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

Everywhere and Everywhen, I Need Him

Everywhere and Everywhen

I failed this week.

I was so proud of myself earlier. I had planned, I was organized, I was ready. I started my Facebook page, did all my platforming, wrote an average of 400 words every day, peer-edited with my friends, and — failed.

Because here I am, looking at my blog on Friday night, with nothing to publish. Nothing worth giving you. Not to say I don’t have plenty of articles and ideas lying around in my draft box — I do. And they’re all fine. But if this was in real life, they would be scattered all across my desk, scribbled and crossed out, fluttering despondently in the wind from my empty open window. As it is though in this digital age, they just sit composedly in their nice little list, looking up at me asking, “What is wrong?”

Nothing — and everything. 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!

The Most Beautiful Story

themostbeautifulstory

Days they force you

Back under those covers,

Lazy mornings, they multiply.

Life is mundane sometimes. It’s slow, it’s dragging, it’s the same circle round and round again. The sun rises, and the sun sets, slowly spinning round again, and everything seems much the same. We work. We eat. We sleep. We get up the next morning and do it all over again. Life is reduced to dry facts on a page: breakfast, shoes, car, computer, water.

And facts, well, facts don’t do much of anything. Contrary to what we often think, they don’t command you, they don’t encourage you, they don’t comfort you. They only tell you what has happened in the past, and what is happening in the now. You are here, this is going on, this is all there is, and this is all there’ll ever be. Basic, textbook definitions.

So everything becomes a grey list of steady, unending, unrelenting march of facts. Dry monotones that dull your sense and close your eyes in slumber. Basic, textbook life.

But we were never meant to be a textbook. Continue reading

Warning: Church Kids

warning

WARNING: Church kids, you may be in grave danger.

In fact, if you were raised in a Christian family, if you were always taken to church, or even if you were homeschooled all your life; your risk for this calamity is exponentially greater.

Because you may have bought into the Idea. That perverse, wrong, dangerous idea that lays its gentle hands over your eyes, whispering sweet assurances into your ear, as it pushes you closer and closer toward the foreboding cliff.

And no, this idea doesn’t have to do with relationships. It doesn’t have to do with schooling. It has nothing to do with your dress, your work choices, or even your vote.

No, this idea has to do with your eternity.

Because you may believe that you have “caught Christianity.” Continue reading

Dear Younger Me, On Valentines Day

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I looked back the other day and saw you.

Tired, broken, crying out in loneliness.

Because days are long, the future is uncertain, and the pressure to have your plans all scheduled and written out is terrifying. But that wasn’t it. Those were just the fuel to the smoldering pain in your heart.

No, it was because, near a certain holiday, your social media begins to light up with pictures of couples. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s not wrong. In fact, several of your friends had just began serious relationships, and you danced about and rejoiced with them.

You were happy, so very happy for your friends and their fiancés. But, deep down inside, hard as you tried to quiet it, the whispers rose up. Why not me? Continue reading

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

The Picture-Wall (A Short Story)

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I knew what the prologue would be.

The notification popped up on my phone, “Appointment, 2:30.” I stared at it transfixed, my mind churning.

I knew about the chaos.

I had played how it would go all out in my head. My parents, sitting on the couch, smiling happily at me, blissfully unaware. Just living their happy, everyday lives with their nice jobs and nice neighbors and nice, straight-A daughter and —

I’d tell them.

They’d be shocked. I could see their eyes widening at the blow. My mother’s hand would come up to her mouth, shaking as she tried to comprehend it, to take it in. “Why– how–”

I knew they would be so betrayed. So disappointed.

I knew the whispers, the looks.

All my friends, family, acquaintances, would feel the same way. The groups of girls would whisper and stare at me out of the corners of their eyes. All the adults would ignore me with icy disapproval, or — so much worse — speak softly to me with deigning kindness, disgust veiled behind smiles, all the while thinking of my failure.

I knew the complete shame.

I had ruined everything. My education, my family, my future – all gone. Every one of them — dashed to pieces on the floor. Why did I let this happen?

Now nothing would ever be the same.

I knew what the prologue would be.

I sat there in my car, transfixed by that glowing bubble of text.

But

I didn’t know the rest of the story. Continue reading