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Archive for the ‘Life Pondering’ Category

The question

Do I love, desire, long for and seek Jesus more than I love, desire, long for and seek to drink tea freely, to be free of pain, to have good health and abundant energy, to sleep well at night and wake refreshed, to finish my book, to have ample resources, to have support and companionship, to jump back in with involvement at church, to mime and teach and share tea with others?

Is Jesus truly my All in All?
Will I allow Jesus to be enough even if I never get those other things?

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Ashes to Ashes

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.

I wasn’t at an Ash Wednesday service this evening and yet it still seemed rather appropriate where I found myself…

Dimmed rooms and quieted voices and tears and grief and mourning. The rituals of how we mark the passing of life. Casket surrounded by flowers and loved ones and photos and tangible pieces of memories.

A shillelagh. Of all things. A shillelagh.

And I open the little memorial card, accented with Celtic design.
Inside is the Irish blessing, “May the road rise to meet you…”
Of course.
I smile and tears come to my eyes.
Of course. I would expect no less.

And I look up and there she is…
But the body is just a shell.
Emptied now of breath, of life.

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.

I trace my fingers over larger, italicized words of the blessing,
“And until we meet again…”

We will.
For the life that is no longer here is now elsewhere
fuller, truer.

It is my understanding that Ash Wednesday is set apart to acknowledge our frailty and our sinfulness and to begin a Lenten journey towards the cross. A time to remember the sufferings of Jesus, to somehow enter into that reality and to confess our need for a Savior.

She understood suffering.
She understood her need for a Savior.
She clung to the cross.
She clung to Jesus.

And now this journey we make she will make no longer.
She is on the other side.
With the One who suffered and died and prepared the way for her.
And for us.

And so I journey.
And I acknowledge.
And I cling.
To Jesus.

(This began with intentions of a short little poetic Facebook status, but as I processed and remembered it quickly grew into a longer reflection.)

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I take my birthday greetings – wishes – blessings – prayers seriously.

It may not always appear that way since I use the same birthday wish-prayer for everyone each year, but it’s true.

Each February (for my wish-prayer year begins with the birthday of Josiah in February, not on January 1st), I prayerfully sit down to consider and write out the next year’s birthday blessing. I let the images of hundreds of friends and family scroll through my mind as I reflect upon what God has been showing me recently and seek Him for words with which bless folks in the coming year.

Some years these wish-prayers are more poetic than others.

Some are longer and some are shorter.

Some come slowly to me and some seem to flow with ease.

This past year the words seemed to flow.

But when I reached the last word and read back over it, I cringed a bit.

May you have enough
so that want does not make you bitter.

May you lack enough
so that abundance does not cause you pride.

May you have peace
so that despair does not overtake you.

May you have struggle
so that you learn to rely on Jesus.

Everyday
may you have eyes to see what is at hand
and the graces which are all around.

Really? That is my wish-prayer for my loved ones?

And yet somehow I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the words written were meant to be.

And meant to stay.

Still, every morning as I got on Facebook to post my wish-prayer to that day’s recipient(s), I hesitated.

Would I want someone to wish and pray this for me?

May you lack enough?

May you have struggle?

Yet I did push send day after day.

And I prayed that my birthday greeting would be well-received.

And over the months I began to realize something:

“May you have struggle” does not mean “may you suffer”.

 

15 years ago this past August I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Common phrases that I heard went from “you don’t look sick” and “it’s all in your head” to  “fibro-what?!” and “you’re too young for that”. Doctors put me on various medicines to try and help different symptoms, which, of course, had different side effects. I was in my sophomore year of college, had gotten a part-time job at a florist shop and was leading a mime team of fellow classmates. My journal of the semester shows ups and downs with decreasing highs and increasing lows which felt (and reads) like a downward spiral of poor sleep, nightmares, deadening fatigue, depression, weight gain, poor concentration, brain fog, biting off more than I could chew and pushing myself when I should have been listening to my body better as I tried to deal with my new diagnosis in the midst of college life.

