In the Moment

April 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

After a baby shower this past Saturday and helping flooded-out friends move into a new apartment with, thankfully, most of their belongings, I was physically spent. Friday night, I took in my first Birmingham Barons game with two friends and spent almost into the next day driving around with the windows down and the Girls’ Night Out Spotify station blaring. (Many a Destiny’s Child song was sung.) Like I was in high school or something again. Even though the late night and the even later night baking for the baby shower and the moving ordeal (stairs! two flights!) and prepping for the shower started to make me tire, I had a moment where I thought, “We are loving well.” Many of the people at the shower had been present earlier in the day to help with the move. I didn’t know everyone there, as many were extended family members, but the girls and guys¬†I did know, I’ve known and walked with for a few years now. Watching the parents-to-be open gifts and exchange jabs and jokes at friends and family alike, I was reminded of the good. Lately, I know I’ve been focusing very much inward, on my own struggles and recurring issues, on my wants and don’t-yet-haves, on the things I don’t understand.

When I had that moment at the shower and thought it again when I got home, “This is how we love well,” I was humbled and comforted. It came upon me again today, in the midst of my onslaught of mental ramblings, to be thankful. Thankful for my friends especially and the relationships we’ve built, near and far. Thankful for the phone calls, texts, emails, and even actual cards that keep us together. They are dear to me and I remember them today. Alison, Kristian, Natalie, Susan, Doerun, Leah, Leslie, Laura, Joy, Josie, Shelley, Beth, Sharon, Anna, Callie, Amanda, Christa, Jessica, Jamie, Rachael, Cari, Audrey…they have shaped and nurtured and challenged and blessed me. And, make me want to do the same for them and for those I have yet to meet.

Alone, but Not

March 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

I really enjoyed last weekend. I normally enjoy my weekends, being freed from the daily schedule and pressing need to get into bed at a decent hour. I relish them, even when they are busy, but usually more if they are not. This past weekend, I confess, I was a bit apprehensive. My roommate was going out of town, and while not cause for alarm by any means, I could feel myself getting a bit down in the mouth about it, feelings of loneliness creeping in.

As a child, I was always very fearful of being alone in our house, even just for an afternoon. It sounds silly to type, but it’s the truth. Even into early adulthood, the thought of staying alone overnight filled my mind with shadowy images from all the worst Lifetime movies I’d ever succumbed to watching. Living on my own a few years ago helped me tackle some of these fears, but I still fell victim to occasionally lying awake at night and imagining how quickly I could climb out my window before an intruder would arrive at my bedroom door. It’s not that bad, anymore, Thank The Lord, but it crops up from time to time just the same.

As Friday approached, I just began to pray, for trust that God would see me through the time and even make it fruitful, not fearful. (I had no plans made which doesn’t help either, if a struggle with loneliness finds you.) It may seem a small thing to some, but it was a huge blessing to me to enjoy and even embrace my time alone. Little bit by little bit, a few plans started to develop and my mind turned to what I had to look forward to instead of dread. Pizza was made with friends, a recipe for brown bread successfully attempted, another friend visited and chatted, and a cat was let outside as much as she wanted when the weather was nice. I am thankful for it all, and most of all, for the Spirit of freedom that kept me company.

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It exceeded my expectations for just an ordinary facing-your-fears-and-having-victory-over-them weekend at home.

The Merton Prayer

February 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

I found a couple of books by Thomas Merton my Grannie gifted me awhile back, and that led me to look up the man for the first time in awhile. There’s a PBS documentary I’d love to find as well, about his life. His gift of words to evoke the communion between Christians and God is poignant in all that I’ve read by him. The truth in what he writes would resonate with unbelievers too, because all humans struggle with loss, displacement, and discouragement just as we all desire joy and peace and a sense of purpose. The well-known prayer below has stuck with me these past couple of weeks and captures full well how the journey feels at the moment.

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

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