Monday, November 14, 2011

So This is Real Life



Here's the cool thing about being a human on this good earth: We get to experience all of life. It's all ours, the crazy and the mundane, the parts that squeeze our souls right into our hearts and the parts that cause us to take literal the phrase, "stick a needle in my eye".

Today has been a mixed bag, but I'll start at the beginning.

Last night, after the blubbering-fool trip to Target, Cory and I drove through our soon-to-be-new neighborhood.

It's one thing to tool around when the lights are all on and the trees are flamed out in the fiercest golds and the blushy hot oranges. I've seen the good parts of my imagined life on those days. I could picture myself there, under the glare of the September sun.

It's a completely different thing to drive through after dark, the November wind howling around, chasing itself through the row of abandoned homes. The gangly trees spooked me. The streetlights were mostly gone.

It made me sad. It made me want to run back to the very beginning, back before I knew what I know. I never signed up for this life. No wonder people think we've lost our minds. Who will our kids play with? What will their parents be like?

The doubts fell around me like the frogs and the hail. I never signed up for this.

We drove through the dark streets and I shoved the doubts down, because I knew they weren't the truth.

In that moment, I was getting a little taste of real life. And wishing real life could always be a pretty thing doesn't make it so.

Speaking of a not pretty thing, there's this:





I'm sure you're doubting me a little right now. You're canceling your subscriptions. You're slamming your computers shut in droves. You didn't ask to be subjected to close-up, late-night eye zit photos. Also? You're not seeing my connection. The truth is, there is no real connection. And that's the fun of life.

Life can be a crazy-cat complicated. It can be big and nervy and maybe a smidge terrifying at turns, but in the end, you're still there with the eyelid zit so big that you can see it looming overhead.

Life feels too big and too pinchy-tight so much of the time, but we're still just making our way through, eating tacos for dinner and shaking our heads over insignificant things. It takes the pressure off, somehow. We're only human, and we are frail and often weird. Am I the only one who finds this fascinating and wonderful? Tell me I'm not.

44 comments:

  1. "The doubts fell around me like the frogs and the hail. I never signed up for this."

    Although my situation is different, I have felt this way lately. When I asked God to expand my territory, I never imagined what I'd be doing. It's amazing how giving selflessly with no expectation in return can sometimes be the thing we need to remind me how Jesus must have felt. And his Father. I don't think I'll ever touch the tip of the iceberg.

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  2. Who gets zits on their eye lids???

    ;)

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  3. you are weird, and i completely adore you. ADORE!
    and i've doubled my subscription, so there.
    xo

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  4. Do you think it might be a spider bite? Yeeesh!

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  5. kindreds?!? oh my. you have no idea. i luuuuuv all the weirdness and the joy and even the worst parts because they are sweetly redeemed at the end and aren't those the best stories anyway?? i am right this minute trying to convince nate to take a picture of his eyelid zit but he is simultaneously grabbing for his pirate patch and threatening the couch. i best drop it. ;)

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  6. Just last year, my husband and I prayed and prayed that God would place us where He wanted and we would go. Little did we know when we testified to this that we would do two cross country moves, and still, we think that this may not be it. I love our little house, but I know nothing is permanent.

    And now I have a wee one growing inside my tummy kicking the computer as we speak :) Sometimes all you can do is shake your head because this life is so far from our own notions and ideas.

    P.S. I think you are awesome and perfect just as you are.

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  7. So when you get an eye zit, does Lainey get an eye zit?
    Just wondering.
    Farmgirl, you know I eat every single word you write up with a spoon and love every minute of it.
    You're the bees knees.

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  8. i am having a rough time accepting life. I've decided to run away from real life, and it keeps chasing me down. I wish for balance, and I'm starting to think there's no such thing.

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  9. Oh girl... you are the best. I just adore ya.

    Now... I have to ask this because it's got nothing to do with anything but I see you have a few buttons at the bottom of each post with things like twitter and FB and I have been trying to figure out how to do that for ages. Any way you can hit reply and tell me? Perty please?

    Oh and PS.. I'd NEVER cancel my Flower Patch subscription. LOL

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  10. I so get the neighborhood thing. It's tough. The community we're working in now ... four teenage boys visited our church one week - two of them are in prison the next. It doesn't make sense. Friends think we're crazy and bad parents for being there ... but God is moving, right there in the middle of it all. And He's moving where you are too (even though I'm sure you already know that) There's no greater place to be serving ... even when the landscape isn't so pretty. Blessings, friend :)

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  11. Eh, if you're weird, that's okay. So am I. Weirdos unite.

