Thursday, January 22, 2015

And all the good things

It was on my to-do list for today: blog. Right after unpack boxes, check answers for assignment and spend 30 minutes in prayer for my part of the school's 60 hours of continual prayer.
I was thinking about what to write, my head spinning with all kinds of ideas.
But as I sit here with my laptop open, the sound of the train in the background, I realize I don't know what to write.
Not because there isn't things going on I could write about. In fact, it is in this very season that my heart is more full than it's ever been. It's because in this tender, precious season of becoming I am treasuring tiny moments, savoring the sweetness, giving gratitude for the grace days.
I was talking last night about writing.
"I might write about you," I warned him.
Because I tend to write about things. Good things, bad things, things that matter and things that don't, all of it gets written down and documented and saved.
But I haven't been writing things down as much as I normally do. I write down moments, memories, the sound of voices and the reflections carried in a set of eyes and things that make me laugh, but it's a more personal kind of writing. It's not to document, not sinking the memories in formaldehyde to try and preserve them for as long as I can.
No, this kind of writing is more about savoring, about taking all these moments and pondering them in my heart.
Last night I worked in the coffee shop. It's crazy and busy and sometimes incredibly fast paced and the whole place smells like coffee beans and milk and there's usually music playing and I love it.
There's something about using my hands to make the coffee to fill the cup to make the design on the top to give it to the person on the other side of the counter.
But it's more than just giving someone a drink. That isn't the moment I love the most.
It's not the smell of ground beans or the little accidents that we laugh off or the way we get to have fun while we work.
It's that one moment of eye contact when you pass someone their drink. It's that opportunity to; make something and make it with love because that person you're making it for is special and valuable and I know you can't say all that with a coffee but sometimes I try.
It's the way people connect. It's the opportunity to serve and nourish the people I care about.
Last night when I was working someone asked me if I liked working in the coffee shop. I've only worked a couple of times, and am still learning, and there are often moments when I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing.
But I said yes. Yeah, I do love it. Because I love seeing people brought together, and being given the opportunity to care for people in coffee cups.
This week is Spiritual Emphasis week at PRBI. It means every day we get a special Chapel, and then on Friday we have no classes and instead have day of prayer. During this week, we also were given the opportunity to participate in 60 hours of continual prayer.
I signed up for 2 half hour slots. I didn't know how I was going to fill half an hour, but decided to give it a shot. After all, how hard could it be?
Today I didn't feel like praying. My mind was spinning, my heart was full. Lots of changes have been happening in my life recently, changes that I'm pondering and mulling over and figuring out.
As I set out on my prayer walk I slipped on the ice, fell in a puddle, decided I probably should have worn a thicker sweater and my mind was too preoccupied to focus on prayer.
As I walked, I began to whisper. Not extravagant, beautiful prayers all dressed up and neat but humble pleadings and questionings.
I don't know the direction my life is headed in. Whenever I am given grace my first instinct is to be afraid of the moment when it will be taken away. It's too good to be true, I reason.
I went down winding streets and up old dirt roads and the whole time I was mumbling and murmuring. I felt afraid. Afraid of the future, and the unknowns, and even of the happiness that seems to be invading every corner of my life these days. I was afraid of the what if's, and the maybes, and the possible rejections and endings and that in all this goodness I will become lost.
I was walking and I hit this spot of sunshine on the bridge and I was just standing there, and for a single moment I felt seen. I felt heard, and noticed.
I felt a small whisper inside of me saying, "Do you not see that all of this you have been given is just a reflection of my love for you?"
I've been letting my fear be bigger than my faith.
A friend called me on it the other day. She said that all these new changes in my life are just adding. They just mean more love, more good, more happy. And I can't fully embrace the more if I'm still stuck in the less. I can't be full of faith if I'm listening to the lies of fear. I can't be happy if I'm still insistent on being right about the lies I've told myself all these years.
I want to be that kind of person who chooses addition over subtraction. I want to silence the fears and enter into all this crazy love that is being offered to me.
I was reminded of an Elizabeth Gilbert quote as I was walking back that says "Sometimes it is necessary to lose balance for love."
Sometimes it is necessary to put all those old beliefs and fears and the desire for control on the shelf so that you can fully embrace love.
These days I'm finding myself grateful. My life is all kinds of beautiful. There are so many moments I can't write about, not yet, as I am still savoring them myself. I was sitting by the window the other night staring up at the moon and I was completely overwhelmed with grace, and how even these first few weeks of 2015 have richly blessed me and how this kind of overwhelming goodness is rich and beautiful and scary and wild and thrilling all at the same time.
And how I'm so grateful. My heart is so full it feels like it might burst. And how this new stage in my life is about learning and growing and loving and embracing and becoming. It's my own personal journey of becoming that is expanding beyond myself and is creating something beautiful.
My phone vibrated in my pocket.
In the moonlight I made out the words of the text message: Cards?
Yeah, my life is pretty good

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