Sunday, October 4, 2009


"Oh familiarity.... how I hate thee."

I wrote this in our journal last week. I have a love/hate relationship with familiarity. It was mostly a hate relationship- until today.

I feel that familiarity is a thief, a masked desperado that comes sweeping in to steal our enjoyment of the things and people that we are around the most. Especially the people. Without even realizing it we become so used to the precious souls who surround our lives that we don't see them for how truly special they are. I think it happens a lot in marriages (I could even feel it creeping in last week, hence my hasty journal entry), it happens with friendship, it happens in our families.

and usually, those things and people who are the most familiar to us are often the things and people that we most commonly take for granted.

and life is too short to take people for granted. Too often we don't even realize it has happened until it's

....too late.....

and I confess that I do this too often.

But I realized today that I have a love relationship with familiarity as well. At our church, there is a youth space in the basement of the intern house. It's really a remarkable room. There are names of teens spray painted on the left walls, prayers written on post-it notes stuck to the right wall, also on the right wall is a spray painted Cross with the words "This message is illegal in 51 countries", and in the back corner is a "prayer closet" where teenagers have painted their hearts and their prayers and their thoughts about Jesus. It's truly beautiful. I walk down there and I see beauty. I see an area where people have actually encountered Christ and have been moved by Him.

Today, however, I walked up to a conversation involving three of my very dear friends. They were discussing how shabby the space was (and is, depending on your experiences there). The window is kicked out, there are spider webs, the couches don't match, it's not easy to see or get to, there's no natural light, only small windows, and it's pretty cold.... and I completely understood where they were coming from. I had just never seen it like that, because I'm familiar with it. I know it's true identity. I know the room and the space for what it really is. Holy Grounds! We should practically take our shoes off when we walk in the door....

....But your socks will probably get dirty.

....and the carpet is cheap so it might feel icky.

and I will strive to always see the good, to see the Holy, to see the beauty in this life and in those I cherish the most. I will fight familiarity and continue exploring the heart and mind of my husband. Of my family. Of my friends.

Especially my Joshua. I truly believe that our love (any love) can not last if we take each other for granted and forget how wonderfully and completely blessed we are to have each other. Sure, a certain kind of love will last. But not the kind I want. The kind I want is the passionate, mad, crazy for each other, slow dance in the kitchen, laugh in the dark kinda love. But it doesn't sustain itself.

May I continue to look at people (Joshua) and places (Lowell) and things (snowflakes and lightning bugs) as though I'm just seeing them for very the first time.

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