Monday, February 20, 2012

Passionately Grateful

Hi. Can I be randomly passionate for a moment?

I serve the most amazing and real Savior. One Who is so impossible that He is. Its like He's unfathomable loving while He breaks my heart, while He holds me together and asks me to fall apart. As I let go, I fall up. As I look up, I can't fall down.

Then there's this dream job: the one where you sit in coffee shops designing houses, calling people to tell them your opinion they wanted to hear, all while drinking coffee, and browsing Pinterest and shopping home decor. I have no complaints, until Starbucks closes. I get to laugh, dream, draw, scheme, build, talk, paint, stare, and soak in the love of my life: God's gift of design and color.

Did I mention that there are people who encourage me? Lots of them. I have so many little sisters to call and I always think it couldn't be possible to adore them more than I do. Then there's my mommies: all of them. Then there's the bro-guys who call to tell me about their girl so I can plot true love with them or revamp their wardrobe. I've only got two dads though...The best, real one and the old, crazy one. Then there's those few special girlfriends who hold me up, wink across the room, and know some pretty crazy secrets. How could I get so lucky to own so much in people stock?

So that's all. Just had to say that because, gratefulness is the most peaceful perspective in the face of everything. What's making you passionately grateful today?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Testing in Progess. Die Later.

Time has passed. I have been completely here and yet a hundred miles away. Last night I think I told a friend that over the past couple weeks I "have been put through a paper shredder twice, but somehow my eyes were found and filled with hot peppers, and then I was made flesh and feeling again just so I could feel a load of bricks crush me. Then I was the target for the shooting range, kept alive long enough to see that my family and a few close friends are also dying nicely, followed by slow resucitation so I could be drowned and resucitated again just so that..." Yeah. You get the idea. Hopefully, the concept that "life's been a wringer lately" is coming across to you, and not that you gather that I was up far too late allowing sadistic and creepy verbage to be published via text message.

No. I am not a teenager and I'm not being dramatic. This is called "real life" and there is some for everyone. There's that real friend who is dying, parents getting cancer, to do much to do and absolute boredom, devastating personal illness, loved ones running away or going to jail, jobs lost, tension where it cuts most, youth left behind, sundry auto collisions, brick walls where you need a down comforter, multiple rejections, and others being too amazing for their own good. There is also unrequited love, unwanted love, a complete lack of love, and an overwhelming need for love. Yes, FYI, I distinctly know what I'm talking about and it's real life...

So here we are. What to do? All I know to do is whatever is before you: keep giving care to others without self-serving motive, gratefully see what remains, keep keeping on, despite the twisted, uneven odds. Look upward and recognize the best was never meant to be here on earth. Take your test, pass with honors, and go to Heaven. Don't forget to read the Guidebook. You don't even have to be smart...Just empty, ready to do what the Book says. Time to read up? (P.S. First thing to be grateful for today? Apparently, this test called Real Life, is open Book.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Couple Weeks Ago...

It is the night my father sits at his place at the head as I set dinner on the table. Hot whisps of steam rise from the loaded tray as I slide the cover off a sharp blade and make the first slice. It's all so weird and completely normal. Tonight we eat pretty silently, but between my sister and I we exchange secret glances and quiet gestures. So I asked the question.

"What did the Doctor tell you, Dad? What's happening?"

He slowly unfolds a complicated looking paper with typeface and handwriting I don't recognize. He keeps glancing at me and his eyes are red-rimmed, just a little. Then I already know what he's going to say. My stomach tightens and I set my fork down beside my half-eaten food.

"It's carcogenic cancer. They say it's probably in my lymph too, spreading who knows where. I have another appointment tomorrow at 2:30."

I reach for the paper after he reads a few lines and passes it my way, still glancing at me with that odd expression. I quickly begin scanning it, pausing and reading aloud at anything that sounds positive.

"The intercranial scan is normal. The lungs are clear. The..." My voice trails off as I smile at him while mom makes positive comments about the people she worked with in the cancer ward a while back, how the cheerful, hopeful people make it out alive and well. I keep my head from face-palming into my hand as dad grumbles something about just hoping he can die well.

We gather around him and pray. More upbeat, hopeful, honest, heartfelt prayers hadn't been made before that crowd showed how its done. Then I run to the restroom and kneel over the toilet, waiting for my dinner to exit. My heart feels odd: so acute in horror, yet peaceful in knowing the truth that God's plan is so much bigger, so much better, and so unfathomable. He wants glory. He wants worship and praise. He wants all of my heart to break into His big, kind hands.

That was the family dinner I'll remember for a long time. And now I wait for the beautiful unknown to become an interesting tomorrow.