    And that eyebrow zit? May I just say "ouch"?!! Are you sure it's not a boil? It almost looks more like a boil to me.

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  12. Somehow my life has been enriched because I've SEEN the dreaded eye zit--and the whole "stick a needle in my eye" thing gave me the shivers. Ewwwww. Hope it was better today when you woke up!

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  13. This is why I read your blog - you're willing to show the eye-zits. In the bleakness of late fall, before the snow, I often realize how run-down terrible our neighborhood looks. The burned out house and the other abandoned one two houses down from me does nothing to perk things up. Green and snow make everything look alive and fresh, but there are those few moments of reality when I see things as visitors see them and realize I live in a dump of a town. You know what? I'm ok with that. Most of the time.
    ~FringeGirl

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  14. Life is all about the good, bad and the ugly! I will take it all, it shapes us. Stretch and grow, stretch and grow!
    -heather

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  15. Ouch! I feel your pain, and we've all been there sweetie, you're the only one brave enough to write about it LOL!
    xo
    CS

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  16. I've prayed for you through your move and thought about you and wondered if we lived relatively close to each other... until I read about Target. I could only dream of having a Target closer than 45 miles away... there is no such thing here in Kosciusko County.....

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  17. I get it completely. Our neighborhood has steadily declined over the past years and my friends urge me to move to a better neighborhood - but we stick it out. I teach in the school that the neighborhood kids go to. I struggle with whether or not to send WeeMan to that school in three years. On a good day my heart breaks for so many of my kiddos and I know why God has put me where I am. To be the light and to love them even when they aren't being loved at home. On a bad day I can't figure out for the life of me why I am where I am and I dream of transferring to a new school where the kids live in nice clean subdivisions and the parents read them bedtime stories and make sure they dress warmly.

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  18. This reminds me of a favorite line from the movie "Evan Almighty": when you ask God for courage he doesn't just poof and give it to you. No, he allows you to earn your courage by putting you in a place where it is necessary to be brave. You foster your courage through His path for you. You didn't pray for clear eye skin did you?? ;)

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  19. Dearest Farmgirl/Rentalgirl, please put my subscription in the mail, I wouldn't want to miss a single weird word you write.
    ~G~xo

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  20. oh good golly girl...first the claws and now zits. you crack me up.

    i understand those fears so well. the first real breakdown my big chick had about missing her friends and not knowing who to sit with at lunch made me want to run to the bathroom and throw up. it's so so scary this stepping out on a ledge...but one thing is for sure we are NOT alone. there is a plan...a great big one and in time all those pieces WILL fall into place beautifully. love you friend.

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  21. So yeah, all trades are off. ; ) I think it could pass for a mosquito bite if that makes you feel better. For the record, I think my pores are being very sympathetic to you because I do have a freshly sprouted pimple right beside my left eyebrow. Such is life. It's true... Such a messy conglomeration of beautiful and dirty but all is overshadowed by His grace. Thank goodness for that.

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  22. Just the other day I was thinking, "We've been reading Shannan, but we haven't SEEN Shannan for in quite a while." And look! There you are! Zit or no zit, it's good to SEE you.

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  23. Cancel our subscriptions? You're gonna have to do a LOT more than cry & whine & throw a fit & get a big nasty zit (hey..that rhymes) to get us to leave you alone. Ha! Ya can't get rid of us that easily! :)

    Love the 'Real' & love you!

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  24. Ok, I have to be honest and say that I totally laughed at your picture of the huge eyelid pimple. Not because I'm some sort of sadist but because I have an all too similar experience going on right now. I'll even include a gross picture to prove my point...https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=95b6ab3cb9&view=att&th=133a81416b5989c2&attid=0.1&disp=thd&realattid=1385561930249273344-1&zw

    The picture really doesn't do it justice. It feels like I have a marble growing out of my forehead. I actually told my husband that I have a huge knot on my head and don't even remember banging my head. I even put ice on it yesterday, still thinking I had bumped my head at some point. It wasn't until my loving mother pointed out that it was probably a pimple that I realized that was why my "knot" wasn't turning purple like a normal bruise. Talk about the good, the bad and the UGLY of life! :)

    http://johnsonsmixednuts.blogspot.com/

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  25. I find it fascinating at times (the weird and uncomfy) because I think it helps you to become who you're really meant to be...I just find the "stacking" of problems (when one bad thing happens and then suddenly it's five or six) to be problematic at times.

