Friday, February 22, 2013

"A Bundle of Paradoxes"

I am...

A writer who is too tired and lazy to write.

A lover of Christ but a slack Christian {if you define my by my disciplines.}

A mother who wants desperately to be a mother yet is utterly overwhelmed, dismayed, and bewildered by the everyday moments and eternal responsibilities of motherhood. I'm also delighted, daily, with the gifts, laughter, and sacred sweetness this same motherhood bestows upon me. 

A wife who wants desperately to be a wife and desperately loves her husband. But when my daughter tells me she's never going to marry, I think to myself, Good move. 

A woman so blessed with faithful family and friends but not so great at faithfully maintaining the relationships I cherish most.

A humanitarian who weeps for the downtrodden but does precious little about the injustices within her own community. I dream of a larger home instead of reaching out to help those who don't even have one.   

A foodie who loves her sushi and Cosmopolitans...and McDonald's fries. 

Most days, I feel downright duplicitous. I wonder which one is the "Real Me." The truth is, they both are. 

When I get honest, writes Brennan Manning, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, I hope and I get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games. Aristotle said I am a rational animal; I say I am an angel with an incredible capacity for beer. 

To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God's grace means. As Thomas Merton put it, 'A Saint is not someone who is good but who experiences the goodness of God.'

When we're honest, we see the duplicity of our hearts. Real introspection can lead to despair but it can also lead to freedom. Unbelievable freedom. We are created in the image of God yet we are so very human, capable of both the divine and the disgraceful. 

I'm learning that repentance of my foibles and foolishness isn't a bootstrapped about-face; it's humble confession and confident rest. Rest in the One who forgives and loves and changes us from the inside-out.  

Maybe you're repulsed by your inability to get it right. Or perhaps you're puffed up because of your ability to get it right, more often than not. Maybe you're both of these, depending on the day. Soiled or squeaky clean, pitiful or prideful, know that you are fully known and fully loved, paradoxes and all.


*Excerpt from The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning.


  1. Thank you, thank you for writing this today. I needed it so badly! I love Brennan, and I love YOU!

  2. I could have written those paradoxes about my own self - except for maybe the sushi thing. (o; Your writing always invites me back into my heart and creates places for me to think and talk to God about.


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