Friday, May 25, 2012

Chronos and Kairos

I am no Greek scholar, but I appreciate the subtleties I find in the choice of words used in the Bible. 
In our everyday language, time is time. 
In the Greek, there is the passage of time, one second followed by another second....chronos.  
And there is the fullness of time, like when a baby is born, an opportune or strategic time...kairos. 
Our faithfulness in the chronos can lead to kairos.

This summer is momentous for us as a family in the accumulated effects of chronos leading to kairos moments.  
This summer my sweet honey and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  
Truly a gift from God.  
Such a long way from when I called off the wedding.  
Strategically, incidentally, one of the best decisions I made in the establishment of what having a healthy marriage would morph into over the course of time.
Who knew?  At the time it was just pain.
Our oldest just graduated from college and will be moving away to her new full time job in a different city.
Our middle has gotten a great job working in Alaska over the summer doing awesome man work.
Our youngest has 2 weeks left in 8th grade, then our 18 year journey of homeschooling will come to an end.
When we started out considering what to do with the postcard we received in the mail about kindergarten roundup, I never would have dreamed so many years would be spent investing in our kid's life education.  On so many fronts, I am inadequate.  
But by God's grace, I am obedient and determined.  
Chronos choices leading to kairos moments, every one.
Each of us making choices every day, small seemingly incidental choices that accumulate into the life we craft.  
Whether we're paying attention or not, whether we're intentional or not, we're crafting a life.
The only one here we'll get.
Then comes the time, whether we believe in God or not, that we will be faced with eternity's destination hinging on the life we chose to craft. 
There are no do-overs.
This is it.
And while I don't spend a lot of time agonizing over choices in the past I would do differently with today's wisdom, I do have regrets that teach me.
At some point along the way, I chose to step away from the big vision I had for my life and embrace whatever a beautiful life He would have for me would mean. Joys and sorrows. 
I hand You over the illusion of control and embrace You and Your design, whatever that looks like. 
Father, how do I love You and love them today? 
How do I faithfully steward the blessings you've given?
How do I not screw this up in my humanity? :-) 
He's so good. And gentle and kind. Such a great dad. 
And my hopeful prayer is to spend eternity with Him and as many as I can influence as possible. 
A more beautiful life I couldn't hardly imagine, the one I'm living.
What kind of life are you crafting?
Is it satisfying?  
Notice I'm not asking if it makes you happy.  
Happiness is fleeting depending upon circumstances.  Joy, true joy, is a gift that circumstance does not define. 
What choices can you make differently today that will send you closer to the life you would prefer?
Look at your chronos, moment by moment choices.  
Will the momentum they create lead you, like a boat pushed away from shore, closer to where you want to go? To the kairos you hope to see.
If not, change your choice.
You are the boss of your choice.  
You reap the consequence, for good or ill. 
Embrace your power of choice and use it wisely. 
All the time.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

And to the knitting

I've ruminated.
On with the knitting.
I've had 3 cups of delightfully fully caffeinated coffee on an empty stomach, so watch out. 
Ye have been fairly warned, proceed at yer own risk.  
(International Speak Like a Pirate Day is every September, never hurts to stay prepared for that.) 

Tonight the knitting/crocheting group that I'm a part of is going to a great yarn shop in the cities and I'm excited to go and to be with the ladies.
I'm a relatively new knitter, completely taken by surprise with how much I LOVE this after being intimidated by it for years. I started 8 months ago and like most everything else I do, I tend to jump in with both feet to knock out the uncomfortable learning curve that's just a part of learning new things. 
Really don't like that so I try to learn as fast as I can to get it over with as quickly as possible, like jerking off a bandaid from a hairy arm. :-) 
Immersion is my thing.  Truly self comforting behavior. LOL.
And with the knitting, there's a God story that began it and I'll just leave that for another post. 
I'm still knitting for loved one's birthdays, special events or holidays or needs we have around the house. (or the miscellaneous baby hat that's just toooo cute to pass up!) 
And I try to conquer new techniques with each project, so that helps with a sense of accomplishment. 
What I learn, I can teach someone else.  Love that!
Yes, I'm trying to figure out a Tea Cozy that I want to  make 'cause that's just a need...:-) Me thinks tackling Felting is in my future. 
One thing that has been a passive solution search is how to containerize the different knitting projects I have going. My friends have said I have Knitting ADD.  Whatever.  Squirrel!
There are some things I'm determined to be loyally committed too with singular focus, Jesus, my husband, my kids, the mission He has for me while on earth, my friends, that kinda thing.  Other stuff isn't vital in that regard, and I can indulge my need for change in ways that don't compromise my morals.  
Funny that sense of wanderlust. My parents moved with jobs all throughout my early life and every couple of years I get antsy for change. 
Hairstyles, clothes, cooking techniques, painting a room, and knitting.  
The distraction technique that we employed with our 2 year olds can be easily utilized for personal life management I find. 
Easy, less expensive fix compared to uprooting the fam. 

I found this really cute laundry basket at Target that's the holding spot for the little project bags I have going.
One thought was to take a coat hanging hall tree kinda thing and hang the see-through project bags on it.
But I'm still collecting ideas.  
One thing I have learned over the years is that an enthusiastic novice spends money on things she doesn't need. Trying not to do that. 
So if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. 

And a thought I'd leave you with for the day:
We may not have control over all that happens in our day, this is true.
We do, however, control how we process and respond.
Be in charge of you.  Own your decisions and their consequences.
Self control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. 
Join me in getting to know Him better. 
I know His empowering ability to walk through this life brings God glory and for the most part, keeps me out of self-generated trouble. :-) 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Time is not my own

I couldn't even write 'my' time is not my own.
What would life look like if I lived obediently, moment by moment, to what I know He's asked me to do, whatever that might be?