    The best part of the uncomfy times are the stillness...when you get to that spot and you realize that feeling of freedom.

    Can you put a dab of white toothpaste on that eye injury? Just the tiniest bit? Or try some ice and ibuprofen. I've been there and it looks like it hurts.

    Keep on truckin, champ!

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  26. I just plucked a chin hair not too long ago. I'm thirty-three. Feel better??

    XOXO,
    Angie from Ohio

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  27. I'll keep following you.
    My hail of frogs need other frogs to play with!

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  28. Ouch. That looks like it hurts!

    Pinchy- tight. yep life does feel like that so much of the time. You are so talented at expressing how we all feel!

    xo ellie

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  29. Wishing for real life to be pretty doesn't make it so --- but I WANT it to be pretty. I want, I want, I need, I need, Gimme Gimme (If you are not a fan of What About Bob all that whining will mean nothing, sorry.)
    Real life- the most refreshing thing is we are all dealing with it, huh? We are not alone. He is with us, there are all of us trying to do our best by His grace, and somedays falling so short. Thanks for being real on your blog.

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  30. you pluck your eyebrows! I get the zits there, too...and it's the eyebrow plucking. I don't know why, but I'm certain of it.

    And yeah, those seemingly-insignificant things...they sure do take the edge off of the hard moments. I've got 'em a plenty lately. Thank God for simplicity.

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  31. i feel ya, homey. (i don't know what's with the homey, it just seemed to fit.)

    and doesn't it seem like we should be too old for zits by now? seriously, white hair and zits all at once? the thirties are just plain sadistic.

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  32. I, in fact, did not cancel my subscription but came back here to read this AGAIN because it cracked my business up.

    I have a pathetic story to tell that would make your day seem cheery but I am contemplating putting it in a blog post, so I'll spare you. For now.

    You have the best voice ever.

    xxoo

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  33. You fabulously reveal and help others see the fascinating and the wonderful! And you are totally rocking the eye zit! Praying for you joy amidst the unknown. That new neighborhood will be aglow in no time with little twinkling holiday lights, and y'all will be the light to many

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  34. Never signing up for this... do we ever? God reveals His plan bit by bit sometimes. I often think it's because it would be hard for me to follow if I knew-all. I do better with the bit by bits.

    And I love randomness. My brain works that way!

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  35. thanks for sharing your doubts and fears. It takes guts to be real. Also, it takes guts to post close-up eye zit pictures! Kudos. Keep a hot facecloth over it so that it comes to a head and stops hurting/feeling tight. Once you pop it, rub some polysporin over it and it will take the redness and swelling down.
    here's to real life! Cheers!

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  36. I don't know about the "fascinating and wonderful" part, but one thing I know you are NOT is the only person with an eye zit. Tonight at dinner my daughter poked my eye, kind of by my eyebrow, and said, "Ooooh, Mom, what's that?" It's called a zit, dear. Yes, I'm nearly 50 and I still get zits. Life is definitely unfair.

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  37. Oh my gosh Shannan, you make me laugh out loud girl!!!

    Yep life is messy. I just saw a sign on Pinterest that says "Happiness is not a destination, it's a way of life". I love how you CHOOSE to be happy and see the fascinating and the wonderful amidst the crazy-cat complicated and share it all here. You have a good heart and I'm glad to know ya.

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  38. put some aloe vera gel on that. it will disappear.

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  39. If the bump above your eye, on your poor little face, doesn't improve in 2-3 days it may not be a simple blemish.

    It could be a staph infection picked up by lying face down on a not disinfected massage table.

    If polysporin over the counter antibiotic ointment doesn't clear it up you may have to go to the doctor for a prescription for antibiotic
    capsules.

    Hope I'm wrong and it has already healed.

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  40. Seriously, you are a dear for making us all feel normal :) You've captured it perfectly-life, eye zits, and all! I just love your poignancy! Life is messy and complicated but still simple and divine.

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  41. Zits and bad hair days can ruin our days if we let it.
    But, nothing is ever bad enough to throw in the towel.
    Zit or no zit, we still love you. Yours is one fo my favorite blogs. xo, Cheryl

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