Love (not unquestioning obedience) is the goal

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Words are like rocks. We can build with them, or we can break things with them.

As I’ve said before, stories matter. And the stories shaping our perspectives on obedience and submission matter, too. These stories impact the way we communicate, and the baggage others carry with these words matters, too.

Reading news and social media the last few months, submission and obedience are trigger words for me — regardless of the position supported. Whether it is government or religion, I flinch. They are power words.

Too often, the act of obedience and submission dominates the conversation, while ignoring critical questions like obedience to whom and for what end. Continue reading

The more, the merrier.

Earlier this week I posted on the importance of stories for shaping the way we live. As an exercise in conscious storytelling, I’m sharing stories influencing my views on immigration, refugees and discipleship.

Essentially this post explores three questions:

  1. How do I understand myself as an American?
  2. How do I see refugees?
  3. What are the expectations of a disciple of Jesus?

As we explore together, my point is not converting you to my perspective, but the process of open and conscious storytelling. These stories frame the way I approach the world, and rather than having you agree or think I’m neat-o, I hope the stories encourage you to consider your own life, reactions, and core values.

Agreement is not required, but respect is. Continue reading

Rediscovering the importance of story

tigers

When I challenged my home congregation to read Luke in the month of February, little did I know that challenge would leave me reading the whole book in the first three days of the month. I saturated myself in Jesus’ words the last couple of days.

I needed it.

The last couple of weeks, for me, feel like waking to some nightmarish alternate reality. Each day brings news reports that violate my core values.

I’m an INFP on the Myers-Briggs. The salient point about my personality: I delight in seeing the world through other people’s perspectives, and I hate conflict. Right up to the point where my core values are tripped, and then I am a rampaging tiger with roaring feelings and little logic.

I can handle disagreement and questions. I do not react well to shame, control or folks who bully or ridicule others, especially those who are marginalized or are weaker than them. I lose my mind. Poof. Out comes the tiger from normally placid me. Continue reading

Making lemon meringue pie out of sour lemons

Easter Lemon and Limes

I wanted a different life story. The vindication story. The one where God shows up, makes me victorious and I get to move on celebrating. The one where the miracle happens and I no longer feel forsaken. The one where I wasn’t left holding the short straw.

Maybe the days just before Easter are an excellent time to process this. I’m not the only one to have my story take an unexpected (and unwanted) turn. Continue reading

The Last Unicorn

For those tracking my blog over the last week, you might be noticing a trend by now: infertility. Words keep tumbling out from me. And I think that’s going to be a thing for a bit. I’m in process of naming a lot of things. This is helping me feel sane (even if it makes you worried about me), so I’m keeping on with this adventure. If you’re bummed you missed the last posts that started this theme, you can find them here and here.

022316 new life springs up

So, why all this infertility writing? I want the freedom to choose a different story, to be able, with God’s help, to resurrect life from ashes. In order to do that, I think I need to name the dream being incinerated and the pain of watching it go up in flames.

I’ve been talking about the death of the dream of biological children. And, how do we grieve death? We tell stories. We share what a person was to us — their quirks, charms and foibles. We mourn what we know we lost and also what could have been.

Continue reading