I have a sick baby and a busy week, so I thought I’d just write something easy today. I am actually drinking coffee right now (not surprising, I’m sure!) so if you were sitting across the table from me drinking your own cup and chatting about life, here’s what I’d share!
-Our trip to Minnesota was tiring, but awesome. It came at exactly the right time, because I was going crazy here in Florida with our housing issues. It was so nice to unpack a suitcase and know it could stay unpacked for the next few weeks.
My Minnesota highlights included my daily walks with Zoe, seeing my best friend Whitney, and catching up on this season of The Bachelorette with my 13 year old sister (who would probably want me to insert that she CANNOT BELIEVE that Tasos was sent home, as she said this statement approximately 2343 times while we watched the most recent episodes.)
I also loved watching Zoe enjoy family members, seeing “The Fault In Our Stars” with both of my sisters, and cheering Zoe on as she participated in a Rochester tradition—the All Comers Track Meet! She ran the 50 meter dash in the “2 and under” category and, if I may say so, totally rocked it!
My lowlight of the trip was the exhaustion that came from meeting the needs of an early rising 18 month old all the way through a curfew-violating 15 year old. Those were some long days, folks.
-While in Minnesota, I picked up the book Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist. This is the type of book I want to write someday. I ate up every delicious word.
-Zoe is obsessed with the song “My Lighthouse.” We listened to it 8 times this morning, probably 8 times yesterday, and 10 the day before. She says “want my iii-house” to get me to play the song, and sings along, and it is THE MOST PRECIOUS THING EVER. Which reminds me: Zoe talks a lot now. She can say sentences and totally tracks with conversations. She is also a sharp observer of the human condition, as I learned the other day when we were playing with her doctor kit:
Me: “I’m so tired! I’m so sick! Cough cough cough. I don’t feel good! Oh, hey, I’ll take this medicine! (pretending to drink from toy medicine cup) Wow! I feel better!!! I have so much energy! Yay!”
Zoe: “Coffee coffee coffee!”
No idea where she picked that one up. No idea. Moving right along…
-About two months ago, I started taking “Sunday prayer walks” with Zoe. Hello, best idea ever! Instead of spending a lot of time getting my “outside” self ready for church, I enjoy God’s beautiful creation with my daughter, lift up some of our friends in prayer, and go to church with my “inside” self totally ready to worship. Why didn’t I start this years ago?!!
(Also: some weeks I wind up not having time to shower afterwards, so consider this a blanket apology to anyone who sits by me in church on those mornings. I’m sorry. My baby wipe sponge bath can only carry me so far, I know.)
-While we’re talking about church, please note that I am truly a “pastor’s” wife now, not “the YOUTH pastor’s wife,” and then please erupt into a fit of giggles with me because I certainly do not fit into the mold of people who long for this role. But, let me just say, that I am passionate about the church, and I am passionate about OUR church and the families in it, and that getting to play any role at all in my husband’s ministry (even if I am just the person that cooks dinner for him) is really cool.
-I really and truly missed my friends here in Florida while I was gone. I am SO happy to have friends that I can miss so much. That wasn’t always the case for me here, and I don’t take it for granted.
-Finally, I would close on this note from Bittersweet. If this was actually a coffee date it would be awkward to read aloud to you, so just read it to yourself:
“Everyone I know gets their heart broken sometime, by something. The question is not, will my life be easy or will my heart break? But rather, when my heart breaks, will I choose to grow?
Sometimes in the moments of the most searing pain, we think we don’t have a choice. But we do. It’s in those moments that we make the most important choice: grow or give up. It’s easy to want to give up under the weight of what we’re carrying. It seems sometimes like the only possible choice. But there’s always, always another choice, and transformation is waiting for us just beyond that choice.
This is what I know: God can make something beautiful out of anything, out of darkness and trash and broken bones. He can shine light into even the blackout night, and he leaves glimpses of hope all around us. An oyster, a sliver of moon, one new bud on a black branch, a perfect tender shoot of asparagus, fitting up through the dirt for the spring sun. New life and new beauty are all around us, waiting to be discovered, waiting to be seen.”
Whit and I chatted over a glass of wine in Minnesota and decided that the most profound and life-altering growth in our lives has probably come from hurt. Do we WANT the hurt? Of course not. But it can be such a great teacher.
I know I’ve grown a lot from this season of loss in my life. It may or may not be over, and I’m okay with that because I know that every season ends eventually.
It’s not up to me to decide when the seasons end—that’s God’s job.
My job is to grow in the season. And I feel like I have done that, and am doing that, and will do it as long as this season lasts. And that feels good.
What is the best book (or article, or blog entry, or shopping list…whatever) you’ve read lately?