The Invitation

“Did you get an invitation to have
Nothing to show
To see the invisible goodness
Of deliberate and slow?”

-Sarah Groves, The Expedition

My words are not enough this morning, if I could I’d fill this entire post with quotes, I would. The wisdom of those around me compels me to abandon my own place as writer.

Do you see certain aspects of your life as more spiritual? The sermon yesterday at Hillcrest Chapel talked about how our lives are not fragmented parts – that we are meant to experience the world with our five senses and to see each part of our lives as being in unity under Jesus.

I realized that I was putting my different career options on different spiritual levels — for example, I viewed teaching as the most “holy” of options because you’re helping and serving the community and children. All other job options are “less.” This mindset, as I choose to not be a teacher in this season, would condemn me to feeling disunity and to separate my vocation completely from my own identity as a Christian. I was setting myself for self-loathing and disillusionment.

 

But God loves who we really are – whether we like it or not. God calls us, as He did Adam, to come out of hiding. No amount of spiritual makeup can render us more presentable to Him.

-Brennan Manning, “Abba’s Child.”

I bought a cucumber face mask last night, mostly because I inspired by a blogpost on Cup of Jo. I tried it out, and then slowly peeled it off my face, and my husband and I were cracking up because it really looked like I was tearing off my skin. I’m ready for a spiritual face mask. To peel away the layers of pretending, posturing, and false expectations.

When I lived in the dorms, someone started the rumor that I was a person who just “stayed in their room all day and prayed.” Like most rumors, it wasn’t true. I desperately wanted to change “their” (whoever “they” was, anyways?) perception of me, I wanted to show “them” how I embraced dance parties, exploring Bellingham, and watching movies with friends. I desperately wanted to prove that I was LIVING my life. It grieved me to think that the Christian life was perceived as requiring isolation.

Well, it turns out that the only way to prove you are LIVING your life, is to find you have nothing to prove. We are given an invitation to embrace the world, and we accept it with each breath.

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Haters gonna hate. 

Swirl. Sip. Savor. And know that God gives you grace if it’s hard to enjoy creation, or life, or a good cup of coffee. Sara Groves, the artist who I quote above wrote an entire album of music called the “Floodplains” which revolves around her own realization that some hearts are born on the floodplains, places of constant change, flooding, and beauty. Her own experience with anxiety and depression helped fuel her lyrics.

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27).

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Does your heart plummet? Does it soar? Are you tired of keeping track of good and bad days, and making sure that the latter doesn’t outnumber the first? Most days, I enjoy trying a new recipe and sharing it with a friend more than I do spending an hour in prayer. But they are related! Not separated like I’ve chosen to believe. My enjoyment of food, creativity, and friendship does not diminish my prayers, but rather complements!

I tried making over-night oats this weekend, and was incredibly proud of my triumph over a pinterest recipe.

1/4 cup steel-cut oats, 1/4 greek plain yogurt, 1/4 almond milk. Sit in the fridge overnight. Add berries and honey the next morning. That’s it. I’d post a picture, but let’s be real, it takes a professional to make soggy oats look like a masterpiece. and I made it in the same blue mason jar in the picture above and I don’t want you to worry that I didn’t wash it out first.

I also made a kale salad inspired by a local catering company.

A bunch of kale. Candied pecans. Pomegranate seeds. Feta cheese. Vinaigrette (add brown sugar if you want it to be sweeter). Yum.

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Oh Kale, you’re so photogenic!

Going “off recipe” gives me as much joy as a National Geographic photographer going “off the map.” Did you have any idea, that recipes are just guidelines? Just the beginning of your own inspiration? It may fail miserably, but that’s half the fun.

Try it. Go “off the recipe” of your own idea of what your life is “supposed” to look like. The invitation is waiting.

 

-K

 

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