sitting in wonder

I’m sitting in the airport looking, watching, spying…wondering who I’m going to sit by and if that person will be fun and engaging, entertaining, fascinating, overly talkative or quiet, or worst of all, have bad breath!
 
Do you ever wonder? Are you curious? I am. All the time.
 
I wonder…what’s going to happen this year. Will I move to a new house? When? Who will die? How? Who will inhale their first breath in this world? What will her/his name be? Who will I meet? How will they impact my life. Will they? What friendships will I make? What friends will turn away? What will spring be like? Will summer be hot? How will my children grow and change and tire and surprise me? How many glorious date nights will I have with my love? How will I emerge into my femininity? My giftedness? My fears? How will I seek and listen and be moved by God? How will my heart sink? Soar? Will I love well? Will I be a better version of me by December 31? In what ways?
 
I find myself constantly wondering. That switch in my head is “on,” spinning with questions, wanting to know.
 
There’s something our fascinating minds and longing hearts desperately want…we want to know. Why is that? If we actually knew what was coming our way, how would that change us? Would it?
 
To be prepared, to be ready…would that really, REALLY alter our lives that much? Would it smash what comes with anticipation? Would it eliminate our anxiety? Would it dissolve the mystery? Would it make us better people? Would it?
 
The suspense, the anticipation, the curiosity…could it, if we allowed it, create something – birth something – new in us? If we lost our sense of wonder, our smallness, our humanity, what would grow numb in us? What would become stale and stagnant in us? What would die in us?
 
As much as I love spontaneous, unexpected and unplanned moments, I confess that I’m one of those people who loves (maybe needs) “to know.” Somehow, some way, it makes me feel settled inside.
 
But, I’m learning that it’s not really in the knowing.
 
There’s something good and true and profound in that space “in between” the information, the experiences, the seasons of life. But if I don’t enter into that liminal space, I’ll miss it. I’ll miss what I’m supposed to (get to) know, discover, experience…become. And for the rare times that I’ve actually sat in that space and actually embraced the quiet, the unknown, the questions rather than shoving my way through them, I can say that it’s blown me away. It’s been in those hours and days and years that I’ve been surprised the most…the most by God.
 
Now, those are the kind of moments that have really, REALLY changed me.
 
So, I’m wondering (see, there I go again), what it might mean for me, for you, for us, to be the kind of people who allow the wonder of the unknown to blow our hair back.
 
Let’s not miss what we don’t know.
 
And on a side note…my plane is about to land and the passenger next to me? She slept the entire flight. I love surprises like that!
 

panties.

So there are probably a ton of images that come to mind when you see or hear the word, “panties.” Let’s face it, most women (I would argue all women) have different kinds of undergarments. We have the ones we wear when we’re feeling sexy and beautiful and special. Let’s call those panties. And then, there are the other ones – the ones we call our “underwear.” These are what we tend to wear when we just want to feel comfortable and cozy and practical, and perhaps maybe when we’re feeling a bit bloated.  Yup, there are big decisions to make when considering what kind of undergarment to wear.

Well, this is about my panties…

I love that my daughter wants to be like her Mama. Everyday I catch her doing something that I know she caught from me. Sometimes those things are cute and sometimes they’re not. Sometimes it’s a bit scary to see how much I influence her little eyes and ears. I shall keep some of the scary, non-mentionables for later. Come on over and sit on my deck and I’ll tell you the best stories!

The morning was normal. She was two. I was getting dressed for the day in our bedroom. I walked into my closet for a quick, “What shall I wear today?” moment. It was like five seconds later and I turned around and there she was…my little girl frolicking around in my panty drawer. And on her “boom-boom” (feminine/cute word for “derrière”) were about ten pairs of my panties, each one hiked up to her waist, one over the other. It was like she thought she was on “A Minute to Win It” and the game was to see how many panties she could put on. Oh, my lands! How in the world did she get that many panties around her waist in that amount of time? (Secretly I loved that she raided the panty drawer and not the underwear drawer because that would have been way too boring.)

