It’s Monday and the beginning of a new week!
I have a terrible habit of randomness. But I must share these few unrelated things with you right this moment, or they will forever disappear into the abyss of my brain:
Will and Kate made up a simple game last week. They were sitting about six feet apart, rolling a tennis ball between them, trying to get it past the other person. These two are intense and quite competitive, but they play great together, as long as no one tells them. What struck me most about their game was how many rules they had.
“You have to roll it!”
“That one didn’t count!”
“No fair! I wasn’t ready!”
The crazy kids fought about the rules more than they played the game. I was sitting on the couch, watching them, and it was all I could do not to intervene. To me, it seemed like they were just bickering. But to them, I realized working it out was part of their play. It was as important to the game as getting the tennis ball past their sibling.
As much as we hate to admit it, rules are such a big part of our life. We tend to think rules hem us in, restricting our lives. They actually give us a wide open space to explore, they are what make us genuinely human. If we think about it, our limitations force us to be creative in what we have.
My husband explains it like this: Have you ever seen a dog who has worn a track on the very edge of his perimeter? You can see just inside the fence where he has hung out. He doesn’t see the whole yard he has, but just looks with longing of what he doesn’t have.
It’s the same with us, isn’t it? We spend so much time longing for what we wish we had that we often don’t see all that God has given us. There is freedom inside the fence, if we just adjust our perspective.
I’m a big fan of Loving My Actual Life by Alexandra Kuykendall, because she took stock of her life and decided to rekindle her love of her ordinary days. So she started a nine month experiment of enjoying her actual life, the one right in front of her. The book reads like a journal, and it’s so real. She pairs the good with the bad, the failures with the achievements. It challenged me to really evaluate my life and the satisfaction I feel everyday. Instead of looking with longing toward the “perfect life” (whatever that is), what if I strove to love the very life I have? Right now, imperfections and all? (Here’s an excerpt if you’d like to read a bit of it)
It’s so easy to lose sight of how much of the world lives. We tend to focus on what we lack. When that happens to me, I’m learning to do a hard shift. To recalibrate. We go to Flint to hand out water. I travel to Haiti. This week we took the kids to the Compassion Experience, where we were able to “travel” through the life of two Compassion kids– one from Kenya and one from the Dominican Republic. Our kids got to hear how their lives were before they were sponsored and how Jesus changed them as a result of being part of the program. We often don’t think of the difference food and education can make in a child’s life, but the truth is, it changes everything. We were also reminded of the crucial importance of writing to our child and how children save their letters from their sponsors. I will never forget how surprised I was when we met our sponsored child and he knew everything about our family. He had literally memorized our letters. I was blown away.
Go here to learn more about the Compassion Experience.
Go here to learn how you can sponsor your own child.
If you’ve been around here long, you know I’ve said that we must pay attention to our tears because often it’s the leading of the Holy Spirit. You guys, this stuff brings me to tears every time. The poverty of the world and the joy Jesus brings– I will never get over it. And I’m paying attention.
Father, We all have those in our lives that we don’t see. We pass them by everyday without a thought. But they are created by You.
Open our eyes to those who cannot speak for themselves.
Never let our hearts become hardened enough that we stop speaking up for justice.
Remind us that our lives need recalibration.
Give us courage to quit our comfortable lives and reach out.
Take our selfishness and give us compassion.
Take our pride and give us kindness.
Bust open our hearts for those who are helpless today… because we want to be like You.
Have a lovely week, friends!
I’m so very glad you’re here. I hope you’ll stick around so we can get to know one another a little more. Go here if you’d like to receive my posts via email. –Sarah