Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"A Symmetry"

Humans love symmetry.  Supposedly, anyone and anything we typically call “beautiful” has symmetrical quality.  It makes sense to our senses.  We want our people and our events to be clean, to be fair, to tie up neatly.

But it, humanity, is just not that way.  Foremost, nature is quite asymmetrical: mountains, water, trees, weather.  It’s messy out there.  And what about us?  We’re messy, too.  All of our humanity, the best and the worst of us, is wrapped up in a very untidy package of emotions and indecision and mistakes and relationships.  Perhaps we covet symmetry because we are by nature so broken.

What I personally find enlightening, however, is having reached a point in life where I notice that extreme beauty occurs in the quirky unevenness of a person’s face or in a deeply complex experience.

Take the nose I’ve inherited.  I used to lament this hump in the bridge.  It’s not cute or even straight.  But it’s a mark of where I come from and to whom I belong—it’s slightly Romanesque, I’ve decided—and so I’ve come to appreciate it.  It’s beautiful for a reason that’s messier and more meaningful than its first glance asymmetry.  

And like a humble desire to serve, and with a heart for Africa that my mother graciously gave me, I go, with my imperfect nose, because of a call to serve, which I also inherited, to be a human among other humans by serving in the name of the human God gave us to model ourselves after.

I had to learn that appreciation for imperfection and humble service through messy, asymmetrical life experiences though, didn’t I? There’ve been so many, refusing to write, notwithstanding, out of a fear of failure.  How spoiled is that?  I’m mortified to admit that.  But this trip feels very much like a crossing over for that.  Stepping out is part of how I’ve prepared my heart do it.

And so, off I go, recognizing that it will take me an ounce of bravery to travel a sea that separates my egotistical cowardice from people for whom I have prepared my heart, knowing that I will fall madly in love with those who are filled with absolute joy in spite of having almost nothing—THAT is bravery, and it’s a kind of courage I need to live the more purposeful life I’m called to live. 

What I need is humility.  Waves and waves of it.  And therein lies the symmetry I seek to fulfill.  My desire is to pare myself down to the barest of humble bones and in that state, be of service to other humans.  What else is there?  Isn’t this the most crucial part of our journey in this life? To serve humanity?  It’s the legacy of our humble Christ.  I owe that.

Life is messy and gray and tough and wonderful, full of shared experiences bringing joy and aid and work and service to other human beings, precisely what makes this messy life so purposeful.

And there’s a symmetry and asymmetry in that—both of which my heart in humanity seeks.

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders/let me walk upon the water/wherever You would call me” (from Hillsong’s “Oceans”).  Please pray and send out your thoughts for our team, for the people we will serve, and for the countless broken, weary, hungry people here and abroad who are waiting for all of us to be in our purest, humblest form.

And so, off I go.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Happy Anniversary, My Man.

you're sweet, i'm proud of you, and i've loved you since we met. 13 years ago. but cheers to us on 6 official ones! and i'm excited about the new adventure we're getting ready to be on--thank you for bringing it to us.

and ps: you look cool and relaxed in this picture. i can't wait to see that on your face again.

i love you,

Friday, June 22, 2007

like, totally, you know

Last night I kicked it like a rockette out on the deck with my sweet gal allen. After 4 and 1/2 of my diatribes and a bottle of wine, I could hear my vocabulary dissolving into a late 80s abyss of annoying fillers, meant only in the moment to demonstrate the earnest truth of the point I was making.

So, I'm like totally sorry, AR--I was like so excited to hang with you, you know? It was like a really cool way to spend an evening and I just really like your like...your vibe.

And I totally love you.

Friday, June 15, 2007


I want to clarify my previous post, in case my message, in being published, appeared to be mixed.

I adore, admire, believe, and revere my parents. They are the two most fine and true people I know, and the relationship we've developed since I moved back here from college is what I hope to be the real beginning of a long, long and fruitful one. They, for me, are a paired beacon of sweet, of funny, of open mindedness, and unconditional support.

And for the public record, I'm lucky to have been born to them.

And they didn't even pay my tuition, buy me a car, keep my children, give me gas money, or provide any other countless, thankless act of love and kindness that is being a parent to say so. That's how truly really special to me they are.

I love you,

Thursday, June 14, 2007

table for four, please

When you're a kid you often lament your parents' demand that you be home by dinner time. And if your table experience was anything like mine, dinner was a yummy but very eclectic conglomerate of starches and ground beef, complemented by your father's jokes about constipation.

I look fondly on those times because they were as real as a family can get--all of us within 3 feet of each other, legs akimbo, licking our fingers and laughing at my brother.

But it is only recently that i TRULY appreciate what eating at the table can do for a family. There's just something about that spotlight that turns people onto being open and really funny.

Our baby H loves to eat, a trait easily identified in her family tree, um--mommy's side, so for her, the dinner table is like a mecca to which she would travel thousands of tireless miles on her chubby square feet for the pure enjoyment. She likes to go around the table saying everyone's name, then identifying what's on her own plate, which usually contains some form or fashion of her favorite word and savory treat--cheese. And in this picture, you ask? That would be of the parmasean persuasion.

And then, luckily for me and my fam, our eldest has inherited her pawpaw's talent for espousing mildly inappropriate butt humor at the table. Insert your own favorite butt joke punchline here:

And all of it--the intimacy, my husband never complaining about my barely decent cooking, and the kids, being sweet and funny and happy to be with us--it's a habit i want to keep up, and it's a show i'd pay good money for.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

one hundred things that move me (1st half)

the raw, awakening pain of natural childbirth
the fear and joy of raising sisters without having one
being the only sister
just the four of us
watching the girls play in the yard
camping out
magnolia trees
people who surprise me
meteor showers
hair cuts
tanned feet
old pictures
an ice cold beer
jersey knit sheets
going somewhere i've never been
tirelessly dissecting the oddities of family
um...dancing when i'm by myself
my very first girlfriends
outdoor markets
inconvenient truths
powerful ladies
transcendentalist literature
sleeping children
watching my friends become mothers
my mama georgie
the dooce
discovery HD
learning something i never knew from one of my students
the gi-normous mystery of space
firm handshakes
casting a line
playing kickball
the iMac
my new ability to confront people when necessary
emo (i miss you;)
warm wind
bone dry humor
giggle-inspired toots
support (all things implied)
hearing a song that should be on the soundtrack of my life
realizing that 100% of the time, people's feet, in shape, size, and toe structure, somehow reflect personality (yep--talking to you)

600 Miles to Somewhere

Bloom where you are planted.