I don’t need an excuse to celebrate. I will come up with any reason to load the kids into the car and go get ice cream. I have no problem declaring that a random Tuesday is movie night with popcorn and candy. I love living outside the lines of normal, regular, and ordinary. I want to raise my kids to see the world in wonder. I want them to climb trees and have picnics and chase a lizard into a mason jar. I want them to chase hard after beauty. I want them to feel beauty, warm on their skin and under their toes. I want their souls to stir alive the way God is turning the earth just to bring the world joy.
Spring was slammed for us: birthdays, sports schedules, projects. My husband’s pastoral leadership role required all of his attention. All of this made my soul thin. I was always planning ten steps ahead. How do I get to school pick up and Target? How do I prep dinner when I’m at football practice? How can I nap the baby and do Amazon returns? I was hard-pressed just to make sure all the kids were alive and fed. One evening my four-year-old daughter wanted to put on a performance. She was spinning in the living room while I put dishes back to their “bed” for the 100th time, a task I do with dread. She insisted I come watch. I put her off. Annoyed, I responded, “I’ll be right there. Hold on. Seriously, calm down — I’m coming!” And it hit me, at the sink, with my fingers dipped in suds and my body so exhausted I could barely manage multitasking: I didn’t like who I’d become. What happened to me? I felt so lost.
I stopped chasing beauty. I stopped delighting in glory and glitter and ordinary light dancing across my kitchen wall. I was short, irritated, and uncomfortable with my crammed schedule. In that moment, I didn’t cancel my plans or back out of my commitments, but I did turn the water off. I dried my hands and picked my heart off the floor. I went and watched my daughter swirl and twirl to Taylor Swift. I couldn’t change the reality of my life, but I could allow God to change the way I saw it. I could allow Him to shift my focus and uncurl my need to control. I lost myself along the way. I lost myself in measuring up and even to ministry. I lost my wonder.
I don’t want to miss life. Life is so short. I don’t want to miss children dancing and flowers swaying and friends laughing. I don’t want to miss God’s glory. I see Him in the movement of pool water at morning and rippling clouds and the fog outside my window right now. Life might always be full of to-do lists and unfinished laundry — I’m okay with that. But I don’t want to ever stop chasing beauty. I don’t want ordinary things to be ordinary because they aren’t. Nothing is normal. Life is a radical, mysterious, paradoxical place. I don’t ever want to grow tired of onions sizzling on the stove or the mountains motioning me up to God.
We get to be beauty chasers. Today, look for God in the ordinary. Let Him resuscitate your heart back into reality of His love for you. Love knit this earth and every breathing being into radical existence. If you’re feeling numb, overwhelmed, press down and undone, or lost— chase beauty. Chase beauty because it will always lead you right back to the Creator.
Chase beauty because it will always lead you right back to the Creator. -Anjuli Paschall: Click To Tweet