I have been feeling a bit melancholy this week. I think the reality of the emotional roller coaster of past few months has started to set in and I feel a bit tired even physically from carrying it around in my mind. I read a quote today from Shauna Niequist's new book, Bittersweet (Kate, I know you can't wait either!) and it gave legs to the thoughts running around in my head:
When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate, and when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.‘
The only bitter taste in my mouth might be mine. I have experienced the depth of forgiveness, both mind and others, through really specific and hard passages in John 8 and Luke 17 in the past month. I now feel like I am on the brink or maybe deep in (who can see out right now?) part 2 of this process of surrender in my own life as I feel the control I once thought I had is being pulled from my sometimes clenched, sometimes wide open hands. So as easy as it is for me to live in the day with flowers on my table these things are also there.
As for the flowers on my table, here they are:
Other things bringing sunshine:
-the music of JJ Heller, especially this song called "Your Hands".
-T minus 15 days until Israel. Unbelievable and I really don't know where February and March went. Either way, Stacie and I went on a gear shopping trip today and I am so thankful for her help because the world of Camelbak and hiking shorts and Smartwool socks is a foreign one to me. I never knew I could experience sock lust but there was definitely an everyday pair that got me pretty tempted this afternoon! I may have to dedicate a entire post to the world of gear in the near future.
-I have been doing a lot of dishes by hand again lately. I can't figure out why I haven't called the appliance people yet but as a result, I have made my way through almost the entire audio book of "The Prodigal God" by Tim Keller. This is the smartest way to "read" a book that I have never done before but this particular book is one where I wish I had a pen and paper taking notes and may have to listen to again to do so. It is all about how the story of the prodigal son is really about the elder brother as much as it is the younger prodigal in the story. Amazing ties to the cultural context that Jesus was telling the parable in and he is blowing my mind with the ties to the feast that Jesus is inviting us to as His prodigal sons and daughters, as well as the way that we are commanded to live now, not as either of the sons (wayward or self-righteous). I could say so much more but encourage you to read or listen to it yourself.
One more thing. We went to dinner last night with my grandparents and there was a moment in the evening when I felt like I was watching pieces of when Harry Met Sally. Not the scenes where they talk about pecan pie or fight about the wagon wheel but when they show clips of older couples telling their stories. If you don't know what I am talking about, you can watch it here. It was a moment worth capturing on film.