People often ask me about the name of my blog... click here to read the story.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Closet Cleaning...

Cleaning the closet.
I just wanted to make space for my vacuum.
Who knew a simple task would eventually lead to tears.
On a mission, sorting and chucking, I didn't think I just did. But, as I dug deeper into the closet, the magnitude of my task struck me. I pulled out box after box bearing scribbled labels like: army guys, Playmobile, Lego's, blocks, Lincoln Logs, Play Dough, beads, and Lord of the Rings. That's when it really hit me. I remember buying the Helm's Deep playset for the boys oh-so many years ago. I remember the unabashed look of pure delight and disbelief on their faces Christmas morning. How can I give this away? How can I simply throw it in a box, drive it to the donation center and leave it? I know it's just plastic, but...
All these memories wrapped up in all these heart hurts...there's a lump in my throat. I'm saying goodbye to an era in the simple act of cleaning out this closet.
Good bye to marathon sessions of building make believe towns and communities that eventually pushed out beyond the playroom doors and spilled over into the rest of the house.
Goodbye to Polly Pockets and Littlest Pet shops and American Girl dolls.
Good bye to epic battles fought and re fought over mountains of furniture and in valleys of carpeting.
Good bye to the time when simple kisses made the hurts all go away.
Good bye to cuddling and sipping hot chocolate curled up together in a comfy chair. Good bye to this home, these toys, these memories being the center of their universe.
In reality, these boxes sit untouched in the closet. They haven't played like that in a long time. Yet somehow keeping them felt like holding back time for a while. Who's foolish enough to try that?
I'm surprised at myself. I just told a woman yesterday how much I loved this stage right now and how I didn't really miss when the kids were younger. They get my jokes now. They make me laugh now. They have original thoughts and ideas and opinions of their own now and I love it. I see each of them reaching out for God and faith and finding it. I'm proud of who they are and what they're becoming.
And honestly, until this moment, didn't pine for earlier days.

But there it is again, the tears welling in my eyes and my heart tearing just a little.

I wish I could tie this all up with a profound quote, Bible verse or life lesson. But the closet is calling and if Brad walks in a finds me typing and crying instead of sorting, it might be a long day.
I know I'll be ok.
I know the tears will stop and my heart will go back to normal and that I'll be happy when my vacuum takes it's new spot.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Winding and twisting my old beat up van through the city, I drove as if on auto pilot. The gray streets and monochromatic urban scape left me dull. Heart weary and questioning the future, thoughts bounced around hitting the corners of my brain like it was the concrete sound barrier lining the beltway. A song started to play on the radio. Half listening, the words "You're beautiful. You are made for so much more than all of this." intrigued me. Beautiful was not the first descriptor that came to my mind as I thought of myself or anything around me. As the melody continued, the lyrics gripped my heart and mind. The phrases were made for more than this...more than asphalt roads and concrete walls...more than old vans and new cars...more than the sum of what you do...more than the worries of the future...more than the regrets of the past...more than the pressures of this are treasured. you are sacred. you are His.You're beautiful.
Stirred in spirit the immediate question sprang to mind: For what, then, was I meant?
St. Irenaeus said: "The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God." But what does it look like when I'm fully alive? When you're fully alive? When God's glory manifests itself through us? Will we shoot little moonbeams from our fingertips? Will we feel something different? Does it happen once then stay that way all the time or is it rare? Do we always know when we're fully alive?
Pondering my life, there are a few instances when all my senses were heightened, my purpose seemed clear and the promise of eternity permeated my being. Like lazing in the heat of a fully exposed south window on a cold winters day, His glory-His Life radiates from the inside out. It's moments when clarity, peace and a deep sense of rightness rule my being. You'd think those would all be associated with positive, happy feelings. But I'm pretty sure the point isn't the feelings. As I think about those fully alive moments, they're not always particularly good times surrounded with warm fuzzies. Some moments are delightful like Megan's wedding or a friends surprise party just a few weeks ago. But others came in the midst of deep suffering and intense pain during times of great loss. One moment in particular, I wasn't even actually involved but witnessed the Holy Spirit work through someone else in a way plain, clear and powerful yet so intimate that I felt voyeuristic being there. Even though it wasn't pleasant, it was sacred, infused with the Holy.
We're meant for Holy moments. Moments of personal surrender. Moments of a usefulness beyond our ability. Moments in the midst of both the mundane and the spectacular. Moments of the sacred cutting through the secular like a knife through butter. Not always grand or happy or even noticeable. But in those moments God's glory and power seems revealed through His not-so-holy created ones. And we see His beauty and sense our own beauty in ways intangible and at times unimaginable and see that we are treasured...sacred...beautiful.
Psalm 27:4
One thing I ask from the LORD,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.

Will you take a minute and listen to Beautiful by Mercyme?