30 Days Without

Recently, I have been careful to listen to myself. Have you ever tried it? Not as easy as it sounds! Even harder is an honest self-critique about the words that come tumbling out. How easy it is to hear what others say. And the easiest “task” of all? To pick apart the words of someone else.

The past two weeks, I have been sadly aware of a problem of epic proportions- not only in myself, but in society as a whole:

~grumbling and complaining~

Here are some of the most common complaints I’ve heard:

  • unsuitable weather
  • uncooperative hair
  • not enough sleep
  • unsupportive husband
  • fussy baby
  • not enough time
  • flaky people
  • rude people
  • too much work
  • too little money
  • complaining wife
  • unappealing food
  • slow service
  • unfairness
  • naughty children
  • And the list goes on….

Two things have spurred me toward this challenge. One, is the season of Lent. Yes, I am a Christian and I’m observing Lent. (If you are curious as to why, check it out here.) The other reason was a challenge I read about here: https://www.reviveourhearts.com/resource-library/30-day-challenges/.

I’ve heard of and read about many 30 or 40 day life changing events and causes. You (and I) can do anything for that amount of time, right?! 🙂

So, dear readers, I am proposing a challenge of my very own for you and I. Ready?

30 days of no complaining

If this sounds like an insurmountable task, pick one area of grumbling and work on eliminating just that. What that means is: for 30 days, we will deliberately, purposefully, determinedly, NOT COMPLAIN. If you mess up, don’t give up! If you feel like you can’t do it, write me (or pray)! We will do this together. Be of good cheer, friends! My hope is that by making mental admission of our complaints, it will result in less grumbles coming out of our mouths in due time.

It is often said that habits can be broken or made in 30 days. Let’s break this epic propensity of voicing negativity. Just maybe, we will influence friends, family members and society to shut up already with the complaining and instead find something to be thankful for or be happy about.

Who’s with me?

 

Like it or Love it? Share it!

Share to Google Buzz
Share to Google Plus

A Better Brother

Brother/sister relationships are all over the board. Some are endearing and tender. Others are strained at best or even non-existant. Most often a healthy brother/sister relationship will look something like a protector/defender and a nurturer/maternal figure.

I have an older brother and let’s just say {nicely} that he is the black sheep of my family. Our relationship would fall into the “non-existant” category. I will leave it at that.

But I have another brother. He is not of this world. No, I am not talking about an alien. I am talking about Jesus, my spiritual brother.

Hebrews, one of my favorite books of the Bible, is rich with imagery, full of Old Testament imagery fulfilled in the Person and work of Christ. The latter part of Hebrews is chock full of encouraging admonitions for the Christian.

This week as I was reading through Hebrews, I was struck by this awe-inspiring beautiful truth: Jesus is my brother. Here it is in the words of the writer himself:

Hebrews 2:11-18 “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says,

“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.”

  Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

I am so encouraged that my Brother, Jesus, understands my humanity- my weaknesses, my propensities- and most of all my needs. Also, because of His cross work, I no longer fear death or am in bondage to it. My Brother is a good, merciful one. He is my Savior, Protector, Mediator. I am loved perfectly by Him.

Is He your brother too?

Like it or Love it? Share it!

Share to Google Buzz
Share to Google Plus

My Bloody Day

Blood. It’s one of those unpleasantries in life.

As a mom or dad you probably see more than your fair share. As a woman, you see more than most doctors in your earthly existence.

Some people want to toss their cookies when they see it. Others may pass out cold. To odd balls (like me), it is kind of fascinating. Like you don’t really want to see it but you do at the same time.

Today I had a bloody day. No, I am not getting too personal with you. Geez. Who do you take me for? And no, I am not trying to sound like a Briton or Aussie either. 🙂

I began my day with a not-so-lovely reading from the book of Leviticus (part of my through the bible in a year thing). So NOT what to read before breakfast. Blood, blood, and more blood. Words like: slaughter, sacrifice, scapegoat. Then there are the “to do/don’t dos”: sprinkle it, wipe it, burn it, (don’t) drink it.

The highlight of my day was giving blood. No, really- I LOVE giving. It makes me happy to know that my bag o’ red stuff cold save someone’s life. It did mine, once, after a surgery required two units for me to survive the night. I marvel watching the pencil lead sized needle go into my arm and take just a tiny piece of me. Call me crazy.

