Monday, March 14, 2016

Everything I Need

It's March, or "Birthday Month" as it is known around here. We celebrate in our small ways and I'm so grateful for grateful kids. The kind who just want to wear the felt birthday crowns I made years ago and pick out the type of cake we have. The kind of kids who don't know what they want for their birthdays because, as my beautiful daughter Dinah tells me - "I have everything I need and a lot of what I want." When people say "children are a blessing," I'm not sure we entirely grasp what that means. I used to think it was a one-time thing. Children are a blessing the day they are born. We were blessed. But the truth is, children are a blessing - an on-going blessing. My children amaze me with their selflessness, humble me with their generous hearts and inspire me with their love.

So I take birthday cake orders and pick up a few little gifts and marvel at how the time has gone by and how deeply in love I can fall. When my Dad places his hand on my daughter's head and prays over her in the middle of family dinner, I have everything I need - and a lot of what I want.

I started this blog a long time ago. At the time I think I wanted to paint a picture of the best parts of our lives. Not, I don't think, to mislead people into thinking that is all that goes on here, but rather to focus on the good. I love those sweet writings and to go back to that place and remember all of that goodness. There is goodness here now, and I do hope to appreciate and commemorate it. Over the past few years, though, life has taught me that sometimes the best showcasing of God's glory isn't in the parts that we think of as being good - but rather the way He moves when things are anything but.

Nothing is perfect here. But I'm beginning to see that maybe that is the point.

There is nothing remarkable about people making a lovely life amidst lovely circumstances. Rather, it is when beauty blooms despite difficulty that we are beckoned in for a closer look. The more I lean into that truth, the more I appreciate the life around us, and the more fearlessly I can face the things that would threaten to shake me to my very foundation. God's glory isn't limited to the High Church moments. It is infused into the daily stuff we walk through.

In this year of abiding, I'm surrounding myself with people who point me to Jesus and I'm struck by how regular they all are. There are no super humans on my list. All normal, humble, loving, imperfect people. People with dirty laundry piles, difficult relationships, people who are sometimes without answers. People who argue with their spouses and snap at their kids, yes, but people who are committed to the daily practice of following Jesus as best their broken lives allow. I cannot even explain how comforting, inspiring and humbling it is to walk this year with those people, and how comforting to see God in ordinary lives, ordinary people. He shows up for us in the rough every day, and in some ways that is when He shows how mighty He truly is. Even here. Even this. Even us.

It's March. Birthday month. A pretty muddy, mucky time of year and not the easiest time of life. No, nothing is perfect and yes, that is kind of the point. Because here, even in this imperfect place, we are witnesses to impossible glory.

It's everything, everything that I need.

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