This girl

loves life.

Really.

She loves the pool and the ocean and theme parks and alligators and stairs and wild peacocks and feral cats. I admit she’s not crazy about getting dressed or 12 hour car drives,

but who is? Besides,  the fact that she loves getting her fingernails clipped and sits still and zen- like easily makes up for that. 

Leila took to vacation immediately, soaking up the rays like a Snowbird in Del Boca Vista. Her elfin tongue consists of  “b” and “p” words, making her key vacation vocab: “beach, pool, ball, bye-bye, and bird”  run together.  But everyday, as we came through the wooded path to the beach and she first caught sight of the ocean, she would inhale and point excitedly, as if to say, “It’s still here?! I’m so glad it’s still here!”, which is exactly how I’ve always felt about it too. 

When I was a child,  the ocean was the biggest thing that never scared me. I remind myself of that as I zipper little girls into lifejackets like a land-locked maniac.  I was scared of fireworks and the pulp in my orange juice. But, as a child, I wasn’t scared of the ocean. And as an adult it’s one of the few things that I don’t think…”hmm…it’s not as big as I remember it.”

We’re back and I’m grateful for rest, family,  and the euphoric smells of sunscreen and saltwater, . But mostly, here at the start of Holy Week, as I hope to be a bit quieter, a bit more prayerful, I’m grateful for the One too big for me to outgrow. 

“Aslan” said Lucy “you’re bigger.”

“That is because you’re older, little one” answered he.

“Not because you are?”

“I am not. But every year you grow you will find me bigger.”

C.S. Lewis Prince Caspian

Say it Clive. Have a peace-filled week Friends.

On Fear, Rest and Calling it Good

They forgot to ask me to participate.  But I thought I’d give it a shot right now.

I’m scared of being tired. 

And not because I want to sleep. Which I do. Eventually. I’m scared of being tired because there are so many other things I want to do that I make plans and goals and set things in motion and am continually indignant when my body stops or my mood becomes horrendous.

I don’t want to be a Tired Mom or a Tired Friend, or a Tired Anyone. I don’t want to speak in that tone of voice that we all use when we’re trying to act engaged but we’re really texting. You know the one. That’s how I talk to people when I’m tired. Like I’m underwater, texting, and faking everything.

I’ve had the opportunity over this past month to speak for groups at William and Mary and for a group of women in Virginia Beach. If you were at any of those you heard me share this quote from Dorothy Bass. Because it grabbed me when I’ve read it and continues to hold on.

“The very first story of Hebrew and Christian Scriptures climaxes on the seventh day, the very first time there was a seventh day. Having created everything, God rests and blesses this day, and makes it holy. In this way, the Christian theologian Karl Barth has suggested, God declares as fully as possible just how very good creation is. Resting, God takes pleasure in what has been made; God has no regrets, no need to go on to create a still better world or a creature more wonderful than the man and woman. In the day of rest, God’s free love toward humanity takes form as time shared with them.”

God declared it good. And He rested, allowing Him to share time with humanity.

So, as I told the college students and the women. I’ve started this funny ritual of going through my house physically at the end of the day, and declaring it good. As I checked on Sophia and Olivia, I tripped over a half eaten waffle, at ten at night. I declared it good. Someone ate something, or half of something, and was nurtured here today, right?

Then I go through my day mentally and I declare it good. Not perfect, not finished. But good. With space to begin tomorrow. Because if God is truly Good, and with us and in us and for us, then do the math. In the middle and in the messes, He is good, and we can declare things good – and rest. 

So we are departing on our yearly vacation. This is that one time each year when we load up that van until it looks like something allowed only in states without inspections and we turn off the phones and we rest.

I’ll be honest this year, at this vacation point,  I feel more in the middle of stuff than ever. We’re in the middle of so much. But its time to proclaim the goodness and rest. And be with each other in that mystical way only possible when you render yourselves dependent on a rental condo landline. I can’t wait. The middle will be here when we get back. 

See you soon, friends. Go out and over- absorb some Vitamin D.