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Showing posts from 2013

Kindness

We say we want to be better than this. We want to be good humans. We want to master this “randoms acts of kindness” thing. Kindness should drive you insane. It should hurt you deep because it’s hard to love people constantly. It should make you want to grit your teeth. You should sign up for those kinds of feelings every, every day. Kindness shouldn’t be the thing we turn on and off like a lamp switch or check off a list when we’ve helped some elderly woman across the road. Kindness is just Love without makeup. It’s just the basics. It’s just the starting point. It’s not some cute little word that implies love letters and babies giggling. It’s absolutely everything in a world that is starving for more of it. To think we should only sprinkle love upon the worthy & on the ones who cross our paths & when it is comfortable and convenient for us is weak thinking. Love is the kind of thing that screams in your face, “Plaster me everywhere. Smear me on everyone. Cake me thick in you…

Maybe it's the Coffee...

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that I drank over a six hour conversation with some good friends, but I can't sleep just yet.

After playing with their boys, eating supper, and helping put them to bed, we settled down for our usual "back-in-town-catch-up" over cappuccinos.Not going to lie, the raspberry pie and with extra creamy cool whip made it even better. Food and conversation: a tasty and filling combo.



Venison vs. beef, Core-Curriculum, special education system, parenting, childhood milestones, grad school, dissertation ideas, domestic violence, psychological diagnoses, dating, religious belief formation, joys...and I'm sure that's not even all of it. 

The conversation just flowed and shifted with openness and honesty. Not only were interests, emotions, fun facts and stories shared but a sense of passion radiated through the dialogue. My friend who works in the school system has an incredible passion for the students she works with. A passion that I can't help but find contagious after…

Psalm 42

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As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, "Where is your God?" 

These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. 

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. 
My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.
By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God, my rock: "Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mour…

On Friendship

I read this post the other day and it has been on my mind since. I have a started draft of a post with similar thoughts on friendship but after reading this, she says it much clearer than I do.
If you're a Quality Time person like me, I think you'll appreciate these thoughts. Even if you're not, may this challenge you to think a little differently. Can you say "I'll always have time for you?". Recognize those in your life who truly will and do always have time for you.


“Yeah, maybe. Can I let you know?” Her eyes didn’t raise from her phone as she spoke.
I had barely finished inviting a girlfriend to dinner when she responded with the dreaded, “That sounds perfectly great but I don’t want to commit without knowing for sure that nothing better will come along.” Later that day, I called another friend to confirm plans to stay with her during a visit, only to find out she made last-minute plans to visit her boyfriend instead– during the only 24 hours I would be in to…

Let's Walk

Tonight as I walked to my car with a friend I realized what can happen over a few steps. As we ventured to the parking lot the conversation changed. It's not that it was better or worse than the few minutes prior but it became more personal. In a classroom, sure, we can talk. However, the distractions of other conversations and people coming and going bar communication to a certain stand-still. I may genuinely want to know how you are doing and will ask when in this setting. But if truly desiring an honest and complete response, this is not the setting to elicit that. Maybe this is just me and my "quality time" preferences manifesting itself...regardless though, I think that the level of communication differs with walking.
When I consider my responses it is interesting how they vary across settings. As an introvert, they should be more determined by the people who I am with. Instead though, the level of genuine interest in another - anyone really - and the willingness to…

Running from...

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This song has been on repeat frequently during my long runs the last two weeks. When it's just you and hours on your feet, one mile after another, there is a lot of time to think, pray, and wonder. Audrey Assad is one of my favorites, but I really like the lyrics to this song in particular. In talking about the Irrational Mind I think we overlook what some of the thoughts or battles that we are running from. What might that look like in your life?

There's a train leaving your heart tonight.
There's a silence inside your head and you're running from it.
Down the tracks on a midnight line.
There's a red moon in the sky and you're running from it.
But I'm coming for you wherever you go.
Wrestling angels till dawn breaks through
There's a blessing in the wound and you're running from it.
When all your demons are at your door
it's a soldier they're looking for and you're running from it.
But I'm coming for you wherever you go.
Across the sea, the s…

The Rational Mind: The "IT" Factor

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What is that necessary component that all things need to survive?
We all know of that student who by their test scores and past performance have no business pursuing the program they are in -- and yet they are the ones who actually complete the readings prior to class, take notes, study, and ask questions. They may not be the A student but are earning their B and asked later on down the road to explain the material, they are able to articulate the concepts with a profound understanding. 
There's the friend who is riding more than just the struggle bus. They look fine to those who are just passing by, maybe even to friends. But inside them rages a fierce battle. The midlife crisis has hit them a quarter of a century early and they are hard pressed on every side, searching for meaning and truth. A sickness or an identity crisis that would rob most anyone of their joy and hope is the birthplace of transformation. You watch this friend in their fight and instead of concessions to the un…

