Another problem I've been pondering is...
when you want to be an iceberg but live in a culture of frost
I distinctly remember hearing a talk as a high schooler that was about a model of spirituality that was counter cultural- the 'iceberg' reality. The idea behind this was that an iceberg is generally shaped like a triangle (oh great- is this a fat joke? just kidding), with significantly more width under the surface than above. At times, it can feel like our own spirituality is more like a layer of thin ice on the top of a lake- all that we are is shallow and laid out before the world. Instead, we should strive to cultivate our inner world, the conversations and disciplines and habits that primarily go unseen but can really stabilize us and cause enormous growth (in us and the kingdom.)
Its interesting to me that this idea of the iceberg was presented before the internet really took off- before it was normal to post your spiritual insights and activities for all of your 900 friends to read on facebook. Before people 'checked in' that they had arrived to church. Before instagrams captured your attendance at church picnics and AWANA nights and youth trips. Before people wrote blogs about the ins and outs of their inner self. Now more than ever- the technology at our fingertips can turn our own pursuit of Christ into a cool layer of frost, a thin and fleeting crystalline sheet that appears all over the internet and disappears with the sun.
Lately I've been challenged to pull those thoughts back in, to feed my soul not fill my feed. To recognize that sharing information does not make it significant; it is the actual truth and meditation that rests on me and develops deeps inside, that is what affects my actions and heart and motives and responses. I can find significance in drawing near to Christ, in remembering who He is and who I am in Him- and that is significant.
And if I want to share this Christ life beating in me with others- so be it. But it is important not because it is shared- it is shared because it is important.
I am reminded of Ella's question, "Is God really enough for you, mom?"
Yes, He is.
when despair feels like an ally
The last two months have been up and down for me, some weeks more down than up. I reached a point last week where I sat crying on my kitchen floor. I had sent my older three to the living room, and I sat down to just breathe, like an exhausted runner who pants at the finish line.
And then I started to cry.
Thoughts filled my head, thoughts that I knew were not true and had no business renting space in the billboards of my head. But they were there, and, it struck me later, in that moment they were welcome. Because despair likes company- even if it finds company in truthless thoughts.
When I despair, it is usually a sign that I'm disconnected, because the main point of my hopelessness is a little voice that tells me I'm all alone and there's nothing I can do about it. Obviously, all I have to do is tell someone, and then I'm not alone, and then the little voice sounds more like the mom on Charlie Brown and less like James Earl Jones speaking straight from heaven. But I hesitate, I waiver, I feel a thousand reasons why telling someone is a terrible idea. I think the heart of it is pride- not wanting people to think that I can't handle this circus that I'm running. And I'm sure there are more reasons.
But the cure? Hope. A song, a laugh, a three year old who wants to know how to use the 'Holy spirit power', a friend who texts, a husband who talks me out of my head and into the present. And hope floods in and suddenly that moment of despair seems so strange, so foreign to this good but full life. But that's the tricky thing about despair- it doesn't make sense; it is a poison that feels like a balm.
when you think your blog needs a new look
Hey- I didn't say all my problems were big ones, OK? Seriously, are we all done with this note paper background? I'm SO over it. And what's with the no family pics? Sheesh.
when you need to buy loyalty
I've been making these cookies lately and its given me rockstar status in several social circles. So feel free to make them for an upcoming event or if you just want random marriage proposals or if you dent someone's car and want them to forget about it. I'm sure it would work for all those situations. Or if you just want to gain a lot of weight, make them and leave them on a cute plate next to your computer. And on the kitchen counter. And in your car.
when your book feels like another thing you aren't finishing
Its almost the one year anniversary of when I started writing my book. In July, I finished my rough draft. Just over a week ago, I finished my second draft. I could say a jillion things about all that this process has done for me (in good ways, mostly). But one negative thing it does (at times) is produce more condemnation.
Oh great- I haven't worked on my book in days. There's one more thing that I'm just not getting to.
Now maybe you aren't writing a book, maybe your hobby is scrapbooking or shopping for antiques or playing Magic the Gathering or watching through all the seasons of Cheers on netflix. Whatever it is, the next time you feel angst for not giving it attention, this is what you do.
1- You stand up straight. (this always makes me appear more confident and decisive, something I need when in this situation.)
2- You look look right at your "neglected" hobby.
3- You say to it, firmly but kindly (or not that kindly I guess- you are talking to an inanimate object, right?) and say, "You are not allowed to cause me stress. YOU ARE A HOBBY!"
That's pretty much it, the entire approach. It actually works fairly well for me so I hope it works for you, too.
Guess that's about it. I need to go to bed so I can greet the week cheerfully and all that jazz. Just a few more details...
- Nicole- I didn't go to junkstock. But I think you should come for the one in the spring and then we can go together.
- My brother wrote a blog post and its some good reading. Check it out here.
- I'm trying to find a local writing critique group. Anyone know of any?
- I was going through this phase until...now. I was frump girl.
- Shelves in the closet. Happy thought, indeed!
- My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
- Interesting article related to that last quote here.
- Today my daughter wanted to mail a letter and she asked me for an antelope. ;)
- I don't like the new smileys on facebook. Who's with me?
- The bullet points are out of control once again. I do apologize.
- Good night.