I’m Not a Writer (And You’re Probably Not Your Title Either)

I'm Not A Writer

I’m not a writer.

Which seems a strange thing to say, since I am here, writing this; and you are there, reading my writing. It’s even stranger when you consider that I write for this blog twice a week, and have a dream of being a successful author in the future. But it’s true. I’m not a writer. It’s just not who I am. And it’s never who I will be.

Let me explain. Continue reading

Embers and Ebbs

Embers and Ebbs

Embers are strangely beautiful things.

We had an impromptu bonfire the other night, enjoying the happy crackling of the blaze and the exhilarating, whooshing roar of a marshmallow turning into a torch. But although I enjoy eating s’mores, although I enjoy being loud and laughing about it, neither of those are the best parts of the fire. The most lovely part is just sitting, still in body and mind, watching the flames run and the heat ebb.

And perhaps the most beautiful flow of all its life is when it gets down to embers. The flames long-gone, the warmth and depth of wood-fire-smoke becoming a part of you, these embers still glow and dance long into the night. Ever-fluttering light, as if a thousand heartbeats were jumping inside, every now and again a single flame popping up and dashing lightly back into another hiding spot, as if a thousand tiny faeries of heat were dancing inside, and skitter across the blackened log to return to their revelries.

It’s beautiful. But the thing is, you can’t see it when the fire is bright. Continue reading

Announcement: Life’s Reflections

Life'sReflectionsAnnouncement

Reflection. I like that word. It has two sides, two facets, both weaving and working together.

Usually when blogs talk about reflections, it’s about thinking deeply, thinking back, being reminded. But reflections can also be about mirrors. About seeing reality. About looking at things differently.

And so it gently delights me to tie both of those meanings to everyday life.

Yes, we should muse on the little moments, the deeper meanings. But perhaps we can only do that when we see the meaning behind everything, the One behind all life.

Jesus used bird and farming and everyday life for analogies of the Gospel, why cannot we view our lives in the same way?

And so I’m starting this new series, Life’s Reflections, to ponder on life, but more than that to ponder on Jesus; because I love analogies and need to remind myself how all parts of life can circle back to the Gospel.

I want to see, though it may be in a thousand removals, the reflection of the glory of God in every mundane moment, to think deeply on every little gift, and to perceive clearly all of life’s reflections.

 

 

Hello ladies and gentlemen, I’m so excited to start this new series and journey with you, and hopefully being reminded of the Gospel in all of life! The first post of this series was actually written earlier (Clean Hands in a Muddy World) before I had a proper name, which I could turn into an analogy about trusting and following even when you don’t quite know what’s going on, — but I digress, this is announcement, not a post!

You may also notice a bit of a new layout for Seeing Everything Else, I’ve been changing the look a little, and have added a new section (conveniently dubbed Series ) where you can keep up with this series, as well as catch up with my previous one. But besides these posts every Tuesday I’ll also continue with my regular thoughts on everything and anything in the Christian life on Saturdays as well. I’m curious, what would you guys think of posts on Thursdays sharing an amazing resource or song or poem or video I’ve found across the web? I haven’t quite decided yet, and wanted your input.

Keep on following after Him!

Clean Hands in a Muddy World

cleanhandsinamuddyworld

I should not have been working to dig holes in the mud this weekend.

Why? Let me explain.

Reason Number One: It was Sunday, my only day off after a very long week of child-wrangling, dumpling-folding, pan-scrubbing, house-decluttering, food-prepping, and word-working. As a family we had decided to do nothing all day besides church, with no other work going on.

Reason Number Dos: We had no plans for working outside in the yard. At all. All the fence-posts have been in for ages, nothing needs to be planted in the front yard, no one mows this time of year, there are no mesquite trees to evict, and it’s not even time for me to clear out my garden for next year! (Well, technically it probably is, but I’m going to pretend it’s not) Nothing involving shovels, gloves, or holes should have been going on.

And finally, Reason Number III, (which is truly and honestly the only real, actual reason on this list that isn’t just me being dramatic for the sake of story-telling): There shouldn’t have been any mud.

Literally, there should be no mud in our yard. Continue reading

Thanks Isn’t an Intransitive Verb

 

THANKS.png

It’s easy to give thanks at Thanksgiving.

