In the bathroom, I noticed that the small vase on the pedestal sink had broken. It lay in pieces while the plant it once held in water splayed like a dying fish whose gills move in slow silent puffs of suffocation. I asked my son who was just outside the room staring at his phone or iPad or another electronic brainwasher if he knew what happened to the vase. Brilliant as he is, he told me it broke. I asked him if he broke it and indeed, he had. When I inquired as to why he didn’t clean up the broken glass he responded with a casual, “I forgot.”
I probably should have prefaced this story by saying my son is not three. I have teenage boys, not toddlers – although there are remarkable similarities. I wasn’t upset that he broke the vase. I am at the point in my life that when something breaks, I think “great that is one less thing I have to ask myself about whether it sparks joy.” Not having to answer the question that made Marie Kondo a household name, certainly sparks joy. So, the broken vase wasn’t the issue.
At issue, is how obvious it was to me that there was an issue when in between the time span that he presumably washed his hands and turned off the faucet he seemingly forgot to see shattered glass and a wounded plant. The incident reminded me how in our increasingly polarized society people only see what they want – the rest they just forget about. Read more →
It was Sunday afternoon and I was sitting on the couch drinking my Kava Stress Relief Tea. I would explain why I was drinking stress relief tea but it’s still 2020, so I feel like certain things speak for themselves. An old friend called and even though I was right next to the phone I got so excited to speak with her that I spilled the entire mug of tea all over myself and the couch. Needless to say, the stress relief tea inadvertently induced a fair amount of stress (and mess, as well as possibly some third-degree burns).
I finally got the edits back from my publisher and I have been working furiously to finish them by my deadline. Editing is nothing like writing. When I write I feel as if I am creating something and when I edit it’s like I’ve become a psychotic serial killer cutting my carefully chosen words and obliviating their well-meaning existence. The hope is that I am creating something better, but like a serial killer, I am not quite sure if I’m just deluding myself. It’s grueling. Most days at least one eye is twitching, my brain throbs, and sleep is sporadic.
The purpose of editing isn’t meant to be sadistic though. It’s meant to make things better. In writing, and in our relationships with God, we have to let go in order to make space for something new. If you are like me, letting go is hard. We get attached to things in our lives. We get attached to our carefully-curated self-image, our jobs, our words, our plans, and the people we love. It’s a normal part of our story. Yet, what we sometimes fail to recognize is that the best part of our story comes after we edit. When we take out obstacles in our lives that our keeping us from God, we can draw closer to him. When we let go of what our lives are supposed to look like and how our relationships are supposed play out, we make room for new experiences and more authentic interactions. Yet, so often we are desperate to move forward, while at the same time refusing to let go of what keeps us stuck. It’s so hard to let go that we stay trapped in our same old story. I know letting go is scary. After all, I used serial killers to describe it. But with careful discernment and trust in God’s providence, you can do it.
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