Occupy Life: This Day Happened

This is another in a series of posts called Occupy Life. Read here or here or here or the original post here for more.

The sun sets on another night and the rusty colors fading ripe in the night sky fill my heart with … wonder.

Today, I didn’t uncover any philosophical gems or scientifically disprove gravity. I didn’t speak to hundreds with a riveting account of the Gospel or sacrifice all of my North American excess.

This morning, I wrestled myself free from my many blanketed cocoon to meet the day with haphazard hair and a neutral temperament. Most days, cheeriness escapes before I can even take a breath (which makes for verrrry interesting encounters when I spend nights with my sister, who requires an hour at the least before conversation – not to mention my incoherent, cheery ramblings).

Today, I ambled around … folding laundry and showering and getting ready in a somewhat alien morning stupor. And then the day happened – every last waning moment of it, filled with ribbon tying, table decorating, record-keeping, and averting the small catastrophe that would have been the tablecloths.

That’s it.

Nothing spectacular – just walking with the rhythm of life and being available to respond to oh-so-practical needs in oh-so-unromantic ways.

And sometimes – precious MANY times – this is what is required of us. No, not ribbon tying – living. But, really, really living where life is the most mundane things, not the exception to those things. If I had held my breath, waiting for this Friday to spark with out-of-the-ordinary light, I would have made the Guinness Book of World Records (or be dead).

Humming some tunes while I finish my time at my temp job; climbing into “my own little world” while I sort and organize and live.

I’ve always got a song on my heart – a soundtrack for living alive. Today, that soundtrack is this song by Sojourn, “Lead Us Back.”

Today, this is the sound of life in the ordinary and extraordinary leading to the place where we must return to see its true glory.

Lead Us Back
Falling down upon our knees
Sharing now in common shame
We have sought security
Not the cross that bears Your name
Fences guard our hearts and homes
Comfort sings a siren tune
Weʼre a valley of dry bones
Lead us back to life in You
Lord we fall upon our knees
We have shunned the weak poor
Worshipped beauty courted kings
And the things their gold affords
Prayed for those weʼd like to know
Favor sings a siren tune
Weʼve become a talent show
Lead us back to life in You

Lord Youʼve caused the blind to see
We have blinded them again
With our manmade laws and creeds
Eager ready to condemn
Now we plead before Your throne
Power sings a siren tune
Weʼve been throwing heavy stones
Lead us back to life in You.

Weʼre a valley of dry bones
Lead us back to life in You.
Weʼve become a talent show
Lead us back to life in You
Weʼve been throwing heavy stones
Lead us back to life in You.

Occupy Life: Lunch Hour

Yesterday (right before I went crazy trying to read the scrawled handwriting of email addresses I was entering into an excel sheet), something glorious happened.


Yes, lunch time qualifies as glorious when it means quality bonding with a new friend and a respite from deciphering the illegible scrawls of half a city.

My friend came up to my cubicle, kind of a surprise attack from behind and it’s like she hit the silly button! I guess entering data (literally) all morning long is kind of like sitting solitary in a tractor – except MUCH less interesting. Apparently, both have the same effect on me: I I get crazy. My friend didn’t know what she was in for, but she took it with the swaggest of strides.

She’s a cool cat, my friend – one of those people that carries wit on her hip like a gun in a cowboy’s holster. You gotta be quick with her or she’ll get clever and you’ll be left in the conversational dust (something I don’t enjoy). Needless to say, we hit it off.

She also beatboxes and I just happen to be looking for another white girl to beatbox for a white girl rapper I know (ahem).

Anyway, as we half danced/half moseyed our way to the car, we started freestyling a song… and then life started dancing in my fingers. There I was, claiming that beautiful lunch hour with a beautiful person, not willing that a moment of it would be wasted.

Just so happens, my friend’s day was not going so hot. There’s actually a lot of things that were legitimately bumming her out. I listened and let the bummers hang out with us, processed a bit, asked a few questions, and empathized. She was headed to her second job at a coffee shop after our lunch and wasn’t too pumped about it. Sometimes bummers occupy space, too.

