Because ‘seriousness’ isn’t a fruit of the Spirit

G:

I’ve realized two things lately:

1)     This blog has become more stale than a loaf of bread three months past its expiration date

2)     Christians are way too serious

seriousness

I can blame my busyness for my blog’s dryness, but what excuse do Christians have?

We can’t blame it on our expiration dates.

For a people that have been redeemed through a sacrificial act of extravagant love, we seem to be walking around like our puppy keeps getting run over by a truck every single day.

I’m not sure if You can feel the chill all the way up there in the clouds, but it’s pretty cold down here.

If the “Frozen Chosen” were a brand of popsicles, it would probably be a lot cooler than what they actually are.

My friend went to a Christian concert the other day and told me that the band, in an effort to get everyone to loosen up and enjoy themselves, said: “We’re going to have fun tonight because seriousness isn’t a fruit of the spirit. Joy is.”

I know it was written on the stone tablets, “Thou shall not steal,” but I’m totally stealing that saying.

Somehow we’ve forgotten the joy. The laughter. The happiness.

Yes, there is a time and season for everything. “A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” (Ecc 3:4). But we seem to be forgetting to laugh and dance.

We seem to be forgetting that seriousness isn’t a fruit of the spirit.

Like a spiritual fortune cookie, Solomon sums it up well in Proverbs 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

I’m not sure what’s crushing our spirits as Christians. The world. Money. Jobs. Relationships. Suffering. Depression. Illness. I’m sure it’s a list that rivals an exhaustive phone book of New York City.

And I’m sure our joy-less spirits are drying up our bones.

I wonder what would happen if we stopped being a stale people and started being the ones that displayed joy amongst love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Turns out laughter may be the best medicine after all.

Your goofball,

m

Sometimes, the boar doesn’t need a haircut

G:

It’s March already?! It feels like just yesterday we were celebrating your Son’s birthday.

It seems as if the older I get the faster time flies—as if we’re picking up speed the closer we get to the finish line.

Since I’ve been gone in Seattle for more than a week for work, my blog clearly showed the effects of my busyness. In my efforts to juggle so many things in seemingly so little time, I always end up dropping at least one ball somewhere (at least I’m not juggling chainsaws).

While at this work conference, there were hundreds of tables where people from schools or literary journals had fun and interesting freebies. My coworkers stumbled upon a table that gave away tarot card readings. Of course I don’t believe in it, but I was on a mission to get as many awesome freebies as possible.

I walked up to the table and picked this card:

boar

The guy at the table stared at it for 15 seconds and declared:

“Clearly, this is a man trying to give a boar a haircut.”

Clearly, this tarot card reading was directly applicable to my life.

I felt the excitement go out of me like helium from a popped balloon.

He went on to say: “This man is trying to do the impossible. You have to allow yourself to be realistic. Sometimes you can’t do everything. Don’t try to do the impossible. Sometimes, the boar doesn’t need a haircut.”

Even though this guy made up all this stuff up on the spot, it reminded me that I can’t do everything.

Clearly, I need help.

For all the things I need to do and can’t avoid, for all the balls I need to keep juggling, I’m thankful You give me the strength to accomplish it all when I focus on You (Philippians 4:13).

And then sometimes, there are those balls that can and should be dropped. Sometimes I try to tackle the impossible, when it’s not in Your best for me. Thanks for giving me discernment to drop the ball.

Because sometimes, the boar doesn’t need a haircut.

Your child,

m

I ain’t my Momma

Upon turning 22, my friend declared that “22 is halfway to 44 which is halfway to 88 which means you are halfway dead.”

(We are clearly no longer friends.)

Birthdays are kind of like New Year’s—they make you reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re going. You’re another year older. And another year closer to 88.

On the day of my 28th birthday, I couldn’t help but compare myself to those I love and admire more than anyone else in the world: my parents. I think about where they were at 28. And at this age my mother was married for 6 years with a two-year-old and another on the way.

If my life was supposed to follow those breadcrumbs, the birds clearly had a 28-year feast and unknowingly I stumbled upon the long, scenic route up the side of a steep mountain.

While I would be blessed if I had even 1/100 of the character my mother has, my life has not followed her blueprint.

I ain’t my Momma.

Chatting with another single friend the other day, I decided expectations for young adults are like kitchen cleaners under the sink to little kids. It’s just not fair that the blue stuff that looks like a huge jug of blue raspberry Kool-Aid is locked away behind childproof cabinets—seemingly unattainable. But here’s the thing: turns out that stuff may not be the best for us anyway.

My life and the lives of my single friends are not the lives of our parents. But our lives aren’t wrong. They’re different.

I’m single. I’m living on my own. I’m pursuing my passion for writing. I’m really great at making cereal for dinner.

I can’t help but compare myself to those I love most—and I pray that I have even a fraction of the love, faith, and character that my parents do. But I know You have different plans for me than you had for my father and mother.

I ain’t my Momma.

I’m me.

Your child,

m

Why Shaun White’s new haircut broke my heart

This year’s Olympics have left me more depressed than a vegetarian at a Brazilian steakhouse.

And I’m not talking about the fifth snowflake-ring debacle, or the times my countrymen haven’t nailed their triple sow-cow twist and shout ice skate thingy. I’m talking about follicles.

Actually, the lack thereof.

You see, Shaun White and I were meant to be.

Exhibit A:

shaun white and i

We have the same exact hair.

Well, we used to.

Exhibit B:

shaun white no hair

I’m not lamenting the fact that he was the Samson of the skateboarding world, and with the loss of his locks came the loss of a medal. No, I’m lamenting the loss of what our Christmas card would have looked like with us and our six children:

shaun white christmas card 1

(It was inevitable at least one would pop out with recessive genes.)

For the sake of our future spawn and holiday greetings, consider this a passionate plea, Shaun White, to grow out your locks like Rapunzel once more.

I’ll be waiting.