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The Pleasure of Being Known

Knowing

I know you

A week or so ago, Mary Graham and Sheila Walsh were tweeting.  It’s wonderful to see the Women of Faith ladies interact, as it’s clear they truly are family.  In one of her tweets, Mary was referencing an artist on the tour and said to Sheila, “One of life’s greatest pleasures is in being known.  And she Knows You.”  That phrase has stuck with me ever since, and I’ve been pondering why God planted that little nugget so tightly in my mind.  I didn’t understand it until this weekend.  God knew I’d need to chew on it a bit.

In a very unplanned twist to our day, we ended up at Davis Kidd bookstore on Saturday evening. As we wandered downstairs to visit the kids’ area, I noticed folks setting up for a live performance.  I paused as a man uncased a beautiful bass cello.  You could tell from the worn wood that it had been a well-loved instrument.  At that same time, someone began warming up, and I knew we’d be staying to see whoever was performing.  Music moves me.  All music, and not in a small way.  God knows that about me.  I think music is one of His very best gifts to us.

The event turned out to be a tribute to a woman named Ruth McGinnis.  She and her band had been regular performers at Davis Kidd (and many other places), and she had sadly passed away from ovarian cancer in October.  I hadn’t seen Ruth perform before, and it was only when her quiet, gentle-spirited younger sister, Erin McGinnis Long, shared that I began to catch a glimpse of who this amazing woman was.  It made her death more real, but also made the tribute that much richer.  Through Erin, I felt like I knew Ruth. 

Thinking back over these past two weeks, here’s what I keep coming back to:

  1. We all want to be known.  We want a mate, friends, and our family to “get” who we are and love us, warts and all.
  2. We want to know others.  To understand what makes others tick.  To know their joys and pains before a word is spoken.
  3. Being known and knowing others is such hard work.  To get past the superficial is hard.  It takes commitment.  And sometimes, it’s painful. Most of the time, though, it’s truly rewarding.

But I think more than anything, we have this insatiable hunger to know and be known by our maker.  There are days when I struggle with both.  But after those bad days, I wake up thanking God that He hasn’t given up.  That, as in Isaiah 46:19, our names are carved in the palm of His hands.

Who knows you best?  And what keeps others from knowing you more?

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Be The Change

change

You’ve seen that great quote from Ghandi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  Lately, those words have begun to take on new meaning for me. 

I saw The Blind Side for the first time with friends.  I cried, laughed, and then cried some more.   Knowing that aside from a few choice words and one intense scene towards the end, the movie was safe for mature kids, I took my daughter.  As we were walking out of the theater afterwards, I choked up as I said to her “what an honor to have that kind of impact in someone’s life.”   It led to a great discussion on those things, big and small, we can do for others that make a noticeable difference.  The most powerful line in that movie, to me, was during lunch when one of Leigh Anne’s friends said” You’re changin’ that boys life.”  To which she replied “No, he’s changin’ mine.”

Here are some ways I think we can really Be The Change:

  1. Live Fearlessly-In Max Lucado’s book, Fearless, he asks this question: “How long has it been since “a fresh understanding of Christ buckled your knees and emptied your lungs? Since a glimpse of him left you speechless and breathless?”   When we are being agents of change, we get to be front row participants in these breathtaking moments.
  2. Give freely- We’ve made big changes this year about how we are “doing” Christmas.  We all have so much.  And there are too many who have nothing.  Choosing to not give gifts to family (or get them in return) and instead invest that in others has been a million times more rewarding than any gift-swapping I’ve ever done in the past.
  3. Love one another-This is challenging sometimes, isn’t it?  I have a hard time praying for the people who cause stress in my life.  And often, they are the ones who need it most.  But it seems that the best opportunities to help others appear when our hearts are unburdened by chaos.
  4. Listen-Sometimes God gives us a booming directive, but often it’s that still, small voice directing us to stop and help someone, donate to a new chairty, or take our lives in a completely new direction.  Only by listening–and acting–can we drastically affect the world around us.

In what other ways do you think we can live out a desire for change?

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The War of the Arrows

arrows

The arrows

 I’m going to share two seemingly disconnected events to “set the stage.” Come along for the ride–it will all make sense in three minutes.

1. On Sunday evening, Mike Hyatt shared a post from Jason Wert.  It was late at night, the house was quiet and I had time to read it.   I think God set that moment and environment because it hit me hard.  There were tears…lots of them.  But in a “good cry” sort of way.

