I am on the way to Spain! Donna's friend is getting hitched out there so Mom decided to take the crew! Mom, Donna and I have connected here in Boston for a few hours of airport prison (layover) and we will be taking off around 5:30 God willing! I am excited for this time with family and a chance to see another part of Europe. I have only heard good things about Barcelona, and I can't wait to be along for the ride. I am obtained a fanny pack for this outing and it has proved to be the MVP of everything thus far. I can get everything I need right from my tummy. Well not from IN my tummy but right next to it ya know.
I am reading "Abbas Child" by Brennan Manning. This book is absolutely life-giving and has been shifting so much of my perspective. This book is Manning's exploration of God's love - the depth and power of a truly unconditional love from the father. I am just in the beginning but I am being really challenged in my ability to receive the love of God. "Do we let God love us?" With that underlying challenge, Manning has gone on to identity the false self, the imposter, and how we tend to live out of this false identity. We cling to meaning and significance in the external, through praise, success and the approval of others, and so often overlook the most important voice of all - our father's. I am re-reading the chapter entitled "Beloved." It is so much simpler than we ever make it to be. Life. Finding joy. Experiencing peace. Finding God. Nothing we can earn, but only open ourselves up to receive. This is one of many beautiful lines from the book. This one seemed to paint the picture of all of life in a profound way
"The ordinary self is the extraordinary self - the inconspicuous nobody who shivers in the cold of winter and sweats in the heat of summer, who wakes up unreconciled to the new day, who sits before a stack of pancakes, weaves through traffic, bangs around in the basement, shops in the supermarket, pulls weeds and rakes up the leaves, makes love and snowballs, flies kites, and listens to the sound of rain on the roof."
Are we content with the ordinary self today? To live an extraordinary life, to me, is the live fully in the ordinary. To let God dwell in the every day, trusting that He will make it full and beautiful. There is truly no striving and no pressure to do anything other than just be and be well. To live in this peace releases us from judgment and the rigid grip we have on the world. Our surroundings cease to be a slave of our expectations. The world is filled with color again.
Yesterday I was walking through the mall, I was getting a couple things to prepare for our travels. And this whole thing just hit me. It was like a blanket fell on my life. I used to hate going to the mall, I judged it's materialism. But now, I was able to even feel like my trip there was just another normal yet extraordinary part of life. It sounds kinda whack to write... I mean it's just the mall. But for me it signified a radical shift in my heart as I began to live in the ordinary and be fully thankful for the mundane things around me. I think I judged the mall for being basic, wanting everyone in there to "be better" (including myself). But what a wild thing to live in and to even be aware of. As our awareness of our belonging increases, our awareness of the negative and the lack will decrease. As I am diving deep in to the love of the father, I find that I don't have room in my heart to judge or condemn situations, lifestyles or choices. To draw close to God means to be also filled with love. Regardless, I think I was walking by an auntie Anne's pretzel and began to kind of tear up because I felt Jesus walking in the mall with me. It's hard to explain but I felt like He was really for me in the moment, and also for every single person I saw. It was either his presence that moved me or the smell of the cinnamon pretzel bites... but I want to say it was Him. Anyways, they are calling for boarding as I am typing this. 6hr flight into Madrid now and then off to Barcelona. Thanks for reading!