Swallows

In the evening, before the sun goes down, the swallows take over the Cáceres sky.

I went for a sunset run with a friend and as we stopped to admire the painted sky, I looked up at the swallows and said, “I just love those birds because it looks like they’re just flying around for the joy of it.”

They don’t look like they’re flying to get somewhere important. They flit around and dive through thin air as if it’s their invisible roller coaster. Maybe they’re all surprise-attacking little bugs for their dinner or maybe some of them truly are flying around simply for fun.

You know how kids run just because? Outside play with their friends almost always includes running. Or, without thinking twice they, they break into a trot to get somewhere quickly. I did that today. I needed to get something from the other side of the yard and I ran for it. Why not?

Life isn’t always a piece of cake but I think we can sprinkle in enough just-because joy to get us through the days and then some.

Flit around the sky, run and skip through the lawn, dance across the kitchen, and sing for the sake of making music.

2019

2019 was good! And it was weird. Very unusual. I’m having trouble coming up with another word for it.

And here I am, almost two weeks into 2020, and having the marker of an old year and a new year does seem appropriate as I figure out how to categorize 2019 and how to be in 2020.

I’m ending 2019 and counting it as the past. I move on from the unsure choices I made (even if I’m still unsure about them). I move on from the decisions that were made for me and the ones I didn’t want to make. I move on from the confusion and all questions I asked. I learned so much.

I leave those things behind, having grieved what needed to be grieved, knowing that I brought decisions to the Lord for guidance, trusting that I made the best choices I could, and rejoicing that I have been shaped in tangible ways by the things that happened to me.

Still open to learning from all that 2019 held, on a practical level, I leave it behind and focus on and look forward to the things to come. I don’t know what they are, but I know they’ll be good. Why?

La imagen puede contener: árbol, cielo, exterior y naturaleza

John Steinbeck said this in a letter to his son: “Nothing good gets away.” I don’t think he was thinking along the same lines as me when he wrote it, but I can get behind it. (If you’ve never read this lovely letter, read it here.)

Because for me, a daughter of God, secure in Christ, nothing good gets away! I strive toward goodness, holiness, and choices that honor Christ. I see God working in me and I actively receive the gifts I see the Lord giving me. And in the end, no matter what a given year holds, I can live freely and with great hope because none of my “good” gets away.

The best things in my life — my identity in Christ, the joy, hope, and love I have in God — are secure. I have them forever and always. There is no losing from here on out as I walk with Jesus. My future is bright. So, I process the past as I need to, then move forward to more learning, growing, and serving the Lord and those around me.

In 1 Samuel 16:1, the Lord says to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul…? Be on your way.”

Be on your way! Process it, mourn it, grieve what you need to, and then be on your way. Upward and onward to a good unknown.

I move forward unsure of myself, but sure of God. I move forward with a spirit of adventure, trusting as I live this story.

 

 

Wanderlust versus relationship 

It still baffles me that sometimes we don’t know what we think or what we really feel until our mouths open. What comes out of us in pressure or hardship is worth paying attention to. The unrehearsed words that we speak are equally as telling.

Recently someone was asking about my life in Spain and asked if I would move around a lot within Spain. My immediate response was “No, I’m not really doing this for adventure.” I’d never spoken that sentence before, never thought through that idea, but there it was and it is true.

In many ways living in Spain is exciting, but what draws me there is not wanderlust or a thirst for adventure. I am grateful I have this opportunity in this season, feel it is where I’m meant to be right now, and I enjoy my life there. But “moving all around Spain” is not my goal. I desire depth with people always, wherever I am and wherever I end up, and wanderlust and adventure-living don’t really pave the way for depth of relationship.

Dale Partridge says that “the desire to be gone as a way of living, is often no more than a dangerous addiction to “new”. To the beginning. To the start. In other words, the easy part. You see, real relational fruit requires the presence of the farmer. It requires more than planting seeds. It requires frequent watering, fertilizing, and pruning. People who live in a lifestyle of leaving, can’t build deep roots with many. They can’t disciple or mentor or walk in deep waters with others. Presence and availability are the currency of a vibrant life. Go on vacation. Explore the world. But don’t be gone when your crop needs watering.”

No matter where I am, may commitment, steadfastness, depth with people, and listening to the call of Jesus characterize my days.