Living Out the Nike Mantra – Just Do It!


The morning starts poorly. I miss my bus.

It’s not a long walk, but today it feels so. Today all of life feels like a long walk. I pass by evidence of a world that is not as it should be. Weekend trash is everywhere, a homeless couple is fast asleep under a blanket – you can see their bodies spooning, unconscious comfort given to each other.

I get on the train and my gold earring, evidence of my privilege, falls from my ear and bounces across the floor. Embarrassed, I swoop towards it but a kind passenger picks it up and hands it to me, a slight smile on her face. I beam with gratitude and shake my head in chagrin at my morning discombobulation.

The weather is grey and wet in this early morning hour. My fifty percent accurate weather app says that there will be clouds all day. How is it that the weather so accurately predicts how I feel? Cloudy with not a spot of sunshine.

Some days you just have to get up and put one foot in front of the other. There’s no other way to do it. You put one foot in front of the other despite feelings, despite protests, despite resisting at the deep levels of your heart. You have to believe that in the midst of uncertainty, there is something beyond the broken world around you.  You live out the Nike commercial – you just “Do it!” 

“Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.”*

Today, in this early morning, life feels uncertain and faith indeed feels like a mystery. But every step I take propels me forward, reminds me not to submit to feelings of despair. Faith is a place of mystery – and today I walk in faith.

Because some days are like this – and some days aren’t. Some days all of life feels like a walk by the ocean, or a trip to the beach, or a breathless with excitement kind of feeling. Some days all of life is like shopping in the spice bazaar, where colors, textures, and people meet in chaotic delight. And so it’s worth walking through the grey days, because it makes you realize those days with bright colors are an incredible gift.

When we’re children we make decisions based on our feelings, but when adults – we make decisions despite our feelings. And today I have to decide, despite my feelings, how I am going to live.

Because some days are just like this. 

Brené BrownThe Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

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It’s About Showing Up

city street with quote

My friend Bitsie celebrated her 30th anniversary recently. In an online conversation, she said this to me:

“The other day, when a young wife asked me; ‘what is your secret to making it to 30 years?’ I said ‘There’s God, there’s love, there’s commitment. But, often it’s a matter of just showing up every day….'”

I’ve been thinking about those words “Just showing up every day” since she said them. There is so much truth in them.

Want to make a marriage work? Just show up. Want to help the homeless? Just show up. Want to make a friend? Just show up.

I know the eye-roll simplicity of this. I know the sigh of “really? that’s all you’re going to give me?” But it’s still truth.

Because sometimes I forget to show up. I get lost in my stuff, my busyness, my hurt, my pain. I think someone else will do it; someone with more time and energy, someone with more worth.

I remember a time many years ago when I was in a place of deep pain. I couldn’t tell people what was going on, I couldn’t articulate the pain. I sat, shivering and alone, in an office building. My friend Carol showed up. She didn’t ask questions, she didn’t ask me what she could do to help, she just showed up. Soon others followed. They just showed up. There was nothing in it for them and they had no expectations that I would respond. But they continued to show up in the bright flourescent lights of an office building.

Today I want to show up. I want to be fully present. It’s in showing up that I learn more of the faithfulness of the God who shows up. 

So to all of you who “just show up,” thank you! To you who show up in your marriages and to you who show up at your workplaces; to you who show up with your tiny babies, who need you for everything, and for you who show up with your teenagers, who think they don’t need you for anything; to you who show up to care for aging parents and to you who show up to care for children who will never grow to live on their own; to you who show up in the hard, the mundane, the beautiful, the unexpected – Thank you for showing up today.

The world is not changed through one momentous event, it is changed through the often boring, simple acts of obedience that I am daily called to. it is changed by showing up.”