Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Book Review: 7 Women and the Secret of Their Greatness

I enjoyed this book on a number of fronts.

1. I was surprised by some of the women he chose to feature.  Two of them I hadn't heard of before and one of them, Hannah More, I'm looking forward to exploring. She sounds fascinating. 
2. Each one of these women lived their beliefs with the wholeness of who they were.  It wasn't lip service or just giving positive assent.  They each in their own fashion paid high prices to live out their convictions. Inspires me.
3. There was a simplicity to each one.  As if to say, this is what I believe, this is who I am, this is what I'm doing and just went about doing it without fanfare, immediate results, or a fan base. 
4. I could read a bit before bed each night without missing the big picture because it wasn't needing to be a large chunk of time reading and processing. 
5. I connected with Mr. Metaxes' writing style.  I definitely planning to read at least two more of his books:  Amazing Grace about William Wilberforce and Bonhoeffer. Sign me up! 

so...thumbs up and recommend. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Super Powers

Relationships hold incredible power.
I think it's our universal super power.
That along with the power of Choice.
One question my kids heard frequently, and sometimes still do, is 'Are you using your super powers for good or for evil?' (any other DC & Marvel fans out there? LOL)

When we take whatever measure of influence we have and work to create safe places for people to be real and whole, it can become transformational in others lives.
And realistically, our own.
We change too as others in our intimate world change.
It may take years.
Parents have been dealing with that for centuries.
You invest, invest, invest for many years, days on end, sometimes one moment at a time and it takes years to witness what kind of person  your child chooses to become.
Yes, nature holds a measure of influence, and nurture wields great sway.
But their choices of  'am I going to embrace what I've been taught as my own thought and base my life upon that decision,'  we can only wait to see the evidences as they make themselves known in time.
Their super powers revealed.

We also can take the measure of influence we have and with unhealthy habits, create chaos & havoc in peoples lives.
Which is transformational in a negative direction.
Both directions have consequences.
I truly believe there will come a day we be able to see across eternity the impact of our relationship choices and I wonder what the experience will  hold.
Will we stand amazed at how Love shared brought healing, hope and wholeness?
Stand celebrating the beauty created?
Or completely undone at the opportunities missed?
Or even crushed at how our unhealthy behaviors made a contortion in someone else's life?
Or a measure of all of that because consistency is hard to maintain?
I'm so grateful for grace and that His power is made perfect in my weakness.
Not a casual (and incorrect), oh nothing I do really matters because Jesus takes care of it anyway, kind of grace.
But a costly grace that knows my human weakness and loves, loves, loves anyway.
His vast ocean of grace.
Grace being one of His super powers.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Ministry of Distraction

We say that sometimes when we catch a distraction. 
Seems like the older I get, the more things distract me, but ...huh?  What was I saying? 
Distraction can be a powerful, practical friendship tool.  No, really. 
Life can be hard.  
I know, you haven't thought about that for like 10 seconds and there I go reminding you. Ugh. 
We usually don't need much reminding on the life is hard part.
Sometimes, a well placed distraction can bring life and energy and hope. 
Not ignoring the hard, but allowing something distracting to take us away from how painful or uncomfortable our situation may be.  
So the hard stops taking up all our vision and all our air.
For just a little while. 
A cup of coffee with a friend (generally never a bad idea.)
A walk together, hiking, biking, working on a project.
Even the mundane like running errands or grocery shopping.
The connection time in the car, maybe loudly singing along to your favorite oldies, or taking a few minutes to get your dance party on. 
It may even reframe the hard to find a better fit in the bigness of God. 

Even if the hard doesn't lighten, we can come away from a friend connection feeling a bit more energy and hope to continue until whatever we're dealing with passes. 
Who in your world could really benefit from a few minutes stepping away from the tough stuff you know is in their lives?
Even if you are in the midst of some super tough stuff of your own right now...
Be the squirrel. :-) 

It'll do you good too.