A Blog by Jennifer Aulthouse


A heart for those who want more of God. A desperate plea for those who don't.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Todayness

There’s a change going on in me.....I’m realizing that I’ve become more okay with being in transition: my house in transition (in that there is always something not done and my goal does not have to be having a completed checklist each day), my writing and speaking pursuits in transition (in that it’s okay that I’m not a bestselling author, being that I’ve been doing this for, oh, maybe a year and a half), my body in transition (in that I know I’ve put on weight but I’m on my way to losing it, so I may as well enjoy being squishy in the time being), and my me in transition (in that, despite my half-hearted but well-intentioned efforts, I’m still a pesky human being, prone to do pesky human-being-type things). It’s a strange phenomenon I don’t think I’ve disciplined myself enough in times past to experience: contentment.

I’ve prayed recently to find the joy and beauty of todayness, meaning that I would recognize the impact of the seemingly small choices made in any given moment and what they could mean to my present and future – with food, with conversation, with anything that feels like it doesn’t matter a lick. Like flossing.

Todayness is acting in faith that God has intention built into every moment. Sometimes that intention is simply to laugh or rest, but it is intended nonetheless. There was a purpose in place for the breath you just took, saturated with God’s desperate anticipation that you would consciously and deliberately connect with Him in it. This may sound burdensome, but if you know God, well, then you know it isn’t.

This week, I am starting something new to improve my health, and over the past several months as I’ve reflected more on what it means to the Lord for me to honor my body with the way I treat it, I’ve realized that even eating is an act loaded with intention. I want to start making food consumption an act of connection and worship, which does not necessarily mean a life filled with broccoli......as there is a time to celebrate, as I paraphrasinglyish refer to Ecclesiastes......but it does mean a life filled with realizing how valuable my existence is to the Lord, and doing my part to offer every aspect of myself to be ready for His disposal, out of love.

Todayness believes that all things matter, and so therein lies an abundance of opportunity to honor Him, to His pleasure and mine. It isn’t worried about the future because it knows that if I’m connected to Him in each moment now, the future is already squared away. So I will aim at being content while in transition, and transition into greater contentment as He is searched for in each moment, while more and more of me is refined simply by being in His presence.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

On Writing III

Sometimes I wonder if I’m going to stare up at the sky someday and see an enormous human form dressed in a lab coat hovering over, gawking, reaching for me with tweezers or something. Because with the extreme weather we’ve experienced in recent years I’m starting to suspect that our lives are mere experiments in living inside kitchen appliances: in the winter, go outside and you’re suddenly in a freezer. In July, go outside and you’re baking in an oven. Seriously, with this heat, you can brush a layer of butter and some spices on me and I could star in a Wile E. Coyote cartoon as a juicy chicken leg. When will autumn be here?

But besides the lake-of-firish temperatures – with which I am determined to not let morph into some sort of catastrophic burden in my attitude – July has been fun. Physical changes, a big step forward in what I know to be my purpose, and a lot of growth in many ways.

And about 57 opportunities lie in front of me, it feels like, and I have a great desire for clarity in determining what’s supposed to come next.

If there’s anything that’s been confirmed to me more in the last week since I took my big step it’s that, shockingly (not really), I’m a writer and a communicator, and living this out is in fact living out God’s ideal for me. It is the first gift I’m created to serve with, and after caring for my loved ones, this first gift must be guarded.......I can’t get trapped in choosing good ways to serve over choosing the best way to serve. So how do I come to a balance in which the best has room to bloom and sustain in the midst of a life filled with very good things that nonetheless threaten to choke out what’s best?

I can’t help but wonder if this is a test: a test to determine whether I can make the gutsy choice of saying no to some good things and risk that horrible feeling of, therefore, not being understood, and go on faith that the margin I need to protect and preserve in order for the writing to take root in will, in fact, produce the fruit I am being challenged to believe is not only possible but inevitable if I do. I cannot write without first studying and reflecting. I cannot reflect without the quiet stillness available for one thought to connect to another in a cohesive, uninterrupted intentionality. I cannot connect my thoughts without the time and space to do so. I will not have that time if I do not voraciously create and protect margin. So I need to say no to good things in order to provide for the mere outside chance that the best might be birthed in their place?

Maybe so, if that’s what I’m being led to. It is obedience that God values, not misguided busyness, however altruistic our intentions might be.

May you have the courage to walk right by what is good and seize what you know God has told you is best.