Friday, May 27, 2011

A Little Disturbing

I really appreciate my upbringing.  I truly do.  I know it sounds cliche'd, but the older I get the more I realize how much wisdom was imparted to me in my youth, and I'm so thankful for that.  It makes me grounded, and allows me to look at others through a different lens.

I guess that's why a conversation I had this week was so disturbing to me.  It was with a fellow christian.  I was talking about how alarming it was to be out of the States for 10 years, only to come back and see some of the shows that are on TV.  The shows the glorify pregnant teens is particularly disturbing to me.  In this conversation, I relayed my disappointment in how some of the girls my boys were interested in behaved.  They either tried to hang on them constantly, or expected them to drop everything and have the boys' worlds revolve around them.  (My point was that they were only going out, they weren't engaged.)  This person's response was that she told her kids they were not allowed to marry someone who's parents were divorced.  It stunned me into silence.  Aaaakwaaaard.

See, one of the things I was taught was that there's this little thing called grace.  It should be abundant in us, because it's been shown to us. In my opinion, and knowing this lady and others like her, this was about appearances. But I have to confess my own thoughts when coming to this realization.  It's a tad bit judgmental.  So how do I discourage this woman's thinking, without being confrontational, and in a way that will be received? 

I think, for me, it is to live an imperfect life.  Not a life with freedom to make mistakes without consequences or to flaunt and celebrate them, but to lay bare my struggles and show I am not perfect, but living under grace myself.  It's a huge risk, especially if critics abound.  However, I do believe it's the only way others can learn it's OK to let their imperfections show:  to see it lived out on a daily basis.

A friend recently wrote, "The process of emotional healing is only for the weak, the needy people broken and tired of who they have been, the ones who finally know their deep inner ugliness and will let God and others readily see it..for as long as it takes. And trust me, this will take some time."  

Time and courage.  Live a REAL life. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Quiet Moments

"Be still and know that I am God."

It's hard to be still these days.  Truly.  There is so much going on in the world around us, so much to think about and so much to think ON.  Our pace is fast, we go here and there constantly, and we get upset when we actually have to wait for any length of time.

My prayer for all of you today is a chance to be still.  Think.  Reflect.  Worship.  Be thankful.  God created today, and His mercy is new each and every day.  Enjoy.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It's the quiet ones you have to watch

At first glance, he's very serious and professional.  He's intense about anything he does, whether it's yard work, backpacking, fixing cars, building things.  He always looks like he's got a lot on his plate, and has places to go and people to see.  And he's quiet.  He really doesn't speak a lot if he's not spoken to.  He's a lot like my big brother that way.  In fact, if you put those two in a room together, not a lot would be said, and they are completely OK with that.  But that's who Big Dad is. If the first glance is all you're going on, you can miss a lot.

You have to listen.  Even after almost 23 years, he still catches me off guard with his comments.  They. are. stinking. hilarious.  He has these random comments that he makes in response to things HE'S listening to, and believe me, he's always listening.  Responses to commercials and conversations, or even responses to his own thoughts, happen all the time.  They aren't mean, he's just participating with his own brand of humor.  When we hear him, we usually just bust out laughing. And that happens just about every day.

Our kids have stories and stories about Big Dad and his youth.  They've heard them a lot, and love hearing them.  They love telling them, too.  At this point, Big Dad's youth is legend around here.  The boys' friends hold him in reverence.  

We love having him around.  That's good, since he's my husband and the kids' father.  But his humor is one of the things that makes our family culture what it is, and it's what brings us together.  We think we'll keep him.