I want to have the kind of faith that dances on a glass floor 103 feet up in the air.

I want to, but often I am too worried to dance. I tip toe up to the edge of the ledge, lean over, look down and feel my stomach drop out the bottom of my toes.

My fear and my faith are constantly at odds.

My list of worries is long, repetitive and unoriginal. I do not want it to doom me to a small life. A life that looks inward. A life that can’t see past its own wants, needs, demands. School fees and commutes, dirty dishes, diapers and potty training. A precarious bank balance and the monthly tug-of-war between bills.

I do not want to end up with a small life.

I want to live big. I want to live big as the vast blue KwaZulu sky I was born under.

Photo credit: lowfatbrains

But my worries shrink me. They make me think that I need to spend big or travel big to live a big life. And so I sit at the crayola stained dining room table across from Peter on a Sunday afternoon after church. The boys play pirates outside and Pete and I make a list. We write down for the One who already knows, each of our worries. We write them down as an act of handing them over. We list each of the stones that weigh down our hearts; that fill our bellies with lead.

And then we turn the page.

We start a new list. Pete calls them the “bright spots.” He leads me into a tradition that I know many of you already keep – intentional thanks. Looking back as a way to looking forward. Deliberately, regularly counting the gifts that God in his grace has poured into us. Because the more He pours, the more our lives expand to receive. And the more we expand, the more He can pour.

I have always been bad at math, numbers, counting. But through my words I will bend those stubborn numbers to my will, because I have something I need to count. Something I want to count. A lifetime of bright spots. I need to keep track of them so that when I get lost, when my life threatens to deflate into smallness I will have a roadmap ready to lead me forward.

My own Southern Cross. Because Christ has never needed big things or big people, only big willingness to be used.

Five small stones, a few loaves and a couple of fish, 12 unlikely sailors, 1 woman of disrepute, 1 young, engaged girl.

So I tip toe up to the ledge, lean out and over, close my eyes and begin to count:

  1. Forgiven and loved.
  2. Peter
  3. A first born to redeem my view of motherhood, reconnect with South Africa and promise a future of bottomless love and body-related humor.
  4. A fat-as-butter second baby boy who brought joy back with him.
  5. A mother who gave me her name, her love for the written word and her view of suffering.
  6. A father whose life change is one of the biggest reasons I believe.
  7. Family on two continents who pour themselves into us.
  8. Jacaranda trees.
  9. Cherry Blossoms
  10. Community.

holy experience