There are some truths that are as solid as bones and out of our gaze just as they are.
We know they are there, we can see the structure they provide, but we don't see the bone itself. 
For the one who loves Jesus, He has earned the right of direction in our lives and we, in theory, gladly bow the knee in humble submission to His kind intentions for us.
But sometimes....
It's like the daughter of a friend of mine once said when she was told to sit down, went to sit while saying, 'I'm standing up on the inside.'
Sometimes, I just stand up on the inside.
Infuriating the one-sided debate:  'sit down, you know it's truth, just do the right and timely thing'.  no arguing tone, just quiet declaration. While the other side, petulantly says, 'I don't feel like it. Later, maybe.' 

So when I know I should be doing something as simple as washing the dishes while I cook dinner, I leave them for 'after dinner' and in truth, after dinner becomes tomorrow morning. 
'Cause you know, it's more fun to knit than wash dishes. 
My desires instead of just taking care of business.  Putting play before the work I know needs doing. 
Not legalistically but gracefully holistically. The whole life in You being honored. A time for everything under heaven. 

I identify with my brother, Pauly who said in Romans 7:21 'I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!'

And when Jim tells us in James 4: 17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Father, help me this day, to not just be sorry for mishandling the fleeting gift of time you allow me.  Help me to understand I am standing in opposition to Your great holiness when I exalt myself in any fashion.  Pride, stubbornness, horrifying things in light of Your great holy nature. To play well when it is playtime and to work well when it is work time, whatever that looks like in the messy beauty of ordinary days with You. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Enemies and Friends

Not everyone who mistreats you is your enemy. 
Not everyone who treats you well is your friend.

In the parable of the persistent widow, Luke 18, the judge relents and grants the widow her requests because she's been so persistent saying in 18:5 'yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.' Granted it's a parable Jesus uses to teach a lesson and not a relaying of a happening that occured, it's not too much of a stretch of the imagination to think this fictional widow could have thought the judge her enemy all along the course of time he wasn't granting her request.  
Then there is Jael.  Sweet, kind, hospitable Jael we read about in Judges 4.  When the commander of the opposing army in a conflict happening in that moment comes to her tent, weary, seeking respite, she invites him in.  When he asks for water, she gives him milk. Battle fatigued, he sleeps.  While he's being refreshed in slumber, she quietly takes a tent peg & hammer and bangs it through his temple, killing him. I would suppose he lay down his head counting his blessings he came across such a friendly camp. 

Not everyone who mistreats you is your enemy.
Not everyone who treats you well is your friend. 

Father, bless us with your wisdom, the nudges of the Holy Spirit to guide us through our days, navigating well the relationships we have.  Let us trust in You, not leaning into our own understanding when the nudges come and we don't know why we feel the way we do and maybe can't even put words around the sense of caution we have. Father, by your grace help us to be loving in this generation, showing your love in practical, everyday ways to all we bump into while it is still called today. 
In Jesus' beautiful name.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The wisdom of Morpheus

"This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill -- the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill -- you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes."

"What you know you can't explain, but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad."

So says Morpheus from the movie, Matrix. 
Imagine..... how crazy an idea that one could live in a simulated world. 
And it seems to me, it's happening all around us. 
Sometimes we work so hard at living in ignorance of truth, what's really real.
And I'm including me in that.
We're busy.
Busy about many things. 
Lots of them important, many of them not.
We believe what we want to believe. 
Something is wrong with the world.
There is something comforting about order, tidiness, neatness, cleanliness, clear straight lines, boxes to check, lists to cross off, wiped counters, non-snotty noses, cars that have no McDonald's french fries on the floor. Plastic. Life with the blue pill.

I've chosen the red pill.
Funny thought that.  Jesus, you are my red pill.
Reality as You define it leaves the world to call me crazy.  
And I still know it's true.  
You are the way. 
The Truth.
The Life.
And life with You is messy. 
And wonderful. And scary.  And You take me places I'd never think to go and get me in circumstances I don't see a way out.  Introducing me to people You want me to love. 
But there You are, my light in dark places with the audacity to have a mischievous smile on your face beckoning for more adventures. How could one ever say no to that? :-) 
You truly make a genius life. 
There is still plenty that I would like different and I'm so grateful You're ok with my sharing my opinions with You. 
For however long I get to live, I am, without question, so astounded to have had the chance to do it with You. 
Help me always to live in truth. And love people big enough to share that with them. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hammock-ed in His love

Philippians 1:6
being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Praying for a friend of mine this morning and this scripture came to mind. 
Thank you, Father, for your sweet, tender care. 
Lately this concept of being 'hammock-ed' in His love has been just perking through  my thoughts. 
When we're lying in a hammock, we're vulnerable.
We're unable to make ourselves secure, we have to trust in the soundness, the integrity of how the hammock was constructed.  We can't make us stay up. :-) 
Relaxing into the hammock and simply enjoy being weightless, and held. 
Well held.
That is what the Father's love is like.
It doesn't matter if we don't feel like we deserve it.  If the truth came out, if all our history was shown for all to see, we wouldn't be loved. 
Nope.  That's not how that works.  There is something within us that wants to earn, to deserve. 
And He tells us to simply receive.  
He knows everything, He's seen what's happened, He gets our past trash.  
And loves us anyway.
Today, Father, help me.  By the blessing of the Holy Spirit, help me to live like a well-loved child, held securely in your love and freely give that to everyone around me. Enable me to be the change I want to see happen around me, start with me. 
In Jesus' beautiful name,