Discretion

“He never labored so hard to learn a language as he did to hold his tongue, and it affected him for life. The habit of reticence-of talking without meaning-is never effaced.” -Henry Adams

Social media is hard. We have a constant stream into people’s daily lives. We have access to people like never before. I’ve literally had to delete social media from my phone so many times I’ve lost count.

One reason I delete it is because of the obsessive quality of it. How many times a day do I pick up my phone out of habit, realizing I’m not looking for anything specific? (Too many to count). How much more often do I feel discontent with the material possessions I own when my ads are constantly being catered to things I prefer? (I’m ashamed to admit).

Another reason I gave to take myself away from it occasionally is because I find I don’t like knowing everything persons say or do all day. I can’t even tell you how many people I’ve had certain feelings towards, to only have those feelings confirmed or denied by things they said or did on social media. (I’m sure people have said the same about me). Discretion is something I’ve been trying (sometimes unsuccessfully) to practice on social media myself. It’s not easy, so when I struggle I have to practice discipline to take myself away from it.

I have always judged people by their actions…and I’m talking actions when no one else is around. How do you treat people who can do nothing for you? How do you act when there is no group of people to put a show on