Monday, September 28, 2015

LOVE GOD. LOVE OTHERS.

 

And love your neighbor as you love yourself (Mark 12:30–31). Some have boiled this down to two sentences: “Love God. Love others.”

Sounds easy, right?!

It can be easy to read those four words and think they are weak or watered down. It can be easy to believe those four words don’t offer enough of a challenge. But what happens when we actually begin living them? When we approach every little thing in our lives with a love for God and a love for everyone around us — even our enemies, especially our enemies — we swim against the current and walk against the grain. Living the Good News in every encounter is no small endeavor. In fact, when held up against one another, living the gospel is probably much more difficult than defending it. What if, instead of defending the faith, we began the hard work of loving God and loving people with everything available to us?




Tuesday, September 15, 2015

MAINTAINING MARGINS


Our department is fun. I’m not gonna lie. Honestly, it’s nearly sinful how much I enjoy the people I work for, with, and alongside.

We got into a deep discussion this week at our breakfast happy hour, as we often do, about…well, dying without regrets.

A couple of people mentioned their elderly parents and grandparents – how they regret having been driven by money and success, spending little time with the people they love all in the name of fancy clothes, fast cars, giant houses, status quo, etc, etc.

My ears immediately perked up. Oh, how I can relate. Fortunately, for me, my epiphany came early in my 30s. It was truly a moment of paralysis, one day, in my Controller days, that I realized for the two previous years, neither my children nor I had a doctors or dental appointment. Even more importantly, I hadn’t had lunch with my children at their school. And when evenings had once been “our time” to enjoy one another, they were spending more evenings and weekends with babysitters while mommy worked on her career.

Literally, over night, I declared a fresh start for myself and for us. With an exhale and a clean slate, I reevaluated my “yeses” and chose to turn some of them into “no’s.” The items that made their way back onto the list were priorities —promises to family and friends, job responsibilities, and a few small personal goals.

It takes a lot more effort to maintain margins than it does to fill them up. We all need to define our own margins. If we don’t, they will be defined for us in the form of no margins at all.

For the sake of my family, I have to fight for margin.

For the sake of my work, I have to fight for margin.

For the sake of my soul and my life with God, I have to fight for margin.

My soul isn’t made for hurry and neither is yours. We have to choose the margins in our own life and then fight to keep them in place.

Don’t let fear push you around.

Monday, September 14, 2015

WHEN OTHER PEOPLE HURT US


Let’s be frank, our honesty in suffering is the greatest gift we can give each other. Not that I have a big airing of dirty laundry or anything particularly juicy or radical to write about (at this given moment). But in general, writing….er, being in a place of authenticity...fearlessly, totally uncensored is what I both strive to be and am attracted towards in others.

I wish I had known then what I know now. I wish I had known the promise of Jeremiah 1:5, where God says: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart” {NLT}.

Isn’t it easy to neglect ourselves to meet the needs of everyone around us, and call it self-sacrifice? It sounds godly. But in doing so we risk shutting down a place in our soul where God has gifted us and set us apart — to serve and thrive.

Changing gears.

I have this little nack for attracting kids. It suits me just fine right now. There are two particular little girls I have befriended at my daughter’s volleyball games. Anyway so today the one little 4-year old is sitting on a bleacher in front of me soaking up my attention, expressing hurt from another child, and I’m feeling moved to be a guru from my world weary and wizened place. And so I clear my throat and tell her in my most impassioned yet gentle tones about how when other people hurt us it’s only because something inside of them is missing or hurt or broken. It’s not about us at all. And that life is generally easier the sooner we realize that and believe it. (PS: Hypocrite Alert!  But you know…do as I say….not as I do..) Anyway, this kid is just taking it all in, her head is cocked to the side, her blue eyes piercing through to my soul, and I feel like our souls are connecting and I’m thinking,  “I may not have much to offer this world, but I think I just changed this kid’s life forever!” Finally, she says thoughtfully, “you know what I think?” “What?” I eagerly ask with a wise and benevolent smile. “I think that when it rains, it’s because God is sweating a lot”.

It’s possible I could have saved a lot of money on therapy if I’d met this kid sooner.

Don’t sweat the small stuff, friends.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

LIFE LATELY

Hi there. I know -- it’s been a while. At least on screen. I’ve been very prolific though. Though my time here has been limited the last month, I have written a blog post almost every day. In my head. Every time I went for a walk, even while hiking in Kauai, I composed at least 3 of them. And yet here I am, with little to say. Sometimes, I think, writing blog posts in my head somehow feels concrete, purposeful and powerful. Obviously, not so much for my readers. And I will try to change that, and be more present and intentional with my blog. I’ll soon be back regularly. you’ll see. Until then, thank you for your loyalty. XOXO





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