'relationship' tagged posts

The Image of God

I somehow made it through both middle school and high school without a random guy slapping my butt in an inappropriate attempt at humor and attraction. I was in my twenties before I realized this was a rarity among women and in my thirties before I seriously started to think about the intersection of my faith and of my gender. Just as importantly, I started to think about how society viewed those two, sometimes disparate parts, of my whole self. Now in my forties, I am closely observing how the church handles the ripples from sexism, feminism, questionable leadership, the #metoo movement, toxic masculinity, and other controversial topics- stones thrown onto the seemingly smooth surfaces of often patriarchal modern American church culture. One of the most frustrating aspects of this experience is that it seems impossible to engage in any kind of healthy dialogue without the discourse becoming entangled in a web of political extremes and biases that result in angry hackles being raised, ending the conversation before it can even begin.

I think that the tension surrounding these topics make us pause, hesitant to engage, hesitant to speak our minds, perhaps even hesitant to know our minds to begin with.

Thankfully Jesus had no such qualms, even though challenging gender norms held far more serious consequences in His time than they do now. He waded into danger, confident in who He was as the Savior of all and confident in the never changing character of God – Holy, Just, Loving, and Truthful.

Teetering

Teeter – To move unsteadily (verb), wobble (noun)  Dictionary App

My son is 15 months old and currently learning to walk. In typical toddler fashion, his head and belly account for 90% of his mass, so his attempts at steps look a lot like teetering. Mostly, he looks like a stumbling drunk, but with his dimpled grin, he can pull it off. My reflex as the hovering mother is to reach out and stabilize him. Sometimes I do, but mostly I let him try. I let him fall. I let him learn. I know it’s how to help him grow. I want him to run and play and take over the the world. We have to start somewhere.

He is resilient. I think the diaper-padded bottom helps, but he often pops right back up after he falls. The fear of falling again has yet to hamper his vigor in attempting consistent strides. When he gets tired, he seems to step harder but with less balance. That can get pretty funny. But he seems to understand the end game. Walking. Then running. Then who knows?  

I can relate to the point of tears to the teetering. At any given time, one or more arenas of my life see me in that form. And unlike my son, more often than not, my instinct is not to pop back up and get right back in the game. I have never been one to feel like I’ve ‘arrived,’ but for me, parenting has wielded an even stronger hammer of humility than any season before it. When so much is at stake, it feels crippling to want to do well with all you have and still fall.

Something to Talk About: A Couple of Things We’ve Learned About the Dialogue of Marriage

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I still have the email.  Received nearly 17 years ago.  Sent from one side of the country to the other.  The one where he told me he loved me.

With joy I received those words from the one who’d already so completely stolen my heart.

But in the same email he shared his fears.  He referred to an Oscar Wilde play, “Our House.”  In the play the husband and wife of many years stop talking to each, not because they are angry, but simply because they have run out of things to say.  If he and I continued to pursue this relationship, if we eventually committed to a life spent together, would we too someday run out of things to say?

Halloween & Jesus: 6 Ideas for Making Halloween Meaningful

Halloween is weird. Cute kids and large quantities of sugar. Yards strewn with synthetic spiderwebs and battery-powered cackling skeletons and gigantic inflatable witches. A background that includes remembering the dead, pacifying ancient Celtic gods, prayer and fasting… and smashed pumpkins. A mixture of influences Christian, pagan… and just plain strange. So I FULLY understand when […]

The Gift of Mission Part 1

On a mountain top in the Galilean countryside, Jesus gathered his small rag-tag group of followers for one of the last times on this earth.  He had spent the previous three years pouring into them.  He taught them to pray.  He taught them grace.  He taught them forgiveness.

Now in His last moments, instead of teaching, He is giving.

He gives His disciples a gift.  It’s a gift for them and everyone who will eventually follow in their steps.  He prefaces the gift by reminding us that He has all authority and He is summoning that authority to give us the greatest gift He could give – Mission.

Matthew 28:18-19  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

You have a mission.  I have a mission.  That mission is the Father’s mission, which we now share.  What is the mission? It is making disciples.