BIG life is BOTH AND

Turns out I am not a hotel person sans my people.  Its about zero fun.  I still like planes. Sort of.  Anyway, it was a cold and windy Chicago morning and I am beginning to wonder if they have anything else here.  I am doing new things again today.  I slept awful with the feeling of cotton mouth from the fake sauce they must have put on the salmon last night.  Why on earth I thought it was a good idea to order salmon in the Midwest I have no idea.  So after bad sleep I thank God for the Starbucks packet in the hotel room and gulp down with a dry throat the hot black coffee. Ahhh, better. Now I can start the day.

I have realized my tolerance to introduce myself to new people and carry on about absolutely anything is a bit uncanny.  I love it. And it actually takes more out of me than it used to. Weird to admit. But I still mostly love it.  Meanwhile, this trip is my first solo trip with Dan, and I am aware that he is very introverted and also very easily amused.  Of which I am neither.  So beginning our day meeting a fabulous author and musician actually suits us both.  It is fun. I surprise myself at the way I am able to find and trust my voice and contribution amidst so much other strength at the table.  I am trying. And I still want to know, God is my voice worthy of attention?  Do I have something to say? Can you jump to Egg Harbor in this sweet Chicago suburb and give me words and belief that they matter among some greats?

By 9:57pm at night I have overcome a day that brought me much anxiety and anticipation.  And once again I realize that BIG life is full of contradictions.  I used to feel ridiculous saying it.  I am extroverted and scared to take up too much of anyone’s time with my words.  I am elated to travel with a brilliant author and speaker and also petrified that he direct one single real question in my direction (thankfully with the easily amused parts, we stayed on the topic of cornfields for a while).  I adore my husband and I am scared of all the conversations I am not willing to have.  I have decades of beautiful friendship and always fear replacement.

I think I thought that good life meant getting everything to one camp.  For example, thinking that to qualify my marriage as doing well meant easily worked out conflict and lots and lots of adoration. And those things are still great. BUT, to get to the real goods in marriage I think exposure happens in a way that calls us to the fullest life and glory in God and can only be done by our spouse.  And don’t nobody like exposure or being called to the table. BUT boy do I want my marriage to have courage to name and bless and if exposure is a part of a Holy revelation that my spouse has the privilege to bring to the floor, then oh goodness, I am again, terrified and privileged. When he brings truth to me, I want to kick and shut the door and I want to hear more because he has much to offer me with so much sight. 

Most of the beauty I saw today came from people with great harm in their stories.  They risked curiosity and hope to believe that God had more for their story.  So how can I release the need to have it fit into one perfect category and live into the tension of the contradiction. The BOTH AND. Because I know that’s where the glory is… in that risk. Oh boy, all in a days work.