I laughed out loud. I smiled and then just stood there watching her go about her business.

I wanted to redirect.
I wanted to correct.
I wanted to teach.

Everything inside of me wanted to say something like, “Oh, Sweetie! We don’t get into mommy’s panty drawer. That’s for mommy. Let’s find something else to play with.” You know, kind of in that, “We really shouldn’t do that”/distracting kind of tone. But, for some reason, that’s not what came out (Praise Jesus!). After watching the entertainment for a bit, I miraculously and surprisingly responded with, “Oh, honey! You look way too cute! You like mommy’s pretties?” She looked at me, gave me the biggest smile, and then walked over to the full length mirror to look at herself – to check out her beauty, just like her Mama.

The power of influence. It’s amazing. It can be invigorating and scary, intimidating and heavy. When we’re in a position of power, we must remember the powerless. We can mis-use our power. We can mis-use our influence. Or, we can use our power and influence to bring life, awareness, change, advocacy, voice…to those without.

We can choose to step into it and hold it and share it.

She’s watching me. She’s always watching me. Sometimes I want to tell her to turn away or to cover her ears. I don’t want her to pick up the bad habits and tones and words and behaviors. I want to keep her pure and innocent and even a bit naive. Because I know what happens when the world shows up in ways that are hurtful and scary and unjust and hateful. There are moments during the day that I don’t want an audience. I just want to be human. There’s that secret part of me that doesn’t always feel like being responsible for my actions. I just want to be lazy.

Feels pretty human to say that.

But maybe, that’s the best kind of mommy I can be…human. Wonderfully and uniquely and undeniably human. Because for me, that’s what I want my little girl to know – that it’s OK to be human. It’s OK to make mistakes and mess up and throw tantrums (sometimes) and get mad. I want to give her permission to do that. And then, somehow with the divine help from above, teach her and show her what to do with her humanness. And then, consistently and graciously and lovingly remind her that there’s nothing she could do or say to make me love her less. Nothing.

So, as I teach my little girl about femininity and beauty and how to know if and when to wear panties versus underwear, I hope she grows up believing that no matter what she’s wearing or doing, or where she’s hiding or exploring, or how hard she’s kicking and screaming, that she’s loveable…inside and out.

Because I’m convinced that that’s what my God believes about me.

 

on justice and mercy…

An amazing group of people passionate for those without a voice. Honored and humbled and thrilled that my co-author and I were invited to speak at this year’s Summit.

“JUSTICE AND MERCY FLOW FROM THE GOSPEL”

Summit VIII

The Christian Alliance for Orphans’ annual Summit has become the national hub for what Christianity Today recently called, “the burgeoning Christian orphan care movement.” Summit VIII on May 3-4, 2012 at Saddleback Church in Southern California is expected to draw 1,800 to 2,000 pastors, grassroots advocates, organizational leaders and church ministry heads. Alongside more than eighty workshops, the unforgettable plenary sessions will include Francis Chan, Rick and Kay Warren, Crawford Lorritts, Dennis Rainey, Steven Curtis Chapman, and other global leaders. Summit inspires, equips and connects for adoption, foster care and global orphan ministry.

 The workshop you’ll find us at is titled, “Loving all of our child: Why an adoptee’s story matters” – Heart work. It can be hard work, especially for an adoptee left to discover the hidden places of the heart alone. Come explore the fragile beginnings of an adoptee’s life, the impact relinquishment has on the human soul and your role in creating a path of trust, openness, and connectedness that will leave your child feeling wanted, cherished, and honored.

If you or someone in your life is an advocate for adoption and/or foster care, share this with them and consider joining thousands of others who work towards justice and mercy in this unique way.

More information can be found at Christian Alliance for Orphans – Summit VIII.

Summit VIII