Sunday, October 17, 2010

Knocking Them Down

One of my brothers sent me a text the other day and asked, "How's my little sis doing?"

My response? "Just doing my thing. The conveyor belt is moving. I'm on it. Just life."

I love that he responded with "good."

Because he, of all people, knows that sometimes sticking to the basic plan is as much of a success as clothing kids in Africa. Sometimes, as Sara Groves says, "setting up the pins and knocking them down" is a win.

To be grateful for living should be good enough. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If you are facing adversity, pain, heavy heart moments, closet tears, rejection, sorrow, distant joy... remember that "He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally he will cause justice to be victorious. (Matt 12:20)" 

There is joy to be found in the living. There is nourishment there. In the moving along. In the small chipping away at mountains that feel too big.

So here's what I'm thankful for in the moving. On the belt. With the basic plan.
  • The Goodwill Purge — Toys are sorted and stuffed in boxes and bags. Decluttered kitchen drawers and shelves. Closets are purged. Weeks later these bundles eventually make their way out to my car. And still another week passes before the Goodwill dropoff. It doesn't feel like much. But suddenly I've gone from too much stuff, too much clutter to now empty backseats and closet space.
  • Last spring, I started the food transition. The thing I kept saying I was going to do and finally did. First to go was any and everything that contained gluten. Then beef. Then chicken. Then fish. Now, cheese is an almost distant memory. Almond milk sits cool on the counter. We still eat eggs, but the slow year-long process from omnivore to vegetarian and (as Alicia Silverstone said) now "flirting with veganism", this kitchen is well on it's way. I like the slow transition. It's working.
  • The traveling time — I sometimes feel like I was born with wings on my feet, or wheels in my heels. (I'll layoff the cheesy euphemisms now.) Since I first left the US at 15, the travel bug bit me and I've never quite recovered. I'm ok with that. That's why the booking of at least four out-of-home-area trips scheduled in the next four months make my wings go flap, fwhip, fwhap.
  • Brushes and Color — Last year, I painted alot. And then when it was time to start writing songs again, I realized I couldn't do both well. So for the past few months, I picked songwriting. Lately, the brushes have returned. For a bit. For some happy moments of color.

This week we celebrate a two-year-old's birthday, remember the life of the woman we lost two years ago, embrace the somber mood of seasons to come and seasons gone, and probably eat lots of cake.


  1. Absolutely crazy! I've been working through Matthew for a month (slowly as you can see from my limited progress). Read that verse this week and I've been thinking on it ever since. I love that Matthew spells out so plainly - if we are seeking Christ, we are to reach out to those who are hurting. We'll find him at work in the intersection of our sacrifice and their pain. I'm not yet convinced that I've realized the gain of "more Christ" in the sacrifice of "less me" is worth the daily life outside my comfort zone. Onward and upward though.

  2. My heart just jumped when I saw Jesus in the last piece. Wonderful art and I agree with you completely. Lately, I've been asking Jesus for the ability to find joy in the everyday.

  3. sara — i love that, when God speaks the same thing in different places. that scripture has been on my mind constantly lately. i hear ya on the whole comfort zone thing. good thing he's patient with us.

    jen — thanks! that painting was from a worship night i painted at recently here in tx. and as for finding joy, i'm with you. sometimes it really is a treasure hunt.