Play Time

So the other day I ended up babysitting my second cousins (that is the unspoken glory of a large extended family, your cousins bring their kids over and you end up watching them while they catch up with your parents/the rest of their immediate family). This would be far more annoying I’m sure if my second cousins weren’t completely awesome. I genuinely do enjoy spending time with them, even though it leaves me with an exhaustion I haven’t felt since I taught Pre-K. Anyway, I think I like hanging out with my second cousins because, while I am the responsible adult who makes sure they don’t play with fire, it also gives me a chance to be silly and play in a way that is much harder to do with adults.

What I mean is, I don’t know when the world became such a serious place- when people lost their sense of whimsy. Because a good majority of us in the United States work 40 hours a week or more, and when we are not working we are encouraged to fill up our time with things that are “cool,” exercise related, or relaxing. Things as seen on TV like going to expensive trendy restaurants, drinking until we lose our minds, going clubbing to dance in ways that we would be ashamed to own up to in front or our parents, exercising to keep ourselves sexy, fit, or both, Facebook/social media, watching Netflix… the list goes on. And it’s all so material that I find it unsatisfying and, if I’m being honest, more than a little confining. I want more to my life than that. And that’s why I like to play and be silly with my second cousins. It’s nice to get absorbed into their imaginations, to infuse life with a little adventure again, to be surprised by the little truths they reveal about life’s mysteries with their child-like wisdom.

And I almost encourage societies not to join the first world, because it gets lonely here. Because everything that once used to give the soul time to breathe, such as playing and being silly or taking refreshing walks by yourself just to remember that this world is bigger than you are, is not considered a priority and takes a back seat to these empty and meaningless distractions (the ones as seen on TV). And the worst part is we lie about it. We play this elaborate game of pretend like we’re not running on empty, denying that our soul has needs and afraid to genuinely pursue them. Because pursuing those needs might mean admitting that we have enough, and sometimes it’s still not enough, because our hearts still long for something more. Something like God,  although in mainstream society admitting to a belief in God and confessing how that gives purpose and satisfaction to your life is on par with admitting you still believe in Santa Claus,  and your critics will tell you as much.

But I can’t take that criticism seriously. Because I don’t think the world would be such a bad place if it allowed for more children and more child-like hearts.

WD

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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.

f

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.