Pragmatic Compendium

inspiring the pragmatic practice of intimacy with Christ

sarcasm: religious and political poison.

sarcasm and stupidityReading too much on the internet today and keep thinking one thing:

Sarcasm is an ineffective persuasive technique.

It’s condescending, arrogant, divisive and shuts down dialog. It’s too often used by people in a manner to indicate that an issue is simple and anyone who doesn’t see the simplicity and logic of their side of an argument is an idiot to be ridiculed and dismissed.

Seriously.

If these issues were simple,
they wouldn’t be so controversial.

Anyone who uses trite, flippant sarcasm to make a point – especially without even acknowledging any opposing points of view – loses credibility with me

- and my interest in any discussion with them about how stupid the other guy’s point of view is

- regardless of whether I am the other guy or am aligned in opinion with the person wielding the sarcasm.

sarcasm puppets and crayons

March 6, 2014 Posted by | christian living, intentional living, pinterest, pragmatic communication, status updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

facebook fragments: 01/18/14 – 01/24/14

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
I have a harmony stuck in my head.

_______________

PinkGirl. Please STOP doing the Chocolate Dance and get ready for bed.
#ilovemydaughter

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014
PinkGirl. Please STOP doing the Chocolate Dance and get ready for school.
#ilovemydaughter

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A huge THANK YOU to Kristen from BodyInUnity Inc.! After more than 6 months off, I went to my 3rd Christian yoga class yesterday at a new location for me – Willow Creek PCA in Winter Springs (FL). Locals, if you’re looking for a Christian yoga class, I can personally recommend Kristen! Check out her class locations and times through the Body In Unity website, HERE. (scroll down to see the schedule) NO FEES! Donations only!

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It would appear that Bob the Cat and I are playing the “Cat Wants In-Cat Wants Out” game today.
I’m reminded of the Sad Cat Diary:
“I put in a simple request regarding the door to the garden. But seemingly out of sheer spite, the authorities refuse to hold the door open long enough for me to decide whether to go outside. or inside. or outside. or inside.”

_______________

Logged into my bank yesterday. My credit card had a zero balance. And I had a brand new credit card. with a brand new number. A card we didn’t apply for. showing that missing balance.
Thank you Target.
and NO thank you. I do NOT want a Red Card.
I don’t need a new bank account number too.

_______________

The 2014 Living Room Makeover is stalled. Technically it’s because I haven’t ordered the rest of the flooring yet. Or painted the room. Or picked a paint color. Until today. Paralyzed by tones of wheat, I finally settled on one. Not because I loved the color, but because the name of it is “Pecan Sandie.”

Yes. My decorating choices are guided by cookies. That being said, when asked about the decorating delay, I shall steadfastly deny procrastination, indecision and cookies and blame it all on the busyness surrounding the production of PinkGirl’s latest play. She’s Sally Brown in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. Last weekend and this weekend.
Do they make a paint additive that smells like cookies?
(click below to see the before photos and the progress so far)

new flooring sample

________________

Thursday, January 23, 2014
The garbage cans I ordered came yesterday. Opened the 1st box, not the 2nd.
PinkGirl: “Mom, what was that crashing noise this morning, right before Bob started crying?”
It really does look like the top of the 1st box could support the weight of a cat, doesn’t it?

boo and bob on cardboard boxes

_______________

My dentist is going to tell me I need a crown for a cracked tooth.
She’s also going to tell me I need a night guard because I clench my teeth while sleeping, which resulted in a cracked tooth.
Which has been cracked for years.
Which is why I’ve said no to the crown for years.
Today I find out if the crack has grown. I really do NOT want a crown. I already have one and it was a significantly less than optimal experience. (By the time I needed my next cleaning, I had a new dentist.)
I’d rather paint the living room than go to the dentist.
okay. I’m done whining.
for a while.

________________

If I actually intended to use this flap on our new garbage can, this crooked sticker with bubbles in it would make me grumble every time I threw something away.
#ocd

crooked recycle sticker

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“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

________________

Friday, January 24, 2014
Spent a couple of hours at BrightLight Books yesterday.
And a couple of hours reading.
#incurablebibliophile

book binge

_______________

Need. Bookcases.
#incurablebibliophile

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The clothing and makeup is dated, but the message is timeless.
Jump to the 16 minute mark to get to the guts of this:
(or check out the book version “Dinner with a Perfect Stranger” It’s short. 178 pages.)

