Monthly Archives: July 2013

What’s love got to do with it?

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ImageToday’s entry is going to get twisty-turny in where we end up here so come along for the ride.  This has been a tough week.  I can sum up how things have been going by two events that I experienced yesterday and another from earlier in the week.  

I was in my car trying to eat something for lunch and get back to my job in a reasonable amount of time.  Admittedly I was driving and eating at the same time which was probably not the best choice.  Further, I made the poor decision of choosing to eat from a container of cole slaw that came with the basically average fried chicken meal not meeting my expectations.  

I got the brilliant idea to put a plastic bag on my lap to hold the fold up cardboard box that my meal was presented in.  I opened the coleslaw and was pretty much savoring it when I realized my pants and “sitting area” were getting a cool sensation that didn’t feel normal.  I turned off the road to investigate what was going on and I found that juice from the coleslaw container was seeping out and running down my leg to my buttocks.  My pants soaked up the liquid like a dry sponge.   I got back to work, rushed to the bathroom, took off my pants and doused them with water.  Thankfully, I found a blow dryer to absorb most of the water and uncomfortably headed back to my work space.  For about an hour I felt like I was sitting in a wet bathing suit.  I laughed about the incident with my colleague and filed it in my mental cabinet under lessons to learn.  

Later in the day I picked up my daughter.  I parked and went to meet her.  As I got closer I realized my right sandal was sticking to the ground with a greater connection to the cement than the left one.  Yes, I had stepped in gum and there was a nice clump of grass attached to it.   Again to a bathroom to try and clean up the mess I had gotten myself into.  It was gross and disgusting.

Earlier in the week as I walked my dog a neighbor’s pet ran out to let my dog know who was chief.  He showed his teeth and took a patch of fur from my dog’s curly locks.  There was no yiping involved so I assume in doggie communication some restraint was shown by the big bad dog that chased after mine and he was basically saying let it be known, I’m the boss.  After I gave the attacking dog my best Cesar Milan “ch” and then sternly said no, the dog cowered a bit and went back to his home.  My dog went about her merry way.  The joke of it is my dog just wants to have fun.  She’s not looking to be boss of anything.  I guess the approaching dog just needed to make sure of that. 

Those silly incidents sum up the week I’ve had in all areas of my life.  And I’ve been questioning a lot.  Not about cole slaw and gum- why God why?  No, those types of situations just demonstrate the craziness that surrounds me- often because of my own poor choices.  Sometimes to no fault of my own.  They make the tougher life issues palatable in some way perhaps?  Maybe they just put a real spin on how I sometimes take my life issues too seriously.  

At work I’ve been battling against the forces of non-sensical decision making and it’s tiring.  I question back and forth is it maybe me that’s not making sense?  Can a system invented by so many well meaning and smart people be so off course? 

I listen to the rantings on radio programs about what political view is right and why the other party is so wrong.  I hear stories in the daily news about current events that involve one group of the masses vying to get a first look at the new born future King of England and another group trying to make sense out of a devastating life altering event that has people greatly divided and arguing over racism and gun laws.

Locally, a family man went out for a run the other evening and didn’t come back.  A search party has been looking for three days.  He was finally found, dead, by a construction worker who was working in the area.  There may be foul play and there may not be.  It has not been determined yet.  Whatever the outcome, the lives of so many people are impacted by this devastating turn of events.  

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How does God maintain all of this?  How does he watch over it all?  What does He choose to be involved in and what does He watch from afar?  How does He say I need to let my people handle this on their own and how does He live with the poor choices people make when He chooses to step back and let them happen?  Is my current life struggle really important to Him?  Should I just handle it on my own and not involve Him? 

I try to humanize God because it’s what I can relate to.  I know we are made in His image so that leads me to take a literal view and assume that what I feel He feels.  

And there’s Jesus.  The way He managed life on earth day to day is beyond my scope of understanding.  I know the frustration of being surrounded by a dozen people with varying skill levels and opinions and trying to get them all to work toward the same common goal.  He’s the epitome of delegation and finesse.  And I need to study that more.  

He didn’t care about being popular.  He cared about doing what was right.  He cared about people – especially people no one else cared about- and didn’t pay mind to what anyone else thought of Him and His actions.

Are my issues important in light of all that is happening around me?  Is my pain insignificant in a world where people are giving up their lives for important causes, where people hunger and thirst, where types of people are treated abominably?