Thoughts from Uncle Screwtape (letter #13)

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My dear Wormwood,
It seems to me that you take a great many pages to tell a very simple story. The long and the short of it is that you have let the man slip through your fingers. The situation is very grave, and I really see no reason why I should try to shield you from the consequences of your inefficiency. A repentance and renewal of what the other side call ‘grace’ on the scale which you describe is a defeat of the first order. It amounts to a second conversion—and probably on a deeper level than the first....
.... It remains to consider how we can retrieve this disaster. The great thing is to prevent his doing anything.As long as he does not convert it into action, it does not matter how much he thinks about this new repentance. Let the little brute wallow in it. Let him, if he has any bent that way, write a book about it; that is often an excellent way of sterilising the seeds which the Enemy plants in a human soul. Let him do anything but act. No amount of piety in his imaginatio…

Change for the Irrational Mind

To transform our irrational minds is an action. A committed, purposeful, intentional action. 

Where does an action begin? The end goal looms out on our horizon as a mountain, one that we want to quickly conquer. 

Like any run (I'm thinking of the 15 miler I have to do Saturday) we have to put on our shoes, have a drink, and nibble something small before we can ever even walk out the door. Once outside we pick up our feet and make it to the end of the street. 

Okay, we've made it to the end of the street. Now, we break it down. Once I get to the end of this song I'll be warmed up. Okay, I'm going to pick up my pace for the next song and then work back down to my target heart rate. Round this corner and just make it the last two miles to the zoo. I'll get some water. Whew. Made it, now let's turn around. Just three miles back to the trail...and before we realize it the 15 miles is broken down in our minds into manageable chunks. The hill ahead isn't the focus so…

More Thoughts on the Irrational Mind

Where does one begin with the mind, an endless ocean of thoughts?

For those of you who have asked, I am still trying to figure all of that out myself. And honestly, I have a long way to go. This morning I found some guidance in Proverbs 2:1-11


1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.7 He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be …

The Irrational Mind Part 1...Maybe

In a bible study that I am apart of we have been discussing what it means to love God with all of our mind. For many of us, we have grown up familiar with the verse "love the Lord you God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength". 
Loving with all my heart- This is difficult to "quantify" in an explanation but I believe entails an emotional component and is self-explanatory. Loving with all my strength- suggests loving even when I feel like I can't or perhaps, also, using the physical strengths that I have to take care of the body He has given me. That is an aspect of love as well. Loving with all my mind- what does this mean? Or of more importance, what does it look like?
Love is so complex and yet so simple. I don't suppose that it is easy, as I'm sure you would agree. There are times when loving someone is difficult. Perhaps the things they do and say are not the things you find yourself liking or agreeing with. Perhaps, that …

Friendship, God, and Knowing

Saturday afternoon my grandmother, sister, brother, and I sat around the living room discussing salvation and baptism. It was an interesting conversation that began after we got home from Papa Amos' funeral.

That service was by far the most beautiful thing I have been a part of in a while. To witness the legacy that he created and left was incredible and I can only hope that my life and the lives of those I love are following in similar footsteps. You see, there is a sense of grief for those of us left behind, however, there is immense joy for Amos. And that joy cannot be contained. A joy that springs from a knowing that Papa Amos knew His God. Throughout the service I heard story after story of a man who invested in people's lives, quietly, without programs or special terminology but simply because he could and he loved them. For all the occasions he would pull me aside for a kiss on the cheek (in front of who knows how many Cracker Barrel waiters) and say "I'm real …

Love Them Like Jesus

In our university group we have been discussing discipling. The whole commission to "go" and make disciples is a little overwhelming. Like the faulted beings we are, it's easy to get caught in "where do I even start?" or "people won't listen to me" or "I'm not in a place where I can do this personally". These are valid reasons, but like it was pointed out last night, these are more likely to be excuses. 

My Peacemaking class asked us a similar question yesterday afternoon. While referring to peacemaking and conflict transformation situations, the question still hangs out there: "Where do I start? People won't listen to me. I'm not in a place personally where I can do this". It's a tough battle between those thoughts and the conviction that we must do more. What holds us back? Vulnerability and fear. 

I don't have solutions or really any further thoughts at the moment. In more ways than one, I find that I am be…