____________________

That yoga class I took last night?
Feeling it right now. I am seriously out of shape.
Even the bottom of my feet hurt.

____________________

Little known facts about 19th-century protestant non-state missionaries: “Areas where Protestant missionaries had a significant presence in the past are on average more economically developed today, with comparatively better health, lower infant mortality, lower corruption, greater literacy, higher educational attainment (especially for women), and more robust membership in nongovernmental associations.” Read the full article HERE.

____________________

To see more previous facebook update and compilation blog posts, CLICK HERE.

February 3, 2014 Posted by | books, christian living, exercise, family, fight the frump, fragments, freakishly organized, goodsteward/body, health, home sweet home, intentional living, laugh!, microactions, motivation, music, pinterest, poor me some whine, pragmatic commotion, pragmatic parenting, praise team music, status updates, youtube | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

it only hurts temporarily.

Friend: “You overthink things.”

Me: “You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

image

November 23, 2013 Posted by | fragments, intentional living | , , , | Leave a comment

therefore I quote: “violently face to face”

CS Lewis Quote Reading Violently face to face Letters to Malcolm

“C.S. Lewis (on reading another author):

“He brought me violently face to face with…”

from Yours, Jack by C.S. Lewis

YES!

I LOVE it when that happens! It’s why I read dead guys and footnotes when I don’t have to. I love it when a writer makes me think. I love it when my beliefs are challenged, when my complacency is given a swift kick in the pants, when my arrogant assumptions are blindsided by something I never considered before.

Why do I love it when a writer brings me “violently face to face” with a new perspective I hadn’t considered or a truth I hadn’t realized?

Long story short? Complicated and detailed reasoning summarized? I have an extreme aversion to uninformed myopic opinions being spouted as declarations of objective truth.

I like to learn. To think. And I learn a LOT from books. I like to plow into what other people have written. Reading and learning fuel me and fuel the conversations I have, the words I write and the decisions I make.

You don’t have to be a reader to be informed. In the age of Google and Wikipedia, you can find out whether what you believe is hooey in a matter of seconds.

I’m allergic to hooey. The last thing I want to do is spread it around.

November 15, 2013 Posted by | books, intentional living, learning curve, therefore I quote, what I've learned | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

idences.

specifically, providence and coincidence.

Tozer quote you can see God from anywhereprovidence: capitalized : God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny

coincidence: the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection

I can’t ever remember believing in coincidences. My husband on the other hand, is a big believer in them. He believes some things – LOTS of things – just…happen. I believe some things happen randomly too. But I also believe that God takes each and every one of those random events and circumstances and, in His sovereign will, wrapped in undeserved and unearned grace and mercy, purposefully works them for His good.

Every. single. one of them. Because He is that good. He’s all powerful, all knowing and ever present.

When we find ourselves smack in the middle a seemingly random happening, both my husband and I agree that God has given us the freedom to choose. We are to be guided by wisdom (Bible, learned knowledge, prayer, experience, wise counsel, reason, etc.), but we get to choose how we respond. We both find loads of scriptural support for this belief.

The big difference between Hubs and I on this is that I tend to assume God’s hand in nearly everything – big or teeny, obvious or not, whether I ever get to know how or not. I’m not saying I believe God MAKES everything happen in this fallen world, although I believe He could. Again – He is that good. I’m saying I don’t find scriptural support for the extreme, exclusive idea that He makes EVERYthing happen. Sure, some things He makes happen. But some things He allows to happen. His sovereign will is unknown to us. In all cases, I believe the promise of Romans 8:28.

Who am I to determine what is meaningful or insignificant? The Bible tells me nothing is insignificant to God. The Bible tells me the hairs on my head are actually numbered.

Even being “in the dark,” as it were, I intuitively look for deeper meaning. What is God doing? Why did He allow something to happen? I immediately start thinking and praying about how to respond, whether it be taking action or figuring out what God wants me to learn or take away from the situation.

Last week, I had a friend remark to me “You see God in EVERYTHING.”

quote-lo-the-poor-indian-whose-untutored-mind-sees-god-in-clouds-or-hears-him-in-the-wind-alexander-pope-Not sure I ever consciously thought about it before, but she’s right. I do. I can’t imagine living any other way. To me, it’s completely normal. The fact that I see God in everything is probably one of the reasons I don’t believe in coincidences.