To put it simply, it was a struggle.

Because my brain and body were so impacted and I was having a hard time keeping up with schoolwork, I talked to each of my professors – more than once – to keep them abreast of what was happening and seek some aid in discerning and completing the most vital readings and assignments. Some of my professors were more than understanding, lenient with time and helpful in making needed adjustments. A couple of my professors came off a little harsher, not giving extra time and telling me that “in the real world” no one would give me a break because of bad days or bad health. (I’ve since discovered these were both right and wrong…)

But then I had one professor who basically said to me, “I’m glad you are struggling.”

Now, I don’t remember his exact wording. And looking back now, I wish I did. But that was the gist of it.

And I was insulted.

Now perhaps I should inform you that I attended a wonderful little Christian liberal arts college and this professor was in the Educational Ministries department wherein I was majoring. And though it was my first official class with him, I knew him well enough to know he had a love for Jesus and for students (teens and young adults) and desired to see them know Jesus and follow Him whole-heartedly. And I knew he had nothing against me.

So somewhere in my head I knew that his words were more wisdom than evil. He was not cursing me.

But I was still insulted.

And I’m pretty sure there were tears after I left his office.

See the thing is, for most of my life I have equated struggle with suffering.

And I equated suffering with sin. Not in the way that the disciples did in John 9 thinking the man was born blind because of his sin or the sin of his parents. I’d fallen in love with that story long before.

Sure, suffering comes sometimes as a direct result of our sin.

And suffering can come as a direct result of the sin of others.

Suffering can also come as an indirect result of the sin of others.

But sometimes suffering comes simply because we live in a broken world. A world broken by sin.

And because I equated struggle with suffering and suffering with sin and sin with evil, I felt that struggle was evil and someone being happy that I was struggling was… well… horrendous! 

Suffering is a struggle.

But struggling is not always suffering.

Struggle can be edifying.

Struggle can even be part of intended design.

Like the oft-used butterfly illustration. It is the work, the struggle of the newly reborn butterfly against the cocoon which strengthen it to fly. If you stop to help a butterfly’s struggle and release it from its cocoon, not only will it not be able to fly, but it will perish.

Or like the man-pushing-a-rock illustration (a version of which is illustrated here by mime artist Todd Farley).

 

I am slowly learning to remove the word struggle from its tightly-wound association with suffering and evil in my head.

Struggle is more closely related to discipline than to suffering.

And after months of posting this “may you have struggle” birthday wish-prayer, I am finally not hesitating as I tap the “post” button.

 

My own birthday is quickly approaching.

And I’ve come to know that should someone greet me with my own wish-prayer, I would not walk away with tears as I did 15 years ago.

I find it easier to see the wisdom.

And the grace.

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My "Elephant Graveyard" (the mug) surrounded by the remaining elephants.

My “Elephant Graveyard” (the mug) surrounded by the remaining elephants.

This is my Year Of The Elephant.

I set out in January reflecting and praying over the “elephants in the room” of my life. I even blogged about what it was, why it was and how I thought it would look.

Of course, it hasn’t turned out quite like I had planned.

I think it has turned out better.

Not that it would appear that way at first glance…

I began with 66 elephants.

I now have 36.

Less than half are gone.

I need to remember, however, that probably close to a dozen more elephants were added throughout the year.  And I can be grateful, of course, that as many got done as did. And there was that massive project that was initially not planned for this year but came to be and overall worked towards my greater “purge and create margin” goal. And there was unexpected oral surgery and an unusually long and severe fibro cycle. And two great trips that I’d not foreseen in January…

Still, when November 1st arrived, I freaked out.

I panicked.

Way too many elephants left for the few and shortening days left of the year.

So I panicked. And then I prayed. And God began to remind me of a few of the things He’d been teaching me this year…

And then He taught me some more.

