Archives for January 2014

Going About Our Going {Being Mindful of the People That You Meet Each Day}

I’ve sat in this chair before…pen poised over paper just in case he says something I want to remember.  Sometimes, my self-righteous self feels like I have heard it all before, but I am looking forward to this.

I’ve struggled with how we “help” others. How can those of us who help (and all Christ followers are commanded to help) do so in a wise way?  Without hurting?

Two days exploring this topic…I couldn’t wait.

As Larry Ragan opened his Culture Link workshop, he began with this directive from our Creator – the last instructions he gave before ascending into heaven…

15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Mark 16:15

I wasn’t surprised.  This is THE mission’s verse. And I was at mission’s workshop.

India, Honduras, and Haiti – going into all the world.  Work, home, school, the soccer field – going into  “all the world.”

Yet…

Subbing at the local middle school doesn’t “feel” much like going.

Checking out at Wal-mart doesn’t feel much like going – even if I choose and engage with the same cashier over and over.

Helping my son with his homework doesn’t feel much like going.

Serving at church feels a bit more like going, but don’t those people already know the Good News?

Somewhere in my heart, the “go into all the world” has been reserved for intentional and organized discipleship efforts.  Classes and workshops.  Small groups and conferences.  Mission trips to Honduras or the local homeless shelter. Yes, going can be local, but it didn’t seem daily.

It is.

It is…

GOING about our GOING. 

walking street

I know.  It doesn’t sound very profound.  It’s something many of us have heard and know.

The verse says go.  That’s the action.  It doesn’t say build a house, serve a meal, or teach a skill.  It says go.

Go where?  ALL the world.  Your neighbor’s house.  India.  The homeless shelter.  Your son’s school.  ALL.

And do what as I go to these places…as I go about my going?  Preach the Good News to everyone.

As I go each day, God calls me to be mindful about sharing Him and his Good News.  And while you and I can and should certainly share Him with words, we can also share Him, honor Him, worship Him, acknowledge Him, and love Him as we go about our going.

As we drop off our kids at school and as we order takeout at China Kitchen (again and again:).  As we build a house in Honduras or serve a meal at the homeless shelter.  As we engage with this world each day, we are going about our going – going into ALL the world, representing the one we follow:  Jesus.

It’s discipling…

As we go about our lives, it’s how God uses us to help move others  along their spiritual timeline. The one who doesn’t know Christ and the one who has abided in Him for 40 years – God uses others to move both of them along…growing to be more and more like Jesus.

So as I began today, I stopped asking God to “show me who I can help or impact today” – a strategy in which I wait for the perfect person to cross my path and the moment he/she crosses I hear God yell…go!  That’s her!

Instead, I asked him to remind me of His presence as I go about my going.  To intentionally acknowledge and invest in each person who crosses my path, and perhaps continue the same path again and again so that person will keep crossing it.  To tap me on the shoulder or whisper in my ear – whatever it takes to remind me that today I am going about my going. For Him.

Permission to Weep {God’s Still Teaching Me Through My Dad’s Death}

It’s January 10…a day forever stuck in my heart.

Do you have a day or days like this?  A date that changed your life forever? 

 One that gives you permission to weep?

As moms, friends, wives, sisters, and daughters, we don’t feel we can burst into tears at any moment.  We have children to raise, jobs to work, laundry to do, meals to make.  We can’t sit around with tears dripping in our tea.

Still, feeling isn’t optional.  We FEEL plenty.

We take deep breaths, put on big smiles, and plow through the mess.

This isn’t being “fake”; this isn’t just a stiff upper lip.  This is being functional in the midst of sad and suffering.  And, most of us have a real reason for sadness.

Yet, we hold it at bay – we must.

Then, a day comes.  A day like January 10 -the day my dad took his last breath on this earth.  And we give ourselves permission to weep, to mourn, to grieve.  Those accumulated feelings flood forth.

My dad with his sisters and mom

My dad with his sisters and mom

Tears for my dad and for my family.  Tears for what I thought would be that isn’t.  Tears for failures and tears of anger.

THIS is NOT what life at 38 was supposed to look like.  I thought my mom and dad would grow old together.  I thought I’d grow old with my husband. 

Intact families, living and laughing. 

 Not happening.

And I can question a sovereign God all day long about those busted expectations, and He remains silent.

Or, does he? 

He’s certainly silent about the “why” life is as it is.  But, as I opened my daily reading plan to Philippians this morning, he reminded me that he’s not silent about the “what”  and “how.”   His word clearly tells me how to move from woe is me and this sucks to I am thankful for the years I had with my dad.  And I am thankful for my marriage…

Thankful for January 10. 

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-8

My joy today comes from Him alone.  I’ve told God what I need – in a yelling, frustrated fashion, but he knows.  And, I am thanking Him for being sovereign.  For seeing all the pieces that I can’t. 

I’ll have to keep putting all this into practice – focused thoughts, intentional prayer, and thankful heart – because I am prone to wonder.  I want my way and submitting to his way takes effort. 

Something I learned from my dad…stubbornness:)

Today, I honor my heavenly Father for his grace, his daily gentle reminders to lean into Him. 

I honor my earthly Dad for who was, what he taught me, who he molded me to be.  For every day he worked and every moment he played, I am thankful.  He was an amazing man who loved many well. 

Until we meet again, Dad, I love you.

 

 

My mom and dad

My mom and dad

 

My dad in 1956

My dad in 1956

 I’ve written much about my dad.  You can read more about him here… 

Celebrating (and Missing) My Dad with Hope (January 10, 2013)

Honoring My Dad and Glorifying My Father (January 10, 2012)

My Dad’s Birthday (October 4, 2013)         

Happy Birthday, Dad! (October 4, 2012)