Day 24: The Tough Love Blank

“Mama, want to play puzzle games with me.  Do ya?”
“Oh, honey I would love to.  I just need to fold this laundry, and then we will play.”
“Because I want to get the clothes clean for everyone.”
“Well, the laundry keeps on coming.”
“We wear clothes each day, and they get dirty.”
Well, if we leave them in the basket too long they get wrinkly, and I don’t want that.”

Two-year-olds have a way of calling us out.  My trying–and sometimes failing–to avoid “Because I said so” has taught me something.  It wasn’t until I started to form this argument that being non-wrinkly was a sign of respect for others–to a two-year-old–that I stopped, looked at her little face, and realized I was full of crap.

What would it look like for you to stop?

Today in the middle of your movements, maybe you’re reading this at work or on your phone. . . what if you mentally zoom out and up and curiously take a look at yourself and what you’re doing.  Maybe you’ve got some distance from the fast pace by slowing down to list some gratitudes in this challenge–and don’t get me wrong, that’s a good thing–but what if you look at the thing under the thing and ask, why?  Why?  No really, why?  Why are you doing this?


Is the 30-day gratitude challenge your way of not filling in that blank?  I know it might put you on the spot, but recently I received some tough love that was exactly what I needed.  So I need to ask, is there a challenge you’re facing or running from or avoiding and this is just the latest Band-Aid?  Maybe you’re just so mad you’ve been yelling–audibly or not.  Boredom, survival, hurts, fears, challenges, worries. . . If you really don’t have a “thing” right now for your blank, quit reading this and go soak it in because, sorry to say. . . something is probably coming.  Ahh, there’s the tough love.

I don’t like tough love because I like to breeze by the thing, cross things off my list so I don’t stop long enough to think about the thing or the thing one of those closest to me is going through.

Richard Rohr, one of my favorite authors, says that God comes to us disguised as our life.  If we all keep zooming by, what are we missing?  And maybe it’s just a zooming season right now, and the stopping will come later, but (here’s that tough love again) you can’t outrun the one who gave you these legs to run with.  And living the questions–even the ugly questions–the doubts, the dirty laundry, the fears, the lens clearing. . . all of it is grace, some baby grace, not yet grown, but grace nonetheless.

And sometimes grace is awful.

But it’s for something.  So sometime this weekend stop for a second and listen.

Listen to the love
Listen to the needs
Listen to yourself loving that need
All is giving and receiving
and yes, some taking
Still we listen and hear
others, giving some more
and strangely receiving, Listening
in tandem with the love that’s there.

It’s the moments when I stop that make me hungry, that threaten to spiral me into wanting, but instead I’m trying to sit still and say thank you, knowing that now is preparing me for what’s next.

#768.  Stopping to play puzzle games.  

Day 24 Challenge:

  • Choice 1: Write a little poem.  Maybe it’s just three sentences that notice the glint on the table leg next to you, but actually write it down, even if it’s on a napkin.  Stop, notice, put words to it as a thank you.
  • Choice 2: If your blank makes you feel stuck and scared, play some music that says “Unstuck and Not Scared,” then, write your little poem. 🙂  
*This post is part of a 30-day gratitude challenge.  Subscribe via e-mail (on the left) or post a gratitude to WIN A PIE HERE.

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