A Letter to All Those Boycotting Target…From Your Friend

Oh dear friends. I am going to be honest. 

My heart is hurting. It’s broken for this world. It’s sin. It’s fallen-ness. It’s separation from God. From holiness. 

But even more than that my heart is breaking for the people. People alone. People confused. Hurt people. Fearful people. Because this isn’t how we were created to live. It isn’t the image we were made to reflect. 

And that brings me to the reason for my letter. 

This is not about whatever you, or I for that matter, believe about gender identity. It simply isn’t. 

Instead, it’s about addressing the fear. The people. The hurt. The anger. The words. And even the hate — whether intentional or not. 

You see friends, I understand fear. I understand the deep seated desire to protect your children, your family, your loved ones. I understand our desires for safety and protection. Truly, I do.

But I think we allow those desires to infiltrate our faith. Our peace. We allow our desires, our sense that we are due safety to supercede the most important commandments God gave. 

Jesus tells us that the most important, the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our might (Matthew 22:37-38). How can this be done? What can we do to love God well?

Well friends, we can obey. Obeying God, praying, reading His Word, trusting Him. Giving offerings and sacrificing. That. That’s how we can love God well. 

And that means remembering God’s sovereignty. It means remembering that all we have is His. It means remembering His faithfulness. It means remembering that He is our strong refuge. Our strength. Our courage. 

Jesus, in the very same breath, goes on to tell us the second most important commandment: to love others as ourself (Matthew 22:39). 

Pause for a minute. Allow that to sink into the very depth of your soul. What does that mean? Who do we need to love? Just those we understand? Those like us, those with similar beliefs? 

Or. Or are we called to more? To the hard and uncomfortable. Are we called to grow and move outside of our comfort zones? To a place where we love all. Not of our own accord, but through the Holy Spirit. To a love that shows Christ. 

Because friends, that’s our job. We must be the light of Christ to those around us. We are called to love those in the world as Christ did. 

And that doesn’t look like fear. It doesn’t look like angry Facebook posts. It doesn’t look like boycotting. 

Instead, it looks like compassion. It looks like engaging and learning. 

It looks like Jesus. Stepping away from the stones to throw, and stepping forward. Moving closer. In love. 

Because friends, people are important. They are immortal. Eternal. And that’s a reminder each and every one of us need. The very ones you are rallying against are people. People with an eternity. And if you love Jesus as much as you claim, then frankly, that should matter. A lot. 

So instead of loving yourself more than those around you, remember this. This isn’t about you. It’s about others. It’s about eternity. 

So what are you going to do about that? I, for one, suspect that boycotts and Facebook posts aren’t the answer. (I would love to hear from you, but if you forget your manners, please expect your comment to be removed.)

Advertisements

On Settling {#WholeMama}

It’s been a while since I’ve joined in on the #WholeMama posts. I lost track of the group and the words. And honestly, I continued on. I missed the group of women, the community, I had found – but as we all know, life continues.

And then randomly, thank you social media, I found them once again. And what a perfect week to jump back in. Because this week, our prompt is settling.

After #WholeMama, I had settled into a routine. A new routine of writing, of summer with family, of playing, and downright craziness. It was a beautiful season. One filled with adventures, friends, and life.

Yet, as time always does, it skipped forward, quickly and abruptly. And I found myself in fall. My favorite season, but one I never truly settled in. Fall was a season of seeking a pace. It was a time of trying to settle in. Trying to create the ‘perfect’ schedule that would be both life-giving and freeing.

Motherhood

Shockingly, I never found it. And now, as spring peaks it’s head around the  hopeful ending of winter, I find myself running from settling. I want to burst out of the cocoon I had been frantically piecing together. I want to run, searching out life.

Honestly, I just want to run on some green grass with my puppy. (No, I do not actually have a puppy.)

And that’s where settling leaves me. In this strange middle ground. The meeting place of comfort and newness. Grasping for life, while clinging to safety. 

What does settling mean to you? I would love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below, or join us over at #WholeMama.

love to you

Finding the Balance: Space & Community {#WholeMama}

My posting schedule is off this week, because sometimes you just need to take a step back. Sometimes you need space.

And how fitting, because today #WholeMama is talking about space.

