Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Let's Hope Nothing Happens to Us.

There's this cute French movie I've seen called Romantics Anonymous. It's about two extremely anxious chocolate makers who fall in love.

In one scene, the man tells his therapist that his father's motto was "Let's hope nothing happens to us."

The truth is, that little phrase makes sense to my heart. It's not "Let's hope that nothing bad happens to us," but that nothing will happen at all.

I feel that way, because I'm afraid of every new thing that could happen to me. I'm usually excited too, but I'm afraid first. 

My belief that I can't do it and that I'm not good enough is lodged so far down into my gut that I can't even reach it, not with my deepest diving periscope. It crops up like the tagalong friend that no one ever actually invites but who ends up saying something funny by accident, so everyone lets him stay.

And there it bleeds its messy guts all over the pretty life I'm trying to create. How are you supposed to paint your masterpiece when there's an ugly part of yourself bleeding its messy guts all over the corner where you were going to paint a glittering white city like Minas Tirith?

I don't know the answer. Today I heard a lovely song that said, "I don't want to die before I live." Maybe if I repeat nice mottoes to myself instead, I'll believe them.

Monday, April 27, 2015


Today, there were riots in Baltimore. Baltimore. So close to home. Where my brother went to college.

When I saw the news on the internet, I couldn't help thinking, How come I didn't know?

Shouldn't there be something in my heart that stirs when people get so sick and tired that they pick up bricks and throw them at each other? When people don't know what to do except kick in windows?

Shouldn't there be something in my heart that stirs when police officers wake up for a normal day of work and end up lying next to each other in hospital beds?

Shouldn't there be something human in my heart that stirs? Some buzz in the air that makes it over the Rockies to where I am? How can there be riots in Baltimore without some analogous change in my day?

I guess our hearts can't be so cosmically tuned in to human suffering, or else we would never do anything but suffer.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


I had a thought a while before my birthday, when I was driving: When was I conceived?

I calculated slowly and obtusely in my mind. Nine months before the middle of March is... the middle of June.

The middle of June? Right around the summer solstice?

I went home and looked up a pregnancy calendar just to be sure. I typed in March 14 as the due date and clicked the button. And guess what it said.

Conception date: June 21. The usual date of the summer solstice.

I'm going to try to describe to you what this means to me, even though I know it's strange. 

Yes, I was born 3 days early, so I probably wasn't actually conceived on the actual summer solstice. But. The idea of it is so perfect. I feel more like me when I think about it than I ever have before.

On the best day of the year, when the sun shines longer than it does any other day, I was born for the first time.

On a day that promises sunshine and warmth and adventure and joy, came the promise of my life, full of all the same things.

On the day when little girls wear crowns of flowers in their hair, God smiled down at my parents and said, "You're going to have a baby."

Like I was the crowning achievement of an already beautiful, exultant day.

And through a long summer and fall and winter, I grew and had my first education in being a human, there inside my mom. My heart learned to beat, and my lungs practiced breathing fluid in preparation for air.

And then, just before spring, I was born into the world, along with the flowers on the trees.

Can you see how realizing that would make all the difference?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Yesterday night, we left the library at 11:20 to go stargazing. Scott needed to get past the light pollution for his astronomy assignment, so we drove up into the canyon.

We parked in an empty parking lot, pulled on sweatshirts, craned back our necks, and there were the stars. 

We found the Big Dipper, then the little unassuming North Star. I found the Little Dipper for the first time. Then we arced to Arcturus and spiked to Spica. 

Scott told us about Orion hunting the Pleiades, and Cassiopeia and Andromeda and Perseus and Pegasus. Wes asked questions, and I said "Oh!" from time to time. We all danced back and forth to keep our feet warm.

With each moment we stood there, my fears that a crazy ax-carrying man or a hungry mountain lion would come running out of the dark slowly subsided. There was only us. I breathed in peace with each word we spoke in hushed middle-of-the-night mountain tones.

I looked from Wes' face to Scott's, and they were only muddled black shapes. But even so, the black outlines of the way they were standing gave them away, framed against the black trees.

We were three friends who had gone away from where there were lights and where there were sounds. Now we could feel the wind on our faces, because there was nothing to stop it from touching us. I closed my eyes and turned toward it.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Somewhere we live inside.

Today at work, I said to Alyssa, "I'm going to play a song to make you happy."

She said, "Okay," and I suppressed sheepish giggles as I opened Spotify.

Part of me felt bad because I knew that I was about to play her this:

Oh that first sweet riff.

But after a minute or so, I said, "Wait, I'm kind of enjoying this." To protect her privacy, I won't tell you what she said. Let's just say we ended up listening to the whole song.

#seventhgrade #christianrock #painfullyuncool #24findsmein24thplace

Sunday, April 5, 2015

If you reach out.

When I watched this, I felt like I had discovered something that made sense. I felt breath fill my lungs. It seemed easier to get out of bed.

I felt like I was meeting Jesus for the first time.

Tonight, as I drove home, and I felt the strange relief of hot tears on my face, I suddenly felt that Jesus was in the passenger's seat and He wanted to hold my hand.

So I reached out and laid it there on the passenger's seat and held His hand.

That's the thing. That doesn't make any sense. It doesn't make any sense for me to feel that way. But when you feel someone reaching for your hand that you know isn't there, you know He is there.

I want everyone to feel that way.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

At least it was seven, not eleven.

When you do statistics for seven hours straight, sometimes your friends bring you a Slurpee.

When that happens, that is, without a doubt, the best Slurpee you've ever tasted. I don't even need to calculate the confidence interval of that being true.