These are my rhythms of life here in 2017. I say I love you, cry, ask for forgiveness, and pray. I don’t have a clue about the rest of it. I know fast food destroys my body, but here I am scavenging the dregs out of the waffle fry sleeve. I know life is supposed to be lived like a revolving door but I’m still trying to keep everyone packed on top of each other in the same revolving wedges so no one can fall out. I know social media is bad for me generally but yet here I am. I’m easing into more changes but clinging to my rituals.
Earlier this year I was sitting at my neighbor's table while she made fried pies. We're both from Arkansas and although almost 60 years separate us, chatter can pass between us like we graduated high school together. We both moved to the neighborhood in 2009. I asked her that day what brought her to Jefferson City. "To die," she answered with a small wry smile. I came here to grow up, I told her. But I've thought a lot about that moment that brought two drastically different lives to intersect over moving to Stonebridge in 2009 and a desire to eat fried pies.
When she bore down to push, I looked around the room at the seven of us. I thought about each generation before us, who labored out the next, and on and on, that brought us here, to a darkened hospital room to bear witness the birth of this little one. Tamika grabbed Ryan’s hand and I thought of my own mother’s soft tan hands gripping a cold hospital rail and my dad’s arm, as if it eased any sort of pain. It is crazy how humans can love each other that much without the slightest clue of who they are bringing into the world and the heartache tethered to them. It is crazy knowing my mom –like many others- would do it all over again if she had the chance.
"I've had a lot of time to mull over the year as it has come and gone and I've come to grieve the wasted opportunities to lean in my disappointment and turn it back to joy. This is especially hard for me to realize, when looking back at my birthday, which was an unexpected highlight. The word often spoken over to me by my closest friends on that day was the word "joy". I wanted to own that word last year. I would like to think have been content to know I had become an utter delight inside and out regardless of circumstances. I was not. God bless my small community being pulled in and out of my wake."
Yesterday I made a long haul to Oklahoma City to spend some quality time with my college roommate, Susanna, this weekend. I relish any trip that takes longer than an hour as an opportunity to spend time listening to that new album all the way through (twice, if it’s that good), catching up on my podcasts or long overdue phone calls, and time in prayer for my loved ones and thing things that are hurting my […]
Here's the thing: anything worth something requires hard work, doing the right thing, and denying ourselves for the sake of our little homes our soul longs to dwell in. I can point to the home shattered in a million bits and say "no thank you," but who can control when disaster strikes and how can I believe that too will not also be my lot? I can point to the established home and say "yes, that one" but I cannot see the routine work and effort that must be pumped in everyday, whose strength and vitality has been built over time and careful attention and weathered many storms. I cannot point to the beautiful home on the best piece of property and say "I want what they have" because if I only knew the sort of decay happening to its foundations and structure, my home would not stand long.
Yesterday I left my office around noon and walked the four blocks to the capital to welcome the NAACP on their 120 mile march from Ferguson to Jefferson City and to stand with them, pray, and listen as they called for change, accountability, and justice in policing and racial equality. My heart has been unbearably heavy the past 120 days since the killing of Michael Brown, as it’s torn a part a community I love […]
Dear Church, Have you forgotten why we gather today in our sanctuaries, auditoriums, strip malls, college campuses, in homes, or satellite campuses? Sometimes I wonder if we’ve gotten in the habit of gathering to meet with friends, or have an hour with your spouse kid-free, or have a place to dress up, or dress down, because maybe it gets you up and out of bed, or it’s a place to grab some free coffee, or […]
This season in my life has been really taxing on my heart. There are some days as soon as I’m conscious enough to turn off my alarm, this immediate sadness seeps deep into my bones. While we’re resilient creatures hardwired for struggle, I’m not exempt from that small corner of my heart, that if I slow my life down enough, it feels like I can’t get enough oxygen to it. It’s hard to accept that […]
A few weeks ago I was leaving for Nashville for the week (even though I was just there the weekend before, but what is being twenty something if not for burning up the road?) and because I meet with Kylie on Wednesdays I swapped out and met with her earlier in the week. I wrote about Kylie early on in our friendship through the local public school mentoring program here –she is a highlight of […]