Waiting to Fly

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

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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

Motherhood and Too Many Photos

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, are thousands of pictures really worth millions of words? It depends on the photo, right? While my flaws are many, one that greatly annoys me is my inability to organize and reduce the amount of my digital photos. I mean, it’s bad. I’ve prided my sentimental self on being a minimalist convert these last ten years or so, but photos (and cards, letters, etc.) are another story. Since Talitha came, it’s been infinitely worse. If I’m about to delete a random iPhone photo I think, “Oh, no! What if we don’t have another photo of her with that exact same expression. I’d better keep it. Oh, and that one, too. It’s the same expression, but her hair is blowing differently in this one.” Seriously.

A few days ago I was thinking about this conundrum–how I should dedicate a whole day when Eric is off and organize (read: delete a ton) of photos. I started thinking about why I feel this need to save all the photos of my baby, and I realized that I just don’t want to miss or lose a thing; I don’t want to let any of it go. I want to be a witness of her life, a cheerleader of all her beautiful moments, and a comfort in all her difficult ones. That’s natural, right?

But as a Christ-follower mama, I know that my greatest calling as Talitha’s mother is not saving all her snapshots and mementos, but pointing her to the One who can save her soul. My wandering heart must not fixate primarily on her, but on Jesus. He calls me to love Him MOST, whose love is more than I can understand. Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe God loves my baby more than I do. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but it’s true.

In that struggle of unbelief, I pray against double-mindedness and reach toward God. I am Mary Magdalene in the dust, completely unworthy, in need, fearful and waiting for stones, wondering what I missed and why I can’t get it together. There’s a lot of fear in motherhood, wouldn’t you agree? Vaccines, life-threatening allergies, diseases, pedophiles, and regular ol’ accidents are just a few of the fears that keep me mindful of my dependence on Christ. The fragility of life and the beauty of life—and there we go. The reason I fear throwing out any of T’s photos is the beauty and fragility of life. And I love her so.

Craving the simplicity of having less, I work to manage this massive amount of photos. While I may never find “balance,” I’ll work to enjoy more moments with my daughter rather than just capture them. I’ll work to live this life, remembering the past, but not being overcome by preserving it. Documentation is important, but being selective will add both meaning and sanity.

Keep the Faith,

Audrey Ann

Social Media and the Quest for Everything

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Like a nightmarish flight of stairs, this glittery escalator entraps me. And it’s going the opposite direction. The more I climb the higher the goal, and what is the goal? I’m asking you. I really don’t know; it’s super blurry at best.

I dream of being a writer, one well-paid and recognized by many. I want to be an influencer, but I entered the Instagram game late, and we just got Wifi. It’s like a complicated version of that hungry hippos game; I grab at those marbles in front of me, but I can’t reach. Just keep biting, and maybe, just maybe I’ll get myself a little ball of success.

So many choices that might mean something. For example, what font to choose on Insta stories? How do I get that cool background? Which camera and editing tool to use (also how to sequester the time to learn how)? The details in my posts need to show that I am whimsical, edgy, artsy, a lover of old-fashioned things, and a good Christian girl. Not too good, though, because that is boring, right? See, these little boxes and photos show who I am. They create who I am. Wait, is that right?

Do I really believe my soul’s worth is found in how many followers I have, how successful I become, or how charming I seem to others? My pragmatist voice says no, but my worries say otherwise. Funny, I thought these were high school fears. Turns out they’re adult fears, too, only illuminated by the ever-pressing social media land.

Glamorous people all around–maybe you’re one of them! I’d like to learn from your success while remembering this verse God has used in my life:

Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. James 1:9-11 (ESV)

Flower fades, falls–beautiful, but fleeting. We know this, but do we know it? Do we feel it as we stare into our phones and look at others soaring while being both gorgeous and self-deprecating? Our belief says yes, but our practice sometimes says no.

Perfect love casts out fear.

