Everyday Grace

Searching for goodness in the ordinary

The Other Couch

Apr
30

Confession: if you look long enough, you’ll notice quickly that this photo is not Instagram-perfect. To the right, you’ll see the bins of stuff still sitting around from when I started Konmari-ing and then life got in the way. A Diet Coke from a drive-thru sits on my coffee table, even though I know lots of folks will let me know about how it’s poison and I should make my own drinks from fermented kale and stevia. And for your own sanity, dear enneagram ones, please don’t glance under the coffee table itself. You don’t wanna know what assortment of vitamins, half-read books, tupperware containers of dried fruit and nuts, journals, bottle of Lysol wipes, and other random crap is lurking under there. Just don’t do that to yourself. I give you permission to look away until I organize it (likely first thing in the morning on February 31).

But, there’s something else in this photo – the reason I paused and took it from exactly this angle, no contorting to hide the mess.

See, I never sit over here.  (more…)

When We’re Waiting in the Top Envelope

Apr
21

Photo: Engin Akyurt

In my living room, next to my favorite bookcase, two envelopes hang on the wall. Nearby is a small stack of notecards. We put our prayers in the top envelope – the little leaf reminds us of hope for the future – and when God answers, we move them to the bottom envelope, our hope having bloomed into joy.

My little prayer corner.

I set this up after reading that Anne Lamott has a box where she keeps her prayers – God’s inbox. I thought this was genius but that we needed an outbox, too, a way to keep track of all the times God has answered – because, if you’re like me, you know how it goes. We pray (and pray and pray) and when God answers, we are grateful. But then, as the storms of life move in and the wind begins to toss us around again, all those filled needs and reassurances fade into the chaos and uncertainty around us. We forget (at least, I forget) how God has shown up for us in the past. How over and over again, when it looks like all is lost, He has come through.

I wonder if Jesus’ friends forgot too, right around this time a couple thousand years ago. The whole world must have looked pretty black this weekend. A Friday that looked anything but good, followed by a Saturday in what must have been utter darkness and despair. For a moment – an agonizing few days – it appeared that the corrupt power systems of this world had won. Goodness and love had taken its last breath and was buried.

Planted.

Just like our envelope prayers. When it has been a lifetime of leaves with what seems like only occasional flowers, too few and far between, and now the whole tree itself looks dead and dry, it can seem impossible that Sunday will ever come. That a dead tree could ever bloom again. That a Man could rise from the dead, resurrecting our hope and faith with Him. The waiting is the excruciating part, when we’re not sure He will come through this time, even if He has countless times before. But may we remember, even in the waiting, even in the not-sure and the not-yet, He is still good.

If you are waiting in the top envelope, hold on. Sunday and flowers are coming. You are not forgotten. You never, ever were, and you can never, ever be. The God of the universe, Maker of oceans and stars, is already whispering to your flowers to go on, unfold. Just wait till you see them. Just you wait.

 

-c

Should Christians Vote?

Nov
06

photo: Element5 Digital

In this tense election season, I have heard a lot of thoughts from fellow believers regarding not only how we should vote and who we should vote for, but also whether or not we should vote at all.

Yes, initially, I was super duper mad at these people who suggested to me that Christians should not vote. Are you kidding me?! There are people out there whose lives and livelihoods honestly depend on our choice of lawmakers a lot more than ours do. There are vulnerable people who need help and protections from the government in order to survive. Yes, the church and caring individuals can and should also take care of these folks. But if we do not participate in electing the people who decide these things, some will undoubtedly be left out in the cold. Aside from that, if we bow out of the system altogether, how can we ever hope to make it even a little bit better?  (more…)

All the Shoes

Sep
26

photo: Tatiana Diakova

I know I haven’t written in a while.

It’s because the events of the past several weeks have been something I haven’t been able to put into words. But I want to try, because there sure is a story in there that God wants to tell.

Let’s start here, because it’s my favorite part: about a month ago, Christopher proposed to me in Amsterdam and we are now ENGAGED!!! Y’ALL. I KNOW. Cue ALL THE HAPPY TEARS! The girl who was always waiting and has always felt unloveable is now the girl who is finally chosen. I still haven’t fully processed it. My heart doesn’t even know what to do with this information. I’m all discombobulated and thrown off, in the very BEST WAY. No words do justice to the amount of care and sweetness and thought and love he put into it, but I’ll still tell you the very best story from my life so far as best I can: (more…)