And y’all, this is nothing I did on my own. The LORD grew me strong in Him. He was my teacher, my Rabbi. He knew what was coming, and He did indeed prepare me…
Personalization is a defining characteristic of modern Western Culture. Whether it’s your clothes, your car, your social media pages, or even your pets, you can articulate anything in your life to resonate YOU. Uniqueness is a highly valued quality; so much so that the apparel industry is ripe with entrepreneurs looking to sell you whatever it is that you want to be identified by.
By the time I reached my mother, she was nearly unresponsive. She would open her eyes when I spoke but then they immediately rolled back into her head. The nurses said it was the morphine. Supposedly she could still hear me.
Once she was unresponsive, she did not eat or drink. There were no feeding tubes as this was hospice and, well, she was there to die.
I recently made a pilgrimage with my children to the place of little girls’ dreams, The American Girl Store. As we sat down to have lunch at the bistro, my 7-year-old, Avery, drew my attention to some cards on the table with questions to foster discussion.
“Alright,” I thought, and smiled. “This is my moment to practice what I preach and spend some quality time having a fun conversation with my kid.”
I consider myself to be a highly logical person so, when I signed up to take Introduction to Logic in college, I thought it would be fun and easy. It was neither. Instead, I found logic to be much more "mathy" than anticipated; and the other people in my class talked too much. Even though I struggled to get through the class, I actually come back to some of the concepts we covered fairly often.
I’ve heard it said before that the English language is one of the hardest ones to learn. With all of its intricacies and contradictions, I have no doubt that if English isn’t your native tongue, it is indeed a struggle to navigate and comprehend. Take homophones for one example: words that sound exactly the same but are spelled differently and do not have the same meanings. Baffling, yes?
You know that feeling of “I blew it”, often manifested as a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach? When you wish the clock could turn backwards and you could have a second chance? It’s the worst. As a parent, I often feel it when I lose my cool and completely flip out on my kids. Or when I let hurtful words roll off my tongue towards people I love.
Last October, I loaded the boys and and one of our daughters into the car and we struck out for a big event happening downtown. Little did I know at the time that I would get stuck in traffic, be forced to park nearly a mile away, and have to walk with our baby in the carrier and our four year old in the stroller through construction and traffic just to see the spectacle.
The closer we got to downtown area the more excited we got.
I’ve been thinking about stories.
Why do we tell stories?
In our small group we learned that songs (which are mostly just stories sung instead of spoken) are more powerful than just delivering sterile information or pure data.
Jesus often used parables—which is just another term for stories—instead of telling his followers outright what he wanted them to know.
Parker Palmer, in his book Hidden Wholeness, says that part of being with someone who is dying is to sit quietly with their soul. Sitting quietly maintains respect for the person as God’s creation and child. Forcing an agenda, one’s own inquisitiveness, or desire for amends is to violate the sacredness of the person in their most sacred time.
I’ve been thinking about the LORD’s faithfulness a lot lately. When things are going smoothly, I don’t typically spend as much time thinking about some of the characteristics of my Holy God. But, when something happens that is not the way I would’ve planned it, I know I need to take some time to remember His past faithfulness during difficult times.