1. So I learned something about myself this week. For some people, when the going gets rough, they turn to booze, cigarettes, or chocolate. I found myself at our local grocery store, purchasing almost $20 worth of freshly baked bread. Cheddar garlic. Olive rosemary. Nine grain. Sourdough. So. Much. Bread. I regret nothing.
2. The other day, I was doing yoga and Oliver wanted me to get him a mat so he could join. He did pretty well! He only lasted about five minutes, but I’d say that’s not too bad for a three year old. My sister in law got me this amazing bedtime yoga storybook for Christmas and I love it. I discovered that you can see the book and hear it being read on youtube, here. Try it out and see what your kids think!
3. Recently, Theo started putting stickers up on his bedroom door. I don’t know why, but I just find that so adorable and grown up. It’s like a rite of passage, you know? I covered everything I could get my hands on with loads of stickers when I was a kid. I still have to fight the urge. It’s fun to see Theo start to make the transition from toddler to child, from an extension of us to someone entirely new and all his own. What a privilege it is to raise these tiny humans.
4. I came across this list of oddball holidays to celebrate with your kids (or your spouse, friends, etc). November 13 is world kindness day, which doesn’t come a moment too soon this year. I’m already brainstorming some fun ways we can intentionally reach out to some people that day! Also. May 11 is “eat what you want day.” Do it for the children! (wink)
5. I’m going to be honest with you. For the past two weeks, I’ve felt a bit like Eeyore. You remember how the little raincloud used to follow him around? “If there’s a little shower,” he would say, “it finds me.” I get so down when I don’t feel good. Is that normal? Do any of you feel that way?
Anyways. So I haven’t felt well, and then I’ve just felt so overwhelmed by all the negativity and hate surrounding this (American) election. On all sides. By seemingly all people. Everyone is fighting. Everyone wants to get in the last word. Everyone is telling the other person they are wrong, they are hateful, they are ignorant, they are racist, etc, etc. It’s all just so much.
In the face of all this fighting and negativity, I’ve feel like I’ve lost my voice a bit. On one hand it’s just plain discouraging and uninspiring. But on the other, I feel like “What do I have to say to all this? What do I have to say in the face of all this uncertainty? All this fear?”
I’ve struggled to blog. I’ve struggled to work through my own thoughts. I’ve struggled to see other people’s caustic thoughts played out so publicly.
Everyone is so very afraid. Afraid of the other side. Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of the very real, very scary hurts and struggles so many people in this country face. Afraid that the other side poses a threat to their own beliefs, their own security, their own sense of self.
So very, very afraid.
The thing I’ve come to learn about fear, though, is that it is never the real thing. Sure, fear and anger get top billing sometimes, but underneath the rage and the vitriol and the fighting there is something much, much more important at work – pain.
I know so many people are in pain right now.
Pain from unstable home lives. Pain from unstable economies. Pain from unstable ideas about self and who we are and where (if?) we belong in this world. Pain from beliefs we hold but others mock. Pain from just trying to do our best but stumbling and failing and questioning along the way. Pain from trying to understand the ways in which people express their fear.
But it all boils down to the same thing. We are all so incredibly flawed. We have all experienced and inflicted so much pain. We are all wounded and imperfect and sometimes that creates a deep and desperate sense of anxiety in us where we must defend, we must lash out, we must assert our “rightness” because we are desperate for a sure thing in the face of all this uncertainty.
I have found, recently, that I’m very much ok with being wrong. I’ve accepted it. I know that no matter how much I read, research, pray, discuss, debate, etc, I could never figure everything out. I could never reach certain, irrefutable conclusions on all matters of life.
But I can reach one.
I am a flawed, prone to wandering kind of girl who needs one certain anchor to survive the storms of life. I’ve found that anchor, that certainty, in knowing who I am in Christ. I don’t need to argue or debate policies because I am acutely aware that we are all in a similar state of fallibility. I don’t care who is right about this topic or that policy or this point. I simply care that I am right with Christ.
Christ is in me, I am enough.
So I guess I’ve found a little bit of my voice. I don’t need to offer you my opinion. I don’t need to tell you who I voted for or argue you are wrong to have voted the way you did. It does not matter. What you need, is for me to be me. And I need you to be you.
There aren’t many things you can know for certain. But you can know God. You can know who he made you to be.
It’s the one thing that abolishes fear. It may not remove you from your painful situation, and I know there are some very real hurts out there, but it can offer you something that no amount of pain or suffering could ever take away from you – your identity.
Be defined not by the greatness of your pain and fears, but by the great love which created you.
Happy Friday, my loves. Go be delightfully, wonderfully, you.