i just finished a beautiful book by shauna niequist.
a long time ago, madi mae parker told me this was a must read. she said it was her favorite book before she even finished it.
"I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift."
"Celebration when your plan is working? Anyone can do that. But when you realize that the story of your life could be told a thousand different ways, that you could tell it over and over as a tragedy, but you choose to call it an epic, that's when you start to learn what celebration is. When what you see in front of you is so far outside of what you dreamed, but you have the belief, the boldness, the courage to call it beautiful instead of calling it wrong, that's celebration."
“True friendship is a sacred, important thing, and it happens when we drop down into that deeper level of who we are, when we cross over into the broken, fragile parts of ourselves. We have to give something up in order to get friendship like that. We have to give up our need to be perceived as perfect. We have to give up our ability to control what people think of us. We have to overcome the fear that when they see the depth of who we are, they’ll leave. But what we give up is nothing in comparison to what this kind of friendship gives to us. Friendship is about risk. Love is about risk. If we can control it and manage it and manufacture it, then it’s something else, but if it’s really love, really friendship, it’s a little scary around the edges.”
“So when I’m on the edge, peering over into the unknown, trembling and terrified to move forward, devastatingly afraid to take that next step, I practice believing that full life is beyond the fear. . . God is God, he is leading my life, and that he is saying to me, as he has been saying to his people throughout history, I will never leave you, and I’ve left reminders all around, if you have the eyes to see them.”
only a few little glimpses into the greatness. this book was amazing. please read it. it makes me feel normal and okay for wanting to be excited about all the little things, to jump around for no reason even though i'm twenty years old, to not feel like i need to be serious twenty four seven, and when it is time for that seriousness, to refer to it as "serious squirrels".
my heart is constantly full of love these days. nothing in my life has dramatically changed except for the posture that i woke up one day and realized i had taken on.
my new posture reflects this beautiful verse:
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." - James 1:1-4
i used to think that this verse was about my attitude when bad things happen. about remembering this verse in the back of my mind. but as i woke up one morning to realize, it is about going to bed with a face wet with tears and being so truly excited because i know that God is hearing those prayers i whisper. that when i wake up, crawl out of bed, hopefully don't fall on the two foot walk to my desk (its happened before.) i am going to have beautiful intimacy with my creator via journaling letters to Him, and reading His word. it can't get much better than that, and it is a constant in my life. it's not going anywhere. that is so worth celebrating!
as much as i cry whenever i remember that there are orphans and think about heartbreak often, i just think that we should all be like my shauna niequist and try to enjoy sunsets and yummies and friends and laughter. we should just do that.
we shall see how i feel about this here in a few days once school picks back up again. :)