Family, I’m frustrated. When your a Helping hand to those who don’t value your help… Puffy cheeks and prayers…
Family, I’m frustrated. When your a Helping hand to those who don’t value your help… Puffy cheeks and prayers…
Over the course of this weekend I have spent pure quality time with my parents. Not that I have never spent time with them. This time was different.
Although I hate the reason that brings them west of Houston, I love the unfiltered time. I can admit that I was distracted from homework, I really didn’t text as much, I even watched tv with them. God knows I don’t watch much television. (Let alone the programing they find entertaining.) It was the sheer presence of being in the same living space as them. My parents are interesting individuals. The don’t follow some of the principles that I’ve recently been exposed to. I’m not sure they had a value statement or core values chart for our family, as I am still scratching my head to create my own.(but) My parents are genuine, warm, loving people. They are honest and very open with me.
As the oldest of two, I have heard many of the things that I did wrong and right over the course of this weekend. I have also heard wisdom concerning many things that I will encounter in life. What I valued most: the walk around my neighborhood. My parents are both healing: one from a back surgery and it’s complications and the other, shoulder surgery and current back treatment. The got up relatively early on Saturday and walked my neighborhood with me. No complaints, and with a cane in hand, we shared a moment in health together. I loved it. I can deposit this memory and add it to a random visit to a pet adoption event. I didn’t have the pleasure of taking the black lab that I fell in love with home… but I was there with my parents.
This weekend I fell asleep with my face in my textbook on the floor of my living room. Not two feet away were, you guessed it, my parents. I cooked dinner for them. My mom, as she always does, found something to clean. My dad, found his favorite television show at 10:30, Perry Mason. It felt great. I miss them when they are gone. I realize how I took family time for granted as a child.
I would give this time up for no one. This is priceless. God blessed parents with children. Children are blessed by parents. The relationship is reciprocal.
I went to “Club Starbucks” (the 24/7 location in the Galleria area of Houston) and I stumbled into a 2 hour conversation with a friend and total strangers. It was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! We were all joined by a driving force, how to define a commonly used term. Now, the fact that individuals often put words into heavy rotation that they can not define is common place. This unlikely bunch: two undergrad students, a nurse (HBU alum?), two friends who have masters degrees, and an accomplished businessman turned non-profit owner, began a conversation attempting to accurately define the word “thirst” and ended up speaking about SO many other things. We talked about the fact that desires are insatiable, we clearly separated thirst from stalking or when it becomes a problem, and we unleashed some feelings I didn’t know I harbored for a old popular TV show, Family Matters.
The popular character Steve Erkle, played by Jaleel White, was called a friend to character “Laura”. My rebuttal was that they were never friends. My argument was that Steve did everything he did for Laura out of love for her. He had an obsessive stage love that I believe Dr. Gary Chatman mentions in the 5 Love Languages. Only, because this was a scripted television PROGRAM, it lasted longer than two years. Laura used Steve and played on the fact that he would do anything for her. After he moved on to his relationship with the character “Myra”, Steven became and object of affection for Laura. She was jealous. How could his affection be turned to someone else? Her annoyance was now someone else’s affectionate boyfriend. She began to desire not Stefan, but Steve. Eventually, they ended up together. This actually gives the perception (because I am a sociologist) that even if the relationship is unhealthy… I can continue to give and give and they will come around. This is a problem. All of this from the concept of “thirst”. There are natural born givers and conceptual or purpose driven givers. The latter are people who give to get. These people hurt people to get to a goal… that’s a blog for a different day.
I met new people and spoke of sociological themes, theology, and relationships without anyone getting upset, not hurt feelings, and we didn’t all agree on everything. It was the fuel I needed to move into this new season of my life.
Tomorrow, 1.14.2013, I am officially a doctoral student. One day, I will get paid to expose people to think… but I will do THAT for free.
All My Life: I have admitted that I had no gray area. I was a strait forward, black and white perspective holder. There was either hot or cold. Lukewarm didn’t sit well with me, consciously. However, as I type this, I remember things that I have done in my life that didn’t line up with the Bible’s black and white. The Bible does say that no one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24), as well as not being Lukewarm (Revelations 3:15-16). My gray area was measured disobedience.
I knew that growing up, certain things you didn’t do. Your parents, grandparents, church members, pastors, even friends shed light on the “do’s and don’ts”. The problem was, I said stuff like, “I’ll do it when I get older”. (am I the only one who will admit that?) I was saying I would live right when I got older. I didn’t want the responsibility or the challenge. (This was very bad thinking.)
