Leap Year

All of a sudden the month of February has become a significant month in my life. It’s a short month and one that usually is appreciated because there are no major holidays or events at the church. I usually just chuckle on Groundhog Day and then look ahead to March.

But February 2011 changed all of that. A year ago I was living in PA with Mihee and our boxer Ellis. We had just informed our respective church communities that we would soon be having to leave. That is never a fun or easy process. In some ways the more it hurts, the better it was. So in an odd way I’m thankful for the pain of having to say goodbye to my church, Mihee’s church, and our community.

Of course the biggest news of all was the birth of the twins on February 27. This alone catapulted February into the running as my all-time favorite month.

Since that day at 2:37 and 2:38 am life was forever altered. Sleep became a long lost friend. My schedule was no longer my own. More importantly, I realized how thankful I am to my parents, who were in their early 30’s when I was born. It never really dawned on me before that they probably didn’t know what they were doing with me either. And I think I turned out okay (mostly). It’s made me more sympathetic, less critical and more patient with my parents. It’s been humbling too. I’ve realized in the past year just how selfish I am. And helpless. How can two little things make you feel so clueless? Somehow they do it. They have also caused me, and us, to re-think and re-prioritize what is important in life. We’ve also had to let go of and reshape some dreams. Certainly Mihee has had to do this more than I have. I’ve also realized in the past year how lucky I am to have her as my wife and the mother to my children. She’s amazing.

Now that it’s the last day of February 2012, I find myself looking back at a year that was a blur. New job, new community, new part of the country, new role in the family. I’m still tired all the time. That hasn’t changed.

But February of 2012 has not been a cake walk. We’ve had a lot of stress and frustration this month. It has nothing to do with the babies, just the real life stuff of adulthood. So for some reason February has once again proven to be an important month that stands out on the calendar and in our lives.

This year is a “leap year” and today is the 29th of February. It’s felt like a huge leap from February 2011 to now. Most of all it has felt like a “leap of faith year.” I’ve never realized before how so much is out of my control, how dependent I am on others and community, how wonderful love is and how much it hurts. I’ve been reminded that I have to trust God and be at peace with the reality God is so great–and as we are reminded during Lent–that I am so small. I’m thankful for that. This year has felt like it’s taken a leap of faith for me to remember and understand that once again.

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Unintended Absence

It has been a little over 20 days since my last post. I know (I think) that blogs etc. function at their best if they are updated, current, and not allowed to go stale. But honestly, I have not had the time or the energy to blog or to even think about blogging. In the past 20 or so days I’ve experienced a lot–from very fun and exciting to very stressful and exhausting. Even as I sit at the computer right at this very moment I would rather be on the couch relaxing with Mihee and Ellis (our dog) watching television. The kids are finally down for the night and it’s quiet. These are the seemingly rare moments of quiet that present an opportunity for rest that I long for during the day. Plus they could wake up at any minute now and who knows how tonight will go.

However, I began this blog as an exercise for me with the hope for it to be something like a spiritual discipline…something that I would do, at least weekly, to make me think, reflect, share and comment. In the past 20+ days it has been so easy to just not do it or to think to myself “I’ll get to it tomorrow or sometime later.”

My sermon this morning, “Peter Was Right,” was on the Transfiguration account in Mark 9:2-9. Part of what I was trying to say was that Peter was right in wanting to make a dwelling place for Jesus. Sure the mountaintop may not have been the right place for this, but I think the desire to build a dwelling for Christ is important. Peter may have been thinking about a dwelling, or tent, that was tangible and visible with the eyes, but building a dwelling place for the divine Christ in our lives is critical to the life of faith. Like when it’s easy for me to not keep up with this blog, or even want to, I know it’s easy to put other things of importance–friends, family, and yes, faith–on the back burner. Thinking I’ll get to it tomorrow or the next day can quickly turn into 20 days–or a lot more. Worst case scenario is we just drop them/it all together.

Lent begins this week with Ash Wednesday. If you are in Bloomington come to the church at 7:30. Rachel will be leading what should be a great service. Giving up beer or chocolate isn’t going to cut it this year for me. My hope and my challenge for myself is to build a dwelling place for the fully human/fully divine Christ in my life each and every day.

I can only pray I’m more diligent at it than I am at this…now it’s off to the couch.