Waiting to Fly

adventure, authenticity, Christian, Christian womanhood, family, marriage, Uncategorized

IMGP1689

It’s the tension between living in monotony and living in adventure that really gets to me. As a mother of two little children, routine is life-giving, as are structure and boundaries. But as a (quieter) member of the adrenaline-junkie club, I long to travel, see, taste, smell, jump and run. I long to relax in the arms of a new place, to sit and know and be known by it–wind in my hair and all that jazz.

Technically we’re en route to England (to live there!)–headed to serene village life, so I’m told. My husband, a federal firefighter, accepted a job several months ago. It was an absolute dream come true! However, due to COVID-19, we’re currently living with a (very gracious) couple from our church here in South Carolina. Our sweet home sold a few weeks ago, and we’re essentially “stuck” here until further notice.  The adjustment period has been rough on my toddler and on my pride and emotions as a mama who is mothering in front of others nearly 24/7.

We were supposed to be leaving for England in a few days, but now even a potential leave date is foggy and seems fake. Some days it feels like we’re hopelessly waiting for our adventure to begin, but deep down I know the adventure begins right now, and it’s my perspective and attitude that will make all the difference. Andy Rooney said, “Everyone wants to live on the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” If that ain’t the truth.

And so I climb this mountain–the mountain of messes, laundry, and tantrums–in someone else’s beautiful home. I climb the mountain of low days and not liking how my body looks and figuring out how to stay close to my husband when all it feels like I do is ask him to please toss me the baby wipes.

Many, if not most, of us are concerned and dealing with disappointments right now. It’s been so much to process.  I’m learning to hold it all with care, with contentment, loosely. Saying goodbye to our beloved little home and moving in with friends during a pandemic was both more and less than what I wanted (which was to hop on a plane to the UK looking cool as is earthly possible with a toddler and baby in tow). But I am here–in lovely and wonky South Carolina. It sort of feels like we’re just awaiting our fate, but what it really is looks more like me leaning into my faith and learning to trust God more.

I won’t be hopping on that plane today, but today still matters, today can still be an adventure, and wherever I go His Spirit is with me. As the psalmist says,

If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.

Psalm 139:9-10

Charlie Brown and Christianese

authenticity, bilingual, Charlie Brown, Christian, Christianese, church, language

In high school and college I took Spanish as part of my foreign language requirement. However, there is no way on earth I would dub myself “bilingual.” Yes, I am one of those sad people who only really knows English and was nerdy enough to make it my major. Living on Guam makes me painfully aware of how many people typically have a few languages they can whip out, if needed. But lately I have come to realize that I am, indeed, bilingual and my second language is “Christianese.” 
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with using “Chrisianese” terms, so long as they are theologically correct (“saved by the blood,” “repented of sins,” etc). However, sometimes the language can become one of hindrance, but not just to those who are not Christians, but to those who are. For those of you who have been or are church-goers, let’s be honest, when you go to church you want to present you best self, your best smile, your best outfit. And that is fine. You want to contribute something deep and say all the right things in your Sunday school class or a leadership training session. 
The trouble is that sometimes when we want a good reputation or a good slur of Christianese phrases more than we really want Jesus. Some of the most prideful people I have ever met have been regular church attenders, and I am one of the offenders. What if a person can spout all the right things and does love Jesus, but has a hidden struggle, sin, or addiction? Where is he or she to go? Who will speak hope?
A favorite Christmas movie of my family’s is A Charlie Brown Christmas. I love the part where Charlie Brown is trying to earn the approval of his peers by directing the Christmas play and picking out the best Christmas tree. But he just can’t. Their approval is elusive, and he cracks. “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!” he cries. “Sure, Charlie Brown” his trusty friend Linus says, after he takes his thumb out of his mouth. And he precedes to quote Luke 2:8-14. Charlie Brown was honest and humble enough to ask, and Linus was compassionate enough to answer. He loved his friend, and he wanted to offer him hope–not the hope of his perfection or having the perfect words, but the hope of Jesus come to earth.
I’m preaching to myself on this one. Goodness, how I have always desired for others to think well of me. Due to attending church since I was a baby and always being educated under a Christian institution, I am inevitably fluent in Christianese. And that’s okay, as long as I remember to also be fluent in humility and remember that there is not a single person whose hope rests in my ability to always look put together or say the right thing. Hope always rests in the God Man Jesus Christ. He adorned humility in the womb of a young girl, in the manger of a cave, and on the cross of Calvary, and He spoke the language of hope. 
Keep the Faith,
Audrey Ann

Image credit: Charles M. Schulz/Free Google Images/blog.chateaugranville.com