Early on in the year I realized that elephants:

  • Begat elephants. They multiply like rabbits. Once you have so many in your life, anything and everything else can become an elephant.
  • Keep me from living in Quadrant 2 (Covey reference). Everything is screaming “urgent!” and “important!” and overwhelming me and to escape the guilt I hide out in Quadrant 4 with unimportant, non-urgent time-wasters.
  • Impact my social life. I avoid going out and doing things because I feel I “don’t have the time” and then when I do go I end up arriving late, leaving early and/or being distracted. Elephants keep me from being present in the present.
  • Affect my relationships. Again, I am rushed and distracted. I don’t make time to enjoy time and be present with people. I have a poor response time on communications and commitments. I am both short on time and emotional energy. I am moody and anxious.

Elephants in the “room of my life” and “taking up headspace” is a much more serious matter than I thought when I started.

Within the first few months I was also learning that:

  • Not every idea that I have needs to be done now.
  • Not every idea that I have needs to be done by me.
  • Not every idea that I have actually needs to be done at all.
  • I have a fear of “missed opportunities” and I need to be aware and proactive to not allow that to create more elephants, pressure and stress in my life.
  • I have to “feed the good wolf.” There are different versions of the good dog/bad dog or good wolf/bad wolf story (here’s just one), but the point of them all is that whichever one you feed is the stronger. With every decision, small and large, you are either strengthening or weakening your will, character, etc.
  • There’s a monkey living in my brain who likes instant gratification. Tim Urban wrote a post regarding procrastination on his Wait But Why blog and when I came across it (as well as the follow-up post on how to beat procrastination), I was able to make so much more sense out of how my brain has been working and how I ended up with so many elephants up there!
  • It’s really all about continual progression. I’ve made note of this idea before (here and here), but I still need reminded of it quite often. Not everything is instant. It happens step by step and I must keep going forward. It’s true of defeating elephants, it’s true of of taming monkeys and not only is it true of feeding “the good wolf”, it is also how that feeding/strengthening happens.

So as my year progressed, it felt as though I had a whole analogous zoo in my head – elephants and wolves and a very ornery monkey. And when November 1st hit and I began to panic, the first thing God whispered to me was, “one day at a time.”

One day at a time.

One elephant at a time.

Every day on(ward).

In the four weeks since then, I’ve made some new discoveries…

  • Getting rid of all the elephants should not be my end goal. Of course I want the elephants gone. But it’s not simply to be “free” of elephants. It is to create margin, opening up a new way of living to achieve other purposes (and prevent future elephants).
  • Prayerfully creating a tangible list of why I want the elephants gone and why margin is important to me will help me to refocus and regain momentum I gradually lost in the tediousness and magnitude of my elephant-slaying tasks. I’m still working on that one…
  • It’s really okay that all the elephants won’t get defeated this year.

Actually, maybe they will…

No, I don’t mean I’m going to get 36 projects done in the next month. I’m not even going to try.

But just because a task or project is yet undone doesn’t mean the elephant hasn’t been defeated.

See, as I spent time again today in prayer over these remaining elephants, reviewing and sorting them again, I realized that a half dozen of them are part of the reasons why I’m working towards margin. They aren’t really elephants anymore so much as end goals and priorities. Nearly another half dozen began as elephants because of the head and heart space and “do it now/soon!” pressure they had in my life but now I have them recorded into my tea dreams notebook and they no longer carry that urgency or weight.

The remaining elephants have been divided into three categories:

  • Tasks I’d like to get done before Christmas. There are 6 of these, most of which are directly related to Christmas gifts (which are still going to be white elephant gifts this year).
  • Tasks I’d like to get done before Epiphany. (I’d say the New Year, but that’s a tight squeeze and the extra days off will help.) Another half dozen, these are “clean up” tasks mostly related to all the purging I’ve been doing of my things this year and preparing for next year (like a budget for 2015, though that was never an elephant to begin with)…
  • Projects to tackle this winter and with spring cleaning. 2015 may be the “Year of Completion” but I won’t think on that too much yet. The point is, I’m at a place where these elephants are looking more like simple projects again and they don’t all have to be done at once. The bulk of them (which are the oldest and most head-space weighty of my elephants) are something I can work on in the winter months and that is what I plan to do.

