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I Remember Exactly…

My parents’ generation had JFK’s assassination, the moon landing, and the Apollo 13 return as their “I remember exactly what I was doing when I heard about…” moments. My dad used to save the newspapers with those headlines.

My first one was the Reagan assassination attempt–announced over the intercom in school. I was in social studies class and I remember thinking, “Hey, this is one of those big deal things I’ll remember forever. Like when JFK got shot.” I felt like a grown up.

Challenger explosion–I was eating lunch at home on a break from work. I was wearing my Bears sweatshirt in celebration of the Super Bowl win. I felt shock, thinking, “Holy shit. I just watched people die.”

Then, the first Gulf War–I was stuck in traffic on the way home from work. Came home to see CNN’s live coverage of all those green tracers. It’s what made CNN a big deal. I felt even more grown up because I figured it was my generation’s turn to send our friends to war. And they went.

9/11–I was feeding my infant daughter and watched it all live on Good Morning America. I didn’t know what to do. I felt like a child and called my dad.

There are also the private moments–An ugly car crash that should have killed me as a teenager, my mother’s illness and death, the first time my future husband brought up the subject of marriage, my sister’s illness and death, the deal I made with God when I wasn’t getting pregnant with my first child, the day I found out I was pregnant, and on they go.

What are your moments? Do you ponder them in your heart? My private moments may not be newsworthy to rest of the world but, they are etched in my soul. I have to believe  they are to be revisited now and again. I dare you to revisit yours.

Woman!., :) :( How do you hear?

Years ago, a great friend and bible teacher told me that Jesus did not speak harshly towards women. She was leading a group of women in a retreat and we were looking at Jesus’ encounters with various women in the bible. Interestingly, every time we read aloud when Jesus said “Woman”, we read sternly. “Woman!” I guess we assumed Jesus was perpetually irritated with us and the women of his day. It hadn’t occurred to us that he was being gentle. “Woman,” Or speaking with compassion “woman :(” Wouldn’t the bible be easier to understand if emoticons had been a literary tool available back then?

I want to challenge you the next time you read Jesus’ encounters with the woman at the well, Mary and Martha(pre and post Lazarus’ death), the woman caught in adultery or his own mother, read them out loud several times and use a different attitude each time. You might want to insert your own emoticon to remind you of Jesus’ heart and intentions toward women.

I’m not a bible or historical scholar. I know that in his time and that culture, women were secondary. Considering Jesus came to earth through a woman, spoke directly to women publicly, wept with them, and appeared in resurrected form first to a woman(at least as it is recorded), I can piece together that He did not consider woman secondary beings. So try it. Read and re-read. Then sit in it for a moment and breathe.

“…under the bed.”

Did any of you hymn-singin’, grew-up-in-church people ever play the add a phrase game? It’s the game where you add a phrase to the end of hymn titles and then giggle? For example, “Nearer My God To Thee” becomes “Nearer My God To Thee, Under the Bed” or the truly scandalous, “My Jesus, I Love Thee…Under the Bed”. I was indoctrinated into this practice the first time I met my future mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law. Lifelong women of God with a twinkle(and a little mischief) in their eyes!

Lysa TerKeurst writes of something similar in today’s Proverbs 31 Ministries daily devotion. She proposes adding the phrase, “so that I can love who?” to the end of bible verses. Here is an excerpt:

I started reading Bible verses by adding on a little question/challenge to myself at the end: “… so that I can love who?”

For example, Romans 12:2a, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (NIV) … so that I can love who?

There is someone in my life who needs my love but I’ll only be able to do it if I let God change my mindset. I need to add this little pop – a new expression of my faith through love.

Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (NIV) … so that I can love who?

She notes that adding this little pop to our regular everyday lives can give us a fresh motivation to live out our faith. Couldn’t we all use a little something new? To read the entire devotion by Lysa, click here.

A few of my favorite? things

Had our first campfire of the season yesterday. I hate dousing campfires. Everything seems so dark and cold. And being a person of depression, my mind immediately thought of a list of sad things.

