Rejoice, Rejoice

This the week of joy in the midst of longing. A feast in the middle of mourning. A contradiction and a command.

Have you ever read The Chronicles of Narnia? Remember how often we find the Narnians eating, drinking, dancing, laughing, and generally making merry? Usually the way the heroes know they’re in the right place is there’s a party going on. What makes this ragtag assembly of men and animals and mythical creatures distinct from those around them is their capacity for joy. They’re fierce in celebrating the goodness they know and experience. The Witch’s power is broken. Aslan is on the move.

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On the Eve of Thirty

So a decade has come and gone, or nearly. The decade of making. I remember turning twenty and the odd panic, the surreal realness of adulthood settling in. That was worse, I think. I didn’t know then what I know now: that the panic was both an over and an under-reaction. It’s been far sweeter and far more terrifying than I imagined, and what I know now is I will say the same on the eve of forty.

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On a Rainy Thursday

It took until Thursday afternoon of a long week off—four days of phone-scrolling or binge-watching or wardrobe-dusting finally came to this: the rain and the falling leaves and the words.

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Defiant Hope

It’s midnight. Dark except the gentle glow of lights wrapped round a tree. We’ve brought a tree inside, strange as it is. Speckled it with lights in the midst of the year’s growing dark. It’s madness, this indoor tree. What right has life like this inside brick and mortar?

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Letting Go

It’s a contradiction–we gain so many things by letting go. This is Scripture, yes–he who loses his life will find it–but it’s also the solid necessity of how things work. We’ll never find what we’re really seeking, namely love, joy, and peace, except in a place of wild abandonment. We know this to be true, or at least our pop songs do. No one sings along in the car to a song about self-protection and safety.

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The Stories Are True

I’m thinking of getting a tattoo. If I’m honest, I’ve sort of always been thinking of getting a tattoo; I’ve just never had an idea for words or symbols that I would want to mark myself permanently with. (Also, I’m horribly afraid of needles.) But, over the last few weeks, a phrase has emerged that I know I will need to be reminded of again and again over the course of my life.

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On Not Knowing What’s Ahead

Today finds me sitting on the floor amidst piles of paper and clothes, sorting what goes to Goodwill and what goes with me into a new season. I found an old writing notebook, full of melodramatic scribbles and the first gems that convinced me I could really be a writer. I found something I had written in late 2009, when life was largely frustrating and uncertain. It’s an ode to unexpected journeys and the Kentucky back-roads that still romance me. I thought it was fitting to share this week, as I face another transition and a great deal of uncertainty. It’s rough, but all this sorting doesn’t leave me much time for editing.

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What’s Next

If anyone is curious about what I’m doing next and why I’m not going to grad school, check out this blog post. In short, I’m starting a nonprofit cafe in Cincinnati, and I’d love to have you along for what is shaping up to be quite an adventure.

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Everything Sad is Coming Untrue

Sometimes I get discouraged about how broken the world is. I mean, I have a theological answer to suffering that makes logical sense, but that logic falls to pieces when faced with the senselessness and the depth of pain attached to something like slavery, or child soldiers, or the mass and systematic oppression of women around the world. It’s just too much to cope with, even for me, sitting in a trendy café with my MacBook and my $4 cappuccino. Darkness is overwhelming. And I can’t say I’m not nearly convinced by those who can’t believe a good God could exist in such a dark world as ours.

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