The cool thing is, we interspersed our bummin’ out with laughter and lyrics and love. It was kind of like a “cloudy with a chance of rain” day where the sun is still shining. Have you witnessed one of those? The clouds are all pregnant with rainshower, but the sun is too stubborn to give in.

In the mix of this glorious noon hour, my friend told me (while smiling), “You are the weirdest person I’ve ever met!”
I kind of laughed, but I wasn’t that surprised. I mean, I’ve heard that before.

But, it was a first when she added awhile later, “Yeah, my biggest fear is being weird. I try to get people to think I’m funny before they think I’m weird.” I laughed again. Apparently, she doesn’t think my biggest fear is being weird, because I don’t do much to cover it up.

Oh, goodness. I love life!

I jumped back into entering data with the zeal only someone fresh off a crazy lunch hour could muster. While I was at it, I hit up an amazing workshop on Women Teaching Women the Bible (via headphones, of course) by Jenny Salt while typing in addresses and phone numbers and re-learning the language of cursive.
Boom. Afternoon: occupied.

I ended up happening to be “in the neighborhood” of my friend’s coffee shop last night.
Boom. Night: occupied.

God is so gracious! As we occupy space and time every day, God offers an INFINITE amount of joy to accompany us.

go ahead and
let LOVE fly like cRaZy

Occupy Life: Delaney and Roland

We really don’t have a choice – to occupy life, I mean. Every hum-drum, no-good, very bad day and every bust-at-the-seams brilliant day you are occupying physical time and physical space. Did you know that? Did you know you were a part of an occupation movement? Called life? Nobody asked if you would join and you never signed a petition, but here you are stubbornly occupying this day.

With this realization, do you wonder a little bit what kind of statement you are making? I sure do. That’s why I’m starting this little series called “Occupy Life” … because this occupation can indeed be beautiful and meaningful, right down to the most tiny sliver.

we are the 100%

This was a small sliver of this past Sunday, but many slivers make up one 2×4, yes? And many moments make up an occupied life every single day … and this sliver is oh-so-wonderful.

Delaney and Roland are the beautiful children of my good friends from church. I would toss my afternoon plans in an instant to chase them around the rows of frumpy church chairs or to create a world where we walked on rainbows and fought jello monsters with unicorns. You would too, I think.

On Sunday, I walked in to church (uncharacteristically early) and flitted around the fellowship hall, throwing “Oh, hello”s around like cotton candy at a carnival. While I was catching up with someone tall, I noticed two short someones who were waiting for my attention. I turned to see Delaney staring up at me with chocolate eyes and the gentlest grin on her cherub face. She pulled one shoulder in, as children do when they forget they can be uninhibited. But then, as I bent down and settled in for an eye-level conversation, she bloomed. Oh! It was as if she’d been holding the stories in for days and they would have burst out had I waited a moment more. I raced after her as she (with the help of brother Roland) told me about their goings and comings the past week and how they were going to visit their aunt and uncle and how their parents drove “faster.” With Roland, every topic deserves to be explained carefully and every haphazard detail of his imagination finds expression in a (dare I say) most dignified way. I love (LOVE) jumping my reality ship to board Roland’s vessel for a few moments, which is always headed somewhere interesting and emotional and urgent.

After church, my friend Becca told me that Roland asked her, “Is Caroline going to come over here and hug me?”

I couldn’t get there fast enough – where I jumped to my knees to pick up all the delightful little pieces of wonder they had spread around. Roland climbed down from one of the frumpy church chairs when I asked, “Can I have a hug?” and with a most sincere face, he said, “Uh huh!”

This is what occupying life is all about.

I’m camped out in this physical body, from sun-up to sun-down and I want to make sure there is a beautiful ROI.

These moments, my friends, getting hugs and listening to stories and looking into wonder-filled eyes, are a brilliant use of personal funds with an imperishable return.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy