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Wednesday, January 28, 2015


word of the day: sacrifice \ˈsa-krə-ˌfīs\ the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone

This word has been stuck in my brain for months, but I keep pushing it back into the recesses of my mind.  It resides there with the memory of that one time in high school that I watched The Shining and slept with my light on for a week.  Oh and the sound of my alarm clock and any reminder to work out.  Basically, all the things I don’t particularly want to deal with.

But per usual, the record is broken and the word is on repeat.  It demands to be processed I guess.

The more I think about it, when you have a family, your life becomes a series of sacrifices.  You must, for the sake of your marriage and your children, give up certain things for those you love.  Most of the times it’s easy.  I didn’t mind giving up sushi and red wine when I was pregnant with Norah, and I’m over the fact that sleep is now harder to come by.  I’ll keep the television turned off in the morning for Jake and share two thirds of my banana with Lily.  Whatever.

Not all sacrifices are so easy though, and lately, I tend to get especially hung up on the ones that, I know, will be hard. 

And it’s in these moments that the lies start creeping back in.  The “I didn’t sign up for this,” and the “I don’t deserve this,” and the “This isn’t fair.” And then in the corner, I see med school’s big sister, Residency, bat her stupid, fake eyelashes at me, and I start to feel really sorry for myself. 

Then another voice whispers, “Season the season.”

Yeah.  It’s all coming together.  Especially after I read this today:
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

                          Psalm 51:16-17
I am reminded again that I have a choice, and the implications of the choice are weighty because the way I choose to proceed affects more than just me.  It affects my marriage.  It affects my children.  It affects every day of our life together.

I can face sacrifice selfishly and believe that I deserve differently.  I can wake up each day bitter, angry, and self-righteous.

Or I can wake up each day with a broken spirit acknowledging my need for God.  I can find satisfaction in the toil, do good, and be happy. 

Oh, for crying out loud.  You’d think I’d get the point already.

If you scroll down on the Merriam Webster page for “sacrifice,” you’ll find this definition and, subsequently, something that gives me great hope:
Act of offering objects to a divinity, thereby making them holy. The motivation for sacrifice is to perpetuate, intensify, or reestablish a connection between the human and the divine.
“Be holy, for I am holy.”   (Merriam Webster didn’t say that last part, thankfully.)

And so, I will keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Waking up and choosing joy even when it's easier not to.  Sharing my banana and drinking extra coffee because I haven’t had enough sleep.  Refusing to believe the lie that it isn’t worth it.

Because it is.

Oh, it is. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015


word of the day: season \ˈsē-zən\ noun: a period of the year characterized by or associated with a particular activity or phenomenon; verb: to give a distinctive quality to as if by seasoning

The word “season” has been on repeat in my mind.  It’s one of those words with many different meanings, and, as words tend to do, those meanings have taken root in my brain and begun to resonate in this current season of life.  Fitting.

“Season” in its noun form is a period of time.  Sometimes its specified in length other times not.  I find that while the four seasons change rather predictably, seasons in life follow a much less foreseeable pattern. This past year kind of falls into both categories, but I am, nonetheless, thankful to see it now in the rearview.  The long and short of it goes back to my love/hate relationship with medical school. While the year brought new life and exciting changes to our family, it brought far more in terms of distance and stress and tears. 

It’s just as Solomon references in Ecclesiastes 3, really.  There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.  The ebb and flow is ever changing.  There is bad; there is good.  There is hard; there is easy.  There are moments of both in any given season, and as much as I’d love to complain about all the bad and hard and painful, the glimmer of the good is ever present and demanding to be seen as well.  

“Season” as a verb makes things better which might be my favorite multiple meaning word yet.  

I never read past Ecclesiastes 3:8 before today with much intention; the verses following brought together the noun and verb for me.

“What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.  He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.  That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.”

There is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.  To find satisfaction in the toil—that is the gift of God.  

Finding satisfaction in the toil? Maybe sometimes. Seeing it as a gift from God? Hardly.  I cried a lot, and I called med school dirty names under my breath even more (she deserved it). 

I don’t have any great theological ponderings, but my perspective has shifted.  Each season is bound to bring toil, and I can already see the next major challenge on the horizon. 

However, the choice in the response is mine (it’s certainly not easy, but it’s mine to make): Be happy, do good, and find satisfaction in the toil. I can't change the noun, but I can change the verb.

Season the season.  Or something like that.

And now, a few of the season’s best:

This is Jake trying to get Lily to look at the camera.  I agree, it's counterintuitive.