Today was as Mondayish as Mondays get around here. I procrastinated and then wrecked my treadmill workout and barely got four miles to register on my Garmin. My good intentions for a shampoo and manicure never came to fruition. Also, a possum was in the chicken feed bin and we terrified each other and screamed right at each others’ haggard faces. I did get almost all of my work list accomplished, though, including every speck of sweeping, laundry and ironing, and so far am keeping healthy despite some mean germs floating around. Tonight I am going to indulge in a brain-purge and call it good. Onward to Tuesday!
Song lyrics by Dido: “No love without freedom, no freedom without love.”
On a recent episode of The Daring Romantics podcast, Lindsey Eryn offers encouragement to finish the calendar year strong, to keep up your good momentum. She suggested, among other actionable things, that we spend three hours per week on “future” projects, on goals that propel us forward. This feels so familiar and good. Back in my mutual funds selling days, we had marketing that used actual galvanized buckets as visual aids to illustrate short term, middle term, and long term financial planning: “Cash-Income-Growth. ” Time is as valuable as money. How we spend it could be divided into “work for this day,” or cash, “work for tomorrow and short term progress” or income, and “work for the future,” or long term growth goals. Love it.
Bob Goff reminds us:
“God never promised we’d have all the answers. What He offers to us is a box of crayons and the opportunity to let love draw bigger circles around the people we meet than they thought were possible.”
Joy is a super power. It truly is. Joy overcomes, transcends, illuminates, and emulsifies so many other efforts. It is the whole point, as someone else once said.
A local blogging friend of mine shared with me that she has been blogging less because she and her husband have been happily burdened with other projects. They are discovering fulfillment in other efforts, in family and a brand new ministry projects, and they love it. She described it as being “pulled by things eternal,” and being at peace with retreating from some of the more public activities. I love this.
One day last month I noticed an online blurb about it being “Fibonacci Spiral Day.” Of all the frivolous special days on the imaginary world calendar, this one made me happy. Jocelyn was the first person in my life to get really excited about it. She used to love talking about it on our hikes in Colorado, just the two of us, memories I will forever treasure. Since then I have noticed it in so many areas of life. So much synchronicity, you wouldn’t believe. And I have heard a few friends mention it here and there, most recently Julia. Life cycles, patterns, descending and expanding ratios. Beautiful, pulsing repetition. It is mesmerizing on every level, how the Universe offers me this cellular rhythm. Julia lost her Dad this week, and I felt her pain like a hammer on my chest all the way from California. Send some comforting wishes in Julia’s direction. And please pray for Jocelyn, friends.
I have been reading and listening to podcasts a lot on the physical and spiritual benefits of fasting, far removed from fat loss. Amazing. Exciting! So many health benefits and so much long standing tradition. Handsome and I touched briefly on the topic of Biblical references to different sorts of fasts, different lengths and purposes, the meanings behind number of days, etc. Really interesting. Our bodies and spirits are so beautifully aligned. More synchronicity, more patterns.
Psalm 118:24 and so many other love notes from God, reminding me to stay present. Stay in this day and re-joy myself. We are designed to handle this much at once. This moment is where we can affect change. Today is gorgeous and perfect and is a gift.
Cannot stop thinking about the nature or character of God, gender or no, remote or internal (both?), timeless no doubt. I just have these creeping tendrils of curiosity about heaven and hell, too, because (feel free to call me crazy) I just don’t think these are future geographies or eventual destinations. I don’t believe we are on our way to either place, exactly. I believe more and more that we choose our heavenly or hellish state day to day, moment by moment. Our thoughts, our choices, the lives we design for ourselves, both the physical structures and habits and the interior landscapes, our relationships, all of it. All of it combined becomes our realities of personal paradise or personal torture. Okay. Feel free to ignore that thought. It is not quite complete anyway.
Also, just one more weird twisty thought please: I am gleaning so much from so many different sources that gets me feeling like our moral instruction is not about how we should be living, but rather, it all is just informing us about how the universe operates, how we can best thrive within the normal operating systems already in place. So it’s less about good and evil and more about alignment and friction. Typing those words make it seem suddenly and eye-rollingly elementary. But for me it replaces shame and false authority with calm and boldness. It’s a subtle but powerful shift in perspective. Leaves lots more room for co-creativity and for JOY! Okay, I’m done.
Seneca, paraphrased: “As each day arises, welcome it as the very best day of all and make it your own possession. We must seize what flees.” This is exactly what Carpe Diem means to me. Identifying what is unique and brief about the next slice of time before us, and making the most of those details., Also, seeing the best in a day, squeezing from it all the molten-lava-JOY you can!
Quite out of the blue this past week, while doing some much needed, very average housework, I remembered lyrics from an ancient Christmas hymn: “That hope can flower from our grieving, that man can catch his breath and turn transfixed by faith.”
And here is a gem from Ann Voskamp, whose Advent book The Greatest Gift is sustaining me again:
“Sometimes the heart of waiting for the gift is the art of the gift.”
The waiting for the gift can be my art. My Advent. A way of staying awake and engaged with life, not just coasting, not numbing myself with running or cooking or doing rote chores in a passionless way. How we live and how we thrive in the midst of waiting for miracles matters very much. It can be a form of worship, the thankful and trusting spirit we harness and exude during dark times.
Have you ever thought about what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph while they searched for Jesus for THREE DAYS and he was just casually in the temple?? AHHH They suffered. Besides the foreshadowing of three days in the grave and the suffering they would do then, this briefly mentioned story in the gospel of Luke really gut-punched me this week. What a thing, to be asked to trust God with your child with no promise of how the story will end. And yet, who better to trust?
Ok. One last thing. What are the meaningful differences between yoga and stretching? How much does breath-work matter? And meditation? Can you stretch “cold” and still get the benefits, physically?
Also, can you get rabies if a possum screams his breath directly at your open mouth?