The Deep Listening

'The art of deep seeing makes gratitude possible. And it is the art of gratitude that makes joy possible. Isn't joy the art of God?' -Ann Voskamp

A friend suggested a documentary to watch the other day, and to be honest, I rather like to watch movies that just take me away from reality (maybe it's the creative in me that wants other worlds realized). However, I chose to watch it. The title spoke something to me. "Minimalism"... which seems to be my every pin on pintrest these days. The tiny house movement and challenges to rotate out fashion as if I was living out of a suitcase. I found it all very romantic.

Pretty much, it had me enraptured the entire time, leaning in to glean everything I could. In fact, I think I realized a starving piece of my soul. There was something very life-giving about it. And maybe this is because, in particular, we are in one of the most sacred seasons, as well as ugly. I have, no joke, watched at least 5 confrontations in parking lots as they rush to try to get whatever it is they feel they need to consume to make the seasonal quota. Drivers are nuts, kids are cracked out on candy, and there is this overwhelm of STUFF. Stuff to buy, stuff to eat, stuff to do, stuff to wrap.

Don't get me wrong, I actually really love the festivities of christmas and all the caroling and hot chocolate and decorating trees. I love the traditions we are making with our boys, and the one of maybe 2 times our family all gets together during the year. I just don't love everything else. I don't love the pressure. I don't love all the 'things' given without meaning from people who have to ask because, lets face it, they don't know me enough to know what is valuable to me.

All this to say, it has brought me to a place where I am looking around my house. I want to let so much of it go. I want to sell it and pour that money into a day trip somewhere, or into canvasing a photo that means something to me. I want to own responsibly, I don't need 3 of the same thing. And even more, I think that I desire to see what matters. To spend my time being defined by what God says, rather than what consumerism tells me. Do I have to be rich, or well known in music to be considered worthy of my talents? How ridiculous is this notion, and yet deep down we secretly respect the one who is more noticed than the next guy, like it means something. 

I think for me, the deep seeing is the deep listening. I choose to believe my worth apart from others perception because I have heard that I am worthy from the source within. And because I know I am worthy, I don't have to join the very mislead consumer craze. I know stuff never fills for very long. Its like empty calories for the soul. I have taken up really listening, it has opened my eyes to beauties all around me. I have made lists upon lists of beauty in the almost unnoticeable. 

I think that clearing out the stuff is going to do a bit of clearing the mind. I look forward to the challenge. We are not ready to move into a tiny house yet, but we are making our way toward joy in God, just listening. 

Heres to your listening, may it serve you well.