What to Do When You Want to Give Up and Stay in Bed

A French flag plays curtain to a Nashville street, an eyelid over the wide open picture window in this cafe where I sit tip-tapping my typing road through the pages of my book. By the 250 words per page standard I am on page 128. I took a break from my typedance routine to peruse a blog my friend Jenn introduced me to. It’s creative and Jesus-drenched. The writer is a true wordsmith and author of a New York Times bestseller list book, “One Thousand Gifts.” Her name is Ann Voskamp. She’s a mom of six, a farmer’s wife, and a hero to many for her honesty, gratitude, and wonder.

I simply had to share part of her blog,

particularly given the lately’s of my life: the sudden gift by a friend of a trip to Nashville, Tennessee for a Middle East Insight Conference; the collective encouragement of many at the conference; the moving expansion of my plans to visit Iraq this fall; the materialization of a fifteen year dream to bring hope and transformation into a war zone in the Middle East; and the happy-homey apartment I moved into July 1.

This is in stark contrast to the discouragement of a financial drought. I work part-time for an orphanage in Kenya, which I love, but it is not enough financially. I’ve applied for dozens of jobs, but I haven’t acquired any. This means I am feeling the stretch of taking what feels like every last penny and scraping it against the bottom of an empty chili pot in hopes of gathering some amount of sustenance.

I find myself not knowing how to move forward. The dichotomy of huge breakthrough paired with the waiting for the daily breakthroughs… it’s like having a photograph of a mansion in a majestic garden. The mansion is yours, but the title deed seems to have been mailed via ship on a three month journey from Timbuktu to the welcome mat of your heart.

I’m tired. I know one of my greatest attributes is hope against all odds. In fact, this is the core of the chapter I am presently writing for my book. And here we are, as often is the case, one’s fiercest passion seems to be on the other side of a veil, or perhaps a French flag in a cafe in Nashville. I couldn’t travel through that window even if I got a running start; I need to find the door. The lights are off and my flashlight’s beam has a small circumference. I am scanning every portion of the wall; sometimes I sleep and invite revelatory dreams to show me where the door is. I see hints, shadowy forms of answers. I know we are nearing each other.

I don’t know what searching looks like, only I must, in one way or another seek and search. I feel the tension of Proverbs 25:2 in my every step, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” And in my heart, in my internal compass, nothing matters more to me than knowing Jesus. In the words of Julie Meyer in the song, “Awakened to Love” “Lovers always find what others give up searching for.” Indeed. (Listen to “Awakened to Love” here: http://www.myspace.com/juliemeyermusic/music/songs/awakened-to-love-11323145)

So, like in Ann Voskamp’s blog post on getting out of bed and going through the day one step at a time, I am moving along one step at a time.

And here is her blog post:

http://www.aholyexperience.com/2010/04/what-to-do-when-you-want-to-give-up-and/

To all of you, never ever ever give up. There is always hope, even when you don’t see it or feel you can’t get to it. Father God adores you. He has good gifts for you. His love never fails.


Advertisements

Underwater Life

promise-y fish in the Red Sea, Israel

What if you were on a fishing boat on the ocean and suddenly the water’s surface opened its mouth and a scuba diver popped up and said,

“Hey, we’re having a party down here, wanna come?”

Would you go? I mean, if you instantly knew how to scuba and you had the gear?

Sometimes, I feel like I live underwater. Other times I am nearly convinced of it. I love my home under the sea. I swim deep into darkness and I find secrets. Sometimes I meet colorful fish in the midst of their own family gatherings and sometimes I meet grey eels living in loneliness and defensiveness. I look at all of them with curiosity and wonder. I travel with God’s hand leading me. The creases in His hand press against the cracks in mine. The roads of my life blending with every road ever.

raaaaaaaaaaaaar! cried the creepy slithery creature with a tiny alligator/eel head.


I have great chats with huge lobsters, feeling their way around with their massive television antennae. I read books leaned up against firm, but sensitive coral. I float through the Bible with each blink because the glory is palpable and visible and stunning. I pull ancient maps from brass tubes in shipwrecks. I see the red “X” where hope is buried, where treasure waits, and I resolve to pick up where that captain left off. The passage of time, the waiting of the vast treasure, does not diminish my expectation. If I remember how the nightly news reports that particular treasure’s discovery is a lost cause, I am not deterred in my pursuit, but instead inspired. There is a reason we have the phrase “worth fighting for.” It is because we know that for massive victories, there will be a massive fight. It might be a fight won through rest, praise, and trust, but it is still a fight. It might be a fight won by angels cheered on by the hearts of men, but it is still a fight. It might be a fight to drive lame enemies off of something that already belongs to you, but it is still a fight. In fact, the main fight may actually be the first one: believing the thing IS worth fighting for.

the zebra of the underwater zoo and me in the Red Sea

So, fins on, I’m swimming.

And I’m inviting you to the underwater festivities.

 

In the Caribbean I got to drive the wreckage of a motor boat on a long journey into the oceans of my imagination, where the water is even warmer than the Caribbean; and the fish play musical instruments. skillfully.

P.S. I added new music to the sidebar on my blog’s home page – outrageous hope you can download & sing along to.