The Lenten season has ended with the triumph and vindication of resurrection–my favorite day of the year because how can you contain the excitement of today?–and we enter the joy and beauty and resurrection of Easter season. And I, I want to do more than return to my pre-Lent patterns, to my hustle and bustle (which, if I must be honest, marked my Lent as well), to a little here and a little there and the half-heartedness and the hurry and the nerves twisted up because is nothing ever done, is the kitchen ever clean and the writing ever good and the garden ever weeded?
Because this is Easter and Christ has risen and everything has changed, and while the dishes still get dirty and the words still get stuck and the weeds still grow, we live in the promise, the in-between, the hope of joining his resurrection, and this transforms everything about the everyday.
I recently finished teaching through Luke in my church Bible study, and as his journeyed neared the end, Jesus taught his disciples about the everyday that would come when he was no longer with them. They would be like the days of Noah and Lot, with people marrying and working and sleeping, and then so suddenly the end would come. He would return, and for those who aren’t prepared, calamity.
But for those who remain faithful, for those who go about their everyday lives, their marrying and working and sleeping serving God’s kingdom plan, we will have resurrection. We will join the cosmos in Christ’s triumph.
In our Bible study, we will continue with Acts–part 2 of the story (thank goodness we don’t have to wait for the release date for the sequel!), how the Church lived and ministered in the everyday, how she continued Jesus’ work of restoration.
So I consider my everyday, my writing and blogging and editing and housework and gardening and knitting and changing diapers and playing with Keegan and (mostly) making dinners and caring for family and for those around me, and how these small actions serve God’s kingdom plan, how they have purpose. For this is what I want my everyday to be: a continuation of Jesus’ work of restoration.
Sometimes this means remembering the joy. Sometimes this means ignoring the dirt to make time for someone or to play with Keegan (okay, I’ve not struggled with the latter much–Keegan does a good job of convincing me that playing in the sandbox is more fun than folding the laundry). And sometimes this means being more thoughtful.
I fear that my blog has become more thoughtless–a haphazard collection of bits and pieces scattered from the day, pushed and squeezed together in the minutes between this and that. And I want it–and all of my writing–to be more than that.
When I began my blog, I did so as a writer and theologian, as a place to summon these things inside of me, and I found a congregation of writers and theologians on blogs, a community. Together we thought through the everyday and the exceptional. We corresponded. Then I had a baby, and I didn’t know why I blogged. Am I now a mommy blogger? I considered this during Lent.
Heaven knows the world doesn’t need another mommy blogger. We already feast on dishes of the delectable, the hearty, the refreshing, the involved, the simple, the lingering. (So the world didn’t exactly need another writer or theologian blogging either, but I turned a blind eye to that fact.) Here’s what I thought:
It’s time to call it quits. I am no longer a blogger.
But then, in the last inning, I read a new comment on my blog: “Seriously excited to read more when you return” (Thank you, Amy!) Perhaps my ego stepped in, or perhaps that desire for community, the community I’ve had here for so many years, rekindled, but I thought about what it would really mean to leave this space and I thought about what I named this space: L’Chaim. To life. This term that means so much to me not just because it’s one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite musicals or because I loved studying Hebrew and easily remembered chai when learning vocabulary because of said song but because of what it embodies–life, the kind of life found in Christ, a restored, resurrection life that embraces the everyday. And I realized that it doesn’t matter if I don’t know what kind of blogger I am–mommy, writing, theology (knitting, gardening…)–because the focus of my blogging is restored, resurrected life, the already-not yet reality of the everyday in-between.
But still, in my Easter resurrection celebration, I want to practice thoughtful writing, even when I blog on something silly just because it makes me laugh (hey–laughter’s part of the resurrected life!), and consistent writing (both in blogging and in my short story writing). So for my Easter practice, I commit to blogging twice a week, essays that revel in the everyday resurrected life. (I’m also committing to working on my short stories four days a week. I’d love to commit to writing every day, but some days may be consumed with editing–work I enjoy and for which I am very thankful.)
“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective” (Colossians 3:1-2, The Message).
May my life, and my writing, be alert to and absorbed with what God’s doing.