This might be a chicken or the egg kind of thing.

Either way, over the last few months, I’ve seen more of my own fingerprints than God’s. My life was one of the smudgiest sliding glass doors you’ve ever seen. And all the fingerprints were down low. Where I could reach.

To drastically summarize 16 “hard look in the mirror” blog posts: God has been silent in my life for a few months. I don’t like it. At. All. I feel like God the Father has taken His hand off the bicycle seat of my life to teach me…what? To be confident He is there even when I don’t feel the security of His hand? I researched the theology of “the dark night” and came out of all the reading grounded in one of the metaphors. I was going to stop swimming and float. Not drift – with no intention. FLOAT – in the current of God’s will. I wasn’t going to fight the current. I was going to stop swimming in the direction I thought God wanted me to go. I was going to FLOAT.

In the silence.

Seemed like a reasonable plan.

Until the silence became unbearable. I wrote last week, that I came to a breaking point. If you didn’t read that, “CLICK HERE” to check it out.

ya back?

okay. so that Monday night, I went to sleep having intentionally chosen this season of silence and whatever God is teaching me over tried and true past remedies for finding Joy in God. I called it my darkest night.

Tuesday morning, I woke up to an email in my inbox. The local school where I’ve recorded for more than 3 years had two cancellations for that upcoming weekend. Could I cover two vocal labs (recording sessions)? (If you didn’t do it a minute ago, you’re gonna have to read “two steps forward. one step back.” to get the full impact of that “coincidence.”)

and remember. I see God’s hand in EVERYthing.

So, in the spirit of floating, I said yes.

I spent the entire morning looking for two songs to sing. Given that I had less than four days to prepare a lead and at least two harmonies for each song, I focused specifically on songs I already knew. Song after song – one obstacle after another. No track. Background vocals already on the track. Wrong key. just…wrong after wrong after wrong.

I left the house for the afternoon and when I came back, someone had posted on my facebook wall:

“Hey, so you know the song ‘He is with You” by Mandisa? I think you should sing it at church. Take a look….’”

I immediately thought: “Mandisa? I can’t sing Mandisa.” But again, in the spirit of floating, I responded:

“I’m gonna call that a God thing. LocalRecordingSchool called me today asking me to fill in two cancellations this weekend. I struggled to select tracks all day. One down. one to go. Thanks, friend. If the rough cut is any good, I’ll give you a copy.”

And then another facebook friend commented:

“‘There is a God’ by Lee Ann Womack?”

That’s two.

Monday night I had broken down, wimped out and asked God to let me/help me sing again, then almost immediately took back my request, choosing the lesson of the dark night over the temporal blessing that would have come with the singing.

Then all that happened on Tuesday. The fingerprints on my sliding glass door were MUCH bigger than my own.

and they weren’t anywhere near my reach.

August 20, 2013 Posted by | christian living, intentional living, learning curve, music, pinterest, poor me some whine, pragmatic communion, suffering, thankfulness, the search for Joy | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ordering my environment.

I wrote a few weeks ago that when my head is a mess, I am compelled to order my environment. In practical application, this means three things: cleaning. purging. painting.

and I guess decorating. If you count framing stuff I’ve been meaning to frame for…ever. and putting new flooring in downstairs. and getting rid of useless decorative items that just take up space in my house.

Like a bowl of rocks.

seriously.

at one point in my life, I PAID for a bowl of rocks and put them on a flat surface in my house. To hold candles. Candles that are – to this day – still wrapped in plastic.

purging. This particular purge isn’t so bad. The biggest purge I’ve done was after my hysterectomy in 2009. That was bad. My house and it’s contents suffered nearly two years of female neglect because of chronic anemia and limited activity, followed by another 6 months of recovery after the surgery.

This purge is deeper.

A stripping down to basics purge.

On May 31st, I said I wanted “I want every superfluous thing in my house gone. GONE.” I’m looking at EVERYTHING in my house as if I were moving. Would I want to pack it? or get rid of it?

I’ve thrown away and shredded so. much. paper. We’ve already made one trip to the dump. I’ve completely emptied every bathroom cabinet and only put back the things we need. I’ve gotten rid of pointless dust collecting decorations, including the bowl of rocks. I’ve even gotten rid of over 100 books.

I’ve been posting some of my progress on my public facebook page. You don’t even need to have a facebook account to see it.

