I’ve been working against a deadline.
On Monday I will have completed another year of life. 42 of them so far. Another circle around the sun. Another cycle of life. Another end. Another beginning.
It has not been lost on me that the day falls immediately after Easter this year. It did the same 11 years ago when I was cradling a week-old baby in Sunday services. How fresh a resurrection message falls on days like these.
Emerging from Darkness. New Life. A Birth Day.
In preparation for such a day – especially against the backdrop of Lent – I could not help but think on the need for some dying in my life. On the giving up. The letting go.
What needed to die to make room for new life?
What was I not willing to carry forward into my 43rd year?
Where was my surrender less than everything?
I often do my best work against a deadline.
But the frost on budding trees tells me this. Sometimes Spring comes reluctantly.
It comes in fits and spurts. It comes in fully blooming pear trees outside the tightly closed windows where the furnace has turned back on. It comes in pollen-covered sidewalks traversed by coat-covered people.
Spring does not bow to a deadline. Awakening comes in its own time.
I, too, am coming reluctantly to the turning of a page. As glorious is the spring, the winter lingers still.
There is more dying to be done.
There will be celebration over the coming days. Family. Easter. Birthday.
There will be warm days and deep laughter and lots and lots of life.
There will be Spring.
But deep at the roots – where the darkness never eases – it is the breaking open that lives on still.
There is no deadline on that.
There are many varieties of brave. But only one size.
Every brave is big.
That’s one of the things I’ve discovered during October. During the Brave Every Day series. During write (most) every day. During reflecting on the word brave. My own and that of others.
Getting out of bed in the morning. Brave.
Sharing your story. Brave.
Listening with out Speaking. Brave.
Trying something new. Brave.
Forgiving yourself for being stuck. Brave.
Asking for help. Brave.
Admitting you need a different kind of help. Brave.
Giving help. Brave.
Saying No. Brave.
Saying Yes. Brave.
They are all Brave. They are all Big.
There is no possible way to NOT be Brave Every Day.
Living is Brave.
My mind is younger than my body. A discovery I made about 5 seconds into the Tilt-a-Whirl. And 5 minutes after when I was still steadying my steps.
But it was the swings that brought a bigger lesson home.
Everything looks easier from the ground.
On terra firma, the seats above seem easy and breezy. A leisurely spin around the park. It’s not until your own feet are lifted that you notice the height — and the way the center pole rotates to create a dip and rise during the round and round.
I have Brene’ Brown to thank for introducing me to the Theodore Roosevelt speech that comes to mind as I circle high above the North Carolina State Fair.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
- People, in general, are exceptionally good at masking their feeling. True understanding requires a different view and deeper questions.
- What looks simple and ordinary from one perspective is really an act of bravery. Until you get in that position yourself, don’t expect to understand what another is experiencing.
- It’s OK that other people don’t really understand my struggle. It looks different from where they are standing. Therefore, their thoughts on my battle should be filtered through the light of whether they are speaking to me from the mud of the arena floor or from the safety of the stands.
- I’m deeply grateful for those who get dirty with me in both my strength and struggle.
- I ask forgiveness from those I have shouted to from the ground while they do their flying through the air.
- Even when you don’t really know just how fast the spinning is and how long its effects can last, it’s still more fun than not doing it at all.
In response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October — reporting on ways I reach out to bravery in my everyday life. (See all posts to date HERE.) To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email.
In these days. In my listening days, He has been feeding me from His Word. The tried-and-true prose that fills my spiritual hunger. Words of His promises. His kindness. His grace. His care. His provision.
His love. Oh, His love. That deep and wide love. The love that is a banner over me. The love that leads a prodigal home and a blind man to see. The love that makes an evangelist of a harlot and a preacher of a persecutor.
And in these days. In my listening days, I store them up in my spirit.
Least I forget… on my writing days. My talking days. My stormy days. My weak days.
On these days they are no less true than today.
All my days were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16)
It’s a quiet day for me.
No writing. No posting.
A checking in and making sure that along my current path I have not wandered out of the sound of His voice.
There are words forming, yes. And soon they will come together in thoughts and posts.
But not today.
Today is Shh.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. (John 10:27-28)