Seems like so many of us are trying to be mini celebrities. It’s the child’s game of playing in front of a mirror, except now we’re more self-conscious, and it’s not only our parents and babysitters who are watching. In essence, we are branding ourselves. On a business level, that’s a smart move, but we must be watchful of our hearts and minds. This image we create and carefully curate is never the complete story. And now I’m fretting about how pithy I sound, how cute my daughter’s outfit is, and how to hide the fact that I certainly do not have a thigh gap.

But Christ: A few weeks ago, His Holy Spirit came to me on a porch in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, with a light breeze on a dead end street, and a touch of the most reassuring love. Because in the end, that’s what I crave–to be loved. My flesh seeks accolades, affirmation, likes, money, success, but my soul wants love.

Social media is an amazing tool–whether you’re keeping in touch with your friends, growing a business, or something else. But do not for one second forget that every person online matters just as much as another, no matter their finesse or following. God gave us the dignity of being made in His image, and the most glorious and rewarding thing in the world is to be a follower of Him. As His follower, I’m free to pursue these dreams while daily placing them in His hands and asking for the Holy Spirit to lead. And that, my friends, is where I want to be for the rest of my days, well known or not.

Keep the Faith,

Audrey Ann

Talitha’s 1st Birthday Party

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As Murphy’s Law would have it, our normally happy (albeit passionate/prone to short fits) baby girl had her worst spell of teething the night before her party. We all faced the day very tired and yet so thankful for our friends and family who could join us to celebrate the sweet life of our Talitha Rose, whom we affectionally call “Talisaur” and “T-Rose.” What a gift!

I had such fun scouting ideas on Pinterest and working with grocery store flowers. The concept was “feminine and floral dinosaur” and I think it was smashing. We kept the food simple (donuts, fruit, and Starbucks iced coffee from Walmart), and I bought her smash cake from a health food store. Also, I dropped her cake and therefore I actually “smashed” it first. Lovely. Note to self: the cardboard under the cake is very slippery on a cake stand (insert pangs of disappointment). Even now, I can envision that darling cake crumpled on the grass.

However, since I’ve been able to balance my body with the help of Plexus supplements, I’ve noticed that I can handle situations that would have pushed me to frazzled tears a few months back. And having a friend with a culinary degree on hand certainly didn’t hurt. I actually liked the “rustic” look better! Thank you so much, Linneah!

We thank God for our daughter, and we pray that she would come to know him and love him very soon. Hope you enjoy a few photos of our day, and apologies to my mom and dad (and other guests) that we forgot to get photos with them! It was a lovely day.

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Eric made this wooden tray, and I just love it.

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Cheap dino toys+gold spray paint

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Pre-caketastrophy (see what I did there?) 😉 My dad would be proud.

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Lack of sleep+teething+people singing to you=her face

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Linneah to the rescue!

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Our precious gift from God.

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Facetime with the paternal grandparents

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Oh, my heart. May she walk with God and face this ever-alarming world with the courage, grace, and compassion he gives.

Keep the Faith,

Audrey Ann

Photos: My wonderful mom (not pictured, boo). If you’re in Indiana, check her out! Her work is lovely.

Baby Snuggles and New Year’s Resolutions

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Oh, blasted New Year’s traditions we get ourselves into of our own free will. Since Eric and I have been married, we’ve kept a little notebook to write in at the end of every year. We list events of the previous year, including a smattering of disasters but mostly accomplishments–hard things we overcame, reasons to be a bit proud, and remembrances of how God has been faithful to us.

This year was different. Glancing through the previous years’ submissions, a dazed feeling came over me, and I could only think of one “thing,” one “accomplishment” for this year. Baby, baby, baby. It was the year of Talitha.

This thought overwhelmed me for a few seconds, but then I remembered the intense and even painful love that flooded our lives since the birth of little T-Rose. I thought of the many days at home with her, but also our many road trips and even our recent trot across the globe to visit Guam and Hawaii. I thought of the dedication and determination I’ve gathered (with help from God, Christian friends/mentors, and my husband) to deal with baby blues, to walk confidently in my “different” body, and to eat healthy while watching the scale descend at a numbingly slow pace.

