“Go shawty its your birthday.
We’re gonna party like it’s your birthday…”
My current “party” is being held sitting in an urgent care office in an unknown location…I believe we’re somewhere in North Carolina.
It’s beautiful here. It’s a little unexpected that I’m writing this “happy birthday post” as my dear friend is having her chest x-rayed and blood drawn. (Don’t worry she’s ok I promise).
Unexpected, but when I glance back at my 34th year it seems oh so appropriate.
This has been a year of unexpected.
A mixing bowl of surprise ingredients; sweet, sour and some with unpronounceable names.
All thrown together (out of order) and mixed with a blender that sometimes seemed to possess artificial intelligence.
Yes, it’s been a weird one.
Personally though this year has been just fine.
Nothing life changing, noteworthy or exceptional.
Just a day by day walking out of my photography and writing passions. Living the grind with a constant heart posture turned to gratitude for the job I have and people I live my life with.
Weird because, while my life has been chugging along the seemingly ‘normal’ trail of life, the lives of those around me have been crumbling.
Just to name a few.
It’s been a heartbreaking year. Intimately walking loved ones through deep valleys.
Wrestling with the questions of “why is this happening,” “how did I get here,’ and ‘where do we go from here.” All open ended questions I have wished, 1,000 times over, for the answers to. Answers that would bring reprieve to their storms and maybe provide glue for the crumbled stones around them.
Spoiler alert; I don’t have them.
And if I’ve learned anything in this year it’s been that, even if you try, you cannot make people listen.
Even when you want to shake the stupid out of your loved ones. (If you want to tie them down to a chair and lovingly beat some sense into them…not that I’ve wanted to do this but just saying.)
When you want to scream and shout til they open their eyes and see the tall cliff with no guard rail that is swiftly approaching…
Even when you can SEE so clearly the bold evidence of “cause and effect’ and the changes that need to occur in order for the ‘effect’ to cease.
People need to get there independently. When they SEE it and they make the changes…that is when the change is lasting.
So, this year has been a learning one mixed with love.
A center portion that perhaps might be the middle of all layers.
A layer that so sweetly reflects my Father’s heart.
It is the layer of presence.
The layer of love My Father faithfully and graciously displays daily.
The one that watches, with deep interest, our choices and remains for all of them.
For every good/bad/ugly choice we make, He is present.
Concerned with the outcome, of course, but also concerned with our hearts in the process.
Concerned with every tear, every injury, illness and concern we carry.
While I might not have the answers He does and He carries them with divine patience.
With perfect grace, balanced judgement and endless affection.
Present and perfectly interacting with us. Drawing us to expanded fields of maturity, deeper levels of healing and always onward towards hope.
If I have learned to love a little better, to love like He loves and be present as He is present, then this year, while on paper an un-remarkable one, just might be the most remarkable one yet.