. Yet I admit sometimes, in lb2.jpgthose moments where I encounter God, I get tempted to try and overcontrol my life to have more of those moments.  It takes me back to when I was a little girl on my great-uncle’s farm where, just as the sun started to set, about a million lightening bugs would appear just beyond the fence at the edge of his property. Every time my siblings and I would see them, I’d always try to catch one and hold on to it. As if by holding on to the lightning bug I could also capture the moment, because I worried that if I let it float away it might not float back again.

And it’s hard to trust in those moments because there is something so special about them that you don’t want to risk losing them. And with God that feeling is amplified, because I find myself never wanting to move further away, only closer. And the closer I get I start to notice that everything that used to matter sort of doesn’t anymore. Not to be confused with disinterest, but rather more like discovering that your old priorities have eroded away and have been replaced with better ones, and suddenly everything seems possible. 

And I’m left sitting in wonder at the whole thing.

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Flower Child

So I’m enjoying getting back to the lighter side of blogging with posts like “the journal” because I can only offer so much unsolicited societal commentary and defenses of my faith before I need to take a bit of a refresher. Because I notice it’s exactly like what happens if I sit and watch the news too long, I start to feel weighed down by the various scenarios happening in our world because I see the darkness behind them and wish I could do more.

But it’s not my job to save the world. It’s already been saved and I really do believe that everything will be okay. Because I believe in heaven.  And I think the more you believe in heaven, the more you start to see it while here on earth, little glimmers of light, like candles on a birthday cake in a dark room. Except that they illuminate something far more beautiful than an earthly birthday party. And it gives me hope to gaze at the little flames, sometimes leaves me in awe as I ponder exactly what the bigger picture might be. Because I truly don’t know. I just trust that it’s something good. I trust that it will ultimately be God. And I trust most of all that, whatever that looks like, I won’t be disappointed.

Because the truth is this blog was not started so much for the forum as it was started for me. I wanted to chronicle my own little spiritual journey (I’ve changed a lot in the past year or so) and I wanted this to help me remember, to help me stay on track, and to remind me why I’ve chosen to live the way I choose to now, basking in the little moments like a child and sharing each of them with God. It’s delightful. I highly recommend it. It takes tremendous faith, but the more I let go the more Jesus Himself comes to meet me, and it’s so great. I’ve gotten to the point where I want to give up more and more, because I want more of Jesus. He’s sort of fantastic. Understatement; but everything is an understatement when you have something that’s too good for words.

Anyway before this post makes you feel even more awkward with how personal it is, and potentially how outlandish it might sound to a culture that leans towards atheism/moral relativism, I wanted to get back to the inspiration behind the post which was this (you can see the former humanities major in me, it took me north of two paragraphs to get to the point): I’ve seen a few blogs that mentioned posting pictures for flower Friday.

Is this a legitimate thing that people do?

Because if it is I am so in!!!!! I absolutely love flowers/nature in general and I will happily use any excuse to feature more photos of them on this blog. My sister makes fun of me because whenever I get excited I get really happy to the point where my sister will sarcastically suggest that I summon my animal friends (it’s funny because it implies that I’m like one of those old-school Disney princesses…) Yup, my sister’s clever. In fact, you should hear the wit that flies around an average family dinner at my house, especially when we’re all together.

So here’s to my first flower Friday!

Enjoy, and be sure to tune in later for more optimism.

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The Journal

So today I found myself wishing that I could somehow track down my fourth-grade teacher and tell her thank you. I’m sure she did a lot of good work with me that year. However, she did something else that I will never forget: she gave me my first ever journal. I got it as a last day of school present. It was red with a teddy bear holding balloons on the cover. A gesture that to her I’m sure seemed insignificant. But those little gestures matter so much more than we know.

I had been reading a ton of those “Dear America” history journals that are tailored to that age group and I was just tickled by the thought of having my own. And even though that journal didn’t have very many entries in it, I have not stopped journaling since. That’s right, while I am by no means a nightly journaler and have taken some breaks from it, it is a practice I have never given up (and have no plans to give up anytime soon!)

It’s just so cool to me because she had no idea what a significant part of my life writing would become. If you go back in the journals you can see how my writing style evolved, the different techniques that developed and the influences of whoever I happened to be reading at the time. It helped me find my voice and taught me to express myself in a way that many other adults struggle to do.

And I am so grateful for her gift of the journal that I wish I could thank her, the same way I thank God for the gift of being able to write in the first place.

And the way I thank you, for taking the time to read what I have written.