• Dana L. Butler

Day 21: All Good Things Cast Shadows

Monday morning comes early. So early, in fact, that I’m nearly unable to keep my eyes open as I try to drag thoughts out of my head and give them air in my morning pages.

I scribble ’round and ’round how exhausted I am, how I don’t feel like writing morning pages today. I pep talk myself: C’mon, Dana. Keep… going. 

I make it through my shower and downstairs to where coping skills await me in the form of coffee. Kiss Stan g’bye as he heads out the door, eat some breakfast, feed Maia some bites of omelette, and put my slightly sniffly, fussy girl down for an early morning nap.

All the while, the thoughts running through my mind are around my music and the releasing of it into the world and the question that hadn’t even occurred to me before I sang that first song into my iPhone video camera a couple weeks ago: What changes might this bring for me? What doors might Jesus choose to open? Any? None at all? 

I marvel at the intricate, intimate detail of God’s goodness, wondering what He has planned, vacillating between trusting Him almost entirely, and feeling the weight of a thousand fears. Wavering between finding my identity in Him, and an acute awareness of these gaps that remain in my identity — gaps that manifest in the form of this fear that I won’t have human approval.

Or… that I will.

I make my way downstairs after laying my girl in her crib, and I discover something amazing: the best way to get Isaac to play for an extended period of time by himself? Ask him to clean up his toys in the playroom, and tell him it needs to be done before he’ll be allowed to watch a movie.

My just-turned-4-year-old decides playing sounds more fun than cleaning (shocker), grabs car carrier truck and rescue helicopter and a million smaller vehicles, and plays totally on his own for nearly an hour and a half. Granted, he’s in clean-up avoidance mode, but he’s having such a great time that I decide to leave well enough alone.

So my girl sleeps, my boy entertains himself, and I start a load of laundry.

And then — I do something I never do while either of my kids are awake: I plop down on my couch, and I read a book.

It’s An Altar in the World, and while the entire book is rich so far, I find myself turning over and over this one phrase in my heart: All good things cast shadows.

I contemplate the shadows cast by the good things in my life… the shadows cast by my strengths.  I circle ’round the realization that the more I follow God’s nudges in moving toward toward the things I know I’m made for, the more my strengths seem to highlight my weaknesses.

How they bring my broken places right to the surface so I’m divinely held in this place of acute awareness of the depth of my need.

And this awareness, I know, is an invitation to intimacy with the Almighty — a drawing to press my weak places into His heart yet again, to move forward into whatever lies before me, leaning into Him as I go.

And the goodness of this God who paints beauty on the backdrop of weakness — it undoes me all over again today.


This post is part of my 31 Days series, Rooted: 31 Days of Authenticity (from my life in limbo). You can find the entire series here.

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