Friday, February 28, 2014

For When the Heart Doesn't Want to Be Generous

I'm linking up today with Lisa for Five-Minute Friday.  Come join this community for five minutes of writing with no editing! ;)
I John 3:18-"Little children, let us not love in word and talk, but in deed and truth."

It's quiet in the still and I roll over trying to rest my eyes and calm my tense neck muscles.  The pounding continues.  
My husband stirs, turns, and looks at me.
"What do you think of having our friend over today?"  
I look at him like he's crazy.  
"Honey, I have a sinus headache this morning and I'm not feeling great."
From the other room, I hear our son start to stir.
"Mommmmy!! Mommy! Help!"
I stand up, slip my fuzzy Cabela's house shoes on, get on my warm robe (because the house is frigid), and go scoop up our son and bring him back to our bed.
He squirms beneath our covers as we make him a tent, and snuggle with him.  
I look back at my husband and say, "Yes, we should invite our friend over today."
I'd gone through the week schedule mentally, and today would be a good day.
We get up, make breakfast, and start our day.  

I could have said no.  I could have chosen to say no.  Sometimes the heart doesn't want to be bothered; but for all the wrong reasons.  When it is in my power to do good to another brother, do I choose to do so?  It isn't always convenient to serve; but it is always right to love.  This choice is a direct act of the will on days when I don't feel like loving or doing but instead making up excuses of why it isn't convenient for me.  But when?  When will convenient, or organized come to my house?  Will I let my mountain of laundry become my excuse?  Will I ever be less busy?  

He comes, we share, we eat and we are blessed.  Not because my house was perfect, or my day convenient but because we chose to love in the everyday.  It's good to have a heart check like this.  (And for the record, after an hour the headache went away.) I'm glad I said yes.  I'm glad I chose to say yes.

How do you chose to serve when you don't feel like it?  What helps you get the motivation to love others when it is not convenient?  

Friday, February 21, 2014

Being Real in the Small

I'm joining up with Lisa Jo today for  Five Minute Friday.  If you want to join in...write five minutes without editing or backtracking. ;)

I've never been small (I'm 5 foot 8 1/2 inches), but I've always wished to blend in.  Sometimes into a surrounding corner, other times to become the flowery part of the wall paper.  One can imagine, then, my own surprise and frustration when I lived in a country where I'm nearly a foot taller than many of the women (but not all), about the same size as the men, and if that weren't all, my tawny brown hair and sky blue eyes set me apart from the locals.  If one wasn't careful, it was easy to develop an almost Ingrid Bergman attitude about being set aside for beauty when asked by several of the locals if one would star in a television ad as a model, or do a promotional for the school.  But I know better.  

Just because I can be chosen from a crowd of many because of my pronounced differences doesn't make me special.  I know enough to know that the smallest kindnesses are what really show what a person is.  That outside stuff---is just that.  In fact, some of the most beautiful people do extraordinary's not what they look like, it's WHO THEY ARE.

They do things like...
Wipe noses.
Champion noble causes.
Give up their seat on the bus for the elderly.
Change the toddlers clothes for the second time during the day while running late.  (Don't you wish toddlers could whisk into a different outfit in a Superman phone booth?)
Spend time caring for others while they are flat on their back hoping their bodies will heal.
Ask about the real life, the hard things, the struggles and don't shrink back after you've told them the truth.
Bring a meal.
Take courage to take small steps to change in the midst of great pain.  

It doesn't take a cape to be a superhero, it just takes time, love, and a good dose of being real in the small, the mundane.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Undoing

I was raised in a culture of doing, of pulling-up-by-the-bootstraps duty obedience, of making sure everything looks squeaky clean, of proving by your works your good name.
And this.  This is my undoing, the love of God.
We'd sit in judgment of what was right and good.  Those 'other' Christians, well, maybe they weren't Christians because they had the liberty to wear what they wanted, listen to what they wanted, and to eat and drink what they wanted.
And this, this is my undoing, the love of God.
I'd pray, desperate that God would accept me and that my salvation was real because some days it didn't feel real.  I had trouble with the 'rules'.   I'd fall into self condemnation and comparison of my own inadequacies to others to either prove I was okay(my own pride), or condemnation of others (also pride) so that I could prove I was better.
And this, this is my undoing, the love of God.
Is it possible one can live with the wrong heart attitude for such a huge portion of their life?
Is obedience, yes, is the very best way to show that we believe?  
I dare not say that obedience is not proof of belief unless there is a heart motivation that backs up that obedience.  A love that burns fire, and sears love for the neighbor, and love for God on the life.  Obedience can be duty, but it is so much more than that.  
And this, this is my undoing, the love of God.
For those who think 'they have it right' and 'they've got a corner on what is good and true' and 'this kind of music is the only kind of music acceptable to a believer', I no longer can claim any of this.
The old tradition has no power to save.  It speaks no peace or rest over the life of someone that sees life as perfunctory 'rules'.  
And this, this is my undoing, the love of God. 
 I've been given a life that God sees through the lens of His Son.  He doesn't see 'Lisa, who just lost her temper', or 'Lisa, who is a helpless sinner'.  He sees Lisa who He has put in His family, loved, given a name, given a place.  Lisa, who is welcomed and given an inheritance.  He doesn't despise this Lisa because He doesn't see His Son as despised.  
And this, this is my undoing, this love of God.
And for the love of God, I will be undone and changed.

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