my cup runneth over

I wish there was a way for future-Anna to tell past-Anna to snap out of it.

I was cleaning out my inbox this evening, not because this is a necessary task, but because it bugs me when my email tells me I have almost 2,000 emails in my inbox. This is a waste of time. Nevertheless, I did re-read some old emails, specifically from when I was in South Africa, and wow, I am so pessimistic. All of the time.

Anna, it's really not that terrible. Why are you acting so crazy? 

Recently, my friends called me out on this. For some reason (and maybe I've always done this), I come up with a fun idea for something to do and then moments later make sure it does not happen. What in the world? Who does that? Even in my own ideas, I instantly find the faults. This is not normal or healthy behavior.

I am trying to keep all of these things in perspective right now. I am currently in a sad mood. It is cold, I am tired, home alone, and my friend just moved back to Indiana today. Whenever I am in a similar mood, I try not to blog. No one wants to hear me whine nor do I want to document it for the masses. Even when I do blog during these slumps, I eventually go back and delete it.

Blogs are funny things. I am aware that this is a public outlet, but often I think of it as my own space to let my mind throw up all over the page.

I will not let this post become that.

An important part about slowness, I think, is learning to be grateful and appreciate what is around you, no matter how small or insignificant it might seem. One way I do this is recording them in this space. It is also the way I am choosing to not be such a grump this evening.

Yesterday, our friend, Nicole (who is a part of my impromptu small group church) was baptized. Instead of being a part of the "assembly line" that often happens at church, Nicole wanted to make her baptism special. We met in the Arboretum, sat on the cool grass, and watched while that bright sun started to sink in the Kansas sky.

One of the amazing things about yesterday was how spring it was. The sky was bright blue and the air was chilly. (Actually, it was in the low 70s. Summer gave us a break to let spring shine for a moment) Thanks to the storm the night before, the world around me was refreshed. (And thanks to that, I had the best and longest run I've ever had in my life). We took a break from our sticky lives to be washed and revibed. This was the atmosphere around us at the baptism.

It wasn't the longest service. Words were shared, water was poured, and hugs were given. But sitting on that hill, with the breeze lingering on our skin, and Nicole radiating before me, I knew I was sitting in the presence of deep love. This outside impromptu-feeling short service was the most I've felt connected to the church in a long time.

In order to understand how appreciative I am of moments like this, you must understand how tired I am of "church" in the way most people think about it. It is often very discouraging. However, I am so grateful for moments like this when I can sit outside and see the goodness of Christ clearly reflected in a 15 year old girl.  Times like yesterday evening make me very aware of how good life is and what it means to have a cup that "runneth over."

I am glad too because otherwise yesterday would've been a pretty hard day. My friend, Amanda, moved back to Indiana today. We packed her up last night. Despite her crazy nursing night shift schedule, I knew that if I was ever lonely and needed someone to be around, I could call her. I don't want to be pessimistic here, so instead let me say, Amanda, I am glad that you were in Kansas when I came here (and when I came back). You made the prairie a good place to be. Even though today feels like loss, I am still grateful. Friendship makes my cup runneth over.

Another "good life" moment came a few days ago when our friends, Todd and Julie, welcomed their new little one into the world. I am excited to see these friends become parents and witness how their cup runneth over.

Cake credit here goes to the wonderful Leah Yoder Baker 

Thank God for community. They make my cup runneth over.