Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Labor Pains of a Good Title

I'm thinking again about changing my blog title. How do you define a range of posts, from recipes and photos of cute children to musings and observations and religion, all in one short title?

Or should I compartmentalize my life so my thoughts go on one blog and my actual life experiences on another?


I'm going to have to be unashamedly myself, both thoughtful and practical.

I dream like a mystic; I think like a skeptic.

And I write whatever is on my heart, except when I'm too scared to, and even then after all. Most of the time.

I had a conversation with Josh in the car over the weekend. We talked about everything under the sun. There is no way to categorize our conversation trains. They span the realm of gaming, theology, health, children, education, hurts and hopes, dreams for the future, chronically incompetent drivers whom I have decided to now call auto mishandlers because "driver" is not an appropriate description. You get the idea.

I also talk about doubts. I periodically have faith crises; it's not my spiritual gift. Faith is, however, undeniably Josh's most obvious spiritual gift, though he has many including generosity, hospitality, and encouragement.  So I've grown a lot while being married to this man! He listens well and answers well when he answers at all. (This is a good thing. I don't always want answers. Just hugs. He's good at those, too.)

I look at a world that is paradoxically both broken yet redeemed. One that Jesus died to save once for all, conquering death, and yet death as I see it is still not conquered. One where we faithfully purpose to rebuild lives and restore the ground but where health is deteriorating daily and food has lost properties of health and sustenance. One where we say we love God and our neighbors but then try to control them through indoctrination or peer pressure. One where some days people murder each other and murder innocents and it's all just too much so that I only still believe in a good God just a teeny, weeny little bit. And other days I see a miracle of life or healing, a provision sorely needed, or a "cow and a bear" sharing a table together and I realize that I just don't understand God's ways but surely a God who is not evil all the time must be good all the time because a God would have to be the truest of the true to god-self, whether evil or good.
Yes, I doubt, but I don't give up on God and God doesn't give up on me. We'll get to know each other better someday. Maybe a little better even today.

So my faith may never move mountains. But perhaps my thoughts expressed can move the people whose faith does move those mountains and I can still participate in the joy if not the glory of bright, victorious moments. Plant a mustard seed and it overflows into the whole garden. (Also, it's for the birds.) Pull yeast from the air and it can turn flour and water into a loaf of bread every day. Sow precious words and reap a multitude of thoughts that birth other thoughts until they become flesh and bone and spirit and life.
I like to define purpose but maybe the purpose is to define myself; discern the artist, lover, nurturer, truth-bearer that I was created to be becoming.
So, back to the car talk, I was flowing in and out of the questions, doubts, assurance all flooding my mind. I finally said, "I don't know what to call it. I'm a skeptical mystic. Or a mystical skeptic. Er, one of those. And Josh said, "Why don't you use that for your blog title?"
Mystical has to do with the symbolic; it's to pull back the fabric of reality to discover layers upon layers of truth that can't be explained fully by science and reason, however it does not outright contradict but rather enlightens them. Wow, I can't believe my eyes!
A skeptic is a doubter, a questioner, one who demands the reasonable explanation for everything and will probably still not be quite certain, though relatively satisfied, of getting at the whole truth even after consulting with several sources, based on their reliability. Like that ever happens! (I might make an exception for the Bible. ;) )
The fact that I felt the need to define the words might mean I should slip "scholar" (read: "nerd") into the title somehow as well, though I would be one in the amateur sense of the word. That would be the practical thing to do. But the title is growing so long now, it looks a little silly. But for some reason it's all important to me!
But still in matters vegetable, animal or mineral, (not to mention dimensional,) I am the very model of a practical, passionate, scholarly(amateur,) comical, mystical skeptic.
Back to the drawing board.

Any suggestions?

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