Yesterday’s facebook post:
An entire pick-up truck load of furniture and multiple boxes of books, clothing, appliances, and pointless decorative dust collectors – all now in the FUMCO Whale of a Sale storage POD. I have zero dining room chairs and I do not care. I didn’t love them and they took up too much space, so they had to go. Based on that criteria, all members of my family will be staying. I suppose the cats can stay too. Tomorrow? The linen closet purge. I have to make room for the single tablecloth and the single set of placemats I’m keeping after giving away my buffet. ‎#pruning ‎#purging

Today’s facebook posts:
11:57am – Can’t decide what to do today. So I’m going to do everything. 5 minutes at a time. & fb/tweet my progress for accountability & motivation.

12:15pm – 1st micro-action of the day: Weeding the rose bed. Took 10 minutes. Love it when a huge bunch of weeds turns out to be a lot of runners.

12:23pm – How many fridge shelves can I clean in 5 minutes? Three. & I cooled off enough to go back outside. I’m gonna need shoes. ‎#microactions

1:15pm – Prune long neglected roses-10 minutes, put roses in vase, download & learn photo editing app-15 min. ‎#microactions (click any of the photos to enlarge)

before_and_after_rose_prune[1]

3:06pm – An hour deep cleaning the kitchen, including the window, the front of the cabinets, the wall, the prints and my cobalt. More dust collecting decorations to get rid of. ‎#microactions

cobalt_glass_in_window[1]

3:13pm – This is going to be hideous. & hot. But tomorrow is yard waste day. Any guesses how long it will take? ‎#microactions

terrace_before[1]

4:06pm – If you do it fast enough, weeding is cardio. (posted “before” pic earlier) ‎#microactions

terrace_after[1]

4:56pm – 20 minutes to make this mess. But my view is much clearer. Gotta bind all this up after I pick PinkGirl up.‎#microactions

tree_trimming_before_and_after[1]

9:28pm – Got on a roll. FavoriteSon and I mowed and he whacked weeds while I bound up what seemed to equate to a small forest. I ran out of daylight. And I may have discovered a new smell. A cross between sunscreen, bug spray, gasoline and sweat. ‎#pruning ‎#purging

yard_waste_day[1]

I took an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory. Hopefully, I’ll be good to go tomorrow. I never did get to that linen closet today.

[CLICK HERE to see a listing of all the blog posts in this series "the search for Joy."]

July 8, 2013 Posted by | 5 minutes, clean house, fragments, freakishly organized, home sweet home, intentional living, microactions, motivation, status updates, the search for Joy | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I want me to want You.

yes. I did just sing that to the tune of a Cheap Trick song.

But I’m talking to God:

Lord, I want to wake up every morning aware of an innate desire for intimacy with YOU.

I want God not my idea of God CS LewisI want to delight in YOU.

but I don’t.

I call myself a Christian.

but I can’t remember ever, in my entire life, delighting in ONLY God.

In my memory and conscious understanding, I have always…

ALWAYS

tied my delight in the giver

to the gifts He gives.

I’ve tied the protection to the protector. The blessings to the one who blesses.

And most recently, not only have I tied the art with the artist, but I’ve placed my desire for that art in front of the artist.

I’m really starting to hate my mirror.

the view ain’t pretty.

Have I always tied my delight in Him with the delight I experience when I serve Him by doing something that satisfies, assuages my insecurity or bolsters my ego?

Have I ever simply delighted in the giver? Without experiencing the delight of a gift?

Have I ever delighted in the artist? Without finding delight in the art?

Have I ever found delight in the one who blesses, even when the blessings are disguised as trials?

maybe.

but if I have, I can’t remember it.

If I have, it was fleeting and subconscious. Never sustained or intentional. Don’t remember ever being aware of it.

And now? Now that I’ve intentionally chosen to stop doing the things that fill me with delight, when I’ve intentionally decided to find delight ONLY in Christ….

decided.

I decided.

Go ahead. ask me how that “decision” is working out.

dismal. failure.

It would seem I am as completely incapable of deciding to delight in God as I am in sticking to any other goal I’ve ever set for myself.

This another one of those times where I’m extremely thankful for my belief that I am not special.

Surely I’m not the only one who has failed at this particular goal.

I headed straight for the book that introduced me to the idea of delighting myself in God in the first place. John Piper, don’t fail me now. You better show some personal ugly in the middle of all that theology and lofty vocabulary. I need to see some Jack in you, JP.

