06 August 2010

This Week...

You know those weeks when you just want it to be over? This is one of them. I'm not one of those people who looks forward to the weekends, as if Monday-Friday should be totally wiped off the calendar. I like living those Mondays-Fridays. Even if they're not the greatest.

I finally feel like my body has re-adjusted to Central Time Zone from being in Europe. But it's just so dang hot that any energy I might muster up during the day quickly evaporates in the humid air.

I don't know if I've shared this (and honestly, I don't feel like researching my own blog entries), but my boss is preggers. She has a sweet baby girl cooking away. Chloe Noelle will join her two brothers, 10 and 12, soon. Actually, sooner than expected. Due to complications, my boss will spend the remaining 1-5 weeks--depending on delivery--at Baylor Medical in Dallas.

It's always been the plan that I would take the lead role in our counseling office this year, but I really didn't want it to be this soon. Yikes! I've claimed Esther 4:14 as my verse for the year, "...but who knows that you have come to royal position for such a time as this." I don't know how royal my position is, but I do know that I've been groomed by my fantastic boss over that past two years, and I can do it.

When I arrived at work on Monday, I had an Amazon package waiting for me. It was this:

I was so excited! I've blogged about Shauna's first memoir, Cold Tangerines, so I was super-psyched to have this in the mail after pre-ordering in May. Already I LOVE it! In fact, I looked down yesterday and realized that I was already half-way through. It made me sad that I would actually finish it. Yes, that's how much I like it. My heart will ache when I'm done.

Here's one of the amazing, amazing quotes from Bittersweet:
The idea of bittersweet is changing the way I live, unraveling and re-weaving the way I understand life. Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a moment of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich even when it contains a splinter of sadness.

It's the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your soul. Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through, what helps us earn the lines on our faces and the calluses on our hands. Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity. Bittersweet is courageous, gutsy, audacious, earthy.

This is what I've come to believe about change: it's good, in the way that childbirth is good, and heartbreak is good, and failure is good. By that I mean that it's incredibly painful, exponentially more so if you fight it, and also that it has the potential to open you up, to open life up, to deliver you right into the palm of God's hand, which is where you wanted to be all long, except that you were too busy pushing and pulling your life into exactly what you thought it should be.

I've learned the hard way that change is one of God's greatest gifts, and most useful tools. Change can push us, pull us, rebuke and remake us. It can show us who we've become, in the worst ways, and also in the best ways. I've learned that it's not something to run away from, as though we could, and that in many cases, change is a function of God's graciousness, not life's cruelty.

This is the work I'm doing now, and the work I invite you into: when life is sweet, say thank you, and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you, and grow.
Here's to saying thank you, and either celebrating or growing.


adriane said...

thanks for posting. i needed that today! you're going to be fantastic in the new position, BTW.

Christine said...

Praying for your boss and Chloe. LOVING Bittersweet too...the chapter "whole heart" made me cry so hard this morning. Beautiful stuff.