Well, last year at this time, I was planning a sweet dinner for the 10th grade girls at my school with my roomie and co-conspirator Heather. It was maybe my all-time favorite memory of last year for a couple reasons, I was: 1. hanging out with a bunch of lovely ladies all in one place 2. laughing until my sides hurt and 3. being a small part of spreading some major love.
This year, I frankly wasn't "feelin' it." Whatever "it" is, the routine craziness and life's grand excuses had stolen the desire to make any big deal out of this love-soaked time of year. I said to myself, "Self. There are so many other battles to be fought and won: pep squad team, behavior contract plan, mission trip, etc... Come on, now. Narrow it down a bit."
Well, self, I have something to tell you:
When Jesus narrowed things down, He didn't skimp on love and I don't intend to either.
This week, I can't seem to get over this: There is so much hurt. There is so much pain. There is so much. The 'so much' is making me nauseous this week. I hate seeing people hurt and I hate hearing about the people that hurt them. I hate it. I hate the "so much" that is choking out everything beautiful. And even as I see this "so much" getting bigger and growing stronger, I know and believe that right here in the present there is joy to be found.
Even still, I have been so encouraged in the past couple days (completely outside of my own doing). Every single day, I have to believe there is a beautiful treasure to be found, but it is hidden. And every day I can set out to uncover the mystery of joy that is waiting to show me that it can overwhelm the "so much" with something more pure and lovely.
I don't know, maybe this strange search is what led me to splurge and walk to two grocery stores, decidedly tie my apron firmly around my waist, allow decorations (sent with love from mom) to spill over onto a corner of our house, plan for a dinner of heart-shaped pancakes, and resign myself to a somewhat unkept house.
You may think it's funny that I have conversations with myself, or that I call myself "Self," or that I am bold enough to transcribe said conversation here for you to read. That's okay. I think it's funny too. Personally, these conversations have a great purpose.
I just want to leave you with a little something I learned way back in the day from my parents, who gave each other the same cheesy, red, GIANT, heart-shaped sucker every year:
don't skimp on love this weekend.
You can skimp on a lot of things: decorations, chalky sweetheart candies, dinners out, roses, decoupage crafts...
but whatever you do, let love fly like crazy and see how many people can be touched and to what great extent you can overwhelm the "so much" with your efforts!
Good night, friends.