Wednesday, May 7, 2014

i declare it so!

it strikes me how some people are self-appointed queen or king.  or at least with their words, they act as such.
i'm not really sure where i'm going with this train of thought, but this week has really brought to my attention the way that some people's words set the tone of the room instead of reflect the tone of the room.
i have no doubt...well, not much doubt...that their words reflect their reading of the situation.  however, i'm not convinced that anyone else feels the same way until they open their mouth, speak their mind and it all breaks loose.

  • i've seen it in meetings where we're having cordial and engaging conversation.  but then someone jumps in unsolicited (or even just makes an off-handed comment), and the whole things turns south.  
  • i've seen it with parents (who really do have much on their minds) who snap at their children or spouse, initiating a downward spiral of compounded stress.
  • i've seen it in retail employees that let personal issues interfere with public professionalism, sparking a firestorm of bad business, irate customers and shoddy service.


it leads me to three points:

  • first, we've got to get ourselves in check.  i am a firm believer in authenticity and transparency (even in a retail situation), but if you're words, actions, motives, etc. are poisoning a situation you MUST get yourself in check.  deal with things in a timely, appropriate manner.  do it for your own sake as well as those that have their own baggage to deal with and frankly, don't need you to add to their pile.  i'm not trying to preach hatred nor lack of sympathy; in fact, i empathize with you to the best of my abilities.  but we need to be aware of personal responsibility (how many religious, social and/or political issues would disappear with an increased sense of personal responsibility?).  and not just aware, but active!
  • secondly, as i mentioned above, i want to help you through it.  i want to build you up, possibly by a release valve prior to causing damage with a blown top.  you are not alone.  you have friends, family...and me, wherever i fall between those two groups.  you've got the Lord as well.  personal responsibility does not mean solo action, per se.  get the help you need...and i'm available to you.
  • thirdly, my personal responsibility question:  am i working to the fullest to not only avoid my needs spoiling a situation, but to do the opposite and build up a situation by the words i speak and the actions i perform?  if one person can bring down a room, then certainly i should be able to raise up a room!  at very least, i can lift a group in prayer.  and then as the Holy Spirit of God works through me, i can be prompted to speak intuitively and increase the potential of those present.  this is the very least i can do.
i write today cathartically.  my blog can be my therapy, my sounding board, my release valve.  i'm not sure that what i wrote is actually what i feel about it all.  i'm sorting through it and hope to fully understand.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

sausage fest

i've decided that instead of a pity party, today i'm going to have a sausage fest--because waiting is the wurst!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A-words


today, i realize that i am "available" for whatever God brings my way.

therefore i will keep my eyes toward the end, but keep my heart in the moment.

i will avoid:
  • anger
  • attitude
  • admiration of self
  • arrogance
  • audacity
i will choose:
  • amore!
  • allowance for grace
  • all things Philippians 4:8
  • "and" instead of "or"
  • absolution
Lord, you hold us in Your hand.  we ask for clear pathways, but rest in Your guidance.  we keep our eyes toward the future, but live in this moment for here is the place where You shape us, mold us, change us and build us.  may we ever be more like You.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

these are the questions i'm asking myself this week in regards to the zig zag in my pathway.

  • is it true?  sometimes it seems like it can't be true, but we know the Father is faithful and will not deceive us with false blessings.
  • is it noble?  that's a hard concept that is somewhat foreign to us today.  we don't often think of nobility without picturing a monarch (which is not the case here).  in this case, we are referring to "something of high moral character".  i suppose that to be true and applicable, though i don't want to elevate.  too often in our attempt to draw positive attention to acts of goodwill and Biblical obedience, we cross the line into pride or lack of humility.  i don't want attention for this because of morality.  i simply want to obey.  If or when i heard "well done, good and faithful servant..." then my reward will be complete.  i confess that i'm struggling a lot with them one right now.
  • is it right?  yes! yes! yes!
  • is it pure?  as with my struggle with nobility, i struggle to keep my thoughts of this pure.  and that, i don't mean in a sexualized manner, but rather to keep my thoughts focused on the Father and His role in this carefully orchestrated endeavor.  if ever i switch to thinking about me, i become impure in my motives and actions.  let me keep my perspective at all times.
  • is it lovely?  ...and now i have that stevie wonder song in my head!
  • is it admirable?  in this situation, of which i hope to speak more openly very soon, those that i admire are not me, but rather those that are sacrificing so greatly for so many.  star trek taught us that sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.  then they taught us that sometimes the needs of the few or the one outweigh the need of the many.  i'm not sure which is which in this scenario, but i see some people sacrificing self for the needs of others.  i admire that and strive to do the same.
  • is it excellent or praiseworthy?  i'm not sure of how a proper hermeneutic would render this phrase of the passage, but i feel that these terms are the sum of the previous questions.  if this situation (or any one for that matter) meets the criteria, then yes, it is excellent and praiseworthy.  Lord, that i would always live an excellent life that shows You to be worthy of praise.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