So it’s not really that the “Year of the Elephant” saw me valiantly defeating six dozen or more elephants.

Because I didn’t.

There’s still stuff yet to do on this path of creating margin and space to live and breathe in my life.


 

The Year of the Elephant hasn’t been successful because of all the work I was doing, but because of all the work which God has been doing in me.

So much more of hearing my Father’s voice.

So much more of turning to Him a little more, a little faster.

So much more of hearing Him a little more readily, a little more clearly.

So much grace.

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The Year of the Elephant

The 60+ little origami elephant heads which represent the "elephants in my room."

The 60+ little origami elephant heads which represent the “elephants in my room.”

This is the Year of the Elephant.

Not for the Chinese. For them it’s the Year of the Horse.
But for me.

There are elephants in my room.

More than 60 of them in varying sizes and substances and temperaments. You see, an elephant in the room is an obvious truth or problem which is going unaddressed or outright being ignored. But elephants – even invisible ones – take up space. Head space. Life space. And so when there are elephants in your room there is little room to move and little room to breathe.

And there is guilt. Because while some elephants are simply things I’ve wanted to do or projects I’ve wanted to get to some day, most of them are tasks and projects and commitments that were started and never finished. And more of them than I prefer to admit are things I agreed to do or take care of for others which have yet to actually get done. Guilt. And guilt is as hungry as an elephant, eating away at me…

I’ve been avoiding most of these elephants for awhile now. For the past couple of years God has been asking me to let go of some things. To be a good steward of my body and time and head space. To allow margin in my life. And you may remember how over the past few years I have purged and cleaned material possessions and even set aside periods of time where I said “no” to new commitments. The other year I even drew a nice flow chart to help me to say no. But those periods never ended well. God was saying “let go” and my response was “okay. that sounds good. i should do that.” But I never did. I never even bothered to ask, “let go of what?” – mostly because I feared He would ask me to let go of something I didn’t want to.

But all that is changing this year.

It started with stress at Christmas over gifts. And I got this idea that in 2014 for Christmas I’m giving out white elephant gifts. Seriously. Instead of buying gifts, I’m going to give that money to help others. Like buying a water buffalo for a poor family in Asia. 

And I had that in mind the morning of January 2nd as I was thinking over “the new year” and resolutions.  And I was once again  thinking about my student debt and being awed and intimidated by 2 sets of friends who’d hunkered down and paid theirs off early. One set of those friends created a chart of sorts to fill in to encourage them towards their goal. You know how many fundraisers use a thermometer shape to fill up? Except theirs was a rhino. And I’d thought about making mine a teapot because I have no intention of opening a tea room until my student debt is paid. But my debt amount compared to my yearly income is intimidating… except the morning of January 2nd it occurred to me that I could have one just for this year. A smaller interim goal. And it occurred to me that I could use an elephant.

So with these two things on my mind, God pointed out how each year He asks me to “let go” and I avoid it. Which is when I realized it: there are elephants in my room. So I decided then and there that this year is going to be The Year of the Elephant. No more avoiding them. They need named and prayed over and taken care of…

Later that evening – and this completely confirmed my morning thoughts – I went to do my new Page-A-Day (Calendar) Origami for the day and that day’s project was no other than an elephant head!

So the other week I spent a Saturday morning with a pot of tea and a stack of little origami squares and I folded elephant heads and I named the elephants in my room. If something was screaming for attention in my head or demanding to get done or causing guilt or a tightness in my jaw or kept coming to mind over and over (especially at inopportune times) yet I found myself ignoring it, I wrote it down. All 66 of them. And I spent time praying over them. Did I miss any? Which ones made the most noise? Which ones could be relinquished? Which needed taken care of first? 

I ended up putting them into 10 categories of theme or response. I used mini-clothespins to attach them to strings on either side of the mirror in my room.

