I have a china cabinet. And a sleeper sofa. And a house in the suburbs. If that doesn’t make a woman feel settled and a bit like a sell-out, I don’t know what does.
I know that I have mentioned my crazy summer filled with selling a house, moving, saying good bye to my mom, autism therpay, etc. But what I haven’t mentioned is how settled I’m feeling these days. How very mediocre and lovely life is at this moment. I know it’s not particularly sexy to feel quiet and satisfied, without the passionate flames and the very pissed off gut reaction to all the craziness of this world, but I’m 32 and my days are filled with packing lunches and filling and emptying the minivan many times a day. What can I say?
I’m starting to breathe a little more evenly, taking my time before I make proclamations or climb on soap boxes. I’m listening more often, soaking in the stories and the opinions and the experiences. Letting them marinate, leaning as hard into compassion as I can.
The truth is, I just don’t feel all that urgent these days. Maybe it’s that by the time the 30’s knock on your door you’ve gathered enough stamina to deal with life in small steps, or maybe it’s the meds I’m finally on for the anxiety that gifted me with years of fear and searching for control under every rock along the way.
I’ve always been what Brandon has so sweetly called “passionate”. I care a lot about the things I care about. And the thing is, when I read another story about gender inequality , or child trafficking, or yet another wolf in sheep’s clothing, my body still responds. I still ache and burn. But I’m starting to see that, for now, the world doesn’t need me to shout down every incident that pops up on Facebook.
What the world needs is one more couple genuinely loving and respecting each other, walking side by side and falling asleep together each night, happy to be so near one another. What the world needs is eyes wide open, watching out for the classic signs of a child or a young woman on the verge of abuse and exploitation. It needs one more person owning up to their issues, arms wide open to the vulnerability and the humility that drives true Communion.
It needs more of us actually living our lives in the full confidence that God is with us.
As I look around, I see all the distractions, the desperate attempts we all make to figure out exactly what will make us feel whole, healed of self-doubt and restlessness. We search for the way of life, the decisions, the moralities that will bring Big Change in its wake. We’re thrilled when it seems to work out for awhile, but life shifts, we grow and change. We fail. And then we begin again. Lord knows I’ve done it, I do it.
And what I’m finding in this unexpected season of status quo is that sometimes it’s okay to coast for awhile. In fact, sometimes it’s obedience in a world that loves Big and Radical and Unique. It hurts to be Small and Boring and Ordinary, it scrapes at my worth, and yes, my pride. Sometimes it sends me into a panic that has me panting about doing more, being better.
But hidden in the day to day life of decorating my new home and signing reading logs and hosting neighborhood boys for daily games of Minecraft, is this stirring in my soul:
You are mine. You are enough. You are so loved.
Relax. Whether you live in the suburbs or in the inner-city, I am the only one who can heal and help and save. Take a deep breath, my love. I’m always redeeming, always working. You cannot out-serve me, you cannot out-love me, you cannot make my ways better. So, quiet down now and know my love.
If there is one thing that is certain, it’s that seasons come and go. Now is a season of rest for me and mine. We’re learning to live loved, to remember that all our seemingly ordinary moments of faithfulness are small, yes, and they are good.
Small, and Good.
Sounds pretty radical, after all.