emotional toe touches

it's not so much that i mind toe touches as a form of exercise, but the up-down-up-down-up-down-up-down (yes, sometimes i'm so tired that by the end i just stay down) is annoying.
and so this week, we found our emotional being to be doing toe touches:  up-down-up-down...you get the picture.

...plus, i can't talk about it all just yet...which really stinks because that'd be a great release.

so what can i type here thats revealing without being too revealing?

well, let me deal with the upper story here instead of the lower.  and in case you're unfamiliar with the concept of upper and lower story, take a quick lesson from the Hobbit.  a great movie and an even greater book.  in it, as with much great literature, there are lower stories.  you could call these "episodes".

  • there's that one part where Bilbo goes...
  • remember when they're all stuck...
  • and then, just before the end, when there's that...
each of these are like little stories on their own.  and yet they actually point to the greater story (the one ring to rule them all).

so it is with us:  this particular thing that's been so up-down-up-down is really just a lower story in our lives.  but it's causing us to see an upper story, a theme running throughout.  because of these pericope of life, we are seeing God more clearly.
  • we are seeing the prayers are multitudes of saints on our behalf being recognized in a single event.  some prayers that are 25+ years old
  • we are seeing God as faithful, patient and kind--attributes we crave and will need in abundance in the coming weeks.
  • we are seeing opportunity to share our faith in a remarkable way.
  • we are seeing human beings, sacrificing greatly for the better good, which restores some of our faith in God's hand working through the lives of those who love him.
soon this story will have a name and a face.  until then, Lord, we rest in Your promises and ask for your peace & patience to come over us all.

Friday, April 25, 2014

this resounded with my heart

There are 10 things every birthmother thinks about, wishes for, and hopes for when placing their child for adoption. If you are in an open adoption, you may have heard some already, if not, they are important to know. They are:
  1. I did not place my child because she was “unwanted.” I wanted her so much that I continued a pregnancy filled with unanswered questions.
  2. I chose adoption because I loved my child. This parental love allowed me to put his needs before my own when making my choice.
  3. This choice affected more than just me. She has a Grandmother, a Grandfather, and Aunts and Uncles who love her as well, and she will be missed.
  4. I wish for the day I can look into my child’s eyes and tell him I love him one more time.
  5. I hope that you will teach my child about her beginnings – about where she was born and who I am.
  6. I hope you will teach respect to my child by showing respect for me in your discussions.
  7. I wish I could be there to answer my child’s questions about adoption, but I trust you to answer them truthfully as best you can.
  8. I will never stop thinking about my child. She will always be a part of who I am.
  9. I would never try to disrupt my child’s new family with you. I put too much emotion and suffering into making this choice to allow anything to disrupt it – including me.
  10. In my eyes, you will always be my child’s Mom and Dad. And that thought brings me happiness.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

i still can't...

...i still can't wrap my head around it.  how can something like this (that usually takes 9 months) come about in about 10 days?
...i still can't believe the way my wife and children (or me for that matter) can process through this all.
...i still can't understand how the God of the universe works things for our good, and yet when i see Him do it, i know it can only be Him.
...i still can't believe how much love it all requires
...i still can't (read yesterday's post) let it go!

wow, wow, wow...