  • Elephants that are overdue. These are mostly correspondence and completing projects that I had promised to others
  • Elephants that need taken care of as soon as possible. Many of these have actual deadlines, but are ones which don’t involve promises to others.
  • Elephants that are recurring. Not that the elephants themselves recur so much as the task recurs (meal planning, housecleaning, bill paying) and because of my time constraints and stress levels even they have morphed into elephants which I find myself avoiding.
  • Elephants that I will relinquish. This string began with one. It ended up with three. So far…
  • Elephants that I may yet relinquish but I’m still praying over. This string currently holds one elephant.
  • Elephants which are on “indefinite hold.” Most of these are writing/teaching projects that I can file into an idea folder (so I don’t lose the notes I’ve already taken on them) in case they ever come up again. But at least at this point they will be purposefully put to rest.
  • Elephants which are really photo projects. I have unsorted photos (prints and digital) going all the way back to 2001 along with an incomplete scrapbook of my college internship. Even if I relinquish my original “ideals” for what to do with all those, I still have to do something with all the physical and digital photo stuff that is crowding my life.
  • Elephants which are tea or “career” related. This is a crazy category with started projects, proposals, ideas and figuring out what it is I’m supposed to be doing (including that Venn diagram I’d mentioned so many months ago).
  • Elephants which are projects that don’t fit into the previous two categories. Most of these are purging and cleaning projects…
  • Elephants which don’t fit into any other category or are bigger than can be dealt with in a short time. Like that student debt. Or my desire to read more.
Since then a few more elephants have come to mind and been named. Some have been relinquished completely and some have been completed.
But there are still more.
And I’m still praying over them. This was not a one day or even a one month task.

Hence why I’m calling it the Year of the Elephant.

Best part is, I’m not doing it alone. Getting over that initial avoidance -that hesitation- and actually bringing this all to God and being willing to listen (and let go where needed) has been perhaps the best part and is already freeing. So much has been learned already. And perhaps over the next few months I’ll be able to share some of that with you in more detail.

Because as of now, the elephant labeled “Tauta Logizomai” has not made the relinquish string!

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A Multi-talented Introvert?

When I first met him, we were both students of the same physical art form. He was a full-time student at a full-time school that taught mime and ministry. I was an intermittent attendee of mime workshops hosted by that school/ministry and a full time student at a Christian liberal arts college studying youth ministry. I went on to seminary to study theology and arts, hoping but never managing to pursue mime training in a greater capacity; I remain a student-apprentice. He completed the apprenticeship, the journeyman-ship and is now a master in his art form. Even more so he was then given the reigns to take over leading that same school and ministry. He is a man of God who excels in his art, a highly intelligent man who perceives deeply and a passionate man with a heart for God and people.

In other words, I greatly admire him and therefore his words carry weight in my consideration.

I tell you this so that you will understand where I was coming from as I tell you the rest of the story.

I got to see him again the other week. First time in two years. He was performing (with some other friends) and I got down there shortly before the “mime concert” (as it is called) began.

In situations such as this you really only have a few minutes to speak to and attempt to “catch up with” each person. Which is near impossible to begin with and if you know me at all (or have read even a few of my posts) you know that I love words and stories and details. And connections (but I’ll get to that another time). Not to mention how many introverts such as I have a near-phobia of small talk – not because we don’t like people, but in that “small talk” feels disingenuous or superficial to us when we prefer to connect more deeply. The whole polite society “how are you doing? Fine, and you? Fine” thing is lost on me. It feels like an outright lie or, at best, an ineffectual communication of anything of value.

So when my friend was asking me how I’ve been doing and what I’ve been up to, I quickly searched for an answer which was genuine, descriptive and succinct. Plus I was fighting feelings of guilt like I always do when someone who has experienced my excitement and lofty hopes and dreams in one of my passion areas asks about how it’s been coming along and the truth is I haven’t really done anything more with it… Somehow I managed to mention how everything had been rather put on hold with more than a year’s worth of roller coaster health issues but now I am on the upswing and starting to look ahead again. And somewhere in there I rattled off something about mime, tea, writing and teaching.

