Where Have You BEEN?

I am sure my millions of faithful blog readers have been losing sleep wondering where I have been? What crazy things have I been doing that prevented me from writing? 

So to abate your curiosity, I have been ... DRUMROLL PLEASE... 

At home, at work and at an occasional coffee shop... just living day to day normal life. 

Well then, why haven't you been writing? Is it because you have been pondering the insanity of the state of the world, tirelessly trying to put your thoughts into words? 

Nope. Although, I am overwhelmed and confused by everything that has been happening, my real reasons for not writing are not as noble. 

Like I said, I have just been caught-up in living my very "normal" life. I put "normal" in quotes, because I know my normal would be very abnormal to many of you, my readers. Yes, I probably do interact with a more colorful group of people than the average. It is probable that I get yelled and cursed at, and my demons cast out, more frequently than most. It is also very likely that I have more conversations about drug deals, baby daddies, abortions, adoptions, and trauma. But, that is just a part of my normal day to day life. I am not writing today because something or someone stepped into my normal and gave me this jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring truth that I just had to drop on you! 

I am writing for two very simple reasons: 

Reason #1: You asked me to write. A lot of people (6), have recently asked me why I quit writing and when I planned on starting to write again. Yes, it is true! The world has missed me and my beautiful words. How selfish of me to keep words away from people who needed them so desperately! I sat down this weekend to write, because I realized that you needed me! I cannot, nor do I want to, imagine, how hard your life has been without my daily reminders that it could, and likely would, get worse. 

Reason #2: I woke up. Waking up is a funny thing, especially when you don't realize you have been asleep. A couple of days ago, during my time with God, it hit me, I have been living my life in "cruise control." Sometime, after days, weeks, and months of doing the same routine over and over and over again, we stop needing to think about what we are doing. We become passengers in our life instead of drivers. (If you are shaking your head in disdain, because you asked JESUS to take the wheel... please, PLEASE, turn off Christian radio before it is too late).  My point is, that no matter how crazy your life might be or how many hilarious things happen to you, eventually, it all becomes your normal. Your 6am alarms (I set 5), your crazy busy workdays, the terrible traffic, endless dirty diapers, daily small talk- all become normal. Marriages, friendships... they all become routine. You can do your life in your sleep. You no longer need to be emotionally present to get the job done.  

Even though I LOVE my new job, LOVE living with my family, LOVE my church, and LOVE my city that is going to a SUPER BOWL, at some point, when I wasn't paying attention, I spaced out. 

"Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you (Ephesians 5:14b). 

"His mercies are new every morning" (Lam 2:22-23, paraphrased and shortened)

Help me, Clarence, please. Please! I want to live againI want to live againI want to live again.....Please, God, let me live again. (George Bailey, It's a Wonderful Life). 

So, if you too have realized that you have been living your life in cruise control, I encourage you to hit the gas and LIVE again. A couple of (maybe helpful) tips:

1. Do something crazy. Dance in the rain (when it is warmer. the goal is to live, not die). Talk to a stranger. Skip instead of walk. If you are super OCD, try by putting your socks in the wrong place or sitting in a different spot. If you are super spiritual, dance naked like David, while listening to "Jesus take the Wheel."
2. Write, draw, sing and hang out with those who do. Artists add color and life. 
3. Turn the TV off. I write this for all of us. It is much easier to say than do, but the TV hypnotizes your brain making it much harder for you to engage with people who can actually speak back to you. If you are Abby, keep TV and get off of Tiger.net. (Abby's rebuttal: Stop watching Jeopardy, you don't know any of the answers). 
4.  Get off your phone! 
5. Confess. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free!" (Gal 5:1) Like a great poet once said, 
We're all in this together
Once we know
That we are
We're all stars
And we see that
We're all in this together
And it shows
When we stand
Hand in hand
Make our dreams come true
We're all in this together
(High School Musical, the original and best one)