Life at the Beginning and the End

You know those deep introspective thoughts that makes you think about changing your entire world and then in the next moment you’re wondering what to have for dinner. Anyone else bounce back and forth like that? Is that normal?


My first niece was born on June 23rd. I am now an aunt and our family has a new member. A new little member. We’ve added my two sisters-in-laws in the last 3 years, but that’s different. This is a new life who has no concept of the world. She is going to experience everything for the first time, and we’re going to delight in watching her wonder. This is life beginning.

Then on the opposite side, I’m watching what life is like as it ends. My grandparents are all struggling with health issues. My grandpa who was very active softball player and golfer is having trouble getting from one side of the room to the other because of Parkinson’s. My grandma’s mind is slowly losing focus from early Alzheimers. My other grandma is insisting on taking care of her invalid sister at the detriment of her own health. They’re on the sunset side of life and there’s no use denying it.

We smile watching the cuteness of little people learning to understand their world, but we don’t seem to have the same kind of understanding and patience with those whose lives are winding down.

I’m trying to understand what a life well lived looks like. I’m in the in between. Trying to maintain the wonderment of life at the beginning with a healthy dose of learning what I want living well to look like at the end of my life.

Is it strange or insensitive to say we have to learn how to die? There’s a beauty in that.


A Deferred Hope

Hope deferred makes the heart sick – or how I’m looking at this right now, unfulfilled dreams hurts.

As a general rule, I’m an optimistic person. I look for the silver lining in a situation and tend to find it. The world doesn’t need more negativity or depression. I do have those negative emotions, but if I entertain those thoughts for long, they’ll stick around. Despair settles like an stubborn fog, and I don’t want to give them a chance to get comfortable. Because there is still good in this life. There is still hope.

But there are times when I need to sit with those emotions. I need to acknowledge them and what’s causing them. In the past I’ve buried emotions and stress until they all come out when there’s no room for more.

Now, in this season of life, I’ve walked into dreams and thought I saw a light at the end of the tunnel, but I’ve taken another curve in the journey and I’m having trouble seeing around the next bend in the story. I’m acknowledging that I’m frustrated, that I feel like a failure, that I’m sad and lonely and feel out of place. That these unanswered, unfulfilled dreams, hurt.

Dialogue runs through my head telling me I didn’t hear the dream right. Maybe I didn’t hear the promises I thought I heard. Maybe I can’t trust what You said. Or maybe I don’t really know You because I didn’t hear You right. Maybe I don’t have what it takes. Am I fraud? Am I capable? Do I matter? Do I have the wrong motives?

Or per usual, am I just thinking too much?

And then I get angry with myself, because how selfish are these thoughts and doubts. In the grand scheme of things, my life is amazing and simple. Many people are struggling with survival, children are longing for someone to love them, families are trying to stick together, and I’m whining about being stuck.

My feelings are still valid and I’m trying to acknowledge that I’m feeling them, but I’m also trying to remember what I was given when I started this journey. I’m not alone in this process. There are plans bigger than me. I’m a piece of it. The bigger story will be told without me trying figure it all out. I get to learn along the way. I get to meet people. I get to learn to love people different than me. I get to do all of these thing. I don’t have to. I get to. I get to.

I was reading this article from NPR where they were interviewing Tony Hale from Veep and Arrested Development. I’ve heard him speak at a conference and he’s a fascinating guy. In the interview he was talking about doubts in his faith journey and it remind me a lot of me.

I think anytime in someone’s faith journey, my faith journey also, you go through doubting … I think you kind of have to go through that, honestly, just to ask the tough questions. … I mean, life is crazy, and to know that honestly a loving God is walking through it with me is very comforting for me. But yeah, I’ve been through my own times of just, What does this mean and how can this mean this? And ask the questions.

The thing about doubts is that they mess with you. They shake you to your foundation. They’re uncomfortable. They restructure your thoughts. But I’m seeing this as a good thing and not something to fear. I’m believing these doubts are shaking loose the cobwebs that don’t belong and solidifying what does belong.

Hope may be deferred for a season, but that doesn’t mean I stop hoping and working and being who I was created to be. Life is to be lived. To be enjoyed, to love and care for those you come in contact with. For now, those are the things that I can control and how I will continue.

A New Habit

I’ve heard it takes 21 days to form a new habit, and 10,000 hours to become an expert at something.

I want to be a better writer, communicator, storyteller, thinker, so today I write.

It’s only a few sentences, but I’ve started. Here’s to day 1 of the start of a new habit, and 10 minutes dropped in the bucket of the 10,000 hours. 

5 Sentences – Day 4

So tired. Tonight I made marinara sauce with Italian chicken sausage. I think I would have made a really good Italian. Instead I’m Prussian or something in that general area. Good night.

In the Year of our Lord, Judea – for nearly a century – had lain under the mastery of Rome. In the seventh year of the reign of Augustus Caesar, an imperial decree ordered every Judean each to return to his place of birth to be counted and taxed. The converging ways of many of them led to the gates of their capital city, Jerusalem, the troubled heart of their land. The old city was dominated by the fortress of Antonia, the seat of Roman power, and by the great golden temple, the outward sign of an inward and imperishable faith. Even while they obeyed the will of Caesar, the people clung proudly to their ancient heritage, always remembering the promise of their prophets that one day there would be born among them a redeemer to bring them salvation and perfect freedom.