Put the Good in the Good Life

The more I live, the more I realize that if we wait for the good life to happen, it’ll pass us right by. And “the good life” is, I guess, contingent upon what is defined by “good.” After the basic needs are met, what constitutes good for me is paying attention. It is a paying attention to the nuances of life and people in my life that make it so rich.

This does not necessarily come easily for me as I am not a person who is inclined to pay attention to details. In this way, I’ve missed prime opportunities to complement people’s newly-acquired hair-cuts or perhaps notice that the bag of chocolate chips I just bought are of the mini-chocolate chip variety, rather than the full size… thus leaving me with regular size cookies with miniature size chocolate chips. I also recall purchasing garbanzo bean flour in a haste, rather than oat flour, then neglecting to read the label when baking; thus, the final product culminating with cookies that tasted like hummus rather than — you know– cookies.

Details are not my specialty.

Rather, I am inspired by the big picture stuff — you know– the new year’s resolutions type things. Dreaming big and so on.

But, as Ani Difranco sings in her song “As Is”,

When I look around
I think this, this is good enough
And I try to laugh
At whatever life brings
’cause when I look down
I just miss all the good stuff
And when I look up
I just trip over things

Tripping — ass-over-teakettle — is a tendency of mine.

For me, the big pictures keep me inspired and help me get out of bed each day, but it is the details that make life rich. It’s noticing the folklore behind a place that I have always lived near and only know for the gas station that is close to it. It is paying attention to the people around me, and taking time to sit on the front porch and hear stories that make up their lives that we had not shared before. It is actually taking space to be okay with not achieving for a while- and instead, resting into the rhythm of the day. It is watching for the nuances of a movie that often contain more meaning than the plot itself. It is stopping to watch a sunset for its uniqueness because I know that particular sunset will never happen again. It is learning the fiddle because I love how Appalachian folklore is carried through its notes. It is writing a blog post instead of a sermon because writing keeps me alive.

Life is rich when I pay attention. This, I am learning.

 

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Sunsets

Caymen Islands & 1st year Anniversary- June 2012 062
Don’t you love summertime sunsets that last well into the late evening? For me, sunsets are a time to stop… to reflect upon the day I just lived. Did I live it well? Did I love well? Did I live with passion and without apathy? Did I grow? Am I fulfilling my purpose? Did I smile enough, hug enough, cry enough, dance enough, laugh enough, hope enough, pray enough? Sunsets are unique because they only last for so long…then they are gone… kind of like our days. They only last so long..and then they are gone. Are you making your mark on the world? “If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late…. “

A New Years Eve Thought

This is an email I wrote on New Years Eve… yes… a couple months old, but the spirit of it has not changed.

__________________

(January 1st, 2009)
The family came over today, nanna, papaw, uncle john, and aunt fannie. lots of fun. we all sat around the table eating pinto beans, cornbread, and hoppin john… (which nobody knew about it but me, but its a black eyed pea dish) Found out the tradition behind black eyed peas… they were commonly eaten by slaves because they were extremely cheap… so it became a tradition on New Years to eat black eyed peas to represent humility.
anyway… while eating, we reminisced, and laughed about many things that happened this year. it was beautiful being with them. i am so blessed. the sun was setting… a beautiful pink, orange, into purple, and we were laughing.

earlier tonight i was laying in bed… and literally was overcome with emotion… this doesn’t happen to me often. but i started crying… how could our God give us so much grace? so much love? that God would allow us the privilege to come into fellowship with God. I realized that i am i LOVE with God. absolutely. everything in my spirit desires. You would think that I realized this often, but I don’t. Not often enough.
And it was so incredibly refreshing to cry before God. To actually feel something… passion.