I could be off here, but it seems to me that a majority of my blog posts come laced with a tone of chaos: my schedule is always crazy; my mind is always racing; I’m always struggling to keep up with the general pace of life. And perhaps you can relate to that sensation, the feeling that you never really stop moving, thinking, doing–achieving moments of pause can feel as rare purchasing a winning lottery ticket.
Today, I’m struggling with a bit of a contrasting feeling. Today, I’m still. Unbearably so, in fact. I’m writing this from our apartment couch, where I’ve essentially been glued for the past 24 hours with a right ankle that’s thoroughly puffy and beginning to take on the color of a nice, ripe plum. On Friday afternoon, during the last rehearsal of the week, I sprained it. I managed to remain calm when it happened, in attempts to downplay the pain, but it soon became clear this would need some rest–by that night, I could hear the narrator from The Grinch chanting “and Allie’s small ankle grew three sizes that day.” Through the exhausting week we’d had of six-hour rehearsals, an opportunity for some couch time was welcome to me…I guess I just imagined it would look a little more like a cozy movie night and a little less like a tornado dumped the contents of a physical therapy office on my living room floor.
But of course, I have a point (other than spewing all the figurative language my passive brain has spun while banned to the sofa); because, as you may already know, there’s always something to be learned from these things–these comically cruel, unfortunate, seemingly meaningless things. I’m thankful that this time around, it didn’t take months for me to begin to unfold the lessons I’m going to learn through this; God blessed me with a little bit of a head start.
I’ll explain. Not long ago, I had one of those days when it seems like everything you read or hear or watch is all mysteriously about the same thing. Maybe you’ve experienced this, the kind of message, conviction, or whatever you choose to name it, when it feels like a book or video or pastor’s talk is aimed directly at you, with an Uncle Sam-esque deathly stare and point? Yeah, that’s what happened to me. Within two days, the number of times I unintentionally encountered the topic of evangelism and sharing my faith was undeniable. By probably the fourth time it happened, I’d reluctantly agreed to acknowledge the pattern (blaming things on coincidence is just so wonderfully easy sometimes, isn’t it??) and accept that God was just maybe trying to get a word in through my stubbornness.
When I finally chose to do my best to listen to what He might be trying to say, I felt like there was a resounding message to be heard throughout all the connections: there’s always a way to move. Even when you’re stuck, when you’re in a situation where you can’t act, when all you want is to fast-forward to the next time things pick up the way they’re supposed to, there is ALWAYS some way for you to move. My faith calls me to believe that my entire reason for being on this Earth is to live for Jesus, to spread the news about who He is, to play my significant role in the grand masterpiece that is God’s love for this world. That’s why, when Jesus told his followers to “go and make disciples of all nations,” we call that our Great Commission, our most important command in this life. Jesus didn’t say “go unless you sprained your ankle,” or “go once you feel a little more ready,” or “go to the people you know will accept what you have to say.” I just loooove to rewrite that verse to fit my own desires, but Jesus says himself that He’s with us through everything–that’s all we could need to head out on this mission.
The lesson isn’t an easy one–in fact, I will most definitely fail plenty of times in my flawed efforts to heed it, or in my failures to act. What’s clear is that I can no longer sit here (with my foot propped above my heart like a good patient) and pretend that something as trivial and human as a puffy ankle puts any pause on the work that God–THE God, the one who made ankles and people and everything in existence– calls me to do. This week I asked for clarity and was hit with a hard dose of it: here on this couch, sitting rather motionless, moderately frustrated, and very swollen, I gotta move.
“…Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Pumpkin Overnight Oats (V)
(Halve the recipe for a smaller meal/snack)
- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup plus 2 TBSP almond milk
- 1/2 cup pure canned pumpkin
- 2 TBSP pure maple syrup
- 2 TBSP cacao nibs
- 2 TBSP flax seeds
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of each cloves, nutmeg, and allspice
- 1/8 tsp salt (or to taste)
- Stir together all ingredients in a container, and seal.
- Leave in the refrigerator overnight, and enjoy the next day!
AND, because I promised 2 recipes but clearly wasn’t in the best condition to stand in a kitchen, here’s a Fall recipe straight from the pages of my great grandma’s cookbook!
(^^ make sour milk by mixing 1 TBSP of vinegar or lemon juice with enough milk or almond milk to make 1 cup)
(soda = baking soda)