[12.29.16]

familiar setting: my favorite Starbucks for writing. Winchester Road, just off the interstate. happy memories here – of getting peppermint mochas with my little sister on the way to do our Black Friday at Half Price Books; a pleasant date; paying off a credit card; having an honest conversation with a man who really pulled me out of a lot of stuff.

this morning I woke up real early to go bake at work. got there and discovered that someone had baked yesterday, so I got to go home, take a quick ‘nap,’ finish my book, and write a blog. lucky you, huh?

over time, my blog seems to have become a public journal of sorts – something I’m very okay with. I think I’m ok with it for a lot of reasons: i get a lot of positive feedback about things I write resonating with people; I get to be reeeeeeally darn honest; I get to process things externally (which is my modus operandi, anyway;) it gives me an easily accessible archive of things I’ve gone through, done, thought, felt, etc. I don’t know if it makes me self-indulgent to read my own blog – but I get a kick out of it. I do, however, wish that I had other spiritually-inclined, open, honest blogs to read, ones that can get me connected to more of the blogging community – so if you know any, please send them my way!

just over a week ago, I wrote my last post about sufficiency. in the aftermath of that, I took all of the social media off of my phone. I don’t think that’s a cure-all, and I don’t think it’s necessarily the “right” thing for everyone to do; but I noticed quickly that the less I saturated myself in the day-to-day, instagrammable parts of everyone’s lives, the happier I was with mine. upon reflection, lots of things in life are worth sharing – going to an event with your friends, eating a yummy meal at a nice restaurant, seeing a good sunrise, playing with a cute dog, ordering a gorgeous latte at a coffee shop, your seats at a basketball/football/baseball game, etc. and that’s all fine and well and good.

but lately, I’ve realized how much of my life isn’t instagrammable – especially the really good parts. For example: writing letters to people I’ve wronged or mistreated and asking their forgiveness, then hearing back and knowing I’m forgiven; talking to my dad about the ways I wished I’d been a different son and he wishes he’d been a different dad (or explained why we each behaved the ways we did,) working outside in below-freezing weather (through numbed hands) so that I can buy Christmas presents and pay my rent; paying off a credit card and lifting part of the burden of debt; spending too much money on flea treatment for my dog so that he doesn’t wake me up at 4AM anymore with his incessant scratching; and answering that little, quiet voice in my head that says, “this is a good time to pray.”

How do you instagram that stuff? I’m sure some expert out there could do it – but at the same time, so much of this is private (but worth sharing in this context, I suspect;) but this is the stuff that makes my life good. this is the stuff i feel the deepest joy in, the most satisfaction. no perfect pour of a cappuccino or front-row basketball ticket can make up for the absolution of knowing people you hurt forgive you, for being on the same page with your dad, for being debt-free (or a bit closer,) etc. So, I guess you could say that that’s what I’m keeping my eye out for now: the stuff that feeds my soul, not just my eyes.

On that, I’m learning to pray a little more. and, dear reader, don’t mistake me – my faith is far from perfect (or perhaps it is perfect in its imperfection.) I’m learning that constant awareness of the presence of God is so key to living a joyful life – for it is in the awareness of His presence that we are able to seek His counsel for those little things that, if they go unchecked, can cause us the most trouble. It is only He Who can stay my tongue from saying the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time; it is only the joy of His satisfaction that can keep my ego in check; it is only knowing that He suffered injustice in my place that makes me able to deal with the things I find least fair in life. And I’m learning that there’s no magical prayer to pray or scripture to memorize to remember this…instead, I suggest only this: when you pray, don’t assume that “amen” means “see you later, God!” “Amen” only means, “alright, let’s do this. together.”

 

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