Fumbling for hope.

Last week’s events have left me in an utterly sad place. I’m not black, I don’t have family in law enforcement, and I’ve never lost a relative to gun violence. It’s tempting to feel as if it’s not my place to mourn in such a way that feels like I can’t catch my breath and my heart might fall out of my body.

But that’s the way it feels. This is my country, too. These are my people. And I’m trained for it. I know how to hurt with the hurting. I’m not easily shocked or rattled by tragedy. And more than all of that, this is the burden God’s given me.

I don’t get riled up about every issue that comes across my screen, and I’m usually unwilling to engage in dialogue on subjects that make Christians famous – or infamous. It’s not that I feel disdain for people passionate about all of the things, but it just doesn’t feel effective. I can’t afford to get distracted. Love God, love people. Love God, love people.

But racial reconciliation? This is a flag I’ll wave even when my arms get tired. This is a hill upon which I’m willing to die. This is a legacy I’d like to leave my children, a fiery torch I hope to pass. This is one of many ways I want to love God, and love people. And so on I’ll trudge. One day at a time. Slowly, surely, intentionally, and prayerfully.

I am grateful for a church willing to wade into the mess this morning, helping me fumble for hope and throwing me a lifeline in 2 Corinthians 1. He HAS delivered us, and He WILL delivered us. I am relieved at the idea of a God who is never surprised, a God who still holds the world in his hands while it bleeds.

Redemption is here.

As we wrapped up dinner, deciding who was going to help clear the table and who was going to jet out early and who needed to finish the seconds for which they had begged, Ames quietly slipped way from his spot. He stepped back a few steps and said, “Look, Momma. I can do crow pose.” And the boy popped right into it, like he’d been doing it his whole life.

At the moment, I didn’t realize what it meant to me. Later I asked him to do it again, with me, so Chris could snap a photo and I could keep it forever. Because it meant something.

This boy was the first child I ever carried in my womb. His was the first labor, and subsequently the first postpartum season of darkness I ever experienced. While it was the twin pregnancy that eventually damaged my stomach muscles, that boy gave me a hernia. It wasn’t his fault, of course. But that boy made me wonder if I’d ever have strength to do a sit-up again, let alone a strength exercise like a handstand.

And yet here we were, moving together, into a pose that speaks of strength and balance and commitment. It took me a year to get into crow pose. He must have watched me, all of those times, silently observing and learning as I huffed and puffed and trembled my way upside down into the wild world of yoga inversions.

The boy who wiggled around inside of me all of those months, had wiggled his way out over the course of an entire day, had now wiggled his way to six years old and right into his own crow pose alongside mine. I felt whole. And I heard God whisper, redemption is here.

Five things on a Friday.

Skincare items to consider if you hope to avoid aging like a leather bag:

  1. Sunscreen. You knew it was coming, right? I live in the South and grew up in the land of baby oil in the summer, but even I learned early on that sunscreen didn’t stop me from getting tan. Now I wear it every day on my face, neck, and chest… even when I have no intention of spending time outside. This one has replaced my morning moisturizer, but there are also some fun powder ones out there, like this and this, that I’d love to try!

2. Vitamin C serum. This sweet little ingredient is famous for fighting wrinkles and aging by tightening and brightening the skin. It also helps turn over new cells and repair what has been damaged. I’m saving up for this one because I love the brand so much, but this one from Trader Joe’s works great in the meantime! I use it first thing in the morning.

3. The right cleanser. You don’t have to wash your face twice a day. You don’t have to buy the same thing everyone else buys, either. But you certainly cannot use soap. After many failed attempts at finding the right product, I went to a professional who matched me up with the best thing I’ve ever tried. I saw results in less than a week!

4. A spin brush. I didn’t believe the hype until I tried it, but it’s for real. You’ve got to do more than just slap some soap on your face. I use this brush two or three nights per week, and it both exfoliates my skin and cleans out my pores. I’ve read the reviews, and this little gal holds her own against a Clairsonic, which is about four times the price!

5. Sheet masks. Here’s the thing. I really don’t care if they work, and I don’t think anyone else does either. These guys are all the rage from Korea, and I can see why. They’re a fun, affordable way for me to spend a Friday night. I feel pampered and fancy and my skin feels amazing after using them.