Category Archives: truth

His Grace is Sufficient

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

I know this is true, but today it sure doesn’t feeI like it.
The nice thing about doing dishes is that you can’t tell the difference between the teardrops and the water splashes.
KP is waking up every two hours.
The job with the shorter commute hasn’t led to earlier nights and the next quarter with less classes has led to more work because the class is harder.
I’m one marker on the furniture incident from complete meltdown.
Strength in weakness, weakness in strength.
His grace is sufficient.
Always sufficient.
Even when it doesn’t feel like it.

We've had this one for ten days and I still can't believe how little she is.

Better Get a Shotgun?

“Your daughters are beautiful. I hope you have a shotgun handy.”

At first, this conversation was funny, and I usually responded with something along the lines of, “Jesse can probably scare the boys off without needing a shotgun. Besides, have you met their mother? She’s pretty scary herself.” Or we would talk about the martial arts we want to get into as a family and teaching them to scare the boys off by themselves.

However, the more often we have this conversation, the more it grates on me.

Why?

Because our assumptions are all wrong. We are assuming that cross-gender relationships must have a sexual element to them. Secular psychology would seem to agree with that assessment. But to turn to psychology without measuring it up against the perfect example of humanity is faulty and incomplete.

“Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, ‘Lord, the one you love is sick.’ When he heard this, Jesus said,’This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.’ Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” John 11:1-5, emphasis mine

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” Romans 8:9-11, emphasis mine

We, as believers, are no longer subject to our flesh, and anyone who says otherwise is missing the point and the beauty of redemption. We do not need to be afraid of cross-gender relationships as “dangerous”, because, in Christ, they are not. We are free to love one another as he loved Mary and Martha.

It is our Western understanding of over-sexualized loved that is dangerous. And the fact that we are passing this distortion of love onto the next generation is what scares me.

A while back, at a social function, AJ was playing with a little boy around her age. When it came time for us all to leave, the two kids gave each other hugs (insert adult “awwww’s” here). Then they moved in to kiss each other (insert adult freak out). I sort of just stood back and observed the situation, unsure of exactly how to respond in the moment. I’ll admit to a little bit of an “uh oh, it’s starting already” moment in my mama heart.

It wasn’t until I was out of the situation and had time process that it occurred to me: “They are toddlers. They have no idea what a kiss means. It’s just what you do when you say goodbye to someone you love. We pass AJ around when we are leaving family & friends houses to give kisses goodbye. This is a completely natural behavior to them.”

For us to make a big deal about this behavior is to teach them that there is something unnatural about that friendship. It is to buy into the secular “wisdom” of the inability of men and women to have friendships. It is also to reinforce the sexualization of children.

So how then should we respond? To be honest, I don’t know yet. I don’t have a good answer yet for that conversation. I also don’t know exactly how to respond to the situation above, except that I will attempt to keep from freaking out and will not discourage my daughters from developing playmates across both genders.

P1030162

How We Talk

Have you ever been talking & suddenly clue into what you’re saying? Sometimes, we have patterns of thought & speech that we don’t realize are there until we pay attention to what is coming out of our mouths.

In the wake of Kaylee’s arrival, we’ve had a few people bless us with meals. As it happens when people come over, we got lots comments about how nice our house is: the size of the kitchen (it’s huge), the back deck, the built in BBQ & surround sound system. All of these were major selling points for us.

However, whenever someone points these out, I feel compelled to talk about everything that’s wrong with the house. If they point out the size of the kitchen, I tell them about the wasted space at the end, or how the dishwasher and oven doors bump into each other. The back deck? It’s falling apart or the questionable landscaping job. Or the electrical problems we’ve had. Or the blown speaking that’s going to be very difficult to replace. I could go on and on. And I usually do.

As this was happening the other day, I suddenly realized what I was doing. And I wondered, Am I not happy here with this house? Why do I feel the need to point out everything wrong with the house?

It is true that familiarity breeds contempt, but I started to wonder about the attitudes and thoughts that were driving me to talk about my house this way. I have been quite open here on the blog about my housekeeping struggles, and I wonder if talking about what’s wrong with the house gives me a certain amount of permission to continue to not take care of it. Or if it just deflects praise for something I don’t feel like I deserve.

What I hope this revelation causes is a turnaround in how I talk about my house. Framing it as a blessing from God, which it is, that we want to share with others, which we do. We bought this house specifically because it’s a good entertaining house.

