Sitting in my bed finishing the last of the holiday cookies I've had stacked in the Christmas tins on top of the refrigerator; glad to be rid of them, sad that they are gone because most of them were consumed by me.
Obviously, dieting is NOT among my new year's resolutions. Actually, I have no new things I have resolved to do or be that I can think of at the moment. Friends of mine have written posts on their blogs in the past week that have encouraged my soul at the start of this new year. This gave me resolution to write something here again. ...If only my friends had written of dieting, perhaps I would be inspired to diet... wait, three chocolate covered cookies left.
Writing something is as resolved as I'm gonna get tonight.
I hadn't realized how long it's been since I last wrote, and I had to ask myself why. I have discovered that I am often drawn to write when I am in melancholy, darker moods. So I have not written when I have been drawn to do so because I do not want this to be my mental and emotional garbage can! (That's what my journal is for! And a very vital garbage can it is indeed, it shan't be replaced!) I don't want my writing here to be consistently associated with my darker side. When I think on all the beautiful things I desire to speak of here, and how infrequently I have stopped to write because of the frequency of my darkened moods, I see, and sometimes mourn, how cynical I become as I age.
I mourn the loss of innocence in my heart, in unexpected moments, like during Christmas-time so recently, how I fail to wonder and awe at the marvelous, simple beauty and treasures life offers, as I did when I was a child. I want that depth of purity and hope again, a fearless hope for every new day. I hunger for the healthy lack of inhibition children have, to speak honestly and vulnerably with no hesitation, to look a stranger straight in the eyes, smile warm and big, and say "Hello!! What is your name???" because the greeting simply cannot be contained, to dance and sing on impulse, to run, and jump, and leap, and laugh without restraint. Don't get me wrong, I have four little ones, I love some restraint and boundaries ;)... yet, I cherish this lovely, unsullied place in children, I admire and desire it so.
I see the increase of evil in this whole, wide world- horrifying, wretched, soul-wrenching evil. It tears this world, so many hearts and lives, apart. I grieve, it angers me, I harden.
This past year, I have become increasingly aware of my cynicism. It is a subtle, sometimes not so subtle, way of thinking, an attitude, disposition, that I default to. I could blame it on my generation, my cheeky age group of fellow Americans, that plays a part in it, sure, but ultimately, it beats within my own heart, I am cynical quite naturally, on my own, with no external influence, it is how I react to any number of horrible things happening in this world, or on a smaller scale, how I react to life when it doesn't go the way I plan or prefer, which is pretty often.
Recently, on a day I was more aware than not of my cynical attitude, I was struck by the mention of a verse that has always meant so much to me but I had not heard, or meditated on, or prayed for my own heart, in a very long time. "But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." (1 Peter 3:4) In contrast to my hardened outlook, 1 Peter 3:4 reminded me of that vulnerable, tender place in me that I had not given time or attention to in awhile. I was instantly convicted, brought to Jesus' feet, asking Him to take my cynical heart in His hands and make this imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit true of my own.
I am cold, blind, and selfish but not for His tender mercy pouring over my heart of stone, seeping Redemption into its cracks and crevices, creating a new heart of flesh that beats for Him and reflects His beauty, pointing to His perfection and grace.
I am not able to resolve not to be cynical. For me, that is impossible. What I can do, and have found myself doing, is thanking God for the grace of His conviction, thanking Him for each and every time I am sorry for and grieve over the hardness of my heart, even just a little. It is a glimmer of hope, a piercing of light into darkness, when I can see how I am gripped by fear, moved so often by nothing but fear and self-preservation. I thank Him for softening my heart, even just a little, making me able to see when I have grown cold to compassion, calloused with pride, deceived by selfishness in all its justified disguises.
It is in these times, when my heart is broken in humility, that I have joy unspeakable in even the smallest of His graces and glimpses of His beauty, and the cynicism, within and without, is silenced.
I am very glad to be writing something again. Today, I see His grace for what it is, and it is enough for me.