Joy in the Narrowing

I’m fixin’ to turn 29, ya’ll. (For some strange reason, I felt compelled to say this in a Texan accent…maybe it makes me feel more youthful?!)

True to my INFJ personality, I always spend the days surrounding my birthday pondering the past year, the upcoming year, and the passages of time. The past several years, this reflection has been tinged with a bit of remorse. Not that my life isn’t good. I’m blessed with so much: a kind, supportive husband, a loving family, friends, opportunities, ice-cream, and- most of all- the love of my Savior. But as each passing year has brought greater definition to my life, there have also been “little deaths” along the way.

Little deaths are the wild dreams I had as a 19, with Switchfoot being the soundtrack for each dream:

  • Live in Europe
  • Live in Nepal and Tibet
  • Run an orphanage
  • Run an NGO
  • Be an entrepreneur
  • Teach English as a second language
  • Be a world-class photojournalist
  • Marry an Italian with curly dark hair
  • Do all of the above by the time I am 30
Looking back on this list, it’s laudable that I had so many ambitions. With the exception of living in Romania for a semester and teaching English to a Korean immigrant for 1.5 months, I haven’t accomplished any of my original dreams. (I definitely didn’t marry an Italian with curly dark hair- ha! But I did marry the whitest of white American boys, with golden hair to match. And I wouldn’t trade him for all the Marios in the world. :) ) But strangely, I no longer feel sorrow over this.

Along with my many dreams, came a hefty load of confusion. The culture’s message of “Anything is possible, you can be anyone and do anything you want” left me feeling completely paralyzed. With all these choices around me, I certainly didn’t want to make the wrong choice. And I didn’t want to miss out on one good dream because I said yes to another.

This confusion followed me around for a decade.

But what a difference 29 vs. 19 makes. :)

The decade of my twenties has taught me that it’s who you are, not what you do, that determines your adventures. It’s taught me that there is joy in the narrowing of life’s scope. It’s all well and good to dream up a thousand glorious dreams. But at some point, you have to decide which dream you’ll LIVE.

Accomplishing some of my original goals would still be pretty rad. But it’s also pretty rad to:

  • Be a devoted wife
  • Be a present mother
  • Be an invested friend
  • Focus on one or two things and keep doing them and doing them and doing them until you do them well
  • Enjoy the fruit that only the long-term-committed taste
These have been some of the grand adventures I have been privileged to experience in my twenties. And I’m so grateful.

Who knows, I still might run a crazy awesome NGO and orphanage in Tibet someday. God surprises us with new adventures everyday. :) But in the meantime, I take great joy in the narrowing.

Autumn Fell Like Snow

I had a dream, not so long ago,
And You were in my dream,
As autumn fell like snow.

Leaves swooned among the breeze,
Silent- like a flyer of trapeze.
And there You were,
And there You stood.
You looked at me,
Lovingly-Your eyes gazing upon my soul.

A smile formed on Your lips.
Why?
Only You would know.
A quick breath I stole,
A slow kiss You blew.
My heart skipped a beat,
As nearer You drew.
You reached for me,
I reached for You.

And time stood still.

Amidst the chaos and the clutter,
Amongst the meanders and the mutters,
I heard You breathe:
“Everything you desire, and all for which you seek, is found only in Me. So come away with Me. Be no longer weak, for I am strong and I will lead. So come away, My Love, come away with Me.”

So come away I came.
And Loved became my name,
For I am His and He is mine.
And now we are but one.

I had a dream, not so long ago,
And You were in my dream,
As autumn fell like snow.

Kisses

Author’s Note: Little Girl is now 4 months old- can hardly believe how the weeks fly!
This poem was a gift to Little Girl, just 16 days before she was born. Enjoy. : )

Your kicks are little kisses,
A secret only we share.
From the barely felt first flutter,
Lying so still to know you’re there-
To the rib kick karate chops,
Making me gulp for air.
For 9 months you’ve lived safe beneath my heart.
In a few short days, you’ll be safe within my arms.

I am over the moon excited to meet you face to face-
To hold this Little Girl I’ve come to know, to feel your embrace.
I can hardly wait for all….
The adventures we’ll share,
The memories we’ll make,
The love we’ll hold…
As we watch you grow and grow.

But for now, these last few weeks,
I never want to forget these precious seconds, when I feel you inside me.
When we are almost one.
I always want to remember this special time, this special love.

Because your kicks are little kisses,
A secret only we share…

I love you Baby Girl!

Love, Your Momma

Do You Add or Take Away?


“…being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, 
maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers…”
Romans 1:29

I love to talk. About anything. Or anyone.
Haven’t you noticed how fun it is to sit around a dining room table and discuss someone else’s life at length? Pointing out another’s problems, putting them in a category box, preaching about how they could fix everything.

Horrible, isn’t it? A sort of demented pleasure.
And God thinks so, too.

In Romans 1, God lumps whisperers together with the sexually immoral, malicious, murderers, and evil-minded. Eek.

But why is it so wrong to whisper? It’s just a little talk and doesn’t hurt anyone, right? Not exactly.

The Greek definition for whisperer means “whisperer, secret slanderer, and detractor.” Detract. Hm. That’s interesting. Let’s look at that.

Dictionary.com defines detract as several things. Namely:

  • To reduce or take away the worth or value of;
  • To deny or take away (a quality or achievement) so as to make its subject seem less impressive; and
  • To divert or distract away from.

When I whisperer about someone I am reducing their worth and value, not only in my own mind, but also in the minds of my listeners. I am, in essence, saying “This person is not as valuable as you might think they are. Here’s why.”

I am also denying their uniqueness as a human being, as someone made in God’s image. Maybe they have made mistakes, maybe they aren’t perfect. But wouldn’t it be better to focus on the positive? To speak of the growth and benefit that can be seen in their life? Most people’s mistakes are glaringly obvious. Why not reveal a gem instead?

And the real issue comes down to me. Why do I delight in talking about others? Isn’t it really because I want to distract away from my own shortcomings, even it’s just the fact that I am boring and have nothing interesting in my own life to talk about?

No one is perfect; we all make mistakes. We can’t always be silent; we need to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). But next time let’s pause and think before we speak.

Top Ten Reasons I’m Thrilled to No Longer Be Pregnant

Being pregnant was an exciting journey. Lots of special moments, anticipation, rest. But now that I am prego no more, the list of reasons that I’m thrilled to no longer be pregnant has multiplied exponentially.

1) I can now run without my boobs smacking me in the face.

2) I no longer feel like a foie gras goose being fattened for the slaughter. It’s hard to reach your daily caloric goal when someone is kicking you in the gut!

3) Upon meeting me, people can stop staring at my belly. They can look me in the eye. Oh wait, that doesn’t happen anymore after you have a baby. Now they just look at your cute baby! ;)

4) Those same people can also stop touching my stomach.

5) Buh-bye varicose veins.

6) I am done defining “mucus plug” for my husband.

7) Liberation from pregnancy pant panels.

8) Au revoir to laughing leakage.

9) No more tossing and turning for me- I now get deep sleep every night! Ha! Yah right. Did I mention I have a newborn?! Oh- and can you ask me again if my 9-week-old is sleeping through the night? ;)

10) And last but not least, the truest and sincerest of reasons that I am thrilled to no longer be pregnant: I now get to hold Little Girl in my arms!