As with so many things, there seems to be a rather jolting pendulum swing when it comes to perceptions of motherhood. One says motherhood means that your old life and any semblance of order and regular ol’ beauty is gone. Embrace the mom bun, leggings, and giant t-shirts every day and everywhere. Showers are optional for this mama. The other says that motherhood doesn’t have to touch you very much at all. Your child is a cute, albeit expensive, accessory. Like a poodle, only not.

While I don’t pretend to know the answers of what the “ideal mother” looks like, I know these extreme views of her are flawed. Yes, we must figure out at each stage and with each consecutive child how to keep our personal and professional dreams afloat and fit in a semi-regular shower, but while death to self does (and should) occur, we must not lose ourselves and our zest for this fabulous and short life. So for me, 2017 was a year of growth, a year of love, and yes, it was the year of Talitha Rose. How blessed am I? Her smile, which she gives liberally, undoes me, and I am so grateful to be her one and only mama. Here’s to a new year full of thankfulness, determination, contentment, and lots of baby snuggles. Thanks be to the Prince of Peace.

Keep the Faith,

Audrey Ann

Photo Credit: Creationfoto Photography by Barbara Sanders

The Wonder of Home

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If home holds small wonders, we are more likely to believe in the big ones.

I tend to categorize homes–not by size, but by character, the charming little details that speak of both its history and the history of the family inhabiting it. Sure, some of us are natural decorators and some of us avoid Home Depot’s paint section because there are just too. many. decisions. And that’s okay. The character of a home, while it can be found partially in things like high ceilings, crown moulding, and antique fireplaces, is more about the investment and care given it from those who shelter there.

Growing up I loved the The Little House book by Virginia Lee Burton. It’s this beautiful story personifying the little house and it tells of all she goes through with the life around her and inside of her. Whenever I see a house that is abused or neglected, I think of that story, and I feel a bit sad. A home is a gift and should be cherished.

Travel is currently quite the buzzword and tends to be excessively glorified. I, too, have been caught up in wanderlust and photos of all the beautiful places with all the beautiful people traipsing through them. To be fair, the pendulum can swing both ways. Case in point: the empire that is Chip and Joanna Gaines. Seriously, Magnolia is like Martha Stewart and your favorite, most down-to-earth uncle had a baby. You just can’t help but love them! So sweet, hilarious, and inspirational. Side note: Eric and I read The Magnolia Story out loud together and both laughed and made some better habits because of it.

While we can easily get caught up in all the beautiful stuff in all the beautiful houses, we must remember that home should not be a mini museum to display grandeur (or shiplap), but a place of rest and rejuvenation for those living in it and those who visit. The goal is to thoughtfully line your home with pieces that inspire and delight you. How? Oh, I’m so glad you asked. Let’s keep exploring and making home our very favorite place to be. Some practical tidbits and thoughts coming soon!

Keep the Faith,

Audrey Ann

Raleigh, North Carolina

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I grew up watching a lot of Andy Griffith, and when they weren’t talking about Mayberry, they were talking about Raleigh. My friend, Abby, whom I lived with pre-marriage days on Guam, lives in the capital city with her husband and baby girl. So we made a long weekend trip to go visit.

While on Guam, one of the things we missed about living in the States was visiting museums, and for my husband, particularly art museums. I did a quick Google search before we left and discovered that the NC Museum of Art was located in Raleigh and boasted an amazing collection from Claude Monet to Guido Reni, as well as three miles of trails peppered with sculptures and (get this) it was FREE!

After we arrived at the home of my friend, we enjoyed time together (our little ones met for the first time!) and a good night’s rest. The next morning we hit up a local thrift store and then the NC Museum of Natural Sciences (also free!). It has a lot of fun displays about the natural science of the region. Then we stopped for a time of browsing at Form & Function, a store that offers unique, artistic interior decor, including everything from yummy candles to charming antiques.

