Overwhelming. That’s the word that summarizes the last month. Good, bad, ugly: all of it. A lot of it.
I sat down to write about it several times. But I couldn’t find a way to be real with you all without washing all my dirty laundry in public.
And then the funniest thing happened. I was washing actual laundry at someone else’s house. In case you didn’t know, we’re living in a small camper behind our house. We wash ourselves and our clothes at some dear friends/relatives/neighbors’ house.
As I was hanging a pair of my underwear on their clothes line, I glanced over to see a load of their laundry hanging up. I couldn’t help but think that this is how it should be.
It’s true, we should not wash our dirty laundry in public, but we should wash it in community. The most difficult matters in life (yucky, private, sensitive – like undies right?) should not be shared with everyone. But they can, and often should, be shared with people we love and trust.
Over the last month, I have been so encouraged by the diversity of support, encouragement and honest, gentle correction.
Our culture doesn’t require us to be real. We can put our best on our instagram feed and hide our brokenness. We can get all of our necessities at a store or even shipped for free to our doorstep. But that doesn’t make us whole.
If there were ever someone to become a hermit, it would be me. I still threaten on a regular basis. But I’m not a healthy complete person unless I’m a part of a community.
I’ve heard people say this before and I didn’t agree with them then. Because even though I was surrounded by people, they were not truly a community. We were made to have people who know our dirt and love us anyways.
They know I can be an idiot, I believe weird things and I’m a peace-loving hippie. And they love me anyways. They understand that I’m a work in progress (just like them) and they help me be a better me.
Don’t settle for people who let you stay where you’re at. And don’t settle for people to whom you never seem good enough. Search long and hard, like for a lost treasure, for people who know they’re in the same boat and want to share the ups and downs along the way.
As a Christian; but I’m willing to admit that this is no easier to find within church folks than it is anywhere else. And I apologize; because Jesus was all about it.
One of the ways in which I have been overwhelmed with joy this month is in celebrating my son’s birthday. He’s a sensitive, thoughtful type. He loves animals and I when I’m churning over some deep thought, I ask him what he thinks. He’s a wise old soul.
Here’s a few moments from his birthday week. The highlight for me? Hearing animal facts for two hours straight while I sowed 60 feet of cut flowers.