I've been sitting here for the past half hour, trying to figure out something to write when I realized there isn't anything to write that I haven't written before.
It's not a secret, but I whisper it like it is. I whisper my joy like a small child, eyes twinkling.
The past few days have been a series of grace days, days where it's easy to feel joyful. They are days when everything in life feels like a gift, when I want to capture it all and save it somewhere special, just in case. I become a hoarder of this grace, clutching it all to my chest, waiting for the moment when it will run out.
I was reminded the other day of baking cookies. I walked into the dorm and the sweet smell of baking cookies met me, and I couldn't help but smile. I was reminded that, when baking cookies, you need both the sugar and the salt. Deprived of just one and the cookies won't turn out.
In the same way, it is the salty and the sweet that make a life.
I've been learning recently how to fully embrace each moment. I wrote a note and stuck it beside my bed, a reminder that each moment is a gift waiting to be noticed.
The joy moments are a gift, brimming with happiness and waiting to be celebrated.
But the salty moments are a gift too, a different kind of gift. The kind that sometimes takes longer to appreciate, the kind that promises that growth won't be easy but productive none the less.
I've been collecting moments, both salty and sweet, and storing them, pondering each separately, then together. Each one I hold in my hands before releasing it into the mixing bowl that is life and I'm learning to say thank you, even though at times I wrestle against the small words as they stay lodged in the back of my throat.
Sometimes I'm not thankful, but I'm trying to be.
Because eucharisteo always precedes the miracle
In care groups this week we're writing down 5 things a day that we're grateful for. As I wrote down my 5 things, I realized that gratitude transforms the mundane into the marvelous.
The everyday waking, sleeping, eating, breathing life becomes a sacred experience.
Meal times become fellowship time and sleep becomes serenity and every breath is a blessing. And I'm not always good at noticing these acts but when I do I want to document it. I want to stop and say "If this isn't beautiful I don't know what is."
I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.
I was talking the other day about the ugly beautiful blessings, the kind that appear in the darkness. In the moment even acknowledging the ugly beautiful feels like a crime. I've been living a lot of my life this way. Because in the moment the pain is so real and consuming and the need to feel it fully is real. I need to run it over in my hands, document each inch, then I can move on to the next emotion.
But I was reminded of Jacob, the story where He refuses to let go until God blesses him. He is broken down at the strongest place in his body, and the pain is real, but he refuses to let go until he is blessed.
I want to be like that. I want to cling tightly and wait for the blessings, and the grace days, and the beauty that has been promised me. I may not understand everything that happened in my life but I want to be the Jacob warrior, want to shout out through my exhaustion and confusion "I won't let go until you bless me."
I won't give up, won't walk away, won't let go until the blessings come.