2.The next morning, I received an email that Lindsey had done a new post entitled “With Gratitude”.  In it, she said this: “I truly believed I could just do my thing with God and I didn’t need to be “plugged in” to a religious body. But honestly after a few years of that kind of thinking, I discovered I wasn’t really even doing “my thing with God.” I was really doing my thing with me. And when I did find myself back in church, I couldn’t get past the vast distance between me and God. I wasn’t adequate. All I could see was sin, my sin.”  Again, there were tears.  I knew God was opening my eyes to a lesson, but I hadn’t quite grasped it yet.

Finally, this morning, I had the lightbulb moment and it’s been kicking my tail ever since (and still more crying).  We all have one area where we are more sensitive and more apt to struggle.  For me, it’s relationships. 

Suddenly, there’s a road map running through my head of all the places where the enemy has attacked my heart through life.  It’s amazing to me that of all the things I’ve struggled with and pushed through, at the core of most problems has been an assault on the relationships I’m involved in. And only those who really know me (ok, those I’ve let know the real me) know that I am probably one of the most sensitive, intuitive, relationally minded people you’d ever meet.  The irony is maddening.

With this knowledge, I’ve made some very clear decisions:

  1. I will give with no expectations-I’ve always enjoyed doing for others, but that venom of “need” made me question if it was noticed, appreciated, etc.
  2. I will confront chaos-I have someone in my circle who has her own struggles and projects them onto me.  It’s time for a “new day” chat.
  3. I will share my talents-Jason said something profound about giving his passions back to God and allowing Him to have full control.  I realized that I’ve been keeping mine hidden away. 
  4. I will fully plug back into a church community-Choosing single parenthood years ago didn’t go over well at my church.  It was so painful that I became disillusioned with “church” and went from active member to sporadic visitor.  I miss it.  And I need it.

Normally, I’d pose a question to wrap up.  But, today, I’ll end with this.  So close to Thanksgiving, there’s much I’m thankful for.  A child who melts my heart and was truly handpicked just for me to raise. Parents, both adopted and blood who love me in spite of my faults.  Friends who have dug in with me.  A workplace where I can thrive.  But more than anything, I am thankful that God loves us enough to get to the hurt, expose the lie, and show us the path.  His love is unfathomable.  But getting in the trenches with us…there are no words for the emotion tied to that one.

Be blessed today!

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I Dare You

people laughing2

Laugh a Little

My posts are usually on the more serious side.  I love learning and sharing.  But every once in a while, you just have to let the silly take over.  With that in mind, here’s an “I Dare You” that will make you laugh so hard you cry.  And hopefully, you will choose at least one on this list to do, just to make people look twice. 

ONE-POINT DARES
1.   Run one lap around the office at top speed.
2.   Ignore the first five people who say ‘good morning’ to you.
3.   Phone someone in the office you barely know, leave your name and    say,”Just called to say I can’t talk right now. Bye.”
4.   To signal the end of a conversation, clamp your hands over your ears and grimace.
5.   Leave your zipper open for one hour. If anyone points it out, say, “Sorry, I really prefer it this way.”
6.   Walk sideways to the photocopier.
7.   While riding in an elevator, gasp dramatically every time the doors open.
THREE-POINT DARES
1.    Say to your boss, “I like your style” and shoot him with double-barreled fingers.
2.    Babble incoherently at a fellow employee then ask, “Did you get all that, I don’t want to have to repeat it.”
3.    Page yourself over the intercom (do not disguise your voice).
4.    Kneel in front of the water cooler and drink directly from the nozzle (there must be a ‘non-player’ within sight).
5.    Shout random numbers while someone is counting.

FIVE POINT DARES
1.    At the end of a meeting, suggest that, for once, it would be nice to conclude with the singing of the national anthem (5 extra points if you actually launch into it yourself, 10 if you sing it through to the end).
2.   Walk into a very busy person’s office and while they watch you with growing irritation, turn the light switch on/off 10 times.
3.    For an hour, refer to everyone you speak to as “Bob.”
4.   After every sentence, say ‘Mon’ in a really bad Jamaican accent. As in “The report’s on your desk, Mon.” Keep this up for 1 hour.
5.    While an office mate is out, move their chair into the elevator.
6.    In a colleague’s DAY PLANNER, write in the 10am slot: “See how I look in tights.”(5 Extra points if it is a male, 5 more if he is your boss)
7.    Carry your keyboard over to your colleague and ask, “You wanna trade?”
8.    Repeat the following conversation 10 times to the same person: “Do you hear that?” “What?” “Never mind, it’s gone now.”
9.    Come to work in army fatigues and when asked why, say, “I can’t talk about it.”
10.   Find the vacuum and start vacuuming around your desk.
11.    During the course of a meeting, slowly edge your chair towards the door.
12.    Arrange toy figures on the table to represent each meeting attendee, move them according to the movements of their real-life counterparts.

Okay, now that you’ve had a good laugh, which one will you do??

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