Noticing.Four

  1. Worship in the dark.
  2. I never want to fossilize, to freeze at an arbitrary point in this digital age, but I’ve been on Facebook since it was for college students, think Tumblr is still cool, am dismissive of SnapChat. I clearly have no clue what, how, why, or where things happen on the internet anymore.
  3. The hits keep on coming.
  4. She explodes. Again and again. Furious and helpless. She’s dropped her nap, but I put her down anyway, then go downstairs and cry.
  5. We’re entangled, like ET and Elliott.
  6. The farmer’s market looks more like a deconstructed food truck lot than an array of nature’s bounty.
  7. I think cutting the dairy out of my coffee is working. Dammit.
  8. Tohu wa-bohu into tov.
  9. She’s still rolling around in her bed, singing to herself. I’m annoyed but knew the consequences when I napped her. It wasn’t a question of if I would pay but when.
  10. It’s hard to go back to thinking of high fiber cereal sprinkled conservatively with chocolate chips as a “treat” after eating two entire Easter bunnies last week.

Noticing.Three

  1. Eight hours uninterrupted. Eyelids sore as if I didn’t sleep at all.
  2. At least it’s the day I can drink caffeine with impunity.
  3. I choose not to eat cake for breakfast.
  4. Their bottoming out isn’t surprising, although our reaction of borderline irresponsible peace is.
  5. All over the floor. And the train tracks. And her casts.
  6. How dare I feel bored, frustrated, or annoyed at spending all day, every day with her for three years when so many parents barely see their children after the first six weeks. Any second now someone will jump out from behind a bush and yell, “Check your privilege!”
  7. I eat the cake.
  8. I spend the extra hour in my warm car, listening to a podcast, eating cold leftovers out of a Tupperware, mooching wi-fi in drowsy silence.
  9. I open Scrivener. The words, the bones–they’re still good. But the old conflict is still in there, too. I close it again.
  10. Wherever you’re going, I’m going. I just wish I had a clue where that was.

Noticing.Two

  1. I read the words, but I don’t understand what Tolkien is saying. I’m getting duller (or is it “more dull”? See?!). Too much internet, not enough books.
  2. Coconut creamer just isn’t the same. I don’t know how you vegans do it.
  3. THE SUNSHINE. GLORY.
  4. Pruning is not punishment.
  5. Flow state is a state of grace. Striving is the enemy of flow.
  6. Lemon sponge roll with marscapone cream and strawberry filling
  7. “The amount of crying about how much they don’t want to go to sleep is directly proportionate to the amount they absolutely need to go to sleep.”
  8. She’s picking up on something stirring in the atmosphere. Something unseen, unaddressed. It wakes her up at night. I guilt myself for not being whatever enough to protect her, though I’m not sure what she needs protection from.
  9. Systems are key. You (I) can never have too many systems.
  10. Females are strong as hell.

Noticing.One

  1. It’s been a while.
  2. There’s an eternal conflict in my aesthetic between clean lines and clutter. Why can’t I have both?
  3. I’m starting to suspect it’s the cream in my coffee giving me perpetual low-grade cold symptoms. Like I’m allergic to life. She says cutting dairy and grains worked a miracle for her. I’ll try dairy first. I’ll die of sadness if I do both at once.
  4. It’s been so long since we’ve cut a nap that I’d forgotten the total life overhaul that follows. Last one. Here goes.
  5. Stretching beyond what I thought I could do in terms of time and focus. Believing it’ll work this time–as long as I don’t try to do it the old way.
  6. Plans within plans.
  7. Ontario spring is a tease of double seasons per day. Long mornings, rosy sun, the flat refusal to wear a coat even when the wind thinks it’s still winter.
  8. Back and forth. I can’t roll my eyes hard enough.
  9. Cherry Bubly is not all I wanted it to be. I feel mildly ashamed of having an opinion about carbonated water.
  10. Beauty seeking.

35: Thanks and Yes

For my birthday this year, I tattooed the most dangerous prayer on myself. What have I gotten myself into?

For all that has been: thanks
To all that shall be: yes

I first heard this (roughly translated) quote by Dag Hammarskjöld in high school. It followed me through my teens and twenties, bouncing around in the junk drawer of my soul, until I hit my thirties, when the drawer got opened and Marie Kondo-ed by God.

It’s one of those feel-good type sayings that people throw around to sound ultra-spiritual, right up there with “the universe provides” and “WWJD?”. It makes us feel faith-full and righteous. At least for a little while.

It’s also an incredibly dangerous prayer.

For all that has been: thanks

The first part is truly beautiful. It feels impossible, but it’s so necessary for us to find even the tiniest, quark-sized piece of gratitude for our painful pasts. God orchestrates those moments (or years) of suffering into a symphony of wonder if we have ears to hear it—each trauma, each loss, each failure becomes its own note in a holy composition.

That second part, though. Ay, there’s the rub.

To all that shall be: yes

What are you agreeing to without knowing?

Heartache or joy?
Bankruptcy or abundance?
Famine or feast?
Abandonment or community?
Sickness or health?
Persecution or protection?
Cursing or blessing?
Death or life?

All of it. You’re saying “yes” to anything and everything that God has planned, even if it hurts, hoping that it’s good, trusting that it will be great, with absolutely no hints about which paths you’ll take except the small circle of light around your feet.

It’s giving up your will, your way in total surrender to His will, His way.

Like I said: a dangerous prayer.

And despite knowing all that comes with such a bold, foolhardy statement of faith, I was compelled to tattoo it on myself to mark my birthday this year.

This past year, one I (stupidly) considered barren and fallow, God has done a work in my heart.  And every time I found myself weeping incoherently on the floor, no matter what I thought of myself, my situation, or my god, it was this prayer that bubbled up. Over and over. Its oddly balanced weight of gratitude and trust comforted me like a familiar sword in my hand as I faced off against enemies in the dark. And every time, I won. Because of this prayer—this battle cry.

As I close the book on 34 and open the pages of 35 with these lines written on my arms, I don’t know what I’ve said “yes” to. But this is a milestone year. That much is clear. And as I take small illuminated step after small illuminated step towards the things I have been shown, I trust that what I haven’t seen is part of heaven’s plan, even if sometimes it might feel like hell. 

Two forearm tattoos in handwriting script font. "For all that has been: thanks/To all that shall be: yes." Dag Hammarskjold