There always seems to be a million things, ideas, dreams, and tasks swirling around in my brain every minute. All of these thoughts can make it hard to settle, slow, and organize what I want to say when I know it’s on my heart and mind.
Today, I was planning on sharing some lighthearted photos of a recent trip with some of my best friends to the Museum of Ice Cream. I wasn’t sure exactly who would care about these photos of this fun, adventurous, and overly sweet day. It was such a fun moment for me though, I couldn’t think of not doing a blog post since I’m working on using this platform to share.
As I looked through the photos and started thinking of what to write, all that kept coming to my mind was a simple, powerful statement from a book and bible study I’ve been working through:
There is a photo of me inside this magical sprinkle filled pool completely exuding joy. In the moment, I didn’t even think twice about feeling that unreserved joy. Prior to this photo, I had actually gone through the motion of throwing handfuls of rainbow sprinkles up over my head, feeling them all fall down upon me.
I remember the motion and feeling of throwing sprinkles to be slightly awkward at first. Letting yourself behave with such childlike abandon occurs somewhat naturally in a place filled with sweet ice cream and even sweeter toppings; but this action felt strange at first – completely unnatural. I was basically doing it for the photo, because in this day and age everything seems to revolve around the social media post. But after failed attempts to capture photos of moving sprinkles, I realized how fun and freeing this motion and idea is: the idea of throwing candy (sprinkles).
The study I’ve been going through is on Shauna Niequist’s book Present Over Perfect. This is a brief explanation of where “throwing candy” comes from:
Shauna was on a trip to a place she had never been to with friends. She discovered a particular tradition this place had: whenever you see someone on the water, whether they are from your group or another camp, you stop everything you are doing and you throw candy to them. One day Shauna, watching this activity realized she used to be the person who would throw candy in the midst of life. Then she became the person who threw candy only once everything was completed. Then she was the person who was so wrapped up in responsibilities and business she never had the right time to throw candy. Finally, she saw herself become the person who made fun of those who could throw candy around her.
When I read this story in her book and heard her talk about it during the bible study, I was taken back. I’m that same person. I never throw candy. I’m the person who is so busy being busy with responsibility; I never have “time” to throw candy. There is never the right time where I can stop being responsible and throw candy in the midst of everything else going on with abandon. It is such a foreign concept to me.
I want to throw candy. I want to so badly. I’ve been in a long season of growth and I am so happy I’m realizing this now. Because I’m 20, I should be throwing candy all over the place. I should be enjoying and experiencing the life I’m beginning.
So bringing it back to the museum and that moment throwing sprinkles. I’m so thankful I had that experience in the sprinkle filled pool. I’m even more grateful though for Shauna’s words shining a light onto something I didn’t realize was happening. And finally, soooo grateful for this day where I went back to look at the photos and see myself there, joyfully covered in sprinkles.
I see now that I want to live each day with more childlike wonder. I want to experience God’s gifts in my life and the world around me with whimsy & awe.
Growing up I always felt that Jessie was the person who could be silly, joyful, and throw candy onto those around her – JT too. I see it doesn’t have to be that way though. We were given today, tomorrow, and the next day to fill with abundant energetic life. The weight of the world around you should not weigh you down; making you lose the childlike spontaneity we all hold and have.
I know I let the weight push away the joy though, and instead take on the seriousness of adulating and responsibility. I’m pushing myself to throw candy now, and every day from now on. As silly as it’ll feel and as silly as I may look, I’m going to drop everything and let go.
I’ll leave you with this quote:
“I don’t want to get the end of my life and look back and realize that the best thing about me was I was organized…I want to look back and remember all the times I threw candy, even when it didn’t make sense. Especially when it didn’t make sense.”
– Shauna Niequest, Present Over Perfect