Friday, February 13, 2015

on finding a full life.

i was NEVER one to do hard things as a child.
i was not a brave person.
i was shy. i chose reading over adventure. i liked homework.

you see - you see who i was.
you're nodding. you know the type.
part nerdy, part peacemaker, part too quiet to bother anyone.

that was through high school. 
somewhere between then, and now, i said something.
i can't even remember exactly what it was, but - it changed everything.

it was something simple,
not profound, not the first time anyone has ever uttered it.
it was something like, "please, use me. make my life count."

and that was it for my quiet, reserved life.
isn't it funny, how one whispered sentence can make all the difference?
how it can take one's easy existence and make mashed potatoes of it?

slowly, i began to feel... more alive inside.
it wasn't all at once - but there it was - this fierce "aliveness"
buzzing around inside of me like bees in a hive.

in high school i read books about people who did things.
changed things.

i wished it could be me -
but i knew, deep inside,
i wasn't brave enough. 

i wasn't made for adventure.
and then - i wasn't.
but just because you aren't, it doesn't mean you never can.

God changed the parts of me that weren't fully his
when i gave him permission. he took the pieces of me i'd always had, 
like compassion, and added his own power where before i'd had none.

i began doing things that were never me,
but always me, somehow, both at once.
i was the girl afraid to stay at sleepovers once, now in love with foreign people and places.

it wasn't just that though, the traveling and adventures.
it was my heart. my heart that had always longed for more,
but could never take the steps, was suddenly reaching and stretching upward.

and the stretching - it hurt so bad.
it opened wounds and eyes to see things i'd always been afraid were there.
sadness and pain and devastation. nations falling apart and children paying the price.

the stretching is where i am still,
and still, it hurts.
i fear more and less now than i ever have.

when i said i wanted my life to count,
i didn't mean i wanted to do great big, meaningful deeds.
i meant i wanted it to COUNT. i wanted to see what it really could be - a full life,

thrown open to all the universe could muster.
i'd read those words - i came that you may have life, and life abundant,
and oh how my heart ached to know what that really meant.

but i didn't know it would mean this.
feel like this.look like this - 
a life upended, poured out, broken into pieces, but somehow so whole.

i didn't know it would mean that i could have a role in His healing.
that i could have a part to play in bearing burdens toward the cross,
that a life laid down could feel so much like loss, but look so very alive.

every once in a while i'll think about what life was like before babies.
i don't do it often, really, because let's be honest - i don't have much time for thinking these days.
but - in those wee moments that i do think, i remember nights full of sleeping,
days without back aches and hot dog chunks and the smell of formula on all my clothes.
but it's more than that, really. i remember a life full of so much -
friends and jobs and reading books in bed late at night.

but i think about it now - this life that i can't keep up with -
and i never dreamed it would be this way then, when i took showers every morning,
went to the gym, the movies, the late church services - just because i could.
because it fit my schedule. my schedule that was mine to dictate and make what i wanted.
fast forward two years to our two newest additions.

these moments, these midnight wakings and early sunrise mornings,
these precious lives that turned my schedule upside down,
stole it straight out from under me.
it is life with hearts on a wire,
mine and theirs, and they are beating out in the open with these scars that look like dirt.

it's feelings not easily talked about, of murmurings late into black evenings
of promptings to kneel on cold wood floors
and beg God to take old memories of steel crib bars and hunger pains,
of mothers gone out who never made it back,
and craft something strong out of this brokenness.

sometimes i wonder how my heart can expand another inch.
in the mornings i grip coffee cup handles and hot wheels cars
and i look into eyes that hold life beyond the walls of this house.
sometimes i wonder if i'm doing it right.

sometimes i want to pull the easy, quiet life around me
like a warm, comfortable coat. i want to get lost in it, blend in with it,
i want to lay down and sleep for days in it.

but that part of me that hummed like bees is still buzzing.
still stretching, yearning, aching.
with each day here of chasing small miracles around this house, my world is ever exploding

with joy. with a gratitude that makes me weep,
and though i feel oh. so. worn. these days, 
i can feel my heart dancing inside these tired bones.


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  2. Beautifully written. Wonderful life <3
    I know the feeling, but it just made me realize, that I havent had the time to look back on my life before :-)


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