Emotionally, December always feels mixed to me. In years past, I've felt everything from utter peace when I would sit outside of my parents' house and listen to the snow falling (if you've never tried listening to snow - trust me: it's amazing) to feeling loss, depression, anxiety...you name it.
This year, God apparently decided to up the emotional ante and kick my mind and heart to eleven. And true to type, I fought accepting everything offered to me - due in part to a misplaced sense of self-worth - until I felt more than heard God say "You know, sometimes I do just want to bless you."
So, in chronological order, here are the (thus far) ways in which God is attempting to get me to at least listen to if not speak in a new love language:
DECEMBER 10: If you happened to miss the proceeding month's-worth of Facebook updates and Tweets of mine, let me sum it up for thus: I was published in a for-real, honest-to-God book. And the fact that the paperback version of the book I was published in about being a stay-at-home dad (The Myth of Mr. Mom) was available for purchase the day after what would have been my dad's birthday...beauty. Sheer beauty.
DECEMBER 12: The phone rang. While this in and of itself was not a great shock, the voice on the other end of the phone was. The voice in question belonging to none other than Steve Taylor. Yes. That Steve Taylor. He of Chagall Guevara fame. He who was and remains one of the single greatest influences on my life. Period. Of all time. And the fact that one of my heroes, mentors (by distance) and a man whose work I admire and respect called me (as part of that whole "backers" plan from Blue Like Jazz)...beauty. Sheer beauty.
DECEMBER 17: Ashley and I have been making do in a one-car house for almost a year and a half now. While this has led to some - ahem - tense discussions regarding time management, we have been managing okay. This was due in part to her having a moped to drive back and forth to work. But then...the moped was stolen. From our house. So, when her dad came to visit, he got us our Christmas present: a car. A new car. An amazing, high-safety-rated car. And the fact that Kai can now ride in comfort in a car that isn't pushing 140,000 miles and is over twelve years old...beauty. Sheer beauty.
DECEMBER 19: ...and as it now turns out, we will NEED two cars. In a move which falls square under the umbrella of "shock and awe," I was offered and accepted the position of part-time Interim Youth Pastor at St. Andrews Baptist Church here in Columbia.
Which means I can remain a stay-at-home dad (hello, book).
Which means I can be a mentor and influence the lives of these kids (hello, Steve).
Which means I have closed a loop in my heart which has remained open for far too long.
And the fact that God is choosing to use my broken, imperfect, "not a licensed or ordained minister" self in this way...
Beauty. Sheer beauty.