Saturday, February 6, 2016

the sacred

The other day I was trekking across southwest Missouri to a new friend's house (a new friend with five kids, might I add...we crazy people have to stick together). 

I am not one to just jump on an invitation to someone's house, let alone a person with whom I've really only spoken one time. I'm too skittish, too nervous and socially weird for that. But there I was, plugging that address into my phone like I was born to do it. I'm not sure why, except that I am learning that it's better to open yourself up to someone who can teach you something than to shut yourself away like a clam and drown. This woman has five kids and is still beautiful and warm and God-fearing, for goodness sake. I think that means she can teach me a few things. 

Miley Cyrus's "The Climb" played on my minivan's Pandora radio as I started the drive down our road. (Yes, Miley is a key player on my Pandora...hold your judgments for my posts about my kids or parenting styles or adoption. Or, if you feel inclined to judge people based on their musical tastes, judge my husband's friend who is nearly 40 years old and still enjoys a regular playing of "Mmmbop" on his phone. Sorry...I cannot keep that a secret.)


"The Climb" played on as I began the mapped route on my phone. Similar to the way a pastor in the church of my youth would lower the music's volume when he was about to say something exceptionally spiritual during the invitation hymn, Siri's voice would increase in volume as the music magically faded, leaving Siri enough influence over me to provide me with details regarding my own proverbial "climb" to my destination. 

Miley: "I can almost see it. That dream I'm dreaming, but There's a voice inside my head saying You'll never reach it.." 

[Music fade, voice over up.]

Siri: "In half a mile, take a left onto Highway 14."

[Music up.]

Miley: "Every step I'm takin', Every move I make, Feels lost with no direction, My faith is shakin'

[Music fade, voice over up.]

Siri: "Turn left onto Highway 14."

[Music up...louder than before.]

Miley: "But I, I gotta keep tryin', Gotta keep my head held high."

What a way to make a seemingly mundane experience feel sacred, huh? (I must say, though, it all felt a bit providential.)

But here's the was sacred. I'll tell you why.

I'm doing this study on biblical womanhood called True Woman 201. This week's specific focus was on reverence. It has been a bit of a kick in my tail, as I often lack reverence in sacred moments. (I blame the sarcastic bent in my personality. It's a coping mechanism I've leaned heavily on for years, and it comes a bit too easily to me now.) 

I won't divulge all of the details of the study mentioned above, but allow me to explain my mind-altering epiphany like this: 

I do a lot of laundry. I wipe a lot of rears (and a few tears). I clean dishes, wash clothes, dry clothes, fold clothes, and unload the dishwasher only to load it again. My house goes from orderly and streamlined to complete chaos and utter disappointment in 2.5 seconds. My child has cut his own hair, put blush on his face, painted his nails, plastered his cheeks with thieves oil, snuck a multitude of chocolate candies into his belly (thus making him sick), smashed my Chapstick into the new minivan's storage area, and gotten a peanut stuck up his nose, all within a few short weeks. I change diapers, nurse a sick baby in the middle of the night, then attempt to cover my under-eye circles with concealer that clearly isn't worth the $7 I paid for it (<---church-planter/adopters' budget). And that's just the beginning. 

Life is hard sometimes. I love it. I would only change a few minor things about it (or would I?), but it can still be hard. 

And it can be hard to remember that life is about more than this day-to-day craziness I experience each time I get out of bed to make my cappuccino punch

But, as I am learning in my study, every moment of life is sacred. Because my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, I must always remember I am engaged in sacred things.

I'm not sure why, but that thought struck me in such a profound way that it has altered my mindset in nearly every moment since I read it.

It means that whether I'm changing a diaper, disciplining the child whose antics were mentioned above, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, or rocking a teething baby, I am engaged in a sacred thing. It is not an act that goes unnoticed, nor is it unimportant, even if I can't see its splendor in the moment.

It also means that my conduct should be "temple-appropriate." READ: My response to the milk and sugar incident last week was not temple-appropriate. (Oh, I didn't tell you about the milk and sugar incident? I--absentmindedly, frustratedly, in a flustered mess of "we're so late"--poured milk into the huge sugar canister on our countertop. 'Twas not pretty.)

So I'm taking more time (or at least making more effort) to enjoy these sacred moments. And it's changing everything. 

Cue the music: 

[Music up, loud for dramatics.]

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side
It's the climb.

(Bet you didn't think I could go full-circle on that one, did you? Did I go full circle? I don't even know. Whatever.)

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