We’re embraced by family, surrounded by comfort, and encircled by food. It’s a lazy day, sitting around watching Macy’s Parade, playing some games, and helping in the kitchen a little. Even while we eat we still go slowly, spreading all the wonderful goodness out as long as we can. We have plenty of time as we finish ‘filling up the corners’ to consider the blessing we have.

But then the long weekend ends, and it’s Monday again, and there is work and finals and shopping and applications and cleaning and studying and — And we forget. We let thankfulness fall by the wayside.  We get so caught up in life, that we forget that life is a gift. We become so entangled in caring for the stuff, that we forget that the stuff was given. And when we forget the blessings, we also forget the Blesser. And we cannot allow that. Continue reading

Crisp Wind and Christ’s Return

crisp-wind-and-christs-return

A cool breeze smells different.

I know that sounds rather strange, but it does. It smells more open, more alive, more fresh. Whispering in your ears of high mountain peaks, tousling your hair as the leaves of pine trees, tingling your skin with the chill of clear streams; it calls forth longings, it calls forth a sense of adventure for the unknown. The inside of you feels larger, more alive; eager to see places yet unknown, to face challenges yet unmet, to run violently, beautifully into the unexplored. Cold air smells of green, of cool browns, and of blue stretching ever across the sky.

But when such a cool breeze comes, nothing around you matches it. In fact, the sun is beating down on dry dirt, and it’ll be ninety degrees again in two days. But the summer is always the hottest right before it turns into Fall.

The cold breeze is a sign. It’s a hope. It’s a promise. Continue reading

Candles Are Lights Too

Making our mark. We all want to do it. We want to do something big, something important; to change to world, to change lives. To be a brightly burning star, dashing across the sky, spraying light and sparks in a trail of glory behind us! — that is our dream.

And as Christians we still have this desire. Maybe it doesn’t manifest itself in the same ways: wanting to be a famous singer, becoming a billionaire, running for president; but we still feel it. There is still that title of important, world-changing Christian: the pastors, the missionaries, the rebelutionaries. Sometimes, in the words of my friend, we just “want to do something crazy, like drop everything, sell it all, and go be a missionary in a foreign country!”

And Amen and Hallelujah! If that is what God is calling you to do, go! Don’t let any complacency, concerns, or cultural standards stop you. We need more radical Christians, on fire for the Lord, following His call into the ‘craziest’ of situations.

But also don’t become caught in the lie that if you aren’t out on the mission field, you aren’t faithfully following Him. Continue reading

Acorn Treasure

acorn-treasure

Little kids are some of the silliest creatures. And sometimes also the wisest.

I’ve recently started working with some preschoolers, and for part of the day they play out on the playground. The majority of the time, they’re running shrieking from the ‘monster’, with their tousled hair and wide grin peeking over the edge of playground as they beg me to come catch them. But eventually their energy (somewhat) runs out, and I can convince them to sit down and give themselves (and I) a break. And so they sit, in the oddest-looking positions, digging and dumping mulch on their little jeans and cowboy boots. And in their rummaging, they find something.

Continue reading

Don’t Win the Gold, Walk on It

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a bit of a sporting event that’s been on lately. A big sporting event. A great, big, wonderful, crazy, exciting event of hundreds of different sports all at the same time showcasing a million different skills and the site of a thousand different stories. In short, the Olympics.

Our family always enjoys watching the whole thing (although our DVR might not be quite as appreciative) always cheering and shouting loudly to the athletes. (Yes, I know they can’t actually hear me. But obviously my moral support helps them somehow!) Continue reading

Announcement: Faithfulness Fridays/Loving Mondays

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O most High: to shew forth Thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night. Psalm 92:1-2

We need to praise God, to thank Him always.

Period. Full stop.

I honestly don’t have to go on, nor expand this any further. Even the child who knows his catechism can tell you this. What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Now of course, this answer has an ocean, an universe of meaning behind it, yet still can be compressed into one simple sentence.

But oftentimes,  it is the simplest commandments which are also the easiest to overlook. We get caught up in the everyday chaos, the everyday drama, the everyday business; and forget. Continue reading