Wednesday, July 23, 2014

beautiful, complex and rare

My husband was asked to spend an extra week on his international business trip.  We have been separated for over a week now, and we miss each other.

It's often when we get to this point.. the point where we are both sort of miserable.. that we start listening for the longings of home.. the moorings of our relationship.. even in foreign lands.

I noticed it in his conversation with me the other day.

"I was sitting out by the park the other day, and I noticed a mother pushing a baby in a stroller. It was.......(he paused.. struggling for a word)


"Yes.. it was beautiful.. and so rare.. and so refreshing.."

"It's a lovely thing.."

"And all that goes into it..  All that goes on.. behind the scenes.. to make that happen.."

We were both silent on the phone for a few seconds.  Yes.  All that goes make that beautiful scene happen.

At the time, it seems so simple.  Two people love each other, get married, have a baby.  Dad goes to work.. Mom pushes baby in stroller.  End of story.

And quite honestly, when it was I doing the pushing, I thought less about the stroller ride than I did about lunch.  

It's the equivalent of a child looking at a flower in the garden, snatching it up and dragging it into the house and plopping it on the counter for mom to see.  There's nothing more to gardening than this, Mom.

That's the way I looked at life, children, babies, the world.

Twenty two years have gone by.

Nothing could be more complex, rare or beautiful than the simplicity of a mom and a baby.

The world has to stop for a short time in eternity.

Two people need to love.

God needs to create a soul.

The baby needs nothing more than time and feeding to come out into the world and then change it forever.

Never. never. never should this be taken for granted.  Every child is a gift and a wonder.

My husband and I started our relationship with the anticipation that God would plan the wonders of our lives in these details.  We would let the unfolding of the womb be the mystery of God's choosing.

And even with that.. we call every new life.. "rare"

And we call the miracle itself "complex"

And we acknowledge these things are too wonderful to comprehend.  We acknowledge our creator God and his wonderful works.

And we call it "beautiful".

And we really do call it "beautiful"..


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Values? What are those?

I told you things were getting "weighty" around here.  But don't worry.  I'm still a hedgehog who speaks her mind.  So, if you are easily offended or one of those people who is paranoid, just skip this one.  I'm writing for my own clarity--not to jab anyone in the chops.

Because I really am just trying to "figure it out"..  Go figure.  My "leadership coach" has challenged me to find out what my values are.  Do you know how hard that is?  I feel like singing the song of Galatians 5:22.. "the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace.."  In other words-- what isn't a value?

There's Jesus.  And praying to him.  There's worship.  There's service. O.K. doke.  Are you tracking this? It's complicated.  So, instead of trying figure out everything I value,  I'm going to go with the inverse proportion and just tell you everything I hate.

Yup.  In no special order.  Maybe that will clarify it for me.

All the junk I hate:

1) shallow people

2) shallow conversation

3) poorly expressed communication in writing or speaking

4) plagiarism in public speaking/ or writing--or not giving credit to the correct source, especially when  there is a huge reliance on that source

5) one-size-fits-all problem solving techniques

6) multi-level marketing

7) insensitive thoughtless comments or horizontal guilt or passive aggressive behaviors/ speech

8) laziness

9) unthankfulness

10) micromanagers/ insecure leadership..

11) short-sighted individuals/ myopic, inbred, fearful groupthink

12) coersion, manipulation, threats,

13) legalism

14) enforcers of legalistic methods, practices, and doctrine

And that's all I can think of for now.

What do you value?  or not value?

O Lord, you have searched me..

"Oh Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.

You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.." Psalm 139: 1-2


God is smart.  He knows us.  He knows us so much better than we could ever know ourselves.

The real question is not: Does God know us?  But-- Are we even acknowledging who we are?

And where we are?  And what is happening or not happening all around us?

And can we get over the idea that it is some how self-centered to think on these things?

Self aware is not the same as self-obsessed.

Self awareness frees us from the shackles of delusion. and sin. and extremes. and lack of purpose.

It helps us laugh.. at ourselves.

It frees us up to serve others.  It makes us less introspective, not more.

It helps us get on with our lives and help others.

I know some of you are doubting the reality of what I just said.  But let me say it this way.

We all have "that" friend.  "That friend" has problems.  His/ her problems are obvious to everyone around them, except themselves.  Everyone is afraid to talk about it.  That friend lives in a state of delusion--constantly making decisions that sabotage their true desires.  They are lying--to themselves.

My people-  we are all "that friend"..  We are all that person who lives in a state of delusion in one way or another.  It is time.

It's time to get to the bottom of our own delusions.

Let the searchings of God be the light for you.  Start with this. At least be honest with God.  He won't be surprised.  Remember?  He knows you.

He knows you.