The next morning we packed up to head back home, and our friends were so kind to take us to a coffee shop (they know our love language), Sola Coffee Cafe. Note: this place was crowded, and for good reason! At the time I was dairy-free due to baby, so I enjoyed an iced americano and an acai bowl. Such. goodness. On Saturday mornings the coffee shop offered an artisan’s market outside. There was jewelry, pottery, paintings, and more. We bought a coffee mug and a few paintings for Talitha’s room from artist Rachel Loftis. What a great weekend full of friends, art, and food.

Have you ever been to Raleigh? What did you enjoy?

Keep the Faith,

Audrey Ann

Pacific Ántonia: A Blog Revamp

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I am quick to see the holes—that which is missing. I am ever striving to be a critical thinker and not a critical person. To be a critical thinker is to experience, listen, and examine. To be a critical person is to beat with a mallet. We are to be kind-hearted surgeons, not bullish versions of Donkey Kong. I want to believe that the glorious and good are every bit as real as the gloomy and despicable.

A few years ago I read a classic called My Ántonia by Willa Cather, and it rattled me in the most comforting of ways. I wrote about it here. Whenever I’ve thought about revamping the blog or having my own business, the name ‘Pacific Ántonia’ comes to me. I’m a Midwest girl who grew into myself in the Pacific—a girl, just like Ántonia, who traveled far and made a home. Through Ántonia’s character, Cather shows what it means to weather life and all its jarring changes well. And to this day, as I now live along the coast of the Atlantic, I am forever longing to make a home and travel well.

You guys, I love to travel—not merely the Instagram-perfect-Cancun-trip sort of travel. (Of course I could go for that too!) I love travel in the way that I love a green drink of wheat grass. It may be difficult to choke down at times, but man, it feels like I need it. The magic and the grit of the world should be experienced. It calls to me. I am cautious not to make it an idol in my life, but in its proper place, what a sweet treat it is! Travel shows me more beauty than I knew existed, along with the holes only Jesus can fill.

As I look into the eyes of people much different than me, I learn so much. Longing and hope spark in eyes of all ethnicities. Taking in the world does not mean embracing all of it. To experience it through the framework of a Biblical worldview is the goal. Oh, the joy of zipping up a suitcase and double-checking if you have the passports.

For all the rush and excitement of travel, though, there is nothing like the sweetness of that corner of the world you can call your own. Making home a place worth being is important—noticing details, listening, and using all the senses. From clean sheets to baked cookies, it can all be life-enriching. A place where you can laugh too loudly, and build yourself without perpetual scrutiny, but rather loving shaping. Home should be the very best of launching pads.

As much as I want to snuggle my baby forever, I also want my nest to enable my little birdie to spread her wings and fly. Home and travel are both simultaneously good. One may feel more valuable to you, but I would argue that for most of us, both are important. Now, I don’t mean you have to go to another continent (but wouldn’t that be fun?!). I mean going somewhere that is at least a little uncomfortable and new, a place to take in and say, “Ah, I never knew this was here.” It is to learn not just how to enjoy and take as a tourist, but how to give (more than just money) and enhance a new place.

Home and travel are mutually enriching. They have a symbiotic relationship of sorts. Done well, home enriches travel, and travel enriches home. Of course, both will and should look different based on desire, income, personality, and life-situation. Every adventure is a personally customized opportunity.

So, in light of all of this and the fact that this year we have travelled more than ever (with a baby to boot), my blog will shift to be somewhat of a travelogue based on places we’ve recently visited, and it will also include snippets of our home life, our heart for both of these, and some of the practical elements that help us along the way. It’s going to be fun! I would so love it if you joined me.

Keep the Faith,

Audrey Ann

Photo: Eric Masur

Mommy Blog

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I pretty much swore—up, down, and back again that I would not be a mommy blogger. Sure, kiddos and the lessons we learn from them are incredible fodder for writing. Teaching dozens of children on Guam taught me that. Kids are the best; they are hilarious, thought-provoking, and they can completely crush you in both beautiful and tragic ways. But still, it was a resounding “no” to mommy blogs. I did not want to add another drop to such a saturated section of the blogosphere.