God must have led me to it, because I have no idea how I found it. I immediately loved the title: “When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy

3rd sentence in the Forward:

“When all is said and done, only God can create joy in God.”

Sentences 5, 6 and 7:

“To be satisfied by the beauty of God does not come naturally to sinful people. By nature we get more pleasure from God’s gifts than from himself. Therefore this book calls for deep and radical change-which only God can give.”

My inclination was to head straight for Chapter Twelve “When the Darkness Does Not Lift” but I’m gonna hold off skipping to the end.

Instead, I’m jumping to the chapters on prayer because I’m still wresting with with petitionary prayer in light of my overwhelming awareness of just how selfish I am.

Stay tuned. This could be kinda like watching NASCAR, but for Christians. Either I’m going to crash and burn or there’s an epiphany and a straightaway ahead.

Meanwhile, still listening to this:

[CLICK HERE to see a listing of all the blog posts in this series "the search for Joy."]

June 19, 2013 Posted by | books, christian living, intentional living, learning curve, music, pinterest, poor me some whine, pragmatic communion, prayer, the search for Joy, youtube | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

my flesh may fail.

psalm 73 25 and 26“…how is it possible for a creature to desire and enjoy the creation without committing idolatry? This may seem like an irrelevant question to some. But for people who long to sing like the psalmists, it is very relevant. They sing like this:

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
(Psalm 73: 25– 26)

One thing have I asked of the LORD
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD, all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.
(Psalm 27: 4)

…If your heart longs to be this focused on God, then how to desire and enjoy “things” without becoming an idolater is a crucial question.

How can prayer glorify God if it is a prayer for things? It seems to glorify things.”

John Piper
Desiring God, Meditations of a Christian Hedonist

[CLICK HERE to see a listing of all the blog posts in this series "the search for Joy."]

June 18, 2013 Posted by | christian living, intentional living, learning curve, pragmatic communion, the search for Joy, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Holy Veruca Salt, Batman.

If you’ve been following along for the last week, you’re probably wondering what the heck is wrong with me.

yeah.

me too.

My husband and a friend have both referred to it as me being “refined by fire.”

I should probably be happy about this.

I’m sure one day I will be.

Meanwhile.

You may be wondering. Where did this come from? Was there a trigger?

yes. yes there was.

two, actually.

AtypicalAtheist posed the following question to me in an email:

“If you didn’t believe that there was some higher being able to influence the course of events, of what possible value would prayer be?”

and immediately, I found myself asking the same question, but going deeper. Do I really believe prayer changes GOD? If God has a sovereign plan, why pray? If He already knows everything, why am I telling Him everything? He doesn’t need reminding. He doesn’t forget. And why do I pray like a widow?

The generic Christian reply is “We pray because Jesus prayed.”

thank you. thank you very much. that clears it right up for me. I’m better now.

not.

Thankfully, I know I’m not that unique. I know someone has asked themself these questions before. I was betting they had written about it.

It would seem I am in good company. Everybody from Pascal to C.S. Lewis to Yancy, to name just a few.

Philip Yancy in his book, “Prayer” said

“I envy, truly I envy, those people who pray in simple faith without fretting about how prayer works and how God governs this planet. For some reason I cannot avoid pondering these imponderables.”

solidarity, brother.

A second thing happened within a matter of days of receiving AtypicalAtheist’s email. God opened a door for someone I know. He provided a phenomenal opportunity. Out of nowhere. Total “God thing.”

And I remembered something I used to say all the time. “God can do ANYthing.” Beyond what we can ask or imagine.

I realized that I couldn’t see God’s hand in something I was pursuing. Tunnel vision pursuing. And none of what I was pursuing was beyond what I could ask or imagine. It was all “reasonable.”

Veruca Salt wants the golden eggand it was all me.

me. me. me. me. me. I wanted what I wanted. the way I wanted it.

and I wanted it now.

Holy Veruca Salt, batman.

The absolute LAST thing I want is to find myself in a “successful” situation and say, “Look at what I did!” instead of “Look what GOD did!”

but I saw it clearly. that’s exactly the direction I was headed.

Not a good look in the mirror for me.

I was a mess.

You combine my inability to reconcile praying petitionary prayers to a sovereign God with a sovereign plan and not seeing God’s hand in what I was pursuing and you’ve got someone who came face to face with hopeless selfishness.

not a good place.

