Thursday, December 31, 2009

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good-bye . . .

With 2009 coming to a close, I couldn't resist listing a few developments and surprises that caught me this year.
  • Went to Tahoe and intentionally spent the weekend in the motel room (next time I'll snowboard), January.
  • While ice skating, I took a fall that caused someone to come up to my friend and say, "Wow, that was quite a fall."  Considering the left side of my back hurt for 2 months, I'd have to agree. February.
  • Received a prophetic dream, April 21.
  • Bible college.  Got that message in May.
  • Began a love affair with the beach and walking in the surf.  First official date:  Memorial Day.
  • Visited my hometown for the first time in 3 years, along with a first-ever visit to my dad's grave, June.
  • Fired for the first time.  When it happened, I texted practically everyone I knew--joyfully.  July 13th.
  • Modeled.  Me:  Miss Camera Shy?  Shocking!  August.
  • Stopped fighting the idea of becoming a missionary, August.
  • Sold/gave away every movie I own, September.
  • My bag with my wallet and journal inside it was stolen.  I was most traumatized about the journal.  September.
  • 90-block prayer walk to and from the beach with a good friend, October.
  • Different prophetic dream confirmed by Christmas gift.  When I opened the package, I couldn't help laughing and thinking, "Really, God?"  December 30th.
Thank you for joining me on an abridged tour of "That'll never happen" and "Let me tell you what happened" and "Whoa!  What just happened?"  This may not be the most poetic reading ever, but I believe it's important to see where you've come from and where you're headed.

Sometimes you see your future begins in the past.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hugs: A Call to Arms

Here's to kamikaze hugs.  To hugs from women who go find you the last piece of cheesecake.  And hugs from women who've never been told they're prodigiously awesome.  Here's to hugs from women who squeeze the breath from you as they comfort you--as if their lives depend on that embrace.  Here's to women who hug with no premeditation, no guile, no agenda.  Here's to hugs from women who know the hug is not fully appreciated when they give it.  To hugs that crack the taut facade of a woman in control, that leave her shaking and clinging to the person cradling her.  Here's to hugs from women we haven't seen in so very long, and hugs from women we saw earlier today.

Here's to hugs that come in a "thank you" or a "you're welcome" or a "you rock."  Here's to hugs that involve no touch, but a helping hand in tough moments.  When someone drops everything to come be with you when you've been fired (and feel jubilant about it), or friends who leave the party early and bring you cupcakes when you're crying and don't know why.  Here's to hugs in the form of silly jokes to distract you from your problems, since you can't change circumstances anyway.  Here's to hugs that come with truths difficult to accept about ourselves.

Here's to embracing our own ability to affirm life in others.  Here's to making that our mission.  Applauding someone's success with no thought of "why not me?" or "when's my turn?"  Giving someone a "you rock" without expecting a "you too" in return.  Here's to genuinely complimenting someone you loathe.  Looking for new things to compliment in everyone, and telling them to their face--and even behind their backs.

Here's to seeing, acknowledging, and reveling in our own worth.  Here's to dropping our baggage long enough to give and receive hugs.  If we could really know how awe-inspiring we truly are, the angels would weep and Satan would turn tail and furiously run back to Sheol.  And we wouldn't miss him.  Praise God for creating us in His image.  Here's to embracing this truth:  you are not an accident.  Repeat after me:  You are not a creationary afterthought.  Your existence is on purpose for a purpose.

Here's to hugging that to our hearts.  Let's live up to it, and live it up.  When we embrace who we really are, we go forth as originally intended.  Inhaling and exhaling life with every breath.  Then, as we hug someone else--whichever form we use--they are encouraged to embrace that same spirit of life.  This is not a call to wrap your arms indiscriminately around every person you meet.  Rather, it is a call to arms.  You know that love we so desperately wish was shown to us?  It will never be borne if we don't give birth to it ourselves.

Here's to giving away a bit of yourself.  Here's to running toward someone and lifting them off the ground in a hug (kamikaze hugs).  Here's to hugging as though your life depends on it.  Here's to encouraging that person you can't stand.  Here's to looking in the mirror in the morning and not judging yourself but thinking, "I am the only one who can be me."