Chicago Sunset

I see my children struggle with space. Desiring it yet also wanting to be surrounded by each other, their friends. Me. Space is funny that way, isn’t it? We desire space, we need it, but we also need and desire community. I don’t know about you, but I struggle in the very same way. My desire for community and my desire for space at odds with each other. Throw into the mix, 4 children that desire all of me, a wonderful husband that enjoys being around me (crazy, I know!), an amazing community of friends that are more like family, and a God that wants my time to honor Him. And that’s where I am: jumping headfirst into community while keeping boundaries that value my quiet time and my family time. 

SPACE = QUIET TIME

I have shared before how I love quiet time. During the school year quiet time comes easy, almost naturally. (You can read about how I do it, here.) But right now, it is summer time. That grand time of year where family vacations, sprinklers, gardens, and backyard adventures reside. And for me, summer is also the time of year that kills my quiet time. 

Continue reading

The Generous Vulnerability of Hospitality

HOME: A PLACE TO GROW COMMUNITY

Last August, my husband and I moved and purchased a new home. It is a much larger home than our prior house and, honestly, is more than we ever dreamed. It is an amazing blessing and a way we truly saw God at work in our lives. With this extra space, we look forward to the ways we can bless others. We hope to help children and families that are walking through difficult times. We also want to open our home to friends and family as much as possible. We want to share our home, this immense blessing, with those in our lives. We desire for our home to be a place where we can be open, honest, vulnerable, and generous with others.

We hope our home is a place where community is fostered.

Last week, I wrote a post about our desire to be known. To be able to share our stories and be truly seen and understood. Without judgement. To live in true and beautiful community. It is something I am passionate about because I have seen the change in my own life when I intentionally moved to live in community. Yes. I moved for community, though this move is actually two-fold. I literally moved because of my desire need to live in community. I also had to get myself to a place that could live in authentic and vulnerable community. Really, community is just that vital and an amazing display of grace in my life. If you are not feeling that community. If it is missing in your life, please, please contact me. I would love to stand with you, together, in this virtual community.

hospitality

Fostering community; real, true community can be difficult. You have to put yourself out there. You need to vulnerably invite people into your story, your world. You can do this by sharing your story with them. By sharing your life in an honest and open way. But you can also do this by inviting them into your home. By being hospitable. I grew up in a home where people were always welcomed. There was always plenty of food to eat, to share and people were always invited, even to just stop by. I loved that and hope to create a similar atmosphere. I want friends and family to feel welcome and at home in my home. I want them to know it is a safe place. A place they will be met with unconditional love.

Continue reading

Dare To Be Known

AMERICAN PICKERS

I have been loving American Pickers lately. Thank you Netflix for allowing me to binge watch an entire season of a show in just weeks. (Yes it took me weeks. I’m old and try to go to bed at a decent time.) When I first began watching, I didn’t really care for the show. Yet, as I continued watching I was struck by the way the people selling their “treasures” enjoyed having Mike and Frank take a look around. These are strangers. Complete strangers. Yet here they were, being welcomed into their homes. I just couldn’t understand it.

IMG_3032

After about 9 or 10 episodes, I realized what it was. These people. These people wanted to be known. They were eager to be understood. To have someone, even a stranger, enter into their home. Their space. Their world. And to know them. To know them with their mess, with their too much. To see them for who they are. The messy and the beautiful. The vulnerable and the honest. To know them without judgement. Not for their “junk,” their mess. But for them. Even if that included their too much.

When the Pickers would finally depart, the exchange was often heartfelt. It was incredible really. These people, just moments ago complete strangers, had become friends. They were known. Really and truly. Deeply known. Their stories were heard. They were understood. They were seen. And they were slow to say goodbye. Mike and Frank had become part of their community. Their identity. Simply by entering in. They had come into their world and were forever welcomed back into it, the next time they are passing by.

OUR LEGACY: COMMUNITY

What an amazing legacy. To be the people that enter someones world and truly see them. Truly see them for who they are and who they are growing into. To be the person that is given access to a friends story. To their life, their mess, their world. I am sure it comes as no surprise that I love community. I blog about it’s importance (it made it’s way into my very first post), and I recently included it as one of the important lessons I have learned in marriage. And this. This is why. I want to be that person. That person that intentionally creates community with those around me. I want to be a safe person, someone that can encourage others. Someone that is vulnerable, open, honest and encourages others to be that way as well.

Continue reading