I didn’t set out to name this blog after a phase of the moon.
Truth be told, I didn’t even know what most of moon’s phases were until my daughter had to learn them for her third-grade science unit on the solar system. Ever the dutiful mother, I helped her prepare for her upcoming test by quizzing her numerous times on the lunar cycle.
“You know what, Molly?” I’d say as we practiced. “We may have studied this when I was in school, but I sure don’t remember it. So I’m learning it now, too.”
Molly aced her test, and I came away with the strangely unfamiliar satisfaction of memorizing new information for the sheer joy of learning.
Several months later, I needed a picture of myself to go with an article I had written for DaySpring’s (in)courage blog. Rather than take a cheesy selfie or spend a lot of money on a professional photographer, I asked my sister, in town visiting my parents, to snap a few photos of me. She’s pretty proficient with a camera, so I figured she could easily capture the needed mug shot and maybe even take a photo I could use on my own blog some day.
The girls and I piled into the van, along with a few carefully chosen outfits. On the way to Grandma’s, older daughter Lilly wanted to know why Aunt Esther was taking my picture, which led to a discussion about my future blog.
“What’s the blog going to be about?” Lilly asked
“I don’t exactly know yet,” I began.
“Write all about me,” she advised without missing a beat.
“Well, I will write about things you say and do that I find interesting or funny or instructive,” I said, stifling a laugh. “Things I’m thinking about or learning.”
“Like waxing gibbous?” Molly piped up from her seat next to me.
I thought for a minute, and suddenly, it all became clear.
Yes, Molly, exactly like waxing gibbous.
Can we pause here for a quick science lesson? The word gibbous refers to phases where the moon is more than half illuminated. A waxing gibbous moon is growing in illumination, as opposed to a waning gibbous moon, which is shrinking. So, as earthsky.org puts it, “A waxing gibbous moon is more than half-lighted, but less than full.”
Could there be a more perfect blog title for a mostly optimistic person who has recently come through a rather long season in the wilderness? I don’t think so.
I’ve had a good life, so far. I have a wonderful husband and two delightful children. I have more material things than I could ever need, or even want.
But the path to blessing hasn’t always been smooth or easy.
Infertility led us to adopt our two lovely daughters, an obvious case of good coming from bad. But the mess that is my reproductive system also ushered in years of ever-worsening PMS and perimenopausal symptoms, followed by early menopause at age 41. While all this was going on, the Great Recession hit my husband’s industry hard, resulting in two layoffs in two years, followed by a lengthy out-of-town work assignment that happened while we were downsizing to a foreclosed home in need of major remodeling.
Can you spot the growth opportunities for a former worrier who used to be anything but flexible and adaptable? (Repeat after me: God’s thoughts are not my thoughts, and his ways are not my ways.)
While I am an optimist, I despise pat answers and tidy bows. Especially when it comes to my own frailties and failings, I see no need to sugarcoat, disguise or hide. There is a difference between too much information and honest, from-the-heart transparency, though. And on this blog, I’m shooting for the latter.
Waxing Gibbous isn’t about the moon, the solar system or anything else related to outer space. But it is about learning, growing (especially through pain and disappointment) and reflecting God’s light in an ever-darkening world.
Does that appeal to you as much as it does to me? If so, please follow this blog. And if something you read here really resonates, post a comment or drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you!