me, now

Turning 40 made me extra-reflective about everything.  This past year was so full of thoughts and plans and declarations, it makes me a bit tired thinking back to everything I squeezed into it.

In the middle of it all, I faced some some hard truths last year and had to make the time to decide what was really, really important to me.

How's my marriage?  What did I want for my children at this stage of their lives?  Am I taking care of my body?  Am I making myself available for God's calling?  Am I even listening for it?  What do I love, and what am I doing about it?

Addressing these is helping me re-order my priorities, rip off some band-aids and start this transition.

Here's what I know for sure, now (in no particular order):

  • I am an introvert who can no longer pretend to be an extrovert.  Large groups and busy gatherings exhaust me and I need regular periods of quiet alone time to thrive.
  • My marriage is both strong and tender.  It does not have an auto-pilot feature and must be a vessel through which our children and other couples can learn about grace, humility and the joy that results from them.
  • My children are getting older and may all leave home, quite plausibly, within the next ten years.  I cannot dillydally with the lessons I want to teach and exemplify.
  • I want to meet the world.  Travel outside of North America is a new priority.
  • I want contribution and generosity to be natural responses, with less calculation or hesitation.
  • I value hospitality.  I want to explore different ways to practice it.
  • I am not good at housekeeping, inside and out (you should see my backyard right now).  I am no longer a lover of baking.  I don't enjoy planning parties like I used to.  And that's all okay.
  • I love reading (memoirs, mostly) and I love writing (run-on sentences, mostly).
  • I want to figure out what foods, exercise regimes and general practices are best for my own health.
  • God is my Number One.  Jesus is my Example.  The Holy Spirit is my Guide.

you don't have to be helpless

Bianca Olthoff pleaded one day in November, don't just pray for justice, act justly. It is stuck in my brain, two months later. From my safe corner of this world, I hear about cops killing boys, about racism being alive and well in 2015, about 27 million in slavery, about cartoonists being murdered. And I feel helpless because I don't live in Ferguson or Thessaloniki or Paris. And I don't know which organization to trust enough to send money to in my stead. Because I can't leave the safety of my home, my family, my job, my corner and step into risk and onto the front lines. But maybe that's not where I am supposed to be anyway.

Maybe I'm supposed to love wildly from my corner. I know people in hard places. I have access to the spoils of slavery. I live with and work with and am related to lots of people who are different from me. Maybe I am supposed to, at this time in my life, walk alongside someone in their hard place. Be responsible for how I clothe and feed and entertain myself. Listen to, talk to, forego winning against, understand, forgive, well, everyone.

Then perhaps I might do some of my part in seeking God's justice - as Eugene Cho* defines: renewing the world to where He would have intended it to be.

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*Social Justice and the Love of Money reading plan with Eugene Cho, YouVersion. Super-awesome.