New Look!

February 24, 2013

I decided that in all my free time I should sit on the couch next to a load of towels that Molly conveniently forgot to fold, watch the Oscars, shop for Easter dresses online with Parker, and bake chocolate chip cookies.  In deciding to do these things, I've also decided not to do one lick of grad school or regular school-related work this evening.  This means that I will not be upset if we end up having another snow day next week.  It may mean that a personal day is on the horizon.  Either way, I'm glad to have had an easy afternoon and evening.  (Real-time note:  Adele is now singing Skyfall.  I will not argue that she is super-talented, but are we not a little tired of her yet?  And, I appreciate her modesty, but girl needs a new stylist.  That said, Adele is free to point out any perceived flaws she might find in yours truly.)

This weekend has been one of those relaxing, easy, nice times that I have vowed never to take for granted.  Anna and Cora came in to visit at Mom and Dad's and nothing will turn a group of generally level-headed people into silly nuts like a baby.  We worked and worked to get Cora to give us an outloud laugh.  Nope.  Evidently that is reserved for her father.  I am also fully aware that I "hog" her, but ask me if I care.  She is so pretty and that brings me to this idea that a mom can really only discuss with people she trusts -- and I trust y'all.  Looking back at baby pictures, well 18 month old pictures of Lilah... Baby girl was huge.  Big.  Crazy big.  Mom brought out some pictures for the sole purpose of laughing at my child, and laugh we did.  I'm glad she's grown into her body.  She is just perfect and beautiful and I certainly thought she was then, too! 

This morning our church celebrated its 25th anniversary.  I love hearing about our history and how we began as a mission church on a side of town that is full of poverty and darkness.  Sometimes I forget about that because, well, I get so comfortable in my little bubble.  Today that darkness hit me right between the eyes.  I won't go into detail as it isn't my story to tell, but I hate that some women, especially those living in poverty, find themselves helpless, uneducated, and unmotivated to make a life for themselves.  I hate that they are blinded to the darkness that engulfs them.  I don't understand the mindset that things just happen to you.  I do understand contentment, but I do not understand that you might not want something better -- if not for yourself, for your children.  I do understand that life can deal us some pretty tough blows, that God allows circumstances beyond our control to develop our reliance on Him and our faith in Him.  The story  that I heard today honestly didn't have one element in it that I have not experienced in my life at some point; however, there were big differences in how those situations were/are dealt with and how prepared each of us were/are to work through them.  So, please understand I'm not looking at this while sitting in judgement of someone else.  I am looking at this as someone who has been blessed more than I can express with loving parents, family, and friends and with my salvation which plants me firmly in the Light despite the darkness of this fallen world that sometimes gets closer than I'd like.

I carved out some time to walk this evening and visit with my friend after I'd had to subject my mom to listening to me for several minutes about this.  We both have hearts that want to help these women we encounter.  What I noticed was that all our ideas exist already as government funded social programs that don't work.  I won't get into my politics here, but I think the key is that any program that provides financial assistance without a relationship is going to fail.  Churches can provide the relationship.  That's another element of my church that I have not really seen anywhere else I've attended.  We have staff and other individuals who POUR in to people, and they have poured into me and my girls and even my husband despite the fact that he does not attend a service except twice a year.  So, what do we do to help?  I tend to just want to boss people around.  Someone else might feel inclined to give them this list of rules that good church-goers follow.  It boils down to getting involved in others' lives, others who aren't necessarily like me.  My pastor said something to this effect this morning:  If you find that you are insulated by Christians, that no one in your life is not just like you are, then are you reaching anybody for Christ?  Big stuff to think about right there.  I live this every day; my life is most definitely not insulated, but that doesn't necessarily mean I'm doing what I need to do to impact anyone's life in spiritual way. 

I suppose, and I actually said this outloud tonight, that I allow the Enemy to speak more into my life than I should.  I entertain thoughts about how I'm not the one to do that or I wouldn't be right in this area of service because of this or that.  I'm going to spend some time really trying to discern truth when those thoughts cross my mind.  My eyes are being opened to the fact that I'm not really doing anything to serve right now -- at least in any capacity that involves life outside my four walls.  Today I had a chance to look into another world that I'm not a part of simply because my lot in life was different than someone else's.  It never escapes me that I could literally have been one or two decisions away from finding myself in the same place.  Thank you, Father.  You are so good and so gracious.

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