The Lovely Dailies

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Lovely Dailies

Definition: [noun] everyday delights

I saw a dolphin flip the other day. It was not one from SeaWorld–just a wild, playful thing off the shore of Sullivan’s Island here in South Carolina. Squealing and cheering, I threw my hands in the air and said, “Yes!”

All those years on Guam and I had never seen one.

Seagulls swarmed overhead, and pelicans scooped and dove, scavenging for their lunch. And I sat in the warm, salty water absorbing it all and just loving it.

I was born and bred to be analytical, but I was also taught to search for the simple things and rejoice in them. Sometimes, in a world darkened by terrorist attacks, frightful politics, and general mayhem, it can feel trivial and even wrong to look for the lovely dailies. But perhaps it is now, more than ever, that we must find them. The more I study my Bible, the more conflict I see. It is all over the place.

Today I studied Obadiah, the man who spoke a word from God against the Edomites (descendants of Esau and his various wives, including one of Ishmael’s daughters). People have been interested in doing things their own crazy way for a very, very long time.

The turmoil goes beyond ISIS in Europe and the Middle East. It goes beyond ethnic tensions in the U.S. It goes far beyond all the wacky things that pop up on my Yahoo account (when all I want to do is check my email). It is in my heart, this turmoil, these tensions. Sitting in my favorite spot on my little blue couch, I bow my head to pray, but all I really want to do is just get up and go about my day, or watch television, or do laundry. Why? Why this struggle?

While I love to spend time with the Lord, there are conflicts deep inside of me, conflicts that will only settle in the shadow of His presence. The very thing I need is the thing against which I fight (Romans 7:15). Daily, I decide whether to humble myself before God or just surrender to the murmuring in my spirit.

When I humble myself, I can commune with God who is unseen (1 Tim. 1:17), and I can enjoy this life which is seen. This world is a flawed picture of what is was originally and what it will be one day (see Genesis and Revelation), but there are remnants. And they are all gifts, great and small. Perhaps it is a cup of coffee in a cute mug, a dolphin doing a flip, or a conversation with a friend. Communing with God and enjoying this life allows us to live with purpose and thankfulness, fighting the darkness while dancing in the sunshine.

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19, ESV

“God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from. He is our only possible ally, and we have made ourselves His enemies. Some people talk as if meeting the gaze of absolute goodness would be fun. They need to think again. They are still only playing with religion. Goodness is either the great safety or the great danger – according to the way you react to it. And we have reacted the wrong way.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Keep the Faith,

Audrey Ann

Perfection and Pointe

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It was a dash, a mere flick of a pencil. My professors did it. They handed the paper to me and I flipped it over, sometimes seeing an A with that infamous line next to it. Do not misunderstand, I received worse grades at times (many times), but something about the A minuses gripped me the most. My work was just not quite perfect, not quite. It was the ‘not quite’ that I hated, that I thought was a reflection of who I was and the ability of my mind.

This attempt to attain perfection was a spinning room of promises unkept and hopes unattained. I was a lacking, leaking fool who begged my smarter friend to study Shakespeare’s plays again (and again). It was a hokus-pokus of a dance, reeling me around and around, dizziness and catharsis always following.

And then, years later, I started taking ballet. I couldn’t even sort of do it. ‘Not quite’ became a rather encouraging demarkation. Hey, it beat failing (which was about half of the time). My best effort warranted constant correction. This should be turned out. That should be skinnier. The feet must be arched…a lot! The shoulders should be relaxed and not scrunched. Balance! Smile! BE BETTER!

A few weeks ago I had a little recital. As with the last recital, I went through my pictures and corrected myself. I was tossing ‘minuses’ all over the place, with not an A in sight.  But being perfect was never the reason I started taking ballet as an adult. I started taking because I love dancing, and ballet was the ultimate challenge.

Below are pictures of me attempting to do ballet. And as with life, it is far from perfect. But I love it. And by the by, I have left out several photos. These are the best. Hey, I have to keep some of my pride intact. Kidding.

The only truly perfect thing I love is Jesus. I dance for Him.

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“Help! I can’t hold it anymore!”

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

Psalm 30:11-12, ESV

Keep the Faith,

Audrey Ann