Now, I think a lot of mommy blogs are great. They offer some clever tips and candid moral support, and I frequented them plenty during my pregnancy. I just did not want to write one of them. And I still don’t, but I’ve been examining my motives why.

One of the reasons I wanted to avoid writing a blog dedicated to the art of motherhood is that I wanted to be cool—to be unchanged from this mama deal, or at least, I didn’t want it to swallow me. If I must be a social media/blog mommy, then by golly let me be looking totally cute and thin with a baby perched on one hip in a carefree fashion as I glide through life, smiling with my fancy diaper bag (that doesn’t look like a diaper bag) and an iced coffee. None of this here’s-my-birth-story for perfect strangers to read and photos of me nursing my baby while simultaneously showing everyone my rather maimed abdomen, while I offer some coupon links at the bottom of the post. Heck no.

I wanted to remember what it was to be single or without a child, and remember that photos of my child are most likely not the highlight of anyone’s day besides her close relatives. I questioned the wisdom of sharing a lot of personal information on the internet. Children are people and deserve respect and privacy as they grow. My goal was to be well-rounded, to not obsess over everything baby-related in a public forum, and to remain open to and interested in people with all sorts of lifestyles whether or not they were moms like me.

I still feel this way, but a few things have changed. And being a rational person, I knew things would change. I knew my body would change. My skin has stretched and plumped and housed a beautiful, smart, and takes-my-breath-away baby girl. I knew it would be precious to hold my girl, but I didn’t know just how precious and how natural it would feel. My life has, in some ways, been consumed by her existence. A giant, glassy wave of beauty crashed over me, pulled me in, and I am left beautifully marred and tragically whole. In a way I feel like I was made for this and that I have in some odd, twilight zone way always been a mother.

Yet, I have mourned the girl, the girl who traipsed through Malaysia right after a political uprising and hitchhiked down a mountain. The girl who instigated shenanigans with college girlfriends and could fit into those size 4 jeans. The girl who could just hop in the car and chill at the beach. The girl who left everything to live with strangers on a tiny island in the Pacific. Her. I missed her.

What I am learning, is that I still am that person, for that person has always been changing and growing. And just as I learned and grew from other experiences and roles in my life, so I will from this one. The weight of motherhood is surpassed only by its joy. What pure delight to see our Talitha Rose smile, and what satisfaction it brings to know that I am doing my best to care for her.

Will I be able to continue blogging with no mention whatsoever of my little puffin? No, probably not. She is an ever fixed mark (thank you, Shakespeare) upon my heart, so motherhood will be an aspect of my writing, just not the focal point. I am still working on what my niche is in the blogosphere, and I am excited to hone my skills and invite you, dear reader, along for the journey. May we all be encouraged and God be glorified. For now, life goes on, and it’s filled with newness and a lot of talk about poop. But there are also whispers of wonder: “My word, we made her.” Oh wait, this totally isn’t a mommy blog.

Keep the Faith,

Audrey Ann

Photo Credit: Creationfoto by Barbara Sanders

Confetti and Palm Branches

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Today we remember Jesus coming to Jerusalem–this seemingly awkward celebration of the King whom the Jews would reject just a few days later. It always appeared such a somber thing to me, this “triumphal entry.” As a little girl I would wave the palm branches at the church cantata, branches that were ordered from some place far more tropical than our sweet Indiana. And as I acted out the part of a joyful young Jewish girl, I thought to myself, these people were delirious. They didn’t get it. One day they are honoring Jesus and then mere days later they are yelling “Crucify Him!” Yet it seemed so exciting–the music, the live donkey, the exotic palm branches. I would lay down my giant, leafy fan and watch the pretend Jesus step on it, one step closer to the cross.

Today is also my birthday–my 29th to be precise. I always told myself I would not have a meltdown when I hit that 30 mark (and clearly, I still have a year to go), but as this child grows in my womb and life is increasingly not about me and is increasingly out of my control, panic invades my mind. “You’ll be a great mom,” so many have said, and how I appreciate those words of affirmation, for I have wanted to me a mama since I can remember. Hey, I was blessed with a really good one. But I have these fears, some rational, some not–fears of morphing into a stringy-haired mess of a woman who can’t enjoy life because she is fearful about protecting her child from every possible evil and bad thing that could ever happen.

