01/30…of the day

“Stand strong with a soft heart.”

I read this quote a few weeks ago and it hasn’t strayed far from my mind since. How do we stand strong but keep a soft heart. How do I do this? How do we disagree with people we love on issues both big and small and believe the best of them? How do we find ways to stand for what we believe to be true and still end each day loving those that disagree with us the same way we had loved them the day before. How do we keep our hearts soft toward each other and not become jaded and full of hate? How do we stand like stone for justice and provide for the weary, the broken and the defenseless, but still be brought to tears by sorrow or hope or joy?  How do we fight for those who can’t fight for themselves, and still weep with those who weep even if they aren’t on “our side”?

I don’t know. I’m grappling with this myself, but the only person who I know that has done this perfectly, once told this story. And some how I think there’s answers to these questions somewhere in here.

“There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.

“A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I’ll pay you on my way back.’
“What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?”

“The one who treated him kindly,” the religion scholar responded.

Jesus said, “Go and do the same.”

images

I remember coloring this exact picture sometime in my early child hood. Probably in sunday school somewhere in Boulder, Colorado.  When it seemed so clear and easy.

But it isn’t clear and easy. Life and hearts are complicated and messy. And the problem is it’s so easy to say words and so much harder to do actions. Yet Brennan Manning’s famous quote haunts me & also holds me accountable  “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”

I’ve seen people on all sides of each of the discussions that are going on in our world today (immigration, sanctity of life – at all stages, refugees, people of color, security, freedoms, the future, fiscal responsibility, other belief systems, inherent rights, identities and orientations and the list goes on and on) lose sight of the human heart and life on the on the other side of the table or on the other side of the screen.  And I know I’ve been both.  I’ve been the one that wounds, and I’ve been the wounded.  And I’m guessing you have too. But I’m trying to choose differently.

What does that look like for me?  I’ll give my time and I’ll give my money. I’ll wear my t-shirts on my chest and my heart on my sleeve. I’ll have conversations, and I’ll take action.

And today I will try my best to stand strong with a soft heart.

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05/25…of the day

Verse of the Day:
“For He Himself is our peace”
~ Eph 2:14

Quote of the Day:
“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
~ Jane Austen

Photo of the Day:
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~ “I Carry Your Heart” by h.wilson (Print of EE Cummings poem at the Wilson House in Belegrade MT

Currently listening to Glades – “Drive” “Her (Loving You)”

02/25…of the day

Verse of the Day:
“I have made you.
I will carry you.
I will sustain you and
I will rescue you”
~Isaiah 46:4

Poem of the Day:
“Life is short, break the rules,
Forgive quickly, kiss slowly,
Love truly, laugh uncontrollably
And never regret anything that makes you smile”
~Mark Twain

Video of the Day:

Currently Listening to “Traveller” by Chris Stapleton – “Tennessee Whiskey” “Sometimes I Cry” “Fire Away”

01/06…of the day

Verse of the Day:
“God’s love is meteoric,
his loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
his verdicts oceanic.
Yet in his largeness
nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
slips through the cracks.”
~Ps 36: 5-6

Quote of the Day:
“Surround yourself with people who are hungry for life, touch your heart, and nourish your soul.”
~ Unknown

Poem of the Day:
“silently if, out of not knowable
night’s utmost nothing, wanders a little guess
(only which is this world) more of my life does
not leap than with the mystery your smile

sings or if (spiraling as luminous
they climb oblivion)voices who are dreams,
less into heaven certainly earth swims
than each my deeper death becomes your kiss

losing through you what seemed myself;i find
selves unimaginably mine;beyond
sorrow’s own joys and hoping’s very fears

yours is the light by which my spirit’s born:
yours is the darkness of my soul’s return
–you are my sun,my moon,and all my stars”
~”#38″ by e.e. cummings

Currently listening to “Thirty One” by Jarryd James “Do You Remember” is one of my favorite songs of 2015

01/05…of the day

Verse of the Day:
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint”
~Is 40:31

Quote of the Day:
“She has fire in her soul & grace in her heart”
~Unknown – My quote for the year.

