Sunday, November 29, 2015

sunday musings

Does Christian living need to be made convenient for you to do it?


That was my first thought after hearing this statement during church this morning.

"Huh, I must feel convicted, because that's a challenging thought."

That was my second thought. And in case you're wondering? Yes, this is an inner monologue. Because, that's how I roll.

"I hate the word conviction. It's all shaming and judgy and guilt inducing."

My third thought was a launching pad for random thoughts and rabbit trails. None of which will be spelled out here, because ain't nobody got time for that.

So instead, I'll do my best to nutshell my thoughts...

As stated above, I'm typically not a huge fan of the word "conviction."

I find it shaming and guilt inducing, which I believe to be the exact opposite of what Jesus would desire our response to be when we hear an applicable truth. 

But, I'm also not one to blindly dislike something, so, I looked up the definition.

As I stared at both definitions, it hit me. So often, we tend to hold onto the first definition as ultimate truth. 

When truth is spoken regarding a certain area of our lives, we bend down in shame, holding the weight of the world on our sinful shoulders.

No one else has felt that? Well, I know I have.

But then, I thought, what would happen if we latched onto the second definition as truth?

What if we were so convicted by our beliefs, those beliefs dictated our actions instead of our shame and guilt over not being good enough determining how we respond?

Personally, I'm motivated by my beliefs far more than by shame and guilt.

You know who else is motivated by convictions? Jesus.

Just think about the manger, the cross and the second coming.

Now, for arguments sake, I'll state the obvious in that we know Jesus didn't have sins over which to feel convicted. Where as we do.

I still believe that in order for real transformation to happen in our lives, we must be propelled forward by the belief that change is necessary, not the guilt that we should be better.

Just some Sunday evening thoughts that had me thinking. 

Have a great week everyone!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Do Life 2015: Cesser de Faire des Listes

About six months ago I sat in a group session and took a personality assessment.

I could go into great detail about which test, what I liked about it, blah, blah, blah.

But, that sounds boring, and I don't want to.

However, I will say this - after taking the test, it was confirmed once again that I am highly organized.

Translation - I like lists. ALOT. Possibly to a degree that is slightly unhealthy and neurotic.

And let me tell you, I can justify my need for lists better than anyone.

If someone were to tell me I needed to stop making lists, I might combust a little inside and then make a list for how I was going to clean up the mess.

I mean, here I am, doing life with a sense of intentionality and purpose.

And in order to keep that in check, it makes perfect sense to make even more lists than normal.


I mean, how the heck am I going to schedule all my grand adventures AND get them done if I don't make a list!?

But, this morning I had an "aha" moment. One that, to be honest, punched me in the gut a little. Ok, actually a lot.

There I was - sitting at my computer, deleting emails, planning for the week, and researching how to get even more crap done - when I came across a to-do list from over a year ago.

Out of curiosity I opened it.

I just knew that everything on the list was somehow, miraculously completed; because, I am just "that good."

I started scanning, ready to be blown away by my own abilities.

I was not. Not even slightly astounded. Not even pat on the back worthy.

As I skimmed, I became more and more anxious as I realized NONE of these things got done!!

I hurriedly kept reading, hoping for something to affirm my list making ways, when my eyes landed on this - "learn French."

I paused, totally stunned. Not because it was on my list, or because I forgot it was on the list, or even because it was a year old.

No, I was stunned, because in that moment, I realized it has been on my list for the past 12 years.

I think about speaking French almost every single day; and yet, I still don't speak French.

What is my problem?? Why is something I claim to want so much, so far out of my reach.

If I am honest, it goes a little something like this:
  1. Make a list of things to do.
  2. Think of something I want to do.
  3. Add it to the aforementioned list.
  4. Carry over said list to the next day because it wasn't finished.
  5. After a week of this nonsense, realize the list is too long and not realistic.
  6. Lose the first list under laundry and mail.
  7. A year (or 12) later, find the list.
  8. Tears ensue as I realize I am failing at life.
  9. Make a new list on how to not fail at life.
  10. Run out of notepads for lists.
  11. Make new list to buy notepads for more lists.

Sounds like a pretty productive system right? I don't understand why everyone else isn't jumping on board?

Maybe it's that everyone else is out actually doing the things I am spending time making lists about.

Or that other people have just realized not everything has to be done right away.

Or maybe, just maybe, it has nothing to do with other people, and everything to do with me...

Everything to do with how I want to live the rest of my life.

If I really want to spend my time organizing the crap out of my life, or actually living it.

So I'm not this crossroads, because, I really really like my lists.

I like the feeling of accomplishment when I can check it off.

I like knowing I have a system that holds me accountable and helps me remember when my brain is in a hundred places.

But, even though I love it so much, I do admit it gets a little out of hand sometimes.

Like when I put "read a book" on my list. Or "relax" on my list.

Honestly, I don't have a solid plan or solution for this conundrum I find myself in, which is probably a good thing.

However, I do know one thing.

What's that?

I am going to spend an hour learning French today.

I'm not sure I'll work on it tomorrow, or if I will even work on it at all this week.

But, I do know it is coming off my list.

And it's not going back.

It's either going to become part of my life or I am letting it go.

When it comes to wonderful and delightful things I want to do, I think I'm deciding to "cesser de faire des listes" and just do them.

If I want to read, I'll read. If I want to practice music, then I will.

Dishes and laundry will always be there. And I have plenty of both to hold me over.

So, while the organized part of myself is something I deeply respect, I don't want it to keep me from doing my life. Rather, I want it to help me live it.

Fully, completely, with abandon and with joy.