After four decades of pursuing peace, it is finally being found in my passive acceptance of His work, not my vigilant pursuit to change His work.
I am His work.
My interests, what makes me feel peaceful, how He gifted me, what breaks my heart, what can send me soaring– I am His work. Divinely inspired and quite on purpose.
While I have not always been comfortable with exactly who I was or where I found God, I have discovered that crow’s feet and laugh lines have their privileges. I am progressing.
I love music, books, poetry and thoughts in general that someone finds important enough to document-- whether it is because those thoughts are treasured to them alone or significant for sharing-- I am enchanted by story.
I love my husband. He is the heartbeat of our home and my very best chapter.
I love my kids. We have five, very close together in age including an adopted son, Emmanuel, who has Down syndrome. They make my heart soar and crash and then soar some more. Being a mother is at once my greatest joy and my greatest stressor. Sometimes it’s ridiculously easy. As easy as appreciating a sunset. And sometimes I think it might finish me off. There are days that drag on and on but in general the time is flying and because that doesn’t make sense, I know I need to pay attention, to cherish these moments.
I love the Lord. I came to know the Lord through the prayers of my mom, then more so through the messy skits of a Young Life production, and deeper still at camps. I let Jesus hold my hand through the trials of adolescence and young adulthood. I nurtured that relationship, oftentimes making a colossal mess of things but always coming back to it refined, humbled, seeking, and committed.
Then I met my husband.
And he was Catholic.
That was when God decided to get all up in my business in new and inventive ways.
I love the Catholic church. I feel as bound to her as I do to my marriage. It is for better or worse. I love belonging to an ancient story. The bells, the smells, dark and enticing, the physical and magical and mystical and weird, there is something about Catholic Christian worship that makes my faith feel like it’s come full circle. But it is not without complication. While I’ve never been one to shy away from complicated-- I even kind of like it-- I have found fitting in difficult. Loneliness has been an important part of my journey. And Jesus seems to think it’s quite alright. It was certainly part of His.
While my Protestant roots won’t turn me loose in celebration and community and Sunday School, my Catholic faith guides my pursuit of holiness through the Sacraments. I used to see my feet in both circles as a separating chasm in my spirit threatening to split me in two, a weakness. Who would have me? But I am beginning to see it as a bridge. If I were to run on something, it would be unity.
I love unity. I feel passionately about leaving Sundays to you and with whom you choose to go tromping through the weeds, but Saturday through Monday? Let’s link elbows as children of God and lovers of Christ and housers of the Holy Spirit and let everything else shrink down to its proper proportion when compared to God’s love and get some work done in His name for His people to build His kingdom for His glory! Because if not His church to light up the dark corners of this world, then who? We are called to be a city on a hill, blazing with love for one another.
I love writing. I tiptoed into writing and God has gently held the door open. I walked through tentatively, secretly desiring to slip through unannounced, unnoticed so I could have an excusable reason to quit, a shrinking exit. It hasn't quite worked out that way. Instead, that little verse about whatever the Lord has me doing, I am to do it with all my heart has settled into the scared places. One day, I long to show up spent before God, emptied and exhausted. So I will push on and try to keep finding my gifts and pray to embrace them for good and work to pour them out-- even if it is writing, writing that people read! More of a march than a tiptoe. And no shrinking allowed.
Lastly, I love women. I recognize God most easily through friendship. It is how He loves, encourages, instructs, redirects, admonishes, and rebukes me. And every single bit of it is so very kind. My friends and I, we love each other well. Together we explore and expand and take chances and discover and in the end teach each other that life isn’t for the fainthearted but for the brave. Walking with the wise has made me wiser. Walking with the kind has made me kinder. Iron to my iron, I love you. It is through you that I have seen the most tender side of God.
I am finally fine with who God made me. He has told me that I am a masterpiece and that He loves me, and He didn’t tell me that because it is noble, the right thing to do. He told me that because He actually finds me delightful. It is my goal to spend my next half letting His actual love for me sink deep into my soul so that I might understand it in new ways every day. I pray to spend the rest of my time here on earth believing all He says is true.