Where You Stand

Don’t you hate it when people ask where you stand? On politics, social issues or normal everyday things? It seems everywhere we turn, someone wants to know where we stand.

On politics, social issues or normal everyday things? It seems everywhere we turn, someone wants to know where we stand.

It seems everywhere we turn, someone wants to know where we stand.

Sometimes, it can be unnerving to explain your position. It is especially exasperating when your answer is clearly not what the person wants to hear. Mostly when some well-meaning person (or information seeking) asks where you stand, they are expecting you to choose a side specifically.

There are moments when your response is brutally disappointing.

Sometimes you choose your own side, by stepping out on faith and being like Jesus.

Sometimes you choose to do what is right and biblical, regardless of what others may think.

Sometimes you make a prayerful decision instead of hustling to fight or campaign for a cause.

Sometimes, you choose a side, and leave the rest up to God, recognizing he is always in control and he always has a plan. (and get back to living)

Maybe instead of asking people what they think of a current situation or issue, we should be asking them if they care at all. I don’t mean to be callous, but let’s face it, some may have big life things they are dealing with. Those things may be bigger to them than the information seekers agenda. Maybe they already decided, and it’s over for them. Maybe they need to get back to their life.

Is this you?

Maybe there is a crisis of epic proportions you are dealing with. Financial craziness, sick family members, aging parents and workplace stress are a few things which tend to take precedence over choosing a side. After all, you have a life to live. There are responsibilities and accountability to your family. There is a calendar with obligations, kids activities and grocery shopping. There is personal wellness to be considered.

For some of you, when things come up in the community, school or church which warrant choosing a side, it just isn’t your jam. There are days when the side you choose must be your own. Choosing to deal with your own life is not a bad thing- it’s a biblical thing.  You have to take care of your own house first- when I say house I mean your personal wellness, family, or the actual home.

You choose not to be so involved in the politics of the places and people around you. You have an opinion, but you choose to keep it to yourself and move on. You choose to not focus on social issues, church politics or school board decisions. You choose to focus on Jesus and what he expects of you.

He says to be still. Sometimes, you don’t have it in you to fight in a situation, because you are hanging by a thread personally.

He says to love one another, so when sides are chosen and fights get picked and rooms become awkward, you choose to stay back, away from the chaos.

He says to build his kingdom, spreading the gospel. When choices must be made to move forward with his plan, you move forward, because going backward is not biblical and doesn’t make any sense. You do it quietly because all you can do is be obedient to the Holy Spirits voice and part of that is living.

He says to give it all to him, so you give it all to him- your children, your family, your spouse, your time and your money, because nothing is more precious than Jesus.

 

If this is you, and you are tired of the drama which surrounds making a choice or choosing a side, be done with it. Make your decision quietly. Ask your questions of educated, considerate people. Ignore the negative, choose to look at the Bible first, the physical facts next.  Find out where your faith lies. Cast your decision. Lay it down for Jesus and he will show you the way.

25 to Life: A Small Reflection

25 years to life.

Sept 12, 1992 my John and I were married. We were kids. I was 18, he was 19 and we had no idea how the future would play out. After 25 years of wedded bliss and blister, this is what I think. This isn’t meant to be advice, but rather a reflection.

Having our kids early paid off in dividends.

We popped them out fast too. 1993- it’s a boy. 1995- it’s a girl. 1997 -it’s a boy and 1999 -it’s a boy. Six years, four kids, for real. Chaos ensued for approximately 10 years. For that period of time it was all goldfish crackers, diapers, and laundry.  Then, we noticed something amazing. We had four capable little people, each with their own minds and hearts. They each had their own way of doing things, communicating and just being themselves. They fell in love with dance, music, scouting and being outdoors. They loved their family fiercely, spent time with their grandparents and loved just being together.

Over the course of the past twenty-five years, we focused on family a lot but we always put our marriage to one another first.

When you put your spouse at the top of the priority list, amazing things happen in your family. A certain level of respect is reached. There is a rather large amount of trust built up between you as a married couple, and as parents to your children. The stability our kids had while growing up impacted them greatly. They know what commitment looks like.

Enter the teen years- which we barely survived, and I mean each of us. We didn’t come out unscathed, but we have all learned some valuable lessons about respecting boundaries, loving unconditionally and covering our tracks. (which none of my kids has ever done very well- mom always finds out) In June of 2017, we graduated the last one. We, technically on paper and school bus routes, are empty nesters. Not everyone has moved out, but that is a process. When they are ready, those birds will fly and I will get a library.

Here are my top ten twenty-five year things:

(subject to change)

**Someone should give you a 25-year wedding shower. I am talking registering at the big stores. Getting new towels, curtains, cookware, dining room suite and living room furniture. Our stuff is WORN people. I mean worn.

** Grace needs to be given in tremendous amounts when we don’t answer the phone because we have time to sit in a hammock.

**Don’t ask to borrow my car- it’s the only one I have and I intend to keep it for a while.

** Grandchildren are not optional- of course we want them. But we also reserve the right to say no and go to Red Lobster instead.

** Don’t act surprised when I ask for your help with a project. Nothing has changed, I still need you for physical work sometimes. I didn’t get taller or stronger just because ya’ll moved out.

**If you don’t want all your boxes of high school stuff, then what do I want with them? GOODWILL.

** On occasion, we may want to have dinner with no kids. That means sitting at the bar at some restaurants to avoid families like ours. (true story)

**Simplicity is the best way to go. We don’t need you to be extravagant. We want your time, not your things. Whether friends or family- you are important to us.

**Don’t ever touch my coffee pot. It is set up on a timer. (sounds fancy, I know) It will make the coffee when I need it, so I can function normally because, after twenty-five years, everyone needs coffee.

** Prepare for us to say no sometimes, cause I am hanging out with my spouse today, and we are pretty much always a package deal.

Twenty -five to Life.

Best sentence ever.

 

Embracing My Scarlet Letters

 

The Scarlet Letter.

You know how the story goes.

A Woman makes a choice.

(she commits adultery and ends up pregnant, while her husband is thought to be lost at sea.)

The general public (busybodies) uncovers her secret.

Clearly a pregnancy cannot be hidden forever, and adultery is considered a top ten sin.

The Woman is forced to wear a scarlet letter on her chest, so the general public knows she has done something unforgivable. (as if she didn’t already have enough on her plate to deal with.)

It’s a fool proof plan of accountability.

Except, it isn’t. Read More

Love Is: You

Love.

What does this word mean to you?

For some, it means butterflies and flushed faces. It means whirling feelings and emotional highs. But the purpose of love has nothing to do with emotion. It requires action, sacrifice, and commitment. It commands unconditional favor and unwavering solidarity.

Love is a wonderful thing.

But what are we doing with it, because of it, for it? How are we expressing our love to those who need it most? How do we know who they are? Read More

Five Simple Words : On Grief

When my dad passed away, I was prepared for some things. His death was a gift in the end because he suffered so. I know the moment Jesus took his hand. It was exhilarating. As a Christian, there were certain things I was equipped for in the days and weeks to follow. The newness of his absence was the one thing (and still is) that I cannot get my head around. The other thing? The things people say because let’s face it, what do you say? Read More