Living in the Tension

Don’t let the title fool you into believing I have figured this out. You would be mistaken. It’s been playing in my head for a little while now. I haven’t posted an uncomfortable blog post for 10 minutes so I figured I was overdue.

This thought rang louder while watching the Verge 2012 conference online. It was right down the street from me, and I was watching online. I realized what I appreciated about the many speakers I had the chance to hear (and I probably missed half of them) was that they aren’t afraid to…

Wait for it…

Live in the tension.

Sitting at my laptop, ear buds in, I listened intently. I swear even my living room felt thick. It was so good! These were speakers whose life gave them the platform to make a room or online observer uncomfortable with truth. It was well received. Not gonna lie, I loved it. It allowed me to not feel crazy cause all these other people have been in the thick of it for a long time. They are serving people in ways that stirs something strong in me.

I have never so badly wanted to get something so right. I’m constantly reminded of where my dependence has to rest, what my eyes must be set on and what I must do. Hope has come from some unexpected places.

I’ve never wrestled during bible study, prayer, every thought in my head and with most books that I read, like I have in the last couple of years. I mean really wrestled with like it was some kind of rope and the knots meant my life. This is not a bad thing. In fact, this is a good thing. As I’m reading my bible, I see more and more how this is the life we are called to. We wrestle with it, we grow in it. Some days you feel like you’re swimming around in it till your fingers are all pruny. There is a difference between living content and living with tension. This is good tension…but it’s still that…tension.

I will end with this. All my life I have seen God’s faithfulness. This season has overwhelmed me like no other.

Marriage, Socks and Love Languages

I’ve had this idea for a post for a long time now. In fact, I ponder how to communicate this randomly profound information every time I do socks.

Before I go any further, I need to brag on my husband. I fear what I am about to tell you may allow you for a brief second (if you don’t know him) to think he’s lazy. The truth and reality I live with daily is the opposite of that. Our life is not a conventional one…never really has been :). He works hard. He works a lot. He plays the role of stay-at-home-dad most days with Sophia. He is a pastor/church planter. He is an amazing husband and father. He’s a keeper.

There is nothing in this house he won’t do. I do the great majority of cooking but when it comes to cleaning/laundry we are pretty much even-steven.

There is one exception. I laugh at this every time. He should be glad I have a great sense of humor.

Ray looks at socks and declares “that is not my love language”.

First of all, he’s never read the book but still manages to master that excuse.

Second, he’s cute enough to pull off that statement, so I go with it.

Third, I think to myself “I have got to get me one of these”.

By “one of these” I mean something I avoid ever having to do again using the “love language excuse”. I have to think about this. It has to be good. I’m pretty sure you only get one ridiculous thing to avoid. It has to be good.

Note – I do mean ridiculous. Most of life can’t be avoided…but socks make the list…apparently!

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make the world go ‘round. For example, I don’t think my mother in-law has pumped gas in 30+ years. I’m not joking.

Do you have one of these ridiculous avoidances? I’d love to hear what your “love language excuse” is. I’m still working on mine.

Attention Pastors – Groundbreaking Advice!

The title may exaggerate a smidge. Then again, maybe not.

I’ve said something a lot as of lately. It occurred to me that just maybe someone may benefit from this.

I am a church planter…and I am a waitress. That’s right! It is two very different worlds (and what it has taught me deserves its own post). I’ve learned something in the past two years of waiting tables. In regards to living on mission, being intentional, being a part of your community…I have some ground breaking news that I hope you take as advice.

I know my regulars!

I know mine. They know me. It may start out as me remembering what they drink or eat…but our approach towards someone shifts a tiny bit when they become regulars. Think about it. You frequent the same coffee shop, corner store, restaurant, café…whatever it may be, those employees will know you. You never know what can happen.

So, dear pastor, small group leader…whatever title you have and in whatever capacity you serve…

Be Regular!

Four Simple Words

Pardon me and my blog silence last week. It wasn’t for lack of wanting to write so much as it was about what felt right regarding content. Nothing felt right, so I didn’t write. Simple 🙂

Sunday morning, during prayer, I knew this was what I needed to write. It’s short, sweet and consuming present thought.

As a church, we started off this year with a time of prayer and fasting. I had a lot going on in my head. I had my moments where I felt emotionally unstable. I sat crying during an offering prayer one Sunday morning. Anthony (one of the amazing pastors at Revive) is great and all…but me crying while he prays over offering is not a normal response for me. Things that wouldn’t normally have me in tears had me in tears. Yes, this has been somewhat of a recurring theme. I had some questions and more than that, quite a weight in my heart that wouldn’t go away. In all my time of prayer and in the word, I found that the response was constant. It wasn’t exactly what I expected. God’s ways always make sense at first don’t they 🙂

Those words…

Be passionate about Me.

That was it. No handwriting on the wall with decorative details. I received four simple words.

It’s almost April. Those words hit fresh all over again. I tend to be a tad bit hard headed (on occasion…cough). I’m starting to see that this is really the answer to my questions. Direction and correction. God is succinct. I am not. Those questions still exist but my posture towards them…that is what has to change. What am I to do? Obey. Be passionate about Him.

Take the time to read Psalm 27 today 🙂

“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord”.

What About Them?

 

I’ve had a heavy question running in my head the last few days. I don’t have an answer for it but the question remains.

Dare I even go here?

Even my typing fingers feel the weight of the question.

I’ve called a childhood/adolescent rejection a “divine rejection”. It was as if the rejection was a grace. It was as if the rejection was a form of protection. I’ve felt this way for a long time. I’ve seen this in several areas of my life. I believe it to be true. I’m grateful for it.

A new side to the question has appeared and it won’t let me go. It leaves me with an ache in my heart. It leaves me with questions that I believe are appearing for a reason.

What about them?

I’ve seen the grace that has covered me. Is it the same grace that covers the heart of those wounded so deep? While I dealt privately with rejection, the crime and deception against them and their families were broadcasted so publicly years later. Their private wounds were on display.

I’m not sure why this came to mind this week but it did. In the midst of my gratitude, I halted. It wasn’t that I was no longer grateful but that my question got bigger. It made me think of them and the many others whose pain is much like theirs.

I don’t doubt the grace of God. My question is do they know? The older I get, the more time I spend with people, the more I know that many share their story. I’ve seen those that have overcome. I’ve seen those that have moved beyond the pain and have offered their scars to others as proof of the healing. Through that, they point directly to the love and grace of God. There is the healing. Do we have the courage to speak to unspeakable pain?

I will never be able to answer the question of why them and not me. I don’t know where they are today but their faces and the memories are bold.

What about them? Do they know?