be here now, be here now

Spring Break | March 2014

Incessant hallelujahs. That’s really all my raspy, all-screamed-out voice can muster. I’m the good kind of tired and this to-do list is definitely do-able thanks to the Multiplier of time. But I’m back, in more ways than one—from a big girl spring break, my senior year Disney World kidventure. Back from a refuel, all stocked up on joy, dreams and desire. A revival. A 4-day playdate escape from the circus of lesson plans and disciplinary strategies and highschool drama and feeling excluded and this unfamiliar and overbearing cage I’m in called fear. Fear of infinite aloneness—that perhaps this isn’t just a season. Fear of wasting a degree I’ve always sworn I was made to utilize well. Fear of raising my own support, of complacency, of isolation. Fear of the year I’m expectant of not being all it’s hyped up to be, that I’m not adequate or listening or able. Fear of being set aside, being replaceable.

A few weeks of letting this fear paralyze me, letting fear keep from me sunlight and childlike joy but Jesus just hands me Disney. He unwraps for me a week in my element, the kind of atmosphere He designed me to choose. A week exploring the most magical place thisside of heaven, a tangible daydream. Where picturesque backdrops lie in every direction and you never ever meet a stranger. Where complaints are nonexistent, where roller coasters shoot you straight into the sun, where everyone’s smiling and enjoying and living and no one grows all the way up. The me in this adventure is the me I’ve known, yet forced all-day indoors, into a game face and ballet flats. The me that’s been choosing solitude and missing the joy I’ve always just kinda woken up to. Tired me, quiet me, master-of-routine me. But this me swallowed up the book I swore I’d never read. Through it, He began to release my femininity, unravel my beauty–and this call to just start living made me burst at the seams.

We should live whileIMG_3381
the pulse of life is strong.
Life is a tenuous thing:
fragile, fleeting. Don’t wait
for tomorrow. Be here now.
Be here now. Be here now.
| Stasi Eldredge |

The pace of life I fly home to is exhausting and shows no mercy as I attempt to keep up. But in Disney World you can’t help but exhale without overthinking and we never perform like we’ve got this thing together. Here, fast-paced means dodging strollers for front-row best-row, and jam-packing 3 parks in one day, and half-walking half-running a grand total of 55 miles on achy feet screaming that this is so worth it. And Disney’s a whole lot dreamier than when we were just pigtailed kids trailing behind weary parents. 21-year-olds have learned the secrets and there’s no such thing as over-riding and no fun limit or age limit and you can eat cupcakes for dinner just because. And right when we’d get too caught up in our playday agenda, the ride’s stuck or the route’s wrong or the photographer missed the point but then came laughs and remember when’s and a plan that was far better. We were always provided for and all the littlest things seemed to fall right into place.

It’s all about those littlest things, the simplest of things. Like an airplane sunrise, ridiculously reviving Jesus time on flight. Family Reunion pins upon arrival, because that’s really what this kidventure was. Leaving laptops and lesson plans and group projects dusty back home. Abundant joy, the little kid kind. Basking in sunshine. Babies galore. Roller coaster bucket-lists all the way checked off. Telling jokes to crying babies, making friends and making memories stuck on the Tower of Terror. Hunter’s star treatment and automatic reride beneath a firework sky. Churros. Backwards hats. Double-scoop chocolate ice cream wobbling atop a cone. Watching sisters take down fears. Coffee by the gallon. Suessland (Layneland) and all its bright-colored splendor. Disney secrets. People-watching. Not a hint of teacher clothes. Riding the same ride at sunrise and sunset and under starry skies, from upside down and twisting around. Leaving old people and little ones in our dust. Chugging Butterbeer, faking drunk. Restoration. A fanny-pack stash of lollipops and wishing well pennies. Freedom. Disney never ever ever saying “no”. Windblown tangly hair. Playing charades and playing kids. 200+ happy photos that won’t let me forget.

 

It’s here that I never find my heart wishing away a season or an hour or wishing I was anywhere but right here: we’re just being here now. We’re settled here. Park benches and dinner tables and kiddie rides still us and sustain us and keep us laughing and pressing on and always remembering. Home-base real-world batting its eyes in our peripherals, but we haven’t landed there just yet. The Rabbi knew to save me from the questions about graduation or the route I’m taking after, or about boys or how on earth I’ll pay the bills. The whirlwind of distraction and thoughts of raising my income and rainy weather and this earthquake-subtle paralyzing fear can’t spin on without invitation, so I reject it and send it packing. Here we’re high on delirium, on ice cream sundaes, on Jesus and our kind of adventure, where all things are colorful and magical and anything but grown-up. And the heart I thought was too tired, left threadbare to love and live running on just a few miles to empty—it’s got a new beat.

I think Heaven’s a whole lot like Disney World, and that’s the Forever I’m bound for. And this tiny little life has a finish line—a checkpoint unbeknownst to me. So I’ll choose to run on, and I won’t stop until the Finish. I’ll do it—I’ll remain the me that’s alive and playful and delights in the littlest of things. I will not let a world of urgency rob me of the childlike spirit He set in there for good, I won’t bury the little girl left in me. I’ll let my joy stay silly, untamed, unaltered. My age won’t dare define my job description or my state of being. I won’t choose apathy, or avoidance, or to hear the Liar out. I’ll cling not to a definite 5-year-plan, to a guaranteed tomorrow, to really anything but Grace. I’ll just be here. I’ll be here now.

When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the
fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
| CS Lewis 


keep me little, my J. thanks for creating us to play, to live here & now. incessant hallelujahs sent straight Your way.

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