Being Serious and Grateful

I really thought I would be funnier in my blog. I really wanted to be witty and funny and cool. But I’m a 30 year old religious mother who is processing the world, a world which just this week reminded us that life sometimes punches you right in the gut. I like to think that sometimes I can be funny. Some bits of my posts might be clever, mostly because kids can be so hilarious and adorable. But lately my posts feel weighty and big, like something I didn’t even really intend for them to be. Not in a bad way necessarily. Just… Weighty.

So when I sat down to work on some blog thoughts, I kept annoying myself with how serious I was becoming. I started a post about this fresh blanket of snow and the resultant snow day, and I ended up in thoughts of God washing us and making us whiter than snow. I mean, that’s true and all, but still. SO serious. And that wasn’t even the worst one. I literally started working on a post about the little jerk mice who have been infesting my house, and I could not stop finding lessons in humility. Again. All true. But…

I’ve honestly been feeling a little guilty and silly about how all my posts seem to turn to a very serious place. I am normally such a happy and bubbly person! Even if I start somewhere fun, like I mentioned, I seem to meander my way into deeper thoughts and perhaps ideas that are above my pay grade. But you know, life is like that. There are lots of great, funny, light moments in the journey, but we often unknowingly meander into deeper water before we realize what has happened. We are wandering along, enjoying the view, and then suddenly loved ones die, tragedies strike, and terrorists seem to win. People become mean and downright nasty. We struggle with anxiety and depression and wondering what in the world we should be doing. And yet through it all there are those bright spots of grace, little fresh breaths of air, the things that sustain us in the midst of the deep water. Like little life rafts when the water is choppy and deep, the grace moments pop up, giving us somewhere to rest even if just for a moment. We often can’t have one without the other, the life rafts without the deep water, and I don’t know if we are necessarily meant to, at least in this life.

The other thing is that I know that some of you don’t believe in Jesus. So when my posts constantly point back to him specifically, well, it may not be super helpful to everyone. But beyond the fact that this blog is all about the intersection of the sacred and the secular in my life, I have also thought about it, and the truth is that I can only really speak about that which I know. Jesus is my thing. He’s my wheelhouse. He’s my anchor. I serve him extremely imperfectly, and boy do I struggle, but I constantly find myself feeling like Simon Peter when he was questioned about abandoning Jesus and almost whined as he said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68-69) That’s been my experience over and over again: plenty of times when it would have been easier to just throw the whole religion thing out, and just as many realizations that He alone as the words of eternal life. So I guess you could say I am stuck, in the most wonderfully blissful and perhaps strange way you can imagine. 

Today I’m choosing not to feel bad about the weighty nature of my blog posts or about the Jesus nature of them. I want to be honest about my journey and to tell my fellow travelers that they are not alone. And this is my life: full of contradictions and full of Jesus and full of both light and weighty things, simultaneously.

And hey, it’s Holy Week, the week we Christians remember the passion of Jesus and all the things He did for us as he prepared to lay down His life. That’s weighty, when I let myself contemplate the fullness of it, so I probably get a pass for being a little serious this week. And the horrific hardships in the world, those are serious too. Meanwhile, here I sit in my ill-fitting snowflake pajamas, bleary eyed, draining my second cup of coffee, wondering what I’m going to to do with these crazy little humans on this unexpected snow day (sigh) at the end of March (sighhhhhh). But we will probably laugh and giggle and experience one or two of those little grace moments I mentioned. I may be kind of serious, but I am also completely grateful. So the sacred and the secular will collide again, and it will be mashed up and messy and wonderful. I hope you find a messy collision of the secular and the sacred today, too, friends.

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