Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Do It Again!

“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” 
[G.K. Chesterton].

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Swimming 101

Learning to swim is a funny thing -- they make you wear those goofy, puffy things on your arms when you're first learning.  Then, the better you get, they take those things off and you're left to tread water on your own.  And you learn not simply to tread, but to swim laps with finesse and style.  But, no matter how good you become at swimming, if the water starts to rise above your head for far too long, you begin to freak out a little inside.  There's a little panic that says, "can I get out of this?" "what if my head never rises above this?" "I can't breathe...oh crap!"

It seems lately, I've had the same little panic inside.  Panic in the midst of deep (and rising) waters of ambiguity, of unclarity, of uncertainty, of fear & hesitancy, etc.  As the waters rise, my natural tendency is to freak out and jump out of the pool.  If the waters can cause damage, if there's potential for the waters to rise and hurt me, then I'm out.  I'll sit quite comfortably on the side in a patio chair, thank you very much.  (This white, blonde girl can tan like a champ out there, you know).

But, I'm fighting the urge to jump out of the pool.  Yes, the water can be dangerous.  But the same water can be fun and enjoyable and playful, too.  I want to play in the water -- I want to refuse getting out the pool.  I want to stay in the pool and I want to swim well.

The question for me isn't, "how do I get out of this pool to save myself?"  But rather, "how do I live well in the pool I find myself?"

Fears can not only paralyze me -- but they can prevent me.  Prevent me from experiencing goodness and richness.  I fear the unknown, so I don't move toward it -- but in the unknown may be some of the sweetest life I've experienced yet.  It typically is, actually.

May you be a person who swims well in the waters of ambiguity.  May I, too, be a woman who swims and plays and laughs in the rising waters of unsureness.  The Creator of the seas HAS to be good and wise.

...because this is hilarious

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Thoughts on Waking Up

We wake up each morning to a world we did not make. How did it get here? How did we get here? We open our eyes and see that 'old bowling ball the sun' careen over the horizon. We wiggle our toes. A mockingbird takes off and improvises on themes set down by robins, vireos, and wrens, and we marvel at the intricacies.... There is so much here--around, above, below, inside, outside. Even with the help of poets and scientists we can account for very little of it. We notice this, then that.... Before long we are looking out through telescopes and down into microscopes, curious, fascinated by this endless proliferation of sheer Is-ness--color and shape and texture and sound.

After awhile we get used to it and quit noticing. We get narrowed down into something small and constricting. Somewhere along the way this exponential expansion of awareness, this wide-eyed looking around, this sheer untaught delight in what is here, reverses itself: the world contracts; we are reduced to a life of routine through which we sleepwalk. But not for long. Something always shows up to jar us awake.

-Eugene Peterson

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Winter Break 2011

From Folly Beach, South Carolina

To Indianapolis, Indiana

To Denver, Colorado
Dumb and Dumber hotel...Awesome!

To Tempe, Arizona
where I got to see this studly guy.

A full, rich, and crazy Christmas break, indeed.
It's good to be back in Bowling Green.