On the resurrection and our faithful repetition

For several months I’ve been serving as an editor for The Joyful Life Magazine, a beautiful piece of work that features honest essays, great recipes, and some fun DIY ideas. The magazine prints quarterly and would make a great Mother’s Day gift. It’s truly excellent.

Yesterday, the blog portion of the magazine hosted an essay of mine titled “Resurrection” and I’d love for you to read it here. They are doing great work at The Joyful Life and I’m happy to be a part of it

We want to be extraordinary, to live outside of the trap of time and space, but ordinary life requires so much from us and we forget.

Maybe what resurrection really calls for is that every day be a remembrance. Every crawl out of bed is the resurrection to a new day. Every task repeated from the monotony of quotidian life is the bearing-again of everything that gives life or is the result of living. The cleaning up, the putting away and getting out again, the daily opening and closing of books and doors and laptops can be a resurrection and a remembrance: we are not ordinary people, and this is not an ordinary life. We faithfully repeat the same things as we practice rising again, and again, and again.

Read the full post here.

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A Quiet Christmas

They say “beauty will save the world”, and I know it’s true. I know how beauty stands alone in the dark, in the quiet, and holds out hope for redemption to a world looking for a fix. I’ve held it while the world has slept on and spun round and out of control. I’ve held this kind of beauty in the palm of my hands, tiny and helpless and completely dependent on me. In the bend of my arm, the squeeze of my embrace, and in my lap as we crossed oceans and continents after our adoption, beauty that saves the world has been mine to hold.

Those first days at home are a special kind of quiet—not silence, necessarily, but permission to check-out of life, all the whirling world excusing your absence and even bringing you meals. I remember the first days with each baby and how tired, how depleted I was, yet how full. Life was a cycle of waking-feeding-changing-sleeping, and no one cared how the house fell apart. The dark of night or early morning covered some of the most tender times, as well as tears and frustration and great worries about tomorrow.

This is how Christmas feels to me. {Click here to read the rest of this essay at kindredmom.com.}

A Benediction for Your Disappointments (just in case the day doesn't go as planned)

I remember being a little girl and throwing the classic tantrum on my bed—legs battering the mattress, arms flailing, wails of injustice running from my throat. I don't recall the offense now but I am sure the pitched fit was completely rational, as they all are. I'm sure it was some very large violence done against my very small-self. Not getting my way has always been devastating.

Disappointments, like all things God uses in my life, can break up the soil of a stagnant heart. Big or small, insignificant or completely life altering, when something disappoints so much that I want to pitch a fit, I know that my focus has been stolen or skewed or momentarily seized by unattainable ideals. Otherwise, I could accept the turn of events as another Thing Sifted Through the Hands of God. If my focus were right I wouldn't be pulled into the spiral of a grown-up tantrum, which consists of sitting on my bed, stewing in unspoken thoughts, and punching imaginary walls.

This is part of life, though. Being disappointed is part of a longing unfulfilled and this world was not meant to satisfy all our desires and make us spoiled brats. We are struggling to live in two worlds, redeemed from disappointment but still disappointed. We want more than one world can offer.

And hello. We are often a let down to others with high hopes.

Lowering my expectations is probably not the answer. Instead, I try to be reminded that all my hope is in Christ, Who is both in this world and in another completely disappoint-less one, a kingdom eternal. The desire for more than this world can offer is the fuel for high hopes, and when plans fail or people fail or all hell seems to break loose, that desire for more reminds me to look at the smallest victory available in the moment. Because Christ is here, there is always something to see.

May you find small victories today, priceless and precious in a world of Big Things. 

When a child smiles, may you see the face of God. When a child cries or complains, may you be the face of God. 

May you have grace for the graceless and guard your words for the sake of your weaker brother. 

May you bear up under the disappointments of others. 

When the moment doesn't turn out the way you hoped, the way you imagined, may all your hope and imagination turn to a coming kingdom. 

And when you find something perfect—a moment, a word, a mood, a song, a picture, a taste, a smell—may you give thanks for the bit of eternity you've seen.