All week, I’ve been pondering my word for the year. I used to do this regularly. One year it was the year of “miracles”. That was the same year our Elsie was born. We were told there was a good possibility we wouldn’t be able to have more children because of the medicine Matthew was taking. Miracle indeed.
This year I think we’ve nailed down the word. Whimsy. It means: Extravagant. Excessively playful. Spontaneous. Unpredictable. It seems to define my life right now. I don’t like the negative connotations like, “superficial, careless, unstable and wayward.” However, though life is full of whimsy, God is full of the constancy, dependability and steadiness I lack. Though He is steadfast, He brings unpredictable events into our lives. He is constant, yet loves spontaneous action. Through changes, He remains dependable.
Our year of whimsy actually stems from a book Matthew and I just finished reading. It is called Love Does, by Bob Goff. Hands down, one of the best books I’ve ever read. It drips of unpredictable and crazy stories, steadied by the unflinching action of love behind it all. It’s one of those books you take everywhere, peruse it at a red light, read excerpts to your friends but end up reading entire chapters instead. Whimsy can be looked at as being a bit odd. I often feel this way, doing things a little differently, living my own dream, not wanting to be typical. Sometimes I feel like a girl wearing a red dress at a black and white party. But that’s ok, and I know God has different styles of writing our stories. What I do or don’t do are not intended as judgement on anyone else’s actions. Things I like or don’t like is not intended to be criticisms for what you may enjoy. What He pens for me will be very different from what He pens for you. The way we raise our kids, spend our money, and use our time is both based on what the Bible says, and also how the Holy Spirit whispers in our individual ears.
I’ve never been very typical. I don’t like epidurals, car payments, cable, video games, fast food, or makeup. I wear clothes I’ve had for ten years, and buy a brand new outfit maybe once a year. I use pencils until the led is the same size as the eraser. I don’t know what it’s like to drive a new car or have matching furniture. I’ve never been to college, and never gotten drunk. I’m not sure what certain swear words mean. I empty out my vacuum bags by hand until they fall apart, because I see no need to buy new ones when they get full. Sometimes we eat expired food, because it’s what we have and it won’t kill us. I’ve touched African soil and its dirt is ingrained on my soul. I’ve lived and swum in the Caribbean with sea urchins an inch from my skin. I’ve kissed and made love to one man alone, and have been captivated again and again by his love and loyalty. Our bank account has said $.03 balance, and we’ve gotten down on our knees and prayed. Our account has said $10,000 balance, and we’ve gotten down on our knees and praised. Twelve times a home has been miraculously provided for our family, at just the perfect time, in just the perfect place. A few times we have tried to walk the expected road that seems most practical and traveled. Yet the burdens and turmoil which have met us along the way have never been worth the trying. It is in the unexpected, less traveled paths where we have found the most peace and joy. Sometimes we are weary with waiting, tired of hacking through the underbrush. I raise up my whiny cup of tears and complaint, wishing for an easier way. The road with no aches, no pains, no oddities, and clear steps from here until eternity. But the path through the fog is most sure, because the step before me is always as clear as it needs to be. I’m much more likely to grip the strong hands of the Man in the boat, when the water is rough, than when it is calm.
So I’m looking forward to this year of whimsy. Full of thankfulness, I pray it brings glory to the Author of my story and Perfecter of my faith.