Excerpt of the Day:
“The sad thing is, these are all moms that I’d love to be friends with in real life. I wish that rude, nosy folks hadn’t ruined the art of conversation for everyone, because there are people like me who genuinely seek connection with parents of all stripes. I’ve never been one for wasting time on small talk—I want to get to know the real person I’m speaking with—but I feel like chit chat is all that’s available anymore. Living in a culture where people are quick to get offended, I worry that being on the defensive all the time is preventing us from initiating true friendships and sharing our unique stories.”
~ 10 Moms I can No Longer Speak To on ScaryMommy

 ~A friend of a friend on facebook added this:
“I’m not even a mom yet and I can relate. Not being a mom makes it even worse bc ‘I just don’t understand’ or ‘I cant relate to them so they don’t turn to me.’ When I asked a friend awhile back via text “hey what are you doing tonight?” ..and their response a was, “Raising a child.. What are you doing?” …I realized at that moment that I was going to lose those types of mommy friends and that broke my heart. I’m SO appreciate my friends who allow us to still be around them and their kids and allow us to play and help take care of their kids and ask these types of questions with a willing heart to share. I love when our hangout nights consist of Murder Mystery with the adults followed by a pillow fight and Xbox games with the kids. Please know that just bc we don’t have kids, doesn’t mean we don’t want to be around you or think your kids are nuisance. I ADORE children (and sometimes might prefer hanging out with them over adults in all honesty.) haha.  And know that we ask bc we care or we want to LEARN from you. But I feel the same as her, I just don’t ask.”


My 2 Cents:

I’m pretty dang lucky that the majority of my friends (moms & dads) that have kids are amazing, and are the exception to this article.  Thanks so much for being who you are.  I hope you know that I love you and and your kiddos with all my heart.

The thing is that this article is incredibly accurate for quite a number of people.  I crave deep connected relationships (I think we all do, we’re just all pretty afraid) and when you can’t ask the real questions and speak to the places that are deep in our hearts, then how can we really have community/belonging/connection.  This goes to more than just being a parent, it reaches to the other parts of life (marriage, career, passions, relationships, beliefs).

And though I fully acknowledge that being a parent is a huge part of your identity, it doesn’t solely define you, my friend, in my eyes. Sure it’s a part of you, and one I love watching thrive, and bloom.  But I hope it doesn’t define you in your eyes either.  You are all the wonderful things you were before you brought that awesome tiny human into this world, only you are better, wiser.  And I haven’t forgotten that.  I still see you.  I still want to know you.  So I will ask those questions.  Because I love you.

Currently Listening to “Songs to Make Up To” by Ta-ku – Especially “Love Again” “Down for You” & “Sunrise/Beautiful”

05/11…of the day

Verse of the Day:
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” ~Heb 10:23

Quote of the Day:
“Enthusiasm creates performance that others thought impossible…
high trust team = high energy teams = successful teams.”
~Proactive Coaching

Excerpt of the Day:
When you hold your dreams with open hands, you let them breathe, grow, and have life. This can be scary because living things move, change, and take shapes we can’t predict or control.

But what good is a dream if it doesn’t grow along with us?”
~”When Your Dream Begins to Change” by Emily Freeman at Chatting at the Sky

Currently Listening to “Riser” by Dierks Bentley

03/17…of the day

Verse of the Day:
“For I know the thoughts I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not evil” ~Jer 29:11

Quote of the Day:
“The sign of intelligence is that you are constantly wondering.  Idiots are always dead sure about every damn thing they are doing in their life.”
~Vasudev

Video of the Day:

I have said for a very long time that I actually really LOVE t-swifts songwriting, I just usually prefer someone else singing the songs (Mine, Everything has Changed, I Knew You Were Trouble, Begin Again, Safe & Sound, Back to December Sparks Fly The Best Day).  Select ones I have still enjoyed (White Horse, Love Story) but the statement still holds true.  This beautifully written song is stunning in this cover sung by Seth Rinehart.

“Just grab my hand and don’t ever drop it
My love, they are the hunters, we are the foxes
And we run
Baby I know places we won’t be found
and they’ll be chasing our trace tryin’ to track us down
Cause I, I know places we can hide,
I know places”

Currently Listening to “Four Five Seconds” by Rihanna, Kanye, Paul McCartney