Friday, February 14, 2014

Something I have never written about...

Before I had Millie, I used to tell people that My College Fantasy had become My Current Reality...but it was more of a nightmare.  I lived in a Boys Dormitory.  Noisy, chaotic, pranks constantly, running around in underwear, and of course...the smells.  Those smells that come from sweat, showering without using shampoo or soap, body changes and of course...excretion.

Excretion...yep, that's what this post is about.  Hang with me, I promise it will be worth it.

One of the tools that We teach people to asses the health of their spiritual life is affectionately called MRS.GREN.  It is the simple stages of life for any living organism.

  • Movement-Respiration-Sensitivity-Growth-Reproduction-Excretion-Nutrition

If it's good enough for 8th Grade Biology, it's surely good enough for me!
It's funny, having a room of grown men and women, many with advanced degrees, still snickering when we say the word Excretion...all the mom's usually roll their eyes!

What do we mean by Excretion?
Glad you asked. Simply this: The act of Lament and Repent

Simple?  HOW exact does one do this, well?

VERY GOOD QUESTION!  Here is my conclusion.  Lamenting is the act of grieving what we die to and Repentance is literally a change of mind, which changes the course of our actions.  Let's Break it down (yes, you may beat box if you'd like...ok, that's enough)

Lament
If lamenting would have been a course in College, I would have taken it.  A few times.  And then, I would've taught it.  I am, what some may call, an intense person.  I test as a Base Prophet on the Five Fold and am an INTP on the Meyers-Briggs.  {If that is all jibberish to you, then just believe me when I say I can be intense.}  Lamenting, is a learned art, it truly is.  I think I did it accidentally, or naturally for my whole life.  But it wasn't until I was 30 that I learned how to and the importance of Lamenting.  It is literally the act of Grieving.  Giving something it's due respect and the space to mourn that is required.  We do this for people, for animals, for tv shows!  Why then, do most of us not do it for relationships, dreams, personal desires, our hopes for our children?  Christ told us to "Pick up our cross daily and follow him".  Where do we think he's going with that cross?  The Mall?  Church? Bible Study?  He's going to DIE!  It is a daily call to die.  To our relationships, our dreams, our personal desires, our hopes for our children.  It is not up to us, nor about us, and we live in the tension of the in-between where bad things happen to all of us. And that, is painful.  You are lying, if you say it isn't.  You are delusional if you continually say it will only make you stronger ( which is true, but stop saying it...all the time...please).  We need to grieve the things that we die to.  They don't die, they aren't on that cross, we are.  We are choosing to die to those things.  Give yourself time to Grieve, I don't believe that God intended for us to ignore those feelings that he put inside of us.  I think it's a gift, so that we know how much it means to Him!

Repent
Now what?  Am I just supposed to Lament forever, become one of THOSE people?! (tempting) No, we are supposed to Repent.  Metanoia - a change of mind.  Before the Spine could be explained, physicians referred to the Noose Man.  Literally they pictured that there was a Noose around your neck with the knot at the base of the head and your body "hung" from it.  (Think more puppet that hanging death).  As the Knot was turned (by the decisions of the mind) the body had know choice to but to follow.  That is where the word Metanoia comes into play.  A changing of the mind, is not simply just that, it means that the body (life) will follow.  You change your direction, trajectory, way of life.  If that seems to be something that is easier said than done, we have another tool called the Learning Circle that we use to help people do just that, Hear from the Lord and Do something about it.  Repent and Believe.

You see, that is the Beauty and Joy of this whole process.  We are called to follow Christ into his death, which means that we get the resurrection too!  It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  Yes, you may be called to die to your own personal dreams, but He will raise into a dream that is more than you can imagine or hope for.  Yes, you may have to die what you hoped your children would become, but He has greater things for them, and He has what they need to bring those to reality.  We are called to die to ourselves and live a resurrected life in Him!  It's a beautiful exchange.

So here's the challenge:
-Do you need to lament an area in your life you have had to die to?  It may be something recent or something a long time ago?
-Do you need to repent?  Have you been lamenting long enough and need to have a change of mind, and hear where the Lord wants to lead you next?
-Do you need to make a choice to trust what He has for you, is better than anything we could want for ourselves?
-Do you need to Trust that if He started a Good Work in you, He will be Faithful to complete it?

You are loved.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Temptation of Loneliness

  I could start by writing about why I'm writing...how I've tried to start this thing back up SEVERAL times over the past year...how the Lord currently speaks to me in Blog Post Titles...or ...I could just start.

Life is not easy.  We have all heard it, most of us somewhat believe it, all of us have experienced it.  It is a statement that is not contextualized, dependent on environment or circumstance; it touches all of us. Somehow, I feel as though I am entitled to a "pass", at least a little bit every now and then, can I get an
"Amen"?!
If you've read the "about me" section, then you know that I have 4 children, ranging from ages 13-7.  3 boys at the front, and one caboose named Millie.  What you may not know about me, is that I, am an introvert.  That's right, a socializing, conversation carrying, sometimes first to speak, Introvert.  Although I'm pretty extroverted, with 4 children and a chatty husband, exhaustion comes often.  I have discovered that there is at no point in the day, a MOMENT when someone isn't either moving or talking.  Even whilst sleeping, there is ALWAYS noise! {Insert Snoring sound effect here}

"Where are you going with this Court?"
Sorry, I'm working back up to my Blog writing...deep breath

Ok, where I'm going is...
Life is not easy...and when it gets hard, I've noticed I have a temptation to run to loneliness.  I have written it off as the following:
-I'm a private person.
-I don't want to bother people.
-It's not all about me
-I'm an Introvert and keep things to myself
-It's for me to work out with Jesus
-It's just a problem that I have within myself
-I will work on myself

But here is what I really am saying:
I don't want anyone in on this with me.  Inviting people into my life equates to High Accountability, death of pride and laying down what is best for me alone.  Other people can win, when I refuse to go it alone.

So that's it.  That's the 3AM for all you speakers out there.

I have grown accustomed to, and somewhat comfortable with, the slow, easy hum of loneliness.  It lulls me to sleep some nights, the masquerade of strength becomes cemented on my face, the furrow in my brow conveys that I can handle a lot and my capacity is quite large.

I have bought in to the lie...you are can and are meant to handle this on your own.  No one else will get it and I know what is best.

Lies.  Meant to Kill, steal and destroy my joy and my influence in The Kingdom.

Recently Mike Breen put out a blog post referencing the Missio Trinitatis.  Yeah, I know Latin isn't my thing either.  This is an AMAZING read and a profound truth.  And it all boils down to this.
If I'm to live as Jesus did, then I am designed to live in family.  Not just friendship, not just community, but, life giving - die to my own dreams - you have no choice but to deal with us - family.

Loneliness is not just a bi-product, it's a temptation.  It feeds a lie that we are meant to be independent to remain special.  To matter.  To be the winner.

I don't know how far this rabbit hole leads within my own life, but I know that My Family walks beside me the whole way.  I have a shepherd who leads me, with love and discipline (rod and staff) and a calling that is bigger than my wants.

I know that this life is not easy, but I NOW know that it doesn't have to be lonely.

So, I ask you the questions that keeps me in check with the Temptation of Loneliness:
If you win, who else wins?