Tag Archives: Jesus

We Gonna Party Like It’s Your Birthday

Happy Birthday! I’m throwing you a huge party! Everyone will give each other lots & lots of gifts. You’ll love it!

The only bad thing… is that a bunch of your friends will not be happy. They won’t be satisfied. Their expectations won’t be met. They will feel let down. That’s just some people though…like 1.5 million or so…the rest will be fine.

Well…except for the other  people who will try so hard to please everyone else at the party that they totally forget it’s your party. Oh, and some friends will feel pressured to keep up, and will find themselves in a ‘tiny bit of trouble’ after your party.

Also, people will crash your party. Sorry. Dang Santa…& stupid Elves… Mamas will be tired. Daddys will be grumpy.

One more thing, answer if you get a call; and you WILL get calls. Lots & lots of calls. Your friends will need your help to get through your party. They will need money, sanity, patience… Not the whole time. Just like 22 hours. They will sleep the other two. You can rest then.

Aside from those things, and a million others, you are really gonna love this party, truly. Get ready for fun. It’s your big day…kinda.

I apologize in advance, I’m the worst of all! I love you so much though. Happy early birthday from my crazy family & me. We will really celebrate you this year & try super hard not to get too ridiculously consumed…Well, next year for sure!! Next year, we won’t lose our minds. Or least when the kids get bigger…Yes, when they grow up a little, we will tone it down! Only three presents each when they turn ten. We will really have it all together then…

Transformation in the Midst of a Heathen Land

About a month ago, while browsing the kindle store, I saw Crazy Love by Francis Chan as one of my recommendations. It had been there for forever…all red & simplistic. (I have no idea which of my previous purchases made Amazon think I wanted to read Christian non fiction.)  It was all I hated in the form of written word: inspirational, helpful, agenda filled, and ‘teachy’. But, for some reason, I bought it. I read it. I put it down. I cried.
I can’t adequately review this book. I will simply say that something about it spoke to me. It helped me see Jesus. It made me feel like a kid at the altar on the closing night of church camp. (Note: I specified kid…not teenager! Not my ugly, stupid teenage years. If you were at church camp with me that one year….well, you just shut your mouth!)

So, my mind was totally and completely wrecked. How could I put this book down and not run into the street looking for someone to feed. (The only people on my street who need to be fed are the two skinny women who run at 5 am.) I was just overcome with the desire to transform. I felt a sudden burden for everyone, every single sad piece of the human race.

I followed up Crazy Love with Not a Fan, then moved on to the much scarier Radical, and after that, sweet Jen Hatmaker’s  Seven. I couldn’t stop. I didn’t want to lose that feeling.

I began thinking of all the changes I had to make. I tore through my closet pulling down excess junk. Who was I? Beyoncé? Who needs that many purses? I haven’t even carried a purse in five years! And heels? The last time I wore heels I ended up prego. GONE! I ripped stuff down and shoved it in bags. My kids jumped on the bed all happy until I marched towards their rooms. They looked on with terror while I mumbled about homeless kids and grabbed toys from high and low. I put the kids in the car, and off we sped toward the extremely low income part of town.

I’m not 100% sure what I planned on doing. I almost stopped at a house where the door was partly opened. I guess I was going to just casually stroll in their home and ask if they wanted some clothes and stuff from my car? I’m not sure. Rationality won out, and I turned around. I ended up at Grace Place, a local battered women’s shelter & soup kitchen. They gladly took my donations while my three kids ran around the parking lot.

I spent the next few days in a kind of search mode. I was trying to find ways to serve. I was looking for someone to help. I was beginning to turn inward instead of keeping my focus on the one who had started this ‘transformation’. I kept feeling defeated as I shared my heart with others and walked away feeling like a weirdo. Feelings of Failure started seeping in. The heathens who call me mama saw me as a wounded animal and took the opportunity to pounce. Seriously, they were being so baaaaaaad!

[Setting: CVS parking lot, back of the car, Thursday afternoon]

[Characters: two heathens, one sick baby, and a bad parent]

Female Heathen: Mama, you know the worst thing to do ever?

Bad Parent: What?

Female Heathen: Not worshiping the Holy Spirit!

Male Heathen: Nuh uh, biting!

Female Heathen: NO!!!! Not worshiping the HOLY SPIRIT!!!!

Male Heathen: BITING!!!        

Female Heathen (With a Pentecostal quiver in her voice): NOT WORSHIPING THE HOLY SPIRIT!  

Male Heathen: BITING!!!!

In the blink of an eye, they were throwing kiddie punches while the baby screamed because of his thrush mouth. (thrush: one of the many disgustingly painful daycare sicknesses we have been plagued with the past four weeks.) 

Bad Parent (swatting crazily into the back seat): I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

We exited the vehicle out of breath and annoyed. I led my mean little duckies to the back so we could pick up the thrush medicine. For some unknown reason, Bubba pointed to a lady with a walker only three feet away and yelled, “Hey Sissy, look at that lady with that crazy thing.” I grabbed him and said how sorry I was. I pulled him to the next aisle where he said VERY loudly, “You are hurting my arm!” 

Through gritted teeth and maybe tears I said, “Jesus wants you to have LOVE in your heart!!! You are just being so awful. Why? What’s wrong with you?” A lady walked by, looked a hole through me, and proceeded to softly tell her little girl to look away. I continued with my stinky attitude until we pulled in the driveway. We jumped out, got sissy ready for dance, jumped back in the car, and my husband dropped sissy and me off at her dance class. 

I sat in the back of the studio alone and took a deep breath. Pity with a side of guilt washed over me, and I sent this text to my husband.

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{It is embarrassing to look back at the pity party I was throwing! Goodness! How annoying! Also, I should probably explain  ‘grump fish,’ ‘lubs,’ and ‘you braveheart,’ but I think the back stories would take too long.} 

Maybe this is why I feel the need to write things down; It forces me to face my own foolishness, to review my day, and hope for change tomorrow!

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I will leave you with some of my favorite quotes from my little non fiction book binge!

“In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him.” ~Francis Chan

Both worry and stress reek of arrogance. They declare our tendency to forget that we’ve been forgiven, that our lives here are brief, that we are headed to a place where we won’t be lonely, afraid, or hurt ever again, and that in the context of God’s strength, our problems are small, indeed.” ~Francis Chan

“We are on a never-ending downward escalator. In order to grow, we have to turn around and sprint up the escalator, putting up with perturbed looks from everyone else who is gradually moving downward.” ~ Francis Chan

“What are you doing right now that requires faith?” ~Francis Chan

“Obsessed people are more concerned with obeying God than doing what is expected or fulfilling the status quo. A person who is obsessed with Jesus will do things that don’t always make sense in terms of success or wealth on this earth.” ~ Francis Chan

“Do not be fooled by the luxuries of this world; they cripple our faith. As Jesus explained, the right things have to die so the right things can live- we die to selfishness, greed, power, accumulation, prestige, and self-preservation, giving life to community, generosity, compassion, mercy, brotherhood, kindness, and love.” ~Jen Hatmaker

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27

If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. Isaiah 58:10

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come  after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25

‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Matthew 25:34-36