Saturday, November 19, 2011

Every Which Way but New

Wouldn't it be funny if I started beginning every post with a random flower picture and a discourse about how I'm feeling every which way but loose? (Does that phrase mean something...unseemly? It suddenly seems like it might.)

Maybe from now on, we could all just assume that Shannan's a bit frizzle-dizzed. She's taken to making up new words. She's wearing a button down with sweatpants. She's got a big, huge eye zit but she remembered to put her earrings in.

I'm half here and half there, these days.

I blame Betty.

One moment, I'm feeling like I've lost my will to be silly. I believe for certain that I've somehow plunged myself straight into the depths of eternal seriousness.

Two seconds later? I'm finding the answers to life's pressing questions in the lyrics of Michael Jackson's Beat It. No one wants to be defeated, man.

I spent last night and most of today at the annual Advisory Board retreat for my church. (You can read about last year's retreat here, but DO NOT click the link if you are adverse to Chuck Norris.) I walked away from the meeting tired (on account of the bad-news mattress) and a little nauseous (on account of the rotten cole slaw and boiled, busted-up hot dogs), but mostly, I felt excited.

There's so much mystery and suspense and bite-your-nails-clean-off-ness to this life, if we'll just show up with our eyes open and our palms facing up. We can make life as boring as we want to. We can play it safe and watch the color drain straight out the bottom of our world. Or we can skydive.

I fell asleep on the bottom bunk thinking that maybe God is doing a new thing.

Then I thought, no, He's not new. He doesn't need to improve on his mission and his perfect purpose. He has no need for a grand re-opening.

Then I thought, "But what about New Thang? Am I really open to the possibility that DC Talk's theology wasn't always spot-on?"

Then I chalked it up to the foolishness of youth. (Theirs and mine.)

God's not doing a new thing or even a new thang. He's reigning sovereign and powerful and fiercer than fire. He's as rowdy as ever. And we're finally, just barely, catching on.

This is the life I choose, thank you very much. It's way, way better than being a pew potato.


  1. I was thinking today about how God told me something to do for someone, and then I ran around getting the opinion of my husband and two friends about it.


    As if GOD needs a second opinion. Law.

    It's a miracle He has agreed to let me into Heaven at all.


  2. I had never thought of it like that before - that God is not doing a new thang - He is just doing HIS thang.
    I want to skydive - not literally, but figuratively.
    God is wild, God is messy, God is good.
    Sorry if my commment is scattered - I have been thinking a lot of things this week, and this post you wrote just adds (good) fuel to the fire.

  3. was amazing to watch the Lord do HIS usual thing, huh?!?!? I was looking back over my notes from this afternoon and at one point wrote..."watching the Lord do His work: priceless"...thanks for your transparency and encouragement this glad to be serving alongside you! ~Ann Hasse

  4. do button downs not go with sweat pants?? what if technically they are yoga pants? i need answers.
    i think the silliness will come back. the same God that made those flowers made the duck bill platypus. you can't tell me he wasn't getting ca-razy just for the heck of it with that one. :) sometimes our heart has to go down and stay awhile in the reality of it all.. to then feel the authentic release to go back up. i love the thought that God's new thing.. the thing that feels like HE is up to something new? He is. its the rebirth of our own heart.. its the regeneration of our soul that feels new.happy springtime in your soul. :)

  5. Here's another funny story...I had the VHS tape of Nu Thang and DC Talk doing all these music videos on it. I distinctively remember Michael Tait dressing up like an old Grandma...Good Times...of course I tried to memorize all their moves...

  6. um, yes and amen to this: "God's not doing a new thing or even a new thang. He's reigning sovereign and powerful and fiercer than fire. He's as rowdy as ever. And we're finally, just barely, catching on."

    powerful, girl!

  7. exactly.
    i'm gonna read this many times over.

    love you.

  8. Oooh, boiled busted up hotdogs. My favorite!
    And DC Talk again.....where, oh where are my CD's? I need some Love Is A Verb. And some Colored People.
    Will your next new digs be within driving distance of your church?

  9. Frizzle Dizzed. I like it.

    I've been listening to TobyMac's DiverseCity CD already. I know, I know... early but I love it!

  10. Hey Shannan
    Been reading your blog for ages, never commented ... Thank you for your blog; it inspires me. Your pretty photos and cute kids got me reading, but lately it's been so good to read about what God is doing in your life. love Kate xxx

  11. Every time God takes me deeper, it seems my perspective gets more sober and the world looses some luster. It could be mistaken for mild depression but His joy sweeps in and I would never choose worldy happiness and luster over His joy. It may sound strange but this is what happens to me. The colors come back to me in an astounding way and I realize the cost of pure discipleship and the total loss of self. Never a fun process, but everything wonderful is always hard, right? Thank you so much for sharing your journey :). You have taught me many things.

  12. HAHAHAHA...dc talk and michael jackson all in one, my friend, are HILARIOUS!

    even when your are feeling a bit down and frazzled, your wit speaks straight to my funny bone!

  13. This morning in church our pastor said, "there aren't many people who can say they are risking everything for God's purpose, that we work hard at home/our jobs/school but who can say, I am working hard for my eternity, for God's purpose?"
    I immediately thought of you and your family.... you are a great witness and inspiration.
    I am praying for you and your eye zit!!

  14. Sounds like good theology to me. The only thing new goin on 'round here is our growing perspective. Thank God His mercies are new every morning! ( Did I just contradict myself?)

  15. hee hee, a pew potatoe...I haven't heard that one before.
    Glad that even when you are fighting eternal seriousness you are able to see the beauty of flowers :)

  16. Talk it out... all you gotta do is talk it out... oh, oh, oh, oh... DC Talk rules! :) Kee hee.

  17. amen, frizzle dizzle. :)

  18. You are so cute and funny, girl.

    NO ONE wants to be defeated man, no one.


    Hubby and I just started watching Mad Men from the very beginning. We are just past episode four, first season. We both seem to find the show a bit of a bummer yet intriguing.

    WHY do Betty's hands shake? what's up with the weird neighbor kid who asked for a piece of her hair? It's sad, hilarious and odd....and I'm going back for more.

    I think a button down and sweats would work on you. It just would.

    Just sayin'.


  19. oh you make me happy.

    "We can make life as boring as we want to. We can play it safe and watch the color drain out the bottom of our world. Or we can skydive." I might just stencil this up in my living room, for reals.

    and you crack me up, "Then I thought, "But what about New Thang? Am I really open to the possibility that DC Talk's theology wasn't always spot-on?" hah!!

  20. sometimes i have no idea what to say so i wait & even then nothing....

    that said:

    Rebecca was here! :)

  21. I think it's ME who needs to do a new thing...because doing the same old thing sure doesn't get me anywhere.

    love this, shan.

    your favorite pew potato