When Jesus was growing up, he gathered with other Jews to reflect on their heritage and hope, to hear the old stories about their ancestors. The world had begun in rebellion to God, who chose Abraham, who passed his faith down to Isaac and Jacob, whose descendants became slaves in Egypt, a multitude, crying out for deliverance, until God sent Moses, who led that multitude back into Jacob's land, Israel, where they struggled and grew into a great nation. God chose King David, a man after God's heart, and David built Jerusalem and worshiped God there. But inevitably Israel grew more rebellious than obedient. There was wickedness and revival, wealth and poverty, exile and return. Through it all, these words appeared over the doorways of Jewish homes through the centuries: "Hear, O Israel, The Lord God is One. You should love God with all of your heart, all your soul, all your mind, all your strength." Now, the most peculiar thing about Jesus was that he seemed to obey that commandment more completely than everyone else, but he was not harsh or self-righteous about his superior sensibility. By his unique nature and by his advancing devotion, Jesus developed into a superior position with God that made him truly humble, and then God called Jesus to begin his challenging ministry. But Jesus' message was too radical for the Judean authorities, who appealed to their Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, so that Jesus was crucified on a cross outside Jerusalem. Within days, Jesus' followers began saying they'd seen him returned from death, and the movement that should have been crushed quickly grew by the thousands, spreading out from Judea to the rest of the world, believers like Peter and Paul spread the message and raised up gatherings of "christ-ones", who believed that Jesus was once more alive and whole on the earth, by his Spirit, dwelling within them. Thus, now as then, Israel's hope stands fulfilled as often as Christ multiplies in the midst of God's people, who reveal Jesus, God's magnificence, both to earth and the heavens.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Summer is over.
It has been beautiful. I can't be too sad because I feel so rested and enriched and...re-set.
Last year was undoubtedly the busiest, most hectic year I have experienced to date.
Because of last year I have:
Become an expert in logistics.
Learned how to deal with setbacks.
Learned how to work hard and stay focused when I really want to just crash.
Learned that I don't have to cry when it gets too hard.
But if I do cry, nothing changes really, except that I cried about it. And that's ok. There are worse things than crying.
Learned how to find joy in practicing self-control.
Learned that I can actually lose weight! (20 pounds, and kept them off! That means I can do more!)
Learned that I can comfort myself when I get stressed, rather than depending on someone to tell me "it's all going to be ok."
Learned not to believe everything I think.
Learned to say "no" to things and not feel guilty. (sometimes)
Learned that doing things I don't want to do often leads to enjoying more of the things I can do. (Why shouldn't I be capable of more? Why sell myself short?)
Learning all of this and more was not easy. At all. It was very difficult. And I think that might have been the greatest lesson. I can do the hard stuff. I have had to do so much that I did NOT want to do. But I did it. Sometimes I did it joyfully and sometimes, not so much.
But I am better for it.
In the summertime, in Florida, I remembered how to rest. When we hit the brakes and all the activities stopped, I didn't know what to do with myself. I got to my sister's house and after a fabulous trip, the kids and I stayed with her for 3 weeks. I began to acclimate to a different pace. I slept 8 hours a night and took a 2 hour nap every day. I read or we went to the beach, or wandered the historic district. We laughed together a lot and drank wine and ate well and were happy. I learned how to keep a slower pace and restore sanity. Just remembering that time fills me with gratefulness. I managed that pace here at home (in spite of chores and feedings and household things) for a while, until the camps started.
In the last month the pace has gradually been increasing and with a new job and carpool complications due to my new schedule, I have been worried. Dreading the pinch of another school year like the last. But you know what? It isn't going to be last year. I am going to take what I've learned and apply it. I'm not going to let my life slip away from me. Last year- burning, hectic, heartbreaking at times and wild- was a building year. Those bricks aren't going to fall down under me. I will continue to build, continue to learn, continue to grow and continue to do hard things.
By the grace of God,
and a large helping of gumption.
Here we go.
Sunday, August 04, 2013
My fourteen year old son has been telling me about film camp and the movie they produced. The very first thing he said about the movie a few days ago was "We passed the Bechdel test!"
While he was writing the script, he went to the director and mentioned the above quote and then told the kid that he would like to make one of the female characters the hero of the story. Hooray! As an aside, he also mentioned that there was a boy there telling all these really bad jokes. One of which was:
Q:"What's worse than a bee sting?"
A: "Women's Rights."
Q: " What's worse than Women's Rights?"
A: "Two bee stings."
I was shocked (possibly naively) asked him how that joke would sound with "Women" replaced by a word such as "African Americans" or "Children."
It's my own fault. It's who I follow on twitter and subscribe to in my feeds. It's stirring and stirring and will no longer be ignored, no matter how much I tell myself that it. is. a. rabbit. hole. and that I don't have the time or effort to apply to understanding it, and if I don't understand or fully comprehend it and do something about it then I have no right to feel or talk about it.
Funny how my self-talk is the antithesis of all that is rumbling inside me. The argument is lazy. It's easy. Frankly, it's embarrassing to admit that the reason I haven't read and pursued these issues (at present the three front runners are Feminism, Human Trafficking and Hunger) in the past is because I just can't imagine how I'm going to manage to SAVE ALL THE PEOPLE. Because that's what it means when you understand a problem, right? You have to do something about it.
I am afraid to post these things because I judge myself harshly on the whole "practice what you preach" issue. But maybe I don't have to write books and preach sermons. I evidently have instilled some of this into my son without much preaching. Maybe I'm not the next Tillie Burgin. Maybe I just live it. It's not large scale. It's not earth shattering. But it's where I am. My mantra for right now is:
On that note, here are some links to good sources:
Sarah Bessey is a fav and this is one of many good articles on Christian Feminism.
As is Addie Zierman's series One Small Change is freeing, eye opening and a relief to women like me who want to do something, but hesitate because it feels so "all or nothing."
Danielle Vermeer's blog is also wonderful
and of course, Rachel Held Evans. Bless her.