Dousing a campfire

Anakin Skywalker turns to the dark side

Closing of the public pool for the season

Having to get out of bed on a chilly morning when  you’re all wrapped up in a comforter

Waking up 10 minutes before your alarm goes off

Ice cream falling off your cone onto the ground–includes gum and suckers too.

Stepping in a wet spot on the floor in  your socks

Waiting in line for an hour for face painting or a balloon animal and they close with the kid in line in front of you.

Craving a food at a certain restaurant and finding out they are out of it or don’t serve it anymore.

Ok, enough. What are some happy things? Or maybe you have a few sad things  I didn’t include. Enjoy! 😉

What I “got out of” church this weekend.

After two weeks of craziness, I finally got to go to church this past weekend. I hate not going to church. I feel like I’m missing out so I was excited to go. At the same time, I felt blah–just feeling kind of down with a MONSTER headache and same ol’ pain deal. I did my best to connect with the singing and the message and for the most part I was hanging with it. Greed vs. Generosity. Christianity is not an add-on or something you do. C.S. Lewis quote: “I haven’t come to torture your natural self but to give you a completely new self.” The Gospel is the epitome of generosity. From Mark 10:5-8 “freely you have received, freely give.” The Gospel demands more than you thought and offers more than you could imagine. See Scott? I was totally listening with that glazed over look on my face!

Light bulb moment though was when Scott simply mentioned that for some people in that room, this might be the first time they heard or it truly resonated that God gives to them freely–not because the good list is a little longer than the bad list–because God is generous. So now my brain gets totally excited thinking that somewhere in that room, someone’s life needed a change and they were receiving it right now. Someone needed a change in their relationships, addictions, thoughts of self or pain and they were receiving it right now. Church, in that moment, stopped being about “wish my foot didn’t hurt” and started being about “pray that the ‘someone’ will yield an open heart to Jesus”.

My perspective about church has shifted dramatically over the last few years thanks to the Orchard. It’s not about me. It’s not about me. I have received an amazingly generous gift in the Gospel. Freely, I must be able to share this in word, deed or spirit and get excited that someone in that room will soon be telling a new story about their life. And that absolutely rocks!

Rethinking evolution-sort of

Pretty sure my dog has developed thumbs.

I was so proud of myself. I had the breakfast dishes cleaned up and food put away plus fed the dog BEFORE taking kids to school this morning. Feeling confident. I returned home to an empty container sitting on the floor, that used to hold a pan of cornbread from last nights dinner. Somehow, my dog knocked the closed tupperware container off the counter, wrestled the lid off(see my first statement about thumbs) and ate the entire pan of cornbread–about 10 pieces. Oddly, he left behind the napkin. The minute I saw that and gasped “Nooooooo!”, Champ immediately ducked his head and went right to his crate and laid down. Jerk. He must have been inspired by Denver’s appearance on Good Morning America yesterday.

I Can’t Sleep

Some of the greatest creativity from my children comes 5 minutes after they have gone to bed. Periodically, we hear a door open and the slight sound of either shuffling feet or the slap slap slap of the flat footed among them coming down the hall. “M-o-o-o-o-m?” And even if Doug is sitting right next to me still they ask for me. “Ye-e-e-s?” I reply. “I can’t get to sleep.”  And then the fun begins. What will it be this time? Monster in the closet? Have to go to the bathroom? Get a drink? Body part hurt? To these excuses I say CHILD’S PLAY. Here are some of the better ones.

  • “If I close my eyes it makes my eyes hurt.”
  • “Every time I close my eyes, they just pop back open.”
  • “My body says it doesn’t feel like sleeping.”
  • “Are you making popcorn?”
  • “I forgot the memory verse from Wahabu can I turn on the light and look it up?” (Tempting to allow, but no.)
  • “The girls are talking and I tried to yell at them through the vent but they won’t stop. Can you tell them to stop?”
  • And of course, “What if there’s a tornado?”

So tell me. What do you hear out of the mouths of your babes?