I couldn’t pray.

What does faith look like when you can’t pray?

It’s not pretty.

it’s dark.

it’s a pit.

In my last post, I said that my husband had suggested I re-read Desiring God, Revised Edition: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist by John Piper and Decision Making and the Will of God: A Biblical Alternative to the Traditional View by Garry Friesen

I said they were both responsible for pivot points in my faith.

It appears I’m at another pivot point in my faith.

When I first read these books, the basic premise each of these guys set forth resonated with me.

In a teeny, tiny nutshell?

Piper – Serving God does not have to be sacrificial. It can be – sometimes it is – but it doesn’t have to be. There isn’t some sort of causal, yin and yang relationship between how much I sacrifice and how much God is pleased with my service. I can serve God by doing what I love and I can find joy in it. God wants me to find joy in serving him with my gifts. The passion I have for doing so was given to me by God. Sacrifice is not the marker of mature spirituality. Enjoying what I do does not mean I am selfish.

Friesen – God doesn’t have a predetermined, detailed individual plan for my life that I have to discover. A plan that is derailed if I make a wrong choice. (THANK GOD. Because if so, I veered off course a long time ago. multiple times.) Friesen’s premise is that the idea of God having a specific, detailed, individual will for each person’s life isn’t supported in scripture. That God has a sovereign will and it does not change. God has a moral will that we are to strive to stay within. Within His sovereign and moral will, God allows us to choose. He gives us the responsibility to choose. He gives us the wisdom to choose. When we have chosen what is moral and wise, we must trust Him to work it for His good. Within His sovereign plan.

again, I agree with Piper and Friesen’s basic premises. But some of what they say…

was seriously screwing me up.

I couldn’t reconcile the dichotomies in what I was finding.

Why is it that I can read C.S. Lewis and call him Jack when he gets all puffy and full of himself, but with these two guys I had trouble actually separating the wheat from the chaff?

And I see the chaff.

next time. this post is too long. I wouldn’t have read this far.

and like I said in my last post, if you know me IRL, don’t weird out when you see me. Like you’ve never seen a hot mess when you’ve looked into the mirror before.

[CLICK HERE to see a listing of all the blog posts in this series "the search for Joy."]

June 3, 2013 Posted by | books, christian living, intentional living, learning curve, pinterest, poor me some whine, pragmatic communion, prayer, the search for Joy | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

reading. thinking. cleaning. painting. purging.

simplify clarify magnifyWhen my head is a mess, I am compelled to order my environment.

My husband is scared right now.

happy. but scared.

Happy because of all the stuff I’m getting rid of. And I’m getting rid of a LOT of stuff. a LOT of stuff.

Scared because of the honey-do list that goes along with ordering my environment.

poor guy.

I’m so thankful to God for him. He is my density.

In the middle (and at the bottom) of stirring this mess in my head, he said: “You really need to work through this. I don’t recognize you. It’s like you’ve given up. I don’t know whether to encourage you or give you a swift kick in the butt. You’ve lost your mojo.”

mojo. is that another word for faith?

It was bad. I couldn’t even pray.

What does faith look like when you can’t even pray?

it’s not pretty.

I needed to think. I need to think.

And so I clean my house. I paint my house. I purge my house. of books even. over 100 so far. I want every superfluous thing in my house gone. GONE.

GONE I tell you!

physically and metaphorically.

But in the middle of all the thinking I’m reading two books right now.

only two?

I know. But yes. These two are thick.

and heavy.

and not in a benchpress them kind of way.

Desiring God, Revised Edition: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist by John Piper

and

Decision Making and the Will of God: A Biblical Alternative to the Traditional View by Garry Friesen

FirstHusband suggested I re-read these books. Smart guy.

I’ve read both of them before. But I was younger then. Not that much younger. But still.

They were both responsible for pivot points in my faith.

In all my thinking and purging, I need to go back to bones of what I believe and why.

Messy deep digging blog posts ahead.

Even so, if you know me IRL (in real life), don’t weird out when you see me in person. If you’re at a loss about what to say, we can talk about the little blond girl’s face at the end of this commercial. cracks me up every time.

[CLICK HERE to see a listing of all the blog posts in this series "the search for Joy."]

May 31, 2013 Posted by | books, christian living, clean house, freakishly organized, home sweet home, intentional living, laugh!, poor me some whine, pragmatic communion, prayer, thankfulness, youtube | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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