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Showing posts from March, 2021

A Mother's Report Card

At the end of each week, A mother's grade is not based  On the number of fights she mediates. It is not calculated by the meals she makes Minus the meals eaten out, Nor the time spent listening  Plus the time spent cleaning. It is not derived from her children's behavior in public Or her children's behavior in private Or her children's behavior after they've moved out. A mom's grade is not decided  By the frequency of her prayers for them, Or how often she reads the Bible to them, Or the modeling of Christian behavior in front of them. A mom's grade is not even based on the effectiveness of her love, The familial love, the possessive love, or God's unconditional love. At the end of each day, A mother's grade is based  On the perfection Of her savior To whom she commits  Her every feeble attempt, To whom she believes  Will redeem all her efforts, To whom she entrusts  With her children's well-being, And whom she knows  Will grade and deliver strai

Demanding Other's Sympathy

Have you ever told someone about a difficulty or fear or frustration that you were having, and the person's reaction was anything but sympathetic? Maybe they told you that your problem is nothing compared to theirs, or maybe they tried to make you look on the brighter side, or perhaps they played devil's advocate (I'm often guilty of this). Maybe they told you some cold hard truth and maybe they were right, but it didn't make you feel any better. Perhaps you felt like you weren't being seen or like that person was acting self-centered or unkind. I think that sympathy or understanding is like love or respect. It is what we owe one another, but we cannot demand it from each other. I think this for two reasons. One, it rarely seems to work if we do; and two, I think only God has the right to demand right feelings from people.  First, people don't receive love or respect by demanding it. Sure, we can demand those under our authority to behave in a certain way, but w

The High Price of Doing Good

It seems like bottling up our anger can have the same corrosive power in our souls as venting our anger. Let's say two sisters are fighting. The older is venting and expressing her anger with rude comments and unfair accusations while the younger one holds her tongue and grits her teeth even though, inside, she is equally as angry. The younger one has seen the destructive power of expressing anger like her older sister has and she has decided it's ugly and hurtful and wrong. She has decided she will not do it, and she is right to hold her tongue. She makes the world a nicer place for others. But as the older one goes on with her day and forgets the whole matter, the younger one broods and holds a grudge against her older sister, and her anger seeps out towards others in small simpering ways. Are either of them better off? Has sin been less corrosive within either of their hearts? The older one holds no grudge but has left behind a world of hurt. The younger one didn't shout

Hard Things For Enneagram Numbers to Say

Below are things that each Enneagram number probably finds hard to say. Conversely, these are things that would be good to practice saying. One: the Reformer "It's not perfect, but it's good enough." "I'm really angry." "I need your advice."  "I can't do it correctly." Two: the Helper "I am desperate." "I need your help." "I have no idea how to help you." "No." Three: the Achiever "That person doesn't like me." "I failed at that." "I can't do this." "Your ideas are great as they are!" Four: the Individualist "I'll fall in with the others." "My feelings are wrong and aren't helping me." "I'm a sinner just like everyone else." "Yeah, I'm a typical four." Five: the Observer "I was foolish." "I won't be able to understand this." "I've got plenty to spare."

Major and Minor Issues

Are there categories for sins? Are there minor sins and major sins? We can have minor and major health issues. Minor issues are like mosquito bites or canker sores or dandruff. Major issues are things like stage four cancer or having a stroke or breaking your neck.  We have minor issues quite frequently and deal with them accordingly, maybe with some Calamine Lotion or Head & Shoulders Shampoo. We don't usually go to the doctor for the small stuff, not unless it persists.  Major issues are another story. Major issues are usually life changing. We go straight to the doctor or the emergency room for those. We know the severity. Now if we categorize our physical ailments into major and minor issues (and probably some in-betweens as well), can't we also categorize our sins like this? After all, when we were kids, our parents consequences to us were based on the severity of our crimes. I got reprimanded for seemingly minor offenses to my siblings. I got spanked for disobeying. D

Muscle Memory

I just finished reading the second book of Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Series. These books are mega-huge, over a thousand pages each. And I could write blogs and blogs about some of the inspirational gems of truth in them. These books have ability-enhanced swordsmen and unearthly creatures, mystical gods and epic battle scenes, knights and heralds and surging crystals with magical powers. I wouldn't necessarily recommend them. This guy has invented his own nations, languages, texts, alphabet, animals, plants, ships, underclothing, everything. It was rather tedious getting into the first one. In fact, I didn't start to like it until I was two hundred pages in. But yes, they were worth the hours I spent reading them, and now I understand why my husband and his cousin were glued to them before I read them. I especially like the heroes in them who trained so long and so well at a particular skill that their muscles just acted instinctively in battle. There's this spearma

The Weeping Unmasked Man at the Grocery Store

The other day I was at my neighborhood market, standing in the check out line and observing a man in front of me who was trying to purchase a gift card for someone outside. He told the checker that he was going to make sure the man was still there. Then he jet outside and came back with the individual in need, a man in his forties or fifties with brown leathery-skin and tattoos up his arms. The man in front of me told his friend or acquaintance that he was buying him a ten dollar gift card and would that be enough. The man in need nodded and then began to weep.  It was then that a store employee, a young lady maybe in her twenties, came up to the weeping man and told him that he needed to put on his face mask. I had not noticed up until this point that he wasn't wearing one. She pressed him repeatedly until he found a crumbled mask in his pocket. By that time I was bubbling with anger. Could she not see what was going on? Could she not tell that something more important than face m

The Betrayal of Trust

Do you know that awful feeling in the pit of your stomach when you learn that someone has done something alarming? When you learn that a friends' marriage is on the rocks? That someone is moving far away? That a friend has been deeply offended by someone you love? Or is leaving your church in a huff?  I don't mean you feel disappointed. I mean something deeper. You feel sick. Oh no! Not that! Not them! How could they? You feel betrayed, fooled, defensive, maybe even manipulated.  How do you handle those situations? Do you write those people off? Swear you'll have nothing to do with them? Take sides. Try to argue with them? Rethink the past and find evidences that pointed to this outcome? The trouble begins when we believe that the world will go on as it always has, that what we see is stable and reliable. We place ourselves in this universe like my daughter does in her bed, arranging her blankets and stuffed animals in perfect order, never suspecting her brother is in the o

Dear God: I'm Praying. Please Do Not Disturb.

If I would ask the Lord To change a nation Change this church Change that person; But I have no stomach To ask him to change me, Am I not a rather Blunted weapon? If I would ask God To heal my friend Provide for their needs  And fill them with peace; But I never admit My needs or inner illnesses, Have I any acquaintance  With God's power at all? And if I would pray  For the salvation of souls For closed doors to be opened And justice for the oppressed;  But never ask God  For my daily bread, Have I any understanding  Of life's substance at all? If my conversations with God Never discuss my mind's wanderings Never name the emotions within Never voice my rebellion Never kick or scream Never pierce the heart Never draw tears of repentance Never put me on my knees, Then am I so sure It's to God that I speak?