Tag Archives: Blessings

26 to 26: Birthday.

Today the countdown ends.

Today is my birthday.

I always feel like birthdays are supposed to be a big deal, like maybe some insanely life-altering moment is just around the corner. But birthdays are just that—days. Normal days filled with normal hours and ordinary minutes and common seconds. They tick away just like average Fridays.

I’m not sure what I was thinking today would be like when I started all of this. I guess that I imagined that I would wake up to a kick in the stomach and a neon “26” looming over my bed. I guess that I thought that life would feel different or time would feel different and really none of that is true.

In reality, I took a nap and carried grudges and brushed my teeth, all like a normal day.

Yet today has been a time of reflection on this journey that I created for myself. I have learned a lot along my path to 26, seeking out and uncovering lessons in the cracks and crevices of the daily grind.

I have felt full and empty; lonely and cared for; hopeful and disheartened. I have laughed and cried and regretted words spoken and actions taken.

It has all been an adventure for me. At different times, this journey of “26 to 26” has felt like both a burden and a privilege. It has forced me to express my feelings and confront some of my fears. It has forced me to cultivate writing as a discipline.

As I bring this series to a close, I am thankful that God does not finish with us until the day we finish this race set before us. I am thankful that life leads us down roads and alley ways lined with lessons in grace and forgiveness and selflessness and humility. I am thankful to be walking down those roads. Even now. Even when they seem too hard, too narrow.

Today I had breakfast with some of my lovely lady friends (the best!), snuggled with my pup while catching up on The Walking Dead (too cute!), noshed on a delicious (gluten free & vegan!) chocolate raspberry cupcake from Esselon Café (drool!), at a dinner of Riceworks chips (glamorous & health conscious!), and finished the day out with a massage (yesssssss!)

It was quiet and lovely.

As I look upon today and the last 26 days, I feel full. Full of so many things: memories, gratitude, dreams, love. I feel nourished in a way, like in leaking words into the blogosphere there’s been some fullness attained, some vision realized.

I want to thank all of you (aka my gramma, Auntie Chris, & Aunt Vicki) who have read along, learned along with me. I am so grateful to have had you all there, cheering me on, nodding your heads in support. I love you for more reasons that just you reading my silly blog.

Another year older, another day wiser. Here’s to making 26 count for the Kingdom!

Cheers!

Leave a comment

Filed under to write.

26 to 26: A Weekend in Maine

My roommate moved out at the end of August and, with that, seemingly opened the floodgates of change in my life. Good, messy, hard, chapter-turning change.

And she also just up and got engaged married.

Emilia and I made the trek up to visit her in central Maine this weekend. We knew that she’d be in the area for Thanksgiving but we also knew that the likelihood of us getting any one-on-one time with her was just about 0%.

We left early on Saturday morning and arrived just after 10. We spent the entirety of our time together in our pajamas, drinking coffee, laughing, sharing, and listening all huddled around her parents’ wood stove. It was beautiful…and wonderfully warm!

Friends! Coffee! Yoga pants! No showers! It’s the perfect weekend!

Don’t worry. I’m learning things all of the time and this weekend was no different. Here are some old, and one beautifully new, lessons I’m (re)learning:

Now after planning to be gone for the weekend, at nearly 26, I should have been responsible and done my dishes before I left. However, I am irresponsible and I hate doing dishes so I did not. That means that the soup pot from the beef stew I made last Thursday just sat around alllllllllll weekend.

Heck, I’m not going to lie to you. It’s still sitting around. I don’t want to open the lid and disturb whatever smelly, nasty stuff is going on in that thing.

#1: Do the dishes, Alyssa.

While we’re on a similar vein of “things you do that make you an idiot, Alyssa” I should probably address these food allergies that I have. My body hates…no. That is not a strong enough word to describe it. My body detests, loathes eggs, milk, and wheat.

What to guess what I had to eat in Maine?

Oh, don’t worry. Just a big, ole’ turkey sandwich on soft, chewy bread (wheat) slathered with mayonnaise (eggs) and American cheese (milk).

Oh, don’t worry. My intestines are still feeling the wrath of that sandwich.

I should know by now to plan ahead and pack my own food. I should know by now how disgusting I’ll feel and how my stomach will reward me by torturing me during my all too short little vacation with my friends.

#2: Don’t eat the crap you’re not supposed to, Alyssa.

This last one is something that Miranda said, that she taught me.

She said, “At some point, I made a choice…to love him. I made a decision that was for richer or poorer, sickness or health.”

I guess I’ve never thought about it that way—loving being a choice. I suppose that it’s because I’ve always just loved the people who loved me first. I suppose that maybe it’s because I have a romanticized idea of falling, stumbling into love.

I suppose that I’m probably completely wrong.

Love is a choice. It’s the best choice. It’s a hard choice.

It’s a choice that has to be made on the good days and the bad days, on the wedding days, birthdays, and death days. It’s a choice that you just have to keep choosing.

Love is a choice, a resolution.

#3: Choose love. Every day. Choose it with your family and your coworkers and your friends and your enemies. Make the life-changing choice to love because of and despite of.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under to write.

26 to 26: Words

Sometimes words feel like a burden that I have to carry, backpack full of nouns and verbs. They feel heavy and daunting, like obligation.

Sometimes words feel forced and contrived. Sometimes words are familiar like a friend, close like a brother, intimate like a lover.

Sometimes putting words on pages feels like the only thing, the only way.

Sometimes words ink easy onto paper, playful words beautifully posed. Sometimes words bleed through bandages of old wounds covered, forgotten. Sometimes words spell Ugly.

Sometimes words bring relief; sometimes fear. Sometimes words put flesh to mystery.

Sometimes words bring to light the Truth and cast out the lies.

Sometimes I wrap them around myself, like a warm blanket, when I feel chilled and my heart rubs raw.

Sometimes words feel like a curse; sometimes like blessing.

Sometimes I’m tempted to leave them be, abandon my brain-box of jumbled up letters. Sometimes I want to stick them on the side of the road labeled only Free.

But sometimes I realize that words aren’t easily separated from my sense of self.

I am words and full of words itching to get out, little syllables of me, gathered together, forming new things—sounds with meanings and reasons and stories to tell.

Leave a comment

Filed under to write.

Dog Days of Summer

A drought.

Days marred by relentless heat, oppressive humidity. And not one drop of rain.

My flowers wilt, my herbs grow thin and yellow.

The land is parched. It aches for rain.

And my heart. It aches. Burns. Like and dry and weary land. I pant for you.

I long for your pitcher of goodness to tilt and spill towards me that I might catch a even just a splash, a trickle of You.

Yet there comes another day in the desert. And another. And another.

My tongue cracks and my lips bleed.

My mind reels with falsities, deceiving itself with empty promises of satiation.

I’m reminded of the rivers that flow beneath my feet. The wellsprings of life below me, within me.

I tear, I gouge to reach the cool, crisp core. Tearing through every doubt that tells me it’s all a lie, that You are not good.

But You are.

You are good.

And it begins to spill out of me and pour into me all at the same time.

I am full to the hilt and overflowing and I can hardly breath in the midst of Your goodness.

Will I ever be truly quenched? I hope not. Will I ever not burn for more of Your gifts, more of Your goodness? Will I ever find fullness in Your giving of gifts, even the slight ones? 

Your love, Your gifts, Your graces.

Like an unexpected and long awaited storm.

Flash flood warnings in effect for all of Your people. For me. All the time.

Especially today.

Leave a comment

Filed under to write., Uncategorized