never fully learned.

I want to live a full life. Joy tucked into smile wrinkles and grace that drips like jam, leaving sticky grace moments all over this life. I want to live my life with the words of Jesus echoing off my tongue, forever learning how to love.

I’m learning. I’ll never be fully “learned.”

During this period of being home, I’ve been learning how to still myself. Slow down and see the little treasures that surround me.

I saw it before, but now I feel like I am seeing this life with new eyes.

I see the stillness in my mother’s hands as she prepares strawberries for jam. A simple act of homemaking, and yet one of the biggest gifts she can offer her family. A home.

I see the stillness in my Dad’s voice as he reads about grace to us out loud. The wonder in his voice carries past the walls of this home and into my life. The wonder of grace installed deeply in him.

I see stillness in morning coffee, beans chosen for their notes of dark chocolate and vanilla.

I see stillness in words that I chose, even in the silent battle of my mind to choose the right ones.

I see stillness in friendship. The knowing, but also the loving.

I’ve had to slow down, in order to see the stillness.

The way the trees shake their leaves in praise and flowers open with new life.

I want to live a full life. A full life meaning that I slow down to see the stillness.

Allow it to be etched onto these bones and be tucked into these smile lines.

Learning, but never fully learned.

Oh Lord, may I never speed up to where I miss the stillness that surrounds me.

njl.

The between good and hard.

I walked into this time knowing that it was going to be long. I knew that there were times where I would be impatient. I knew that there would be times when my anxiety came in waves and days that didn’t go well. I didn’t know how much my faith would be tested. I didn’t know that those days where the anxiety spoke loud, that peace would yell louder. I didn’t know that I would still be in the thick of it, praising Jesus for what He has done. I didn’t know that the nanny position that I interviewed for, offered the position and turned down, would become my job for the summer after my camp job fell through. I didn’t know that my patience would be stretched. And then stretched some more. Leaving me to remind myself, that I will learn what I need to know, when I need to know. I’ve had to remind myself that before I was even formed, even thought of, even named, that He knew this would come. It would come, and last, but not stay.

I’ve opened and closed my corner of the internet multiple times now. Afraid to put these swirling thoughts onto the page, and yet wishing I could.

There has been a lot of mundane. And yet, beautiful things have come to be. Coffee early in the mornings, and movie nights late into the night. Family time. Beautiful family time. Oh the facetimes and phone calls. Writing letters, a cramping hand and cups of tea drank. Tears. Angry words spoken, and forgiveness asked. Preparation for things that are coming. There has been rest had. Going to be had.

This time has not been easy. There has been loss. I’ve been angry, screaming into the sky. Wishing it was over. The tears spilled onto my cheeks, and I’ve struggled to find the words that don’t exist for a time like this.

I recently wrote a piece on lament, while in a season of some pretty heavy lament.

“Good and hard meet there in the middle of it all. They sit with each other in the long nights, and the days spent questioning. Lament is this. Good and hard. The clash of two opposites into something that is, because what was to be isn’t anymore. Lament is part of all of this. The raw yet beautiful pain, good and bad. The deep need within us that knows that this is not the way that this should be.”

Good and hard. Two simple words, I couldn’t come up with anything else that fit this better then these two words. Good. Hard. Because this, all of this, is not how it should have been. It’s not the way it was planned. It’s not the way that God poured over his plans for this world to look like. When He spoke it into motion, commanding life, he wanted life. He chose life. Until humanity chose the fruit.

So I speak peace over this time. The knowing of good and hard, and choosing to sit in the middle of it. The glory filled moments found in the mundane. Choosing a thankful heart, and for more patience when it wears thin.

Until next time.

njl.