Once again, I have forgotten He is God.  He created the heavens, earth, stars, moon, sun, water, vegetation, animals, oceans and people. That should be enough to recognize His power and ability as well as making creative solutions.

ImageIn the Bible it says to imitate God (Eph 5)- live a life of love.  What’s love? Patience, kindess, not envious or boastful.  It’s not rude or selfish.  Love makes anger come slowly and it doesn’t keep track of what someone did wrong. It doesn’t delight in evil and loves truth.  Love protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres.

This makes me wonder if a lot of things that I think are important God is simply not concerned with because it’s not about love.  I’m probably due for a priority check.  If I wrote down the things that drove me crazy this week would they really be that important?  More important, did I show love this week?  Did I experience love this week?  Did I give love away?  Maybe love is the issue I should check myself on regularly.  

I cannot understand why people hate people who are not like themselves.  I can’t understand why a good friend would succomb to a terrible illness.  I can’t understand why people I work with can’t recognize the challenges they feed into with their choices.  I can’t understand why my husband and I can feel completely opposite on a current event issue.  Hey, I can’t understand why another dog isn’t nice to my dog.  I can’t understand why my daughter wants to have a lunch box of a certain style because a popular girl has one.  

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I can understand love.  I get what it means to be patient, kind, not envious or proud.  I know how to do that.  I get slowness to anger, not being boastful, trust and perseverance.  These are things I can work on.  I probably need a list near me to remind myself, but I can address each of my daily issues in light of love and maybe feel different about my life.  I’m going to put it to the test.  Hopefully I’ll have good news to report next time I write.  

If I fail, and it’s likely I’ll have a bit of failure along the way, I’ll remember sitting in cole slaw sauce and walking on a chunk of furry gum.   Then maybe I’ll look at myself in the mirror and say, “ch” the Cesar Milan way.  Most importantly, I’ll push to remember love and what it  means.  That God loves us which means all of those characteristics that define love, define God. 

There are just some unanswerable questions in life that we don’t understand.  He does.  What I constantly remind myself is that life on this earth is not what it’s all about.  We are here for a temporary purpose.  It’s what’s on the other side that is the long run and what we hope for in Christ Jesus.

Love has a lot to do with it, but it’s Jesus’ love, and not our own that has made the difference.  That’s what love has to do with it. 

 

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You’re Lovely Even With Your Scars

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Having just come off a week that rated high on the emotion scale I was angling to get back to the reality of my basic life. I’ve just returned from a trip to see family and friends that I left a few months back in pursuit of a new job opportunity with my family.

As I meandered through my lengthy list of in box messages I came to this video that a dear friend sent me shortly after I moved. It was one I hadn’t opened for some reason. It’s bold subject title was jumping off the page surrounded by a sea of previously read messages that I like to keep close at hand. I don’t file them so I have immediate access.

I suppose that might explain why I sometimes miss the pearls, like this one. Maybe the message was deliberately hidden from my view until just the appropriate time, and that time is now. Amy Grant is singing right to me. Her words poured right into my heart with a message as clear as a fresh spring.

Don’t try so hard- you’re lovely even with your scars. This was a week where I felt the source pains that had been covered over by the toughness of years of scars tissue. Going back to a place that I loved so much to people I care for so dearly brought back memories, both good and bad.

I was trying so hard- on many fronts. I couldn’t savor the beautiful time I shared with so many dear people because I was trying so hard. I would love a “do-over”. It won’t happen. I lost hours that are so precious. I was focused on too many things that took away from the blessings of being present.

So this song and its words are pressing against me in hopes that I will learn something. I tried too hard…to measure up, to do it all, to be a great daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, friend, listener, jokester, consoler, counselor…I grabbed for it all and I ended up empty. I tried so hard. I couldn’t be the person I’m designed to be.

Part of trying so hard was due to my emphasis on the causes of my scars. They must have been bulging. I forgot that underneath those scars is newness, protected goodness that resides within.

It takes a lot to admit that God created me, loves me, wanted me, gave me a purpose and family and friends. I am to be here. I partner with others to be a voice in the chorus. I’m lovely even with my scars to Him who matters most.

So tonight I need to spend this time with myself reorganizing my plans- not trying so hard to measure up. I am lovely even with my scars and so are you.