that is the challenge being picked up by many of my female friends, both real and virtual. Learning to live fully, in the moment, embracing our current reality with grace, joy, thankfulness and an appreciation for the fact that we are exactly where we are meant to be, in spite of our circumstances because the sovereign God has placed us there, at this time, in this moment.
Boy, it sounds good. Especially when I'm curled up with Ann Voskamp's book, a hot cup of peppermint tea, my house is clean and my kids are quietly, peacefully engaged in something.
Not so much when I'm dealing with the raw material of me. Cranky, short-fused, snarky, saying all the words I mean to choke back instead of responding with love and grace because I'm so thankful for all of the stuff of life.
Truth? or Dare?
When I was a kid, I always took the dare. I took the dare because I fancied myself to be brave and reckless and there was some kind of thrill to doing stupid things....and I didn't really want to answer truth to questions that I didn't want to be asked.
As I am slowly, slowly, ever so slowly chewing my way through this book, I'm finding that God is asking me both questions and I don't get to choose. He is challenging me to look at the truth of who I am, and who I'm not. He is asking me to remember the Truth of Who He is, and to embrace that. Cling to it. Recognize it as the life raft that it is when I'm drowning in fear, doubt, anger, self-loathing, insecurity, feelings of failure and frustration. Truth.
He is also daring me to live it out loud. He is asking me to recognize the idols of comfort and peace and acceptance that I've built altars to in my life, and burn them. He is urging me to destroy the false securities that I've stored up for my own comfort and satisfaction. He is daring me to trust Him and to live my life with that at the forefront.
I am finding that I am not the brave, reckless girl I once thought I was. I've built up buffers in my life to feeling and being. I am reminded of the skin horse in The Velveteen Rabbit....
What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.
I want to be real.
I want to live real.
It is the truth. I'll take the dare, and challenge you to do the same. Truth and Dare. Let's do it.
People with their minds set on you,
you keep completely whole,
Steady on their feet,
because they keep at it and don’t quit.
Isaiah 26:3 (The Message