“Ah!” says he, “Multi-talented!”

And I bit my tongue.

I bit my tongue because of how his eyes lit up when he said it and how genuinely his response came and because of the great respect I have for him as a person of talent, as an artist and as a man of God. And I bit my tongue because I was suddenly very aware of the reaction I would get from him if I tried to dispute his comment.

“HA!” I wanted to respond.

“I wish!” I wanted to cry out.

“I’m barely mediocre at best in each area!” I wanted to explain.

But I bit my tongue.

And I allowed the words he had spoken to carry the weight they were meant to… past my doubts and defenses and into the very core of me where I needed to hear – and accept – them.

And the moment stuck out to me.

And in days after I tried to let his words and his perspective take root.

Because it is something I’ve struggled with a great deal over the years.

These varied passions and interests and, dare I say, talents of mine.

Then several days back I came across an article that really helped to explain my struggle.

I almost didn’t read it.

After all, the title was “23 Signs You’re Secretly An Introvert” and I well know (and am sure most who know me do, too) that there is no secret at all that I am an introvert!

But I was curious as to what the 23 characteristics were and so I read it.

And I am so glad I did.

The article brought up characteristics (and perspectives of characteristics) that I had never really noticed before. So many things made more sense than they had before. Such as the dislike of small talk as previously mentioned as well as a distaste for networking. Why I hate phone calls so much. Why I’m so easily distracted. Why downtime is not something I struggle with like I see others do. Why my blood pressure has always been good and low. And why I prefer to single-task.

#12 is “You’d rather be an expert at one thing than try to do everything.”

Ah!

Herein lies my problem.

For while in all other areas of personality for which I’ve taken tests I tend to fall towards the middle between two categories (sensing vs. intuition, thinking vs. feeling, etc), with introversion I seem to be about as textbook as they come.

It’s no wonder I struggle so much with having these four main areas of passion and, er… uh… talent!

What is a “textbook introvert” to do with these four only tangentially related areas of passion and interest? When I try to focus on one (or even two), I begin to feel off-balance and like something is missing in my life. Sometimes I think that maybe one or two of these areas was a phase and I’m no longer meant to pursue it now. Yet I find the same excitement and energy and I’m-in-the-right-place-ness whenever I begin to talk about or act on one of them. Each one of them. I have a friend who can confirm this. My face quite noticeably lights up with each one. Yet how is one to divide attention and time and focus and priorities and commitment to excellence  (not to mention health and energy) among four different things?

Especially when one is an introvert and this seems to go against one’s very wiring?

You know, I try to take these “personality tests” and characteristics and distinctions and all with a grain of salt. Because while I believe it is really truly helpful to better grasp how I am wired and how others are wired and what is good about that and areas of weakness or common “pitfalls” and how we can better understand and relate to one another, I never want some test or category to have the last word or be an excuse.

“I can’t help it if I have a short fuse and explode all over people, that’s just how I’m wired!”
“Quit bugging me about putting dirty dishes in the sink, I’m just not a neat freak like you!”
“I can’t go to that event, I’m an introvert and I hate small talk.”
“We can’t work this out because we have two different personalities.”

Words such as those spoken by others (and sometimes by me) tend to get under my skin. Learning about personalities is meant to facilitate understanding, not make excuses.

And I believe that the beauty of God’s creation is that we are different and have different ways of seeing and thinking and doing and we are meant to work together in all of this. And I believe that part of the effects of sin is that each of our wiring is a little askew (hence the “pitfalls” we tend to and a more difficult time in relating to one another).

So because I believe that introversion is a good and beautiful personality trait and I believe that it is God who has wired me and given me these four passions and areas of talent, I have to trust that my Creator knows what He is doing.

Even if it means I’m a multi-talented introvert who never really becomes a true expert at just one thing.

