Kara’s Collection: All Here—Today

from an article originally posted July 29, 2014...

Oh my soul, last night was a great, good night. My smile never faded. I enjoyed Lyle Lovett so much. His voice, his way, his story telling—it was simply an amazing night. I kept thinking last night of a quote from Ann Voskamp:

Time is a relentless river. It rages on, a respecter of no one. And this, this is the only way to slow time: When I fully enter time’s swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here.

As Lyle took the stage, I could not contain my enthusiasm. As I danced, listened to his amazing voice and beautiful story-telling, I struggled to live all there. My heart regretted all the times we passed up on seeing Lyle in concert through seminary years, the past years when I was braving bald. I kept dancing and struggling to live present. There is always the quiet voice that wants to wonder if I will get to see him again. There is the place that questions my time, my next moments. As I dance, and feel the pain in my spine—an unwelcome guest—I forget to live all there, now.

What I did not know about Lyle: he has disfluency when he speaks. That’s the proper word for a stutter. In our home, we have two who struggle in this way. Struggle with sounds, certain words, getting out what is inside. But I love the fight to keep moving, keep speaking, keep meeting life, even when the words are a fight to get out. Lyle told his stories, beautiful funny stories, and the struggle for the words made me love him even more. Then when he sings, when he shares his story in song—not a tittle of struggle for words. I have seen that in my loves that struggle for words fades when the words are placed in song. Lyle is simply one of my favorite story tellers in song.

I cried when Lyle sang this song. The last line: I hate to be alone on Sunday. I turned to Jason and simply smiled and cried. I cried for his lonely Sundays. The specific time as a pastor’s wife that I love my guy with as much as intention as I am able to love. I remind him of truth, I try and help him enjoy quiet to deflate, I intention words of encouragement from his sermon. Sunday can be a day pastors struggle for truth. And when Lyle sang on loneliness on Sunday, I simply could not remain in the moment. I cried for Jason’s lonely Sundays that have not yet arrived, but that we see on the horizon.

So how, how do we live all here today? My baby beside me, my son in front of me. My strength present for today. My big girls heading home. How do I live present, simply present? The regrets of the past, the fears of the future, the longing for more time—it all can steal now.

On our drive to Red Rocks last night, Jason and I talked through our life together. The endless seasons of learning one another, our shared struggles and love. The comfortable place we have landed after the years of meeting one another graciously, or ungraciously, at the hard edges of one another. Jason and I have enjoyed so many moments. Last night was this beautiful picture of where we have landed. We found a place to sit, we brought tasty snacks, we met the people around us, and I danced and sang off key to every song, and he simply sat and enjoyed the beauty of the music. I was not disappointed that he didn’t join me dancing like I once would have. No, I enjoyed his smile. He was enjoying seeing my heart’s desire to see Lyle and the amazing musicians he brought along.

Jason and I were able to talk of the comfort of our now, even in the pain of our unknown. We are fighting to live thankful and present in the moments that are here. Now. We struggle to want more, a grasping love, but in moments like last night we simply lived grateful. I was so grateful that Jason didn’t ask me if I had the strength or if it was too much. He let me happily extend myself long past my strength. He let me stay long past his bedtime knowing I was so full listening to Lyle. He never asked if we should leave early. That was Jason extending deep love to me. He held me tight, let me sing off key, and dance to my favorites. It was a great good night.

So today, this day? How do we live present in it. How do we take the edges and disappointments of today and keep moving, looking for grace, extending ourselves beyond our own borders? How do we trust our stories are perfectly appointed by a sovereign God, and that we could live well, in trust? How do we look honestly at our pain, but receive, receive what is our story and embrace what Jesus has for us today? We live so limited and controlled, don’t we? We refuse to live beyond our own borders and extend ourselves in uncomfortable ways. Some days we struggle just to express words of love towards those we love; we control our love and keep it to ourselves. For what purpose? Oh, last night, I snuggled close to my love, we listened together, and I enjoyed the warmth of life beside him. What a gift. And today I’m striking out to find love to receive and to extend. Join me, won’t you?

There are hard days waiting for us. But what I don’t see, what I cannot understand today, is the sufficient grace waiting for us on THAT day. So today I wrestle to not live in anxiety for those future hard moments. Today I wrestle, fight, I beg for the grace to live present in what is handed to me for today. What fears in tomorrow make living today painful? How can you give those fears to Jesus and begin to live today?