As I sat there, I thought about blood, what I had read that morning in all its grotesqueness. The Israelites were instructed not to drink the blood of any animal ever because it is the life of the creature. Without it, we cannot live. People all over the world die for lack of what we are so blessed to have readily available here in the U.S.

I thought about the blood of Jesus that makes us clean. The sticky, thick, smelly substance coming from me into that plastic bag, might give someone else life. God gave us life through the murder of His Son. His red human blood came out of his side and ran down His forehead from where they beat the thorns down into his skin.It came out the piercings of both His hands and feet after they drove spikes through. He died, so I could live: the perfect sacrificial, life giver.

So, keeping true to the theme of my day, I ended it with… you guessed it-  more BLOOD.

My youngest lost a molar tonight and the blood flowed freely into the bathroom sink.  Poor boy is “a lot” a bit squeamish (like his dad). I rubbed his back and told him to breathe (like a good mom).

I end today thankful for my bloody day, reminded that without it, I’d be LOST; not just physically, but spiritually as well.

Like it or Love it? Share it!

Share to Google Buzz
Share to Google Plus

Listen to the Quiet

Recently, I went on a hike near our home. It was a gorgeous day trip with my sister celebrating our birthdays and another year of life together.

As we climbed our way up the mountain, there was plenty of chatting and laughing.  There were the comments about the lovely Manzanita bushes and pine trees cohabitating beautifully. There was the conversation about aging (yikes!), raising teenaged kids and living peaceably with our husbands. With only a handful of other humans nearby, it felt almost as if the mountain was ours for the taking.

 Since we are getting old –ahem- we had to stop now and then to rest. We made these stops meaningful by looking at the scenery and marveling.  At one of these moments, I exclaimed (in a bossy little sister kind of way), “Stop talking!” And we did. We just stood in the middle of the trail. Silent. That’s when I heard something I hadn’t in a long time- a quiet that transcends even the quietest moment at home or work.

With three children, a husband, a cat, a dog and my job at an elementary school, quiet is a rarity for me, especially THIS kind of quiet. It resounded in my ears in a rather oxymoronish kind of way. It enveloped me, mind and body.

What we do not realize is how downright noisy our lives are. Even in the most silent moments, there is the ever-present din of white noise- the buzz of the refrigerator, the soft hum of electronics, the ticking clock. Then there are the “people and pet” sounds. We are a noisy bunch! Video game sounds (think machine guns and zombies), music (think teenaged kids blasting stuff I am not a fan of), talking, talking, talking, the dog barking, the cat meowing, the exhaust fans, the heating/ac unit cycling on and off, etc. My ears are filled to the brim sometimes.

I crave quiet. We as humans, especially those answering to the call of “mom”, need to get quiet. Just like a plant needs both water and sunlight to survive, we were created to thrive in the noise of other people and things. If not for those, we become weird hermit -like creatures.  Yet, we must also have the renewal of a quiet that feeds the soul and nourishes the mind- the kind that envelopes us in a haven of rest, like the silence of that rocky hiking trail.

 

Like it or Love it? Share it!

Share to Google Buzz
Share to Google Plus

Hello There!

Dear Readers,

Allow me to roll out the red carpet for this new blog of mine! I prefer this over the word picture of giving birth to this baby because let’s face it, giving birth really sucks.

On the velvety plush, in all my pomp and circumstance, I stand. Oh, but no gorgeous, sexy dress is there to be found; just me, Plain Jane, in jeans and t-shirt with a pair of TOMS on my feet.

My stance is no hip cocking, thigh high slit leg revealing, high healed pose. No. I stand before you in all my plain glory, arms beckoning, outstretched. I am inviting all of you to come with me as I think and write about most everything. My hope is that you’ll find a mixture of comfort and provocation; a strange brew of humanism and theology all mixed into one.

I invite you to read and respond, to share and tweet, to like and post what you find here that resonates with you, stirs a chord of emotion, or maybe even gives you a snicker from my dry-witted humor.

My desire is to have this be the beginning of a sweet relationship between you and I. Although I wish we could sit down and have a conversation over a delicious drink, alas, this is blog world and so we are forced to be virtual friends for now.

My moment in the spotlight was rather uneventful, wasn’t it? Oh well. That is my style anyways.

Welcome! Come meander with me in musings and meditations.

Plainly,

Jane

 

Like it or Love it? Share it!

Share to Google Buzz
Share to Google Plus