I was the good girl who was made fun of for being a good girl. I tried to do things, in both high school and college, to push the envelope. Nothing permanent, but I wanted to have fun too. CAN YOU SAY BACKFIRE? It never worked. NEVER. I got into trouble with my parents, once with the school for a dress code violation, and most of all, I was disappointing my Heavenly Father. Let me also add, it was NEVER worth it. ::GRACE::
The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost never left me. They were not the intermittent gap filler for the convenience of my perspective, but my Bridge Over Troubled Water. For a new age spin on that, I submit the words of my former mentor/professor Dr. L. Alex Swan, They got into the water with me and helped me fix the waters.
I am so grateful that I wasn’t discarded because of my thoughts, actions, and consequences. PEOPLE throw PEOPLE away but GOD does not. Let’s ponder that. You mean to tell me, since the servant will never be greater than the Master, that certain flesh folks have the gall to do what the Lord will not?! Yes. I do believe once they are convicted of the Holy Spirit, they will reconsider, but I know it happens. The flesh is judgmental. It is. You can say out of your mouth, “don’t judge me” and it does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for the other person’s thoughts as they evaluate based on their experiences. Yes, we are all sinners, but we have not all experienced the same things. It is within THAT vein that value judgements are placed.
We have got to get better, yes we – includes ME, at forgiving and being accepting of the person. The behavior doesn’t have to be accepted. But do you remember Jesus breaking bread with the tax collectors? They were not the company that the religious leaders favored, but in love Jesus could accept the PERSON. Conversion never happens out of popularity. The greatest commandment, commands us to love God and love people. When we actually get to that…what a world this will be!
Often people quote 1 Corinthians when it comes to love. Today I want to talk about a Mark 15 love. Agape love. The love of God. Jesus endured what I know I couldn’t have even considered. He didn’t do it because we deserve so much. He didn’t do it because we could offer enough to pay for our salvation. As a matter of fact, WE WEREN’T A CONCEPT YET!
When you consider loving someone that you feel hurt you, maybe was mean to you, or even a stranger, think of Mark 15. Mark’s gospel account of the crucifixion of Christ. You can do it, simply because Jesus was the example. He died and rose so we could love. Amen?
I thought my new blog would be about yesterday’s blog but I have something more important to say.
You discover so much of yourself through genuine conversation with others. Difference does separate us in theory… but not in kind. We all have hearts that beat, minds that matter, and brains that function. Be the change you seek. Gandhi was on to something!
1 Peter 3:1-7
During some studying today I came across this passage. IT FLOORS ME. Not that I haven’t read it before, but I am blown away by something underlined. Even if HE isn’t a believer of the word, HER behavior may win him over.
There are a lot of shows on television that depict women as these overzealous, emotional extremists who do very little to exert or show self-control. There are males who base their impressions of a woman by what she says, but I employ women to begin showing who they are without saying a word. This is the “silence is golden” principle my grandmother used to teach me.
It’s also very interesting with how this passage begins and ends. Verse one speaks to a women’s behavior (stemming from the word anastrophe which literally means “manner of life”) winning (kerdaino) the husband over to the kingdom. Making him a believer of the Word, of God, not by how loudly she speaks, but by the very way she lives. The beef in this hamburger is… the fact that it’s not the outer adornment but the inner beauty that holds the true value. No plastic surgeon is going to be happy with this blog. Funny thing, if I may, is realizing that our culture is asphyxiated on aesthetics that hold little value because it’s ever changing. The end of this passage, verse seven, ends with “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”
I want to pull something out for you: Respect the weaker partner as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life. The amplified version reads this way: “In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) of life”
For those who would seem to thwart being called the “weaker vessel” I draw attention to the roots of the word according to Strong’s concordance. That being alpha the first letter of the greek alphabet (beginning) and sthenoō with means to strengthen. The first to strengthen… really God? So you mean like in Ephesians 5:26 when the husband is told to sanctify his wife, cleansing her and washing her with the word. This is a complete full circle for me. There is so much here that I am struggling with my verbiage so I don’t destroy the immense-ness of this passage. To add to that… JOINT heirs of the GRACE OF LIFE.
seriously, I am on spiritual overload… then the VERY end “so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” Might I submit food for thought here:
Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds what is good
and receives favor from the Lord.
There is favor attached to the marriage union. There is a hindrance of prayer when man steps out of what he was created to do. There are problems when women attempt to verbally change a man, or live in such a way that her inner beauty is stifled.
Today, I grew up.
January has come around again and lots of people will make resolutions because it’s the traditional thing to do. BREAK AWAY FROM TRADITION! Resolutions have a tendency to be these pesky little dust collectors that people forget about by the end of the first quarter of the year. Began to make changes in your life.. and it doesn’t take January to change!
Use today to assess yourself. Are you pleasing God? Where can you improve (NONE of us are without need for improvement SOMEWHERE)? What are you proud of? ::gratitude:: is the little g that will get ME through this year. What will get you through 2013? My big G… God is a given…
Be Non-traditional and apply the change you seek. You’ll be better for it. Happy New Year!