March 29, 2014

This Moment // March

ANXIOUS for warm weather and the chance to run outside again. (Go away chest cold!) 

APPRECIATIVE of my so great a cloud of witnesses. I have felt SO BLESSED by all the people who have called me, sent me hilarious books, sent me cards, popped in, sent a text, hugged me, walked with me - especially the past two weeks. You people are incredible. I have never felt so loved. 

CONTEMPLATING the weirdness of World Vision and conservatives last week. 

DRINKING tea with honey - I'm trying to get over a cold. Also, coffee makes my heart feel like it's 
going to explode.

EATING all the cheese and bread I can get my hands on. Also Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies.

LAUGHING over the impeccable books my college roommate mailed me this week: Hot Guys and Baby Animals and Feminist Ryan Gosling. 
Feminist Ryan Gosling Tumblr
LISTENING to Joshua Radin, Brett Dennen, The Weepies, and Matt Nathanson. Thank you, "Brett Dennen" Pandora Station for speaking to my soul right now.

PUMPED that I have almost two normal work weeks back to back. It's been too long. Bring on the mundane routine!

READING Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans. I just finished Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber.

REALIZING that NYC is in four months! OH. EM. GEE. There's so much to do and I'm so excited!

WISHING that all the people I loved were near me all the time. Why is the world so big? 

March 25, 2014

March is Madness

In January, when I was looking ahead at my upcoming calendar, March was a month for which I was both anxious and excited. March has an odd way of filling itself up in the blink of an eye. On my March horizon lay a girl's weekend with my bestfriend, a week with NYC Leadership (youth and those planning worship), board meetings, a weekend with a dear friend, BVS retreat, and Roundtable in Virginia. Now with the best, hardest, and most full parts of March behind me - I hope to slip out of the madness that has gripped me for several weeks.

This isn't the only year that March has been maddening. Last year, I was in the office for five days in March, workcamp travel added up fast! For a couple years in College, what made March so maddening was the pivotal weekend of Roundtable. The weeks leading up to Roundtable were nothing short of prolonged chaos, since I was an integral member of running the conference. Those weeks were full of hour long meetings, some studying, meetings that started at midnight, and final details, final details, final details. Even in the midst of the enduring craziness, it was my favorite weekend every March. Fellowship, worship, games, talent, joy, people, #brethrenthings - I love all of it.

Despite all the swirling madness before, after, and during, Roundtable there are moments where God comes down and touches my heart. I feel God most tenderly in the midst of the blessing on the Sunday morning of Roundtable. I've come to anticipate and cherish this anointed blessing for my journey each spring. My heart becomes warm as the slick oil touches my forehead - marking me, reminding me to whom I belong, that I am enough. March is mad, this reminder is needed.

March is a month that's sometimes spring, sometimes winter. Teasing our sandles out of the closet for a day, before switching back to snow boots with a surprise storm the next day. The inconsistency of the weather is maddening. Our bodies have been bundled up for months enduring the harshness of winter temperatures and dangerous snow or ice. My body anxious for light jackets or even sandles, doesn't know how to feel as I wrap a scarf around my head. Weather whiplash slaps me so strongly my body doesn't know what to think. March is mad.

In the vitriol climate of March, where my body doesn't know what the weather is doing and my head is exhausted from the season of planning, travel, and little sleep - my heart starts feeling "some type of way". Oh, March, you bittersweet month of change. This Roundtable the speaker, Eric, talked about Seasonal Affective Disorder, which I would say after living in Chiberia for a full, long, awful season, has chipped away at my positive demeanor this winter. He talked about "winter blues", "summertime sadness", and he mentioned one less common seasonal ailment "spring sadness".

I thought it was a little ridiculous at first, the world is waking up again - what is there to fear about spring?! Yet, I thought about it. Spring is another season of change, like fall, but instead of the world falling asleep, it's waking back up again. Baby animals, flower buds, and all that. For me, it's been a season of unknowns from year to year...what will my life be like after I'm not on IYC, after graduation, after track, after BVS, after NYC, after relationships end...

Lent is a hard season. I find that the intentional things I add or take away to my daily routine during Lent slowly and surely point me on a closer walk with God, that I had been missing before. This routine that forms helps me when the ground changes beneath my feet during the maddening spring. What were Jesus' disciples thinking as the ground trembled beneath their feet as Jesus spent his final moments on the cross? What will life be like after this? What will happen to me? Why is this happening? Will life ever be normal again? 

Spring is the end of things. Spring is the beginning of things. The long darkness slowly rumbles into the light. We awake. The ground stirs beneath our feet. In the midst of chaos, anxiety, and disbelief, we meet God on a dusty road and we touch.

March has been madness. Who knows what life will be like after this?