30 June 2013

following up ~ What to do with super-sized sensitivity?

Oh wow!  I had forgotten what it was like to be in the world of super-size this, that and everything else. 
Bren & one of his classmates at their Grad Banquet
It doesn't take long to remember... or to recall first hand how too much super-sized anything isn't good for the physical... or mental... waistlines.

Not too many weeks back, I climbed on my soapbox and wrote a relatively short rant about a general tendency (that grates on me personally and that also seems to be exacerbated by online life) to be highly sensitive and take personal offense (whether intended or not).

And let me confess... I can be as guilty as the next person, whether I choose to write about the specifics of it or not. One could argue the fact that I posted that post is proof...

I don't want to share the particular instance that got me started on that other blog entry, back then - because my point is not to point fingers at a particular someone (for pointing a finger at another simply leaves three other digits pointing back at me), but to share some questions I've been asking myself and some meditations that have been mulling around in my heart. 

Why? Because the root of this whole issue, at least as far as I can see, is an over-inflated opinion of self and this egotistical idea that other people's words and actions are targeted for me, or at least me primarily.

Perhaps the post wasn't... but when I react so strongly, could it be that the still small voice of God is using another's words to point something out? To convict me of something that needs some changing?

I think those questions bear some first person-repeating... Seriously!
  1. How can I show each other a little more grace and consideration?
  2. How can I stop being so sensitive to ourselves and more sensitive to others?
I have my story... others have theirs... and what would happen if I spent more time thinking about others' stories than I spent wallering about in the sad or painful or difficult parts of my own?
  1. What if each time I started feeling those emotions and reactions riling up I committed to stop because I knew it was really about me - and not about what the other person wrote or said or did?
  2. Or what if when I read something that inflamed .. I paused and prayed and asked God about His plans for those particular words in changing and growing me?
  3. What if I was committed to not shooting the messenger, regardless of how eloquently or clumsily the message was actually delivered?
And then, what about those times when I get angry and discover that my anger focuses on the exact same things (in me and about me and outside of me having nothing to do with me) that offend God?

Then is the time to act and by God's grace, effect change - in me and in the world around me.

Do you have any additional thoughts on this topic you'd be willing to share?
Please do, in the comments!
Your contributions to the conversation are invaluable to me.

29 June 2013

Joe and Andi are getting married today!

It was furthest from our mind when we invited Andi to Niger to come and spend a school year with us.

Aren't they just the cutest couple?

But we are so super thankful it has happened... that we got to watch the romance grow... and that we are here with them to celebrate their special day and thank God for bringing the two of them together... as only He can!

28 June 2013

Five Minute Friday ~ In between

His fuzzy, docile head poked out, in between the two red fence boards. His eyes pleaded for attention. It was impossible not to stop and scratch behind those woolly ears and stroke the length of his soft back. But he only poked his face into my world for a brief moment, and then he was off, running around again, playing with his enclosure-mate.

I think I've finally come to treasure those sorts of in between moments - transition times where one foot rests in one world... and the other rests in a different one... and in those brief, fleeting times, I feel a part of both all at the same time. I treasure those moments because it is the closest I can come to having my cake... and eating it, too.

Cruising slowly out of the harbor, waving fierce goodbyes, was another one of those in between moments. We weren't completely gone, we could still see our friends and an island we'd only began to explore and enjoy and love, we wished to stay longer and never knowing if we'd have a similar opportunity in the future - but we were also on our way to the next place, anticipating a change and a new routine, as well as excited for the fantastic fun and adventure that we knew awaited us there.

I hear many complain about how hard transition can be.

They speak truth, for it is often uncomfortable and challenging.

Another option, however, is cherishing and labeling beloved those in between bridges... especially when life is full of so many of them.

*ferry photo taken by my friend Jenny Hall


Head on over to Lisa Jo's and write along with me and many others this week... or, as she says:

"Got five minutes? Let’s write. Let’s finger paint with words...

Let’s just write and not worry if it’s just right or not. Here’s how to play along:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Go leave some comment props for the five minute artist who linked up before you."

27 June 2013

Traveling about Scotland ~ Beachcombing whilst on Shapinsay

To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, 
while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me.

~ Isaac Newton


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