That night at the mime concert I told my friend that I am currently seeking direction on how this all works together and praying and seeking to know how to proceed and how to prioritize… And I am. And since reading that article and grasping better why I struggle, I have something else to take in prayer to this Creator of mine who redeems and guides and sustains.

And there may also be a Venn diagram in my near future…

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I know it’s most likely a really bad habit. But the first thing I do each morning, after turning off my alarm, putting drops in my eyes and filling in the night’s record on my sleep app… the first thing I do is check Facebook.

At this stage in my health, it helps me to wake up. Plus I like to get my birthday wishes out first thing…

That to say, the first thing I was inundated with this morning was a myriad of Valentine’s posts. From singles, daters, marrieds and even businesses and pages that I have “liked.” Posts of all kinds – good, bad and ugly.

So I made a decision right then. This year I would post no Valentine’s-related statuses.

No sardonic quips about National Single’s Awareness Day.

No trying to be funny (yet also self-deprecating) by, say, making my own version of those cute Doctor Who Valentine’s only with Daleks or – better yet – Cybermen: “You are not compatible!”

And no trying to overcome the first two by being hyper-spiritual and haughtily remarking how God is my true Valentine and should be for everyone else, too.

I’m planning to stick with that. So unless I find a way to post that cute unicorn comic today, you probably won’t find any Valentine’s-related status updates from me.

Yet as I rolled and stretched and sat up, then made my way into the bathroom, I realized I had a song in my head. See, for other reasons (including my upcoming doctor’s visit that I had nightmares about all night), I had turned to God before rising and made a comment about it being “me and You” today. Or was that “You and me”?

Which is likely why I found that I was subconsciously singing,

Me and You and You and me, no matter how they toss the dice, it has to be. The only one for me is You and You for me, so happy together!

So I went with that. I song those lines over a couple of times as I got into the shower.

Then I continued to outpour my love and praise…

I love you, Lord
and I lift my voice
to worship You,
O, my soul, rejoice!
Take joy, my King
in what you hear.
May it be a sweet, sweet song
in your ear.

Then, taking a cue from Sister Act, I moved back into the oldies music, adjusting words as I needed:

I love Him, I love Him, I love Him
and where He goes I’ll follow, I’ll follow, I’ll follow.
I will follow Him, follow Him wherever He may lead…

Of course, here I switch perspectives from my commitment to recalling God’s great love…

There isn’t an ocean too deep,
A mountain so high it can keep,
Keep me away, away from His love…

Which inevitably leads me to sing

I love You, I love You, I love You
and where You lead I’ll follow, I’ll follow, I’ll follow.

So then I to go into

To know, know, know Him is to love, love, love Him
Just to see Him smile, makes my life worthwhile
Yes, Yes, to know Him is to love, love, love him
And I do
 
 Why can’t I see? How blind can I be?
Lord, help me see
You know what’s best for me…
oh, oh, yeah…
 
 To know, know, know You is to love, love, love You
Just to see You smile, makes my life worthwhile
To know, know, know You is to love, love, love You
And I do

And then a new thought occurred…

He knows, knows, knows me
Yet He loves, loves, loves me
Just to see me smile
makes His plan worthwhile*
He knows, knows, knows me
Yet He loves, loves, loves me
Yes it’s true…
and I love Him, too…

And I kept singing the various lines over and over.

And it was lovely.

So why am I sharing this with you here?

Well, for starters, my blog gets less readers than my Facebook page.

But mostly because one of the ways in which I hope to encourage thought and growth (towards Christ) in others is by sharing what God has been doing in my life.

And really, the fact that I can enjoy Valentine’s Day without making a big deal of it and the fact that these “love songs to God” sprung up naturally, without thought or force… well, that is simply another example of how God is working in my life.

Because such things are graces… gifts…

Oh! Speaking of which, I’d better go and write them in my gift journal!

*Even in the moment of singing I wanted to be careful theologically… but I do believe that we can make Jesus smile. And I didn’t have the wherewithal to change the rhyme scheme…

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