Just six weeks into the new year and already so much has changed. Stuff on every front. Amazing.
Life can serve up shock and grief, deep despair, in a moment; and it can transform for the better just as suddenly.
Or maybe none of these changes are as sudden as we think. Maybe we just finally see things a certain way, all at once.
I have been watching piecemeal a three-part Netflix series called “The Code,” just in twenty or thirty minutes bursts while ironing, organizing the Apartment, etcetera. It’s all about mathematical and borderline mystical patterns in the Universe. Mostly what perks up my ears is the talk of shape-patterns in nature. One episode explores fractals in a way I had never heard before. It explains how this expansive, repeating design builds the most complex systems and finished objects we take for granted. A branch grows until it stops to sprout a new network of twigs, then each of those twigs does the same, over and over again. Trees, coral, even blood vessels. Mountain ranges, roots systems, so much. And the program features human applications, too. Like the celebrated 20th-century painter Jackson Pollock (his art was not so random after all) as well as the man who cracked the fractal code and changed animation technology forever (Pixar).
I can’t help but apply this “shape” to human relationships. Social and family patterns. Addictions. Just all aspects of culture that we learn and pass on. Exponentially.
Remember when fractals were the thing to discuss back after reading The Shack for the first time? The Holy Spirit character was a female gardener who laid out these spacious, dense, repeating, confusing, soothing, perfect gardens. They felt messy up close, chaotic, formless. But stepping back and seeing the patterns revealed all the grand design. A gentle swirl, concentric rings of growth and beauty. Those gardens are each of our lives or souls, depending on how you apply the metaphor.
It’s just so comforting.
That is a book worth reading twice.
Right now I am reading for the second time A Return to Love and just devoured half a chapter all about the Holy Spirit. It presses me gently to remember all the ways God has revealed beauty in chaos. That sweet, still voice He has, the peace that passes understanding He offers. His whispers about using my imagination for good and being okay with the meandering.
These words really jumped off the page:
The Holy Spirit is a bridge back to gentle thoughts, the great transformer of perception. The Comforter.
However life changes year to year, day to day, I am so grateful that God’s voice never does. So thankful that He remains gentle and steady. Just pure, powerful LOVE.
We are witnessing miracles, no doubt about it.
Miracles at work, on every side of my husband. I am so proud of him and his contributions to Oklahoma and the utility industries. I am so thankful for everything he leads his team to do. So humbled by how far God will go to protect and bolster every effort.
Miracles in my family. I cannot wait for you to hear more about my sister Angela and read what she has learned about Love and Fear. She has a big week coming up and I am so happy to be part of that with her and her girls! I’ll post more on that, maybe on IG.
Miracles here at the farm, stuff as small and routine as noticing an early spring to the mammoth joy of sensing the fruition of why we built all of this in the first place. Purpose fulfilled is a thrilling miracle.
Miracles with our children and their wide-reaching family. The past few weeks have shocked us with a kind of peace and joy that most people would not have guessed was possible. But here we are, relaxed and bonded and moving forward into new life chapters.
Miracles for Jessica specifically. She is seeing the fruits of her labors, and I can’t get enough of how beautiful she is clothed in joy.
Miracles for Jocelyn, perceived in some private maternal ways I can barely articulate, details that my friend Mickey would describe as “post-it notes from God.” I treasure every single one.
Today is bursting with special opportunities. First, we get to host brunch for Jess and her boyfriend and join in a fun memory in her life. Later I will bake some focaccia and we will spend the evening with a handful of other married couples, discussing God and relationships and eating great food.
Lots of farm activity and romance in between it all. Never once ceasing in prayer for Jocelyn and other people weighing heavily on our hearts.
Then we will come home together again, safe and happy and secure in Love. This itself is a special opportunity.
Every encounter, every circumstance can be used by Him for His purposes. He uses Love to create more Love, and He responds to fear as a call for Love.
What I want to stress to you, really, is that Love is working for us. Love is dissolving every fear that once terrified and paralyzed us. Love is burning away all the fog. Lighting up all the dark corners of this life. And because everything is revealing so beautifully, all the details are so constantly surprising us, the ongoing mystery is kind of fun. I find myself no longer fretting over the unknowns but rather breathing deeply, sometimes giggling, and thinking, “I wonder what God has in store for this!”
“I want to know God’s thoughts.
The rest are details.”