Tag: there’s a lesson here somewhere

what defeat looks like

We call Kaity crazy often. She has very passionate and specific ideas about how things should go. She works very hard to make them happen. When they don’t happen the way she believes they should, she yells, hits, cries, and sometimes, throws herself prostrate upon the floor.

…a  picture of steel ambition melting into utter defeat.

She is 3.. and just like me.

I don’t know why we always have to try so hard. I believe it’s ok to be ambitious. God makes us all a certain way, and the Capriotti-Burton family is full of leaders. We have visions and we grab a paint brush to turn them into reality. We have a task set before us and we run to it. We are challenged and we strap on our shield and unsheath our swords and dare the opposition to take us down.

And sometimes, it does.

I think it is ok not to be passive, but my lack of patience for passiveness is getting me into unpleasant circumstances now and then. Not everyone moves at my pace. Not everyone sees as I do, even if, you know, I just know I am right. And even though God made me the kind of person who paves ways instead of waiting for them…

… sometimes, when you’ve waited, then moved on, then torn down walls, then used the tools you have until they don’t work anymore, and you’re still waiting for it to work,

you just need to stop.

And rest.

And wait.

It doesn’t have to feel like defeat. It doesn’t have to send you crumbling.

Maybe, just maybe, it needs to look like rest…’cause you can kick down walls all day long, but you can’t make something out of nothing.

Now, I am going to take a sledge hammer to my slow-loading computer…

Love your neighbors

34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22, NIV)

{or if you’re in a law kind of mood):

Leviticus 19:18 NIV “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

Why do you think Jesus made “love your neighbor” so high up on the list of stuff we should do?

I mean, why didn’t He say, “Second guess your neighbor?” Why didn’t He suggest we “tear down our neighbor’s efforts?” or “hurt your neighbor as he has hurt you?” Why didn’t He command us to “make assumptions on your neighbor based on what you hear/observe/read on Facebook and tell it to the world like fact?” Or why didn’t He leave us instructions to “ignore your neighbor, her need, her pain, her cries for help, because they make you uncomfortable or because she isn’t as good as you are?”

I’ve seen a lot of talk lately about the last days, about Christians taking a stand, about proclaiming absolute truth without regard to “political correctness.”  That all sounds good. But when well-meaning Christians use those ideas as weapons, they circumvent their own efforts.

I’ve even seen Christians accuse other Christians of NOT being Christians because they choose a different way of delivering the gospel truth. Talk about a time-waster. While you’re accusing a brother or sister in Christ of doing it wrong, your other 50 or 500 or 1500 Facebook friends are watching you, perhaps lost and dying, and seeing that you don’t have any of the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control that is supposed to be evident in those living for Christ.

What happens to them, when the Jesus they see is an angry, bitter time-waster picking fights with other Christians?

Your mama might have said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

But much more specific and productive instruction comes from your Heavenly Father:
“You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness…But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift…God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.” (from Ephesians 4, The Message)

For the love of God, can we stop the snarkfest, the accusations, the time-wasting assumptions and campaigns? Stop picking battles with your brothers that will only result in everyone’s demise.

Christians, if you’re choosing a hill to die on, let it be Calvary.

~

I am really, deeply grateful to be attending a Pentecostal  church that commemorates Lent. We had a sweet, quiet time of family communion tonight, and when we came home, I logged out of Facebook and deleted all my browser history. I’m not saying I won’t check or post occasionally, but I do know that in this season of reflection and sacrifice, I want my life to get a little more quiet so I can hear what God might be speaking to my heart. As a writer and a reader, words that people share mean so much to me, but it’s occurred to me lately that I have given too much power to words. For the next 40 days, may my meditations stay on the power in the Blood.

The answer is “still”

Mostly, I don’t know the details of our life right now!

But I am sick of blogging/tweeting/status-updating in code, so here is where our life is as of this moment:

We’ve taken our house off the market. After a countless string of showings that produced no offers since May, we’ve conceded that we can’t compete in this current market. Our house is spacious and in great shape, but it’s not glamorous or brand new, and we can’t afford to sell it at the price of modern/shiny & unfortunately foreclosed homes. This market sucks for everyone. It just does. And meanwhile…

– We need to move. While we can still afford our mortgage and our (really high Cook County/HW) taxes, it’s too much house for us and we can’t afford it for long. Sooo…we’re now looking for renters and preparing for the possibility that after months of waiting to move (to Nashville), we might be moving really quickly… to somewhere else.

– Where? Well, that is the question that remains to be answered. We have an exciting, seemingly perfectly-crafted-and-sent-by-God-with-a-big-red-bow job opportunity. If it works out, we’d both be working at things we love to do in a family-friendly environment that would stretch us, grow us, pay us, and allow us to still work and grown our ministry and help our friends in ministry. The opportunity is in South Carolina. The answer is…on the way.

– Plan B. We have one. Because you have to have one, even if faith says to trust totally in Plan A. We trust. We trust that this SC opportunity is from God…but we don’t know if it’s because we’re supposed to “end up” there or because we are supposed to learn a bunch of stuff and this is a landmark on the way through that, or something like that. Plan B keeps us closer to where we live now and a whole lot of people we love and would miss terribly. Plan B might mean we don’t get to homeschool the littles right now. Plan B means yet another career change in our household. I am not thrilled at the prospect of Plan B, but I am grateful for it. Some people don’t have any opportunities right now. We are so blessed to have options.

– Paige B She’s going to University of Kentucky. She’s been accepted to her #1 college choice as an early-graduating junior! Could I be prouder of this kid? No stinking way. She is not only smart (which we have no control over), but she is a hard-worker, a go-getter, and a mature, considerate, ambitious person of integrity. She reminds me so much of her dad, so I know she will be great at whatever she chooses to do!

February was a tough month, but a growing month. Patience has always been a struggle for me, and every day I find myself shrugging off this waiting game and distracting myself with The Stuff There Is To Do In The Mean Time. Unfortunately, I also get distracted with utter crap sometimes (either drama, the queens who make it, general worries, or Facebook). Rod has been reiterating to me the story of Nehemiah (which I sum up as this: “Back off, Jack. I gotta build this wall like God told me to.”) I have been reading Galatians and finding great inspiration in the words of Paul. I’ve also been greatly enjoying 3 great teaching series at our church: Sunday mornings give us “The Attributes of God” and “Disciples of Jesus” and Wednesday nights are on Revelation.

Being fed with the Word of God, the map for our lives, the guide book, is beyond helpful. And teaching my Miranda the story of creation…well, if God made the whole stinking universe, I’m pretty sure He “has this,” you know?

Someone asked me the other day what our “answer that answers a thousand questions is.” I said that answer is...still on the way. And apparently, at least for today, the answer is STILL to be STILL and wait and trust and know it’s coming.

Summary of a Tuesday

Yesterday was one of those days…deep talks, lasting worries, searching for solutions. And that was just over lunch. The rest of the day was “fraught” with “incidences” ~ BUT:

We thought it was broken; it wasn’t.
(my phone)

We thought it was lost; we found it.
(Rod’s wedding ring)

We thought we had to pay for it; someone else did.
(a necessary purchase)

We thought it was just a business thing, but it was a divine appointment.
(Rod’s meeting)

Basically, yesterday was fraught with unexpected blessings…and this little summary that popped into my head last night now seems like a metaphor for our lives:

When I fall, when my vessel breaks,
He just picks up those pieces, He does not throw the clay away…

I once was lost, but now I’m found.

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.

Rejoice for the steps of a righteous man are ordered of God.

As I posted on my facebook:

Dear God, Thank You for shutting my doubting mouth with unexpected blessings!