Thursday, September 15, 2011

In the Shadow of the Cross

Last night I began a post on the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. It was left unfinished and I expected to wrap it up today. The words were full of hopeful things... the mystery of God's masterful ways, the beauty of Christ's humility, the wonder of what God can do when we are faithful even in suffering, the rich abundance of living as victors in Christ. I meant to finish it for you, whomever you are, but I find that I can't. Not today. Today has morphed into a Jonah day. The morning brought stress and tiredness and a wish to hide away. Then the afternoon arrived with news of a family friend's very unexpected and difficult to fathom death. I've kept my head bowed low over my workspace to hide the tears that keep falling each time it creeps across my thoughts. And so I find I can't wrap up last night's thoughts on the Triumph of the Cross. And yet the Triumph of the Cross is the only thing that matters on a day like this one. The only thing.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Something Big?

Do you ever get the giddy, stomach-jumpy feeling that something big is coming? I don't feel it too often. The details of my life are mundane and consistent, laced with blessings but still rather 'as usual' from day to day. Lately though, I can't shake the aforementioned feeling. It's a heightened awareness, a standing on my tip-toes wondering what's over the bend perspective.

In 17 days, I'll turn 30. I've concluded this has a lot to do with the current feeling. Until just the last few days, I've given little thought to this mile marker birthday. It hasn't bothered me or worried me or excited me. Celebrating birthdays is a great love of mine so I have simply looked forward to enjoying this one in a fashion similar to the rest. My sister and my boyfriend have undertaken the plans though and I am not privy to details. This arrangement certainly warrants some happy anticipation. For some reason though, it is more than that. It is more than the expectation of a fun, memorable celebration. It is a hope.

An undefined but hearty hope. I am hopeful. I am hopeful about my still unpublished novel which I am working diligently to revise and improve and nervously submit to my fellow book club ladies for their reading pleasure (ideally...). I am hopeful about the man I love with all my heart, who is gradually welcoming a faith in Christ and the Church and all the life giving goodness that comes from a sacramental relationship with our Lord. I am hopeful about the things in myself that need significant growth - those habits and virtues and courses of action that will lead me daily closer to the best version of myself.

Whether it's the Holy Spirit or my own persistent optimism, I am expecting big things.

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope. (Jeremiah 29:11, NAB)