I also hope that changing my patterns of speech will work their way back into my thought patterns. And then those thought patterns will work their way into my actions, so I can take better care of my house.

What thought patterns are your speech patterns betraying?

Given to Give

Pastor Lance had a fantastic message yesterday morning, which I loved. So instead of spamming your social feeds with all the quotes I loved, I thought I’d share them here, along with a copy of my full notes.

I will update this post with a link to the podcast once it’s live.

—-

Given to Give Review – Breakthrough

The paralyzed man is lowered through a roof to get to Jesus.

There was no room even to stand in the house & the religious leaders are sitting next to Jesus. The people physically closest to Jesus couldn’t hear what he was doing. Your proximity has nothing to do with how well you’re listening.

“All things work together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.” Even the hard stuff.

How do we get to breakthrough?

1. It’s never a one man job. You need community.

Who is carrying your burdens?

2. When you’re willing to do what ever it takes to get to Jesus.

When a friend calls you about their marriage, don’t pick a side; pick a marriage.

3. It requires a second effort.

4. Take your eyes off of yourself.

The friends weren’t super people; they were just people people who had a friend that was paralyzed.

Don’t try to be the “fixer”. Don’t take up the burdens for them, just walk with them and help carry them.

The ridiculous always precedes the miraculous.

 

5. It’s not cheap. It took Paul 14 years before Christians accepted his authority. Moses spent 80 years in the desert — 40 before the Exodus & 40 after. David got sent back to the sheep field right after being anointed.

Remember, there is wisdom in a multitude of council, but not every council has a multitude of wisdom. Choose your council carefully.

Full notes.

2nd Sunday, Ordinary Time

1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 11

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good . . . All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 11

Epiphany

Arise, shine, for your light has come...

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. . .Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.
Isaiah 60:1-2,5

You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful?

Now that I have a daughter, I listen to music differently. I have become painfully aware of the messages that songs give regarding women, love & relationships.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or you manage to shop places that don’t ever play pop music, you’ve probably heard this smash hit single by the latest British invasion, One Direction.

I was flipping through the radio channels the first time I heard it. Being a child of the 90′s, there’s still a special place in my heart for boy bands, so I got to bopping along with it. I was actually enjoying the song right up until the last line of the chorus.

Baby you light up my world like nobody else,
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed,
But when you smile at the ground it ain’t hard to tell,
You don’t know,
Oh oh,
You don’t know you’re beautiful,
If only you saw what I can see,
You’ll understand why I want you so desperately,
Right now I’m looking at you and I can’t believe,
You don’t know,
Oh oh,
You don’t know you’re beautiful,
Oh oh,
That’s what makes you beautiful

o_0

I changed the channel then. You are telling me, my daughter, & every girl listening that being ashamed of the way she looks is beautiful.

Oh, hell, no.

We don’t need any help in that department, thankyouverymuch. Shame is constant companion of most women. Especially when it comes to our looks. In no way, shape, or form will this type of message be tolerated here.

Any guy who wants to tell my daughter that shame is beautiful will have a strong, confident mama bear to deal with. Not to mention whatever her father has to say about it.

No. Shame is not beautiful, dear daughter.

But you are. Oh, are you ever.

31 Days of Examen

I tried to let myself off the hook for this project by telling myself that I need the time to prepare for NaNoWriMo which is fast approaching, like a giant freight train.

But I’ve been reading this book called Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture.* In it he talks about spiritual disciplines that introverts can implement to help balance the extroversion of our culture with our need for solitude. One such discipline is that of the Examen.

This passage in particular flipped on a few light bulbs for me:

What I like about this exercise is that it allows for the internal processing that introverts require. As I have come to embrace my introversion, I have learned that my brain will process my day one way or another. If I do not do it before bed, then I will often lie awake while my brain races through the day or else my subconscious will attempt to do the work—with strange results—while I sleep. The examen gives a concrete, compact structure to my processing.

After I read that, I felt strongly impressed that I should begin this practice. It’s something that will take discipline, accountability, & consistency to turn into a habit. They say that a habit requires 30 days to develop. Which just so happens to line up with this 31 day challenge.

Check. Mate.

Sigh.

God can be so dang persistent sometimes.

So I’ll be sharing my examen reflections here nightly. Well, the parts appropriate for public consumption anyway. This is a personal discipline. :D

Linking up with the nester, who started this whole crazy idea & a movement in the process.

*Affiliate link, which might treat me to a latte or something.