Saturday, May 24, 2014

Separate

Over the years, I've been able to do a lot of soul searching. I've reevaluated what I believe about family, friends, church, music, and especially of God. I had this view of God that He was up in Heaven waiting for me to do something wrong so He could punish me; 'cause that's all He did. I used to think trusting Jesus meant following a set of rules. I used to judge other people and tell them they were wrong because they didn't live just like me.
I spent a weekend in Dallas with a friend. I went to her church and we took our places with the thousands of other people crammed into the building they'd clearly outgrown; outgrown so much that they needed 4 other services throughout the weekend to accommodate the crowds. I'll be real: I was warned about churches like this. I believed, for a very long time, that "mega churches" were doing something wrong and that there was no way that many people actually enjoyed going to church.
One of the first things Matt Chandler said when he greeted the crowd that morning went something like this: "We're so glad you're here this morning but if this church isn't your thing, there are a lot of other churches in town." He went on to name close to every other church around and told his congregation that "We're all on the same team" and to "Find one they love even if it's not The Village."

Do what??

Growing up, I heard pastor's bash other churches in town, going as far as preaching entire sermons about what these other churches were doing wrong. Music, versions of the Bible used, how they dressed... you name it. I learned to compare and judge other people. I believed that this, "being separate from the world" the Bible talks about meant that there was only one denomination doing it right.

Let me back up here. I'm not angry at people who believe like I used to. I don't think you're wrong in how your choosing to live out your faith.
What I do think is wrong about how I used to live is the judgment toward the rest of the world. This high-horse, "look how much better I am than you are" mindset.

I want a lot of things for my children. I want them to know how much Jesus loves them; I want them to know that churches with lots of people is a good thing; but probably most importantly, I want them to feel loved for their differences, not judged or condemned or asked what they (or their parents) did wrong to deserve such a tough road to hoe.

I want them to know that Jesus is ready to forgive and that our job is to love on people, not tell them they're wrong. I want them to never judge a book by it's cover. I want them to know that believing in Jesus, that "being saved" is not always marked by a change in your lifestyle but by a change in your heart.

A tangible example... This story and video reveals something about me. I used to be the protestor. Now? I'd bring them water and let Ben love on them for a while. Everybody needs a Ben hug, right?

Always remember, sweet babies of mine, we're on the same team. Love wins.


A couple things you may have missed... 

My brother is a talented singer/songwriter and he graciously wrote a fantastic song about our sweet Alexis. With it being CF Awareness Month, there's no better way to celebrate in my book. Love you, Eli! 


And if you missed my piece on ibelieve.com, you can read it HERE. I love sharing our story!

Happy Memorial Day weekend. Remember those who defended (like my hubs and his buddies) and are still defending our freedom today.  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Island Time

There comes a point in everyone's life when you just have to stop. It may be forced, like a tragedy that literally stops you in your tracks. It may be welcomed, like a vacation to the islands with your favorite. It may just be playing outside with your kids and realizing this is way more important than laundry. Whatever it is, there's a reason for that stop, that nudge, that island time that we so easily forget about.




I've been on this pendulum this week, swinging somewhere between this island mentality and real life. "Don't worry, be happy." Bobby knows what he's talking about there, don't ya think? Downright Biblical, eh?

Since Alexis' surprise, I've made a conscience effort to simplify my life. I got rid of things we don't need, made lists of things I wanted to get done, and reminded myself that worrying and being happy were both my choice. It's so easy to overcomplicate things and to miss out on the good things.
It's like this: life is as simple or as complicated as you see it. Life is as wonderful or as horrible as you say it is.



In Webblet news:

Ben is soaring at school. Mayberry is everything I was promised it would be and I couldn't be more thankful. He loves his new turf and they love him. On a developmental scale, he's working hard and making all the right strides. I still have yet to associate with another kid as delightfully happy as my Ben. A friend told me that Ben's going to be the Patch Adams of the children's hospital and I have a feeling he's going to be right.

Alexis is doing well, all things considered. We work hard at keeping her world as germ free as possible, but still as "normal" as we can. Breathing treatments, medicines and hand sanitizer are all staples in our home now. I'm not naive enough to think this is how it will always be. I know she'll never be better and I know CF is a fight we won't win without a miracle. These woods that some people are privileged enough to get out of? We have a campsite there. In my world, they're nestled close enough to hear the beach and they're only scary if I let them be. I don't know how long we'll get to keep her, but somehow that's okay. Nobody's promised tomorrow. Ryan wanted his frisbee and ended up playing with Jesus. When it's time, it's time.

I know what it's like to mourn, to have your world turned completely upside down. I understand heartache and fear; I know what it's like to survive. But I also know what it's like to come out on the other side, to embrace island time and to live on purpose.

Life is your gift; living is your choice.

Happy Hump Day.