Thursday, August 29, 2013

Anthems for $500 Alex

This song.


Powerful words.  Incredible imagery and story telling, my favourite kind of song.  I love it, and it fits the bill for Anthem of This Season. You have anthems too, right? I can't remember not having one.  My anthems are usually songs that grow courage and conviction; songs that I could listen to, or play on the piano and belt them out endlessly because they so perfectly describe life, where I want to go, and how I want to get there.  

I'm pretty sure the idea for this song comes from Matthew 14:22-33- where Jesus and then Peter walk on the water.  Often the story is used as a call for greater faith - we focus on the part where Peter starts to sink. "Have more faith folks - don't be like Peter". 

I wonder if we miss the point, or at least a point there - Peter was, after all, the only one who got out of the boat.  

What is certain is that if you do jump out of the boat  the other people left behind might think you're nuts -because after all, they aren't even sure if you're following Jesus onto the water.  It might just be a ghost.  Or you might be crazy.

But won't we do more for the kingdom of God if we get out of our safe little boats and walk where Jesus calls us?

I think for any of us with faith in Christ there is a place we've been asked to go, something we've been asked to do that requires incredible faith, trust and courage. 

I'm really good at those things when I'm kind of able to see or know how things are moving or where things are going. 

I realized, however, (for the 500th time in my life) this past week, that faith - because I can understand, courage- because there is no risk that I can see, and trust- because I can see where I'm going to land, is control wearing a cute dress and that's about it.

Where have you been called out onto the water?

Faith begins when we're willing to say "Lord, if it's you, tell me to come out onto the water".

Trust builds when we recognize the voice that simply says:  "Come."

Courage grows when we leave everything that we understand to be keeping us safe and we step out of the boat; where we begin to do the things that can not be done in our own strength, but only in the name of Jesus.

It's almost certain that we will mess up.  But I think I would rather fail in the water than stay safe on the boat. Out on the water is closer to Jesus.  That's where I want to be. 

You call me out upon the water - the great unknown where feet me fail
And there I find you in the mystery, in oceans deep, my faith will stand.

No water wings.  No flippers.   No boat.

Just faith, trust, courage and Jesus in the middle of the ocean. 

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters where you would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could even wander
And my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.

Amen.

Monday, August 26, 2013

That Time When I Took Pictures...

I've talked before about what a horrid photo documentation skills I have.  But there are times when I really do try.  And I know I can and should blame getting older/having too many children/ car accident/ being distracted/ being me/ shall I continue???  for forgetting a lot of things, but I just know that I have taken pictures at certain events for the express purpose of I don't want to forget because, oh look, brownies!

Well, what do you call it when you know.  YOU. KNOW.  you took a bunch of pictures of an event worth documenting and now you can't find them?

What do you call it when you write the post with said I would bet my life I'm so sure I took them photos in mind and then you can not CAN. NOT. find those pictures anywhere? ANWHERE!! on  your computers and backup files and you think maybe you should pay 24.95 to do an apple backup extractor thing but you did after all marry a guy who magics computers for a living and maybe he could find them but you kind of don't want to wait till he gets home because, well, do I really need to say why because?

What do you call it?????   (Aside from poor grammar and sentence structure?)

You call it welcome to my world,  that's what.

This was, afterall, going to be part of the great blogging about nothing and everything comeback that my 30 loyal followers, plus my Mom have been waiting for.  But maybe my life is meant to be like those deep thinkers at www.despair.com have been saying for years:

MISTAKES:
It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.


And if that's true, I might need to rethink everything.  Or at least have some chocolate.

What's thrown you for a loop today?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Any Given Thursday aka for Kelly

My friend Kelly asked for a post.  Not a specific post - just a please write something, anything because apparently you still have a blog kind of request.

So I thought for a while and I wondered, what would happen if I just started to write?

It has been a while. But she may regret asking me to write - because I'm just gonna let it fly and see where we end up.

So far two paragraphs and two deletes.  Letting it fly isn't really working either.

Help me Kelly!

Let's see.

Right now.

Right now my house is quiet.  The one thing we do around here with unflinching consistency is quiet time. After lunch.  Whenever we are home.  We all settle into our own separate spaces and we practice, some of us better than others, being still.  Resting.  Away-ness from one another so we can better enjoy all the togetherness that makes life awesome. It is one of my favourite times.  Not just because I get an hour and half "off the clock" but because it feels so, I don't know, counter-culture maybe.   Sometimes my greatest goal in it is to be completely frivolous and to have nothing to account for, not even sleep when it is all over.  It  would be a great time for me to write more purposefully.  Hmm.  Something to think about.

There's often this funny-to-me conversation that happens at least, oh, once a week after the "How long is quiet time" question gets asked. (it's almost always an hour and a half, for the record)   And my answer is always, always, ALWAYS the same.  And yet, so is the conversation, proving the dilligence (or maybe it's lack of listening, but I'm trying to frame it positively) is something my kids don't struggle with.

The parler goes something like this:

What can we do during quiet time?

Reading or Resting.  That's it.  Same as always.

Can't we watch a movie?

No.

Or draw?

Nope.

Or paint? Play video games? Learn a new instrument?

Negatory.  Are you new here? 

And with that quiet time begins.

Why only reading or resting?  It seems arbitrary, and in many ways it is, except that it's a decision that was made in the early days of quiet time in order to cut down the number of questions and possibilities that come from their imaginations and desires... to the power of 5.  We have myriad books,  and anything else has the potential for argument, opinions, or actual mess, and quite honestly there is enough of that to deal with the other 12 hours a day that everyone is awake.

So quiet time is what's happening right now.  Except that my youngest two are half-talking and half-fighting with each other.  I guess I have to go and remind them of what quiet time actually means.  Again.

Again.

Here's a random thought for you, Kelly. (I'm guessing at this point, you might be the only one left reading, just because you're kind and this is clearly not the best writing I've ever done)

I think that "again" is an important word as a parent.  I should paint that on a canvas or stitch it on a pillow or something. To be willing to do whatever it is again.  How many times does take to teach a child kindness for life?  Maybe the answer is just once more.  Perhaps if I stopped looking for the end where there isn't one, I wouldn't find again so frustrating.  It's just part of my job as a parent.  To teach it again.  Once more.  With feeling. 

Sometimes I'm tempted to think my only job is to be my kids cheerleader and to wish I could ignore the training that needs to happen.  But what my kids really need is a coach.  Or maybe a trainer is a better word. Coaches and trainers worth their salt are also encouragers - but really, a cheerleader's only focus is what's happening now.  A trainer also must look to the future.

Again is what trainers excel at.  They keep coming up with new methods, new techniques, new strategies, all aimed at reaching a higher goal than the athlete can achieve today, because they see their athlete's potential.

Trainers become students of their athletes.  They want to know them as well as they can so they can train them as best as possible.  And let's not even go down that rabbit trail of how they don't worry about what the high jump trainers are doing if their athlete is made for swimming laps. No.  Let's not go there, but let's make the obvious connections. :)

Trainers believe in what that athlete will be capable of once they complete their training. That, at the end of the race is when the trainer will get the biggest thank-you for not letting me quit.  The biggest hugs, the biggest shouts of joy are reserved for crossing the finish line.

So that's what I thought of right now.  Sitting here in my living room, during quiet time.  It's just a regular Thursday I guess.

How'd I do Kelly?  Maybe the request should be a little more specific next time :)

What did you think of today?