Hands Deep in Life

The thing about life is that it’s always unexpected. Sometimes, life is dotted with celebration two weeks before your anniversary. Sometimes, life is unplanned in it’s own kind of perfection. Sometimes, it’s sitting on the porch surrounded by three-dollar flower pots and transplanting flower life with your husband, handling the beauty of now, and hoping for the beautiful now to flourish and burst into big places.

So I don’t know how all the flowers landed in our shopping cart, but there they were unashamed. It was half food, half spring, and full joy rolling out of that grocery store and into an afternoon that would be an unplanned celebration of the life we are building together as husband and wife. It may as well have been our anniversary.

I love the eclectic beauty of life and I love when it bursts through the creaky doors of my heart demanding that I choose it. And I love when the Life-Giver says, I made this and I made you for me…and I want us to enjoy this day.

So we do. And I ask Ben lots of questions because I’ve no earthly idea how to deal with earth. He shows me and shows me again…and again. We celebrate marriage in a quiet, unacknowledged way just sitting on the porch with flower pots and eclectic beauty. We’ve stolen the soil from our garden plot which is not yet a garden, and we spill it into the life we can do now.

I didn’t know that two weeks before our anniversary we’d be having a party, but here we are. We mix and match the flowers and fill up the colored flower pots with life. And I can’t believe the life we are getting to build together. We fill a little corner with all this abundance both wild and purchased. 

But the thing about unnamed celebrations in unassuming afternoons is that it just begs you to keep going and going. So we do. Ben finds a florescent light fixture fit to be trash and carries it over to our little blue home. With scraps of wood and creativity (that continues to astound me), he builds a hanging planter box.

And I know it will be lovely to watch life spill out of something that started as cast out trash. I can’t believe just how eclectic beauty can be!

I feel a lot like that light-fixture…being made into something else, full of purpose, and filled up with life from the Life-Giver.

But we can’t stop the celebration yet, so we go searching for wild grape roots and I’m climbing up a steep hill for an orange wildflower, then sliding down ungracefully because I still can’t climb things well and I’m not very strong, but it was worth the effort…if only for the adventure and the doing of a new thing (and I’m  learning to be okay with run on sentences that are running with life). 

We didn’t call this afternoon a celebration of any kind. We never even named it. It was just an afternoon bursting with life two weeks before we celebrate the life we’ve been choosing and building together.

Whether or not this post makes much sense, I knew it needed to be written. Life hardly ever makes sense, anyway. It just pushes through creaky doors and comes tumbling in and asks you to live it, because you were given it.

Praising God, my Life-Giver, for dotting my life with afternoons bursting with all kinds of life.


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Last year, while I trudged (and sometimes dragged) myself through the struggles, I realized something that changed the way I waged the war. In the midst of the valley, I found myself fighting for joy. I found myself fighting to keep my hope in God. I was fighting to keep my thoughts on reality, firmly fixed in the truth, and I was fighting against sadness. This fight was so tiresome….and so, so hard.

But when I decided to stop fighting for hours at at time, I just sunk in defeat. I sat mad at God. I said, this is despair, this is worthless, this is the deep hole I’m staying in. And you know what? That was absolutely hard…giving in to the flesh will only bring hardness to an already bruised heart.

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Simply the question–

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Dear 13-Year-Old Me, You’re Gonna Love Ministry

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