in all my years of living i have discovered that a good life is seldom measured by a long string of arranged and perfect moments.

instead it comes in spurts of unplanned, imperfect moments that demand to be taken into our story.  but once taken in-we see that true beauty is never in the easy, likely things- but in the hard and soul stretching things.  because that is where our humanity is expanded and grown and forged into something sacred.

and isn’t it like God to take the unexpected, fringed and gritty parts of living in a broken world…and craft them into a beautiful life.

october 2012 035and birthdays…well, birthdays take on a whole different meaning as the years pass.  i see life much more with the eyes of my soul then i did as a little girl.

as a youth, all we knew of aging was that wide-eyed excitement of a day that was just about us.  about being noticed and celebrated.  and we couldn’t WAIT to get older!

my mom was so good at halting normal life and finding a way to bake cakes and throw parties.  she helped us leave behind any sense of commonness on those special days and it all felt lovely.  even gifts were thoughtful and grand-never practical-like underwear or such.

nowadays, and with the passing of years, celebrations have become a bit less magical and sparkly-and new underwear sounds remotely like a good idea… kind of.

i am pierced again and again by the reality that time slips by at the speed of sound and if i’m not careful, i can wish and wait away the todays– while hoping and planning for the tomorrows.

i’m often at risk of missing the now of life.  those unplanned and uncommon moments of now. that good stuff.

but i think i understand finally… it is more  an act of receiving not rejecting those things we just didn’t see coming.  and i don’t want to miss the now-even if it’s messy, unresolved, imperfect or a bit sticky.  it’s all holy just the same.

jamie's iphone 005don’t get me wrong,  it took a lot of wrestling to get here.  to this settled and yielded place of putting my notion of a happy life in God’s hands.  because i DO desperately want life to make sense.

i want denouement.  resolve.  to see the parts and shreds be made whole.  but the truth is – life might give us only occasional tastes of all the plot lines untwisting in the story.  and we may still be left with unanswered questions.  questions that require us to have a big faith.

big enough to fully rest in and give the soul satisfaction and security.   otherwise we are tossed.

year to year.

birthday to birthday.

waiting for life to get good…or better.   but its a loop-de-loop roller coaster that brings us back to the same gnawing questions- unless we find our truest gift to be the security of walking with God.  for the hunger of an insecure soul is never satisfied-which is the very opposite of God’s heart for us-His children.

so i am counting the candles on the cake.   counting my years .  and counting the grace and glory that God has formed from my ashses and unraveled pieces of my story.  i’m on the lookout for the real, sticky and now of this life.  and finding courage to be fully and imperfectly me.

maddie's photos 313time is still speeding by too fast- but i’m not witnessing it from a white-knuckle roller coaster.  instead, now, it feels more like a long wonderful road trip.  and like any good road trip- there’s dirty feet, kids fighting in the back seat and rest stop bathrooms that are less than ideal- but you make it work.  and none of that matters anyway, when you’re standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon in awe or under forest trees that remind you of how small you really are.

the trip becomes worth it for those moments that take your breath away and i don’t want to miss living fully in this one, beautiful, good life i’ve been given.

“we’re all traveling through time together. everyday of our lives. all we can do, is do our best to relish this remarkable ride.”    -About Time

Lord give me grace to grow old but still carry youth in my soul… and let it be a safe, restful place for others to find refuge.  and thank you for thinking up the idea of cake.  xxoo jamie

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2 Responses to birthdays

  1. evermorecolor says:

    Lovely Jamie. Can you just come live with me for s little while so I can ingest some of this spirit? I soooo long for this approach to LIFE and taste it sometimes. Holy Spirit, do immeasurably more than I can ask or think IN MY SOUL . . . Thank you for my wise Jamie friend. Who walks ahead of and beside me. And is going to put her toes in ocean with me VERY SOON.
    JAMIE. YOUR WORDS MAKE AN ETERNAL DIFFERENCE for me. Beginning NOW of course. Love u!

    • jamjobryan says:

      thank you my dear Rebecca ❤ i love that our journeys get to intertwine in this life and that we give each other a taste of Jesus..even in our beautiful mess. xxoo so grateful for you !! jamie

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