I know that such protection is impossible, and I also know that life is not about me. But some days I just want to jump on a plane and go somewhere crazy–to be met at the airport with confetti and dance music. I want to celebrate life, life without gripping fear.

There is this thing I long for–this thing I am embarrassed to want. I am Debbie Reynolds in Singing in the Rain, Sacagawea advising Lewis and Clark, and Nancy Reagan in the weight room with Ronny. I am glamorous, strong, and I snuggle up to greatness. Hair wild and eyes clear, my face shines with purpose. I make things happen. This is what I want–this is what I want others to see in me. I want to captivate. But I often feel silly, dumb. Insecurity chafes at my spirit and squeezes my lungs. I sputter for attention–it has now become the polluted air creating the fragility that I call ‘everyday life.’ Perhaps I should settle for them thinking I am cute, because I am too nervous to be sharp, too nervous to wield my sword and run into the valleys where justice is delivered. Too nervous and too lazy.

When did this happen? When did this daydream consume? It happened when I believed the fantasy that life is about me. The most unsatisfying life is the one where all my efforts are to satisfy myself, for paradox is a dialect of God. True gain is through giving, and living is through the laying down. These truths are not new to me–not new to my mind, although they can seem new to my heart, depending.

The Lord’s mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23). Many times I rise to see a bowl of cereal, an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show, and my list of to-dos. While I will most likely read my Bible and pray, am I looking, truly looking for His mercies? Am I praising Him? Am I living out my average day in light of them?

Marching off to work, I quickly pray for God to give me wisdom and use me. I want to avoid mistakes and do something that matters, but not merely because it matters, but because it results in others liking me. And in the next heartbeat, I want to taste the luscious excitement of risk and abandon, to know there is more than just being the follower of rules. After all of this, after all of these calls around me, His still small voice. His voice that calls me to Himself.

How do I taste life to the fullest without missing out on the importance of the next one? How do I lick up every morsel of beauty and adventure without pushing aside that which matters more? How do I reconcile passion with propriety? How do I reconcile this need to throw confetti in the air, just to feel the thrill of it coming down again? The need to fall, the need to jump, to twirl dizzy while dancing.

Oh, I want to exhibit stability–for others to know me as this darling, pillar of a woman. But maybe they can see Him in my crazy dance. May they can see Him when I laugh unrestrained and enjoy this precious gift of life, this life right now. The one to come is better, and I should prepare for it with joy and anticipation. However, since Jesus is the life in me, the redeeming element to this human experience where we do, indeed, wrestle with principalities and rulers of darkness (Eph. 6:12), why would I not enjoy it? I have Him. And at the end of it all, Jesus is the giver of all true enjoyment, anyway.

There are pleasures on this earth, pleasures we can enjoy with shoulders relaxed and hands cupped and open, ready for receiving. They are gifts, but we must worship the Giver. Matthew Henry says in his commentary on Ecclesiastes, “But every earthly pleasure, when unconnected with better blessings, leaves the mind as eager and unsatisfied as before.” Wild adventure and wild pleasure–may I find the purest of both, for they our found in a life centered and secured in Christ. People like Amy Carmichael and Elisabeth Elliot did a lot of good, and they found pleasure in the adventure that is serving our Savior with abandon.

Being a great wife and mom doesn’t have to be boring, at least not all of the time. Christlike steadiness is not living without excitement, it is keeping our gaze on Him during it all. May our minds be satisfied and excited in our precious Lord, while we enjoy these gifts with the lightest of grasps. And may our identities be wrapped up in His faithfulness and ever-present power.

In this new life I enter, this life of increasingly laying myself down, down like a palm branch for my Savior, my husband, my child, I believe that there will be such joy in it–and maybe, just maybe, a bit of the grandest confetti. May He be glorified through every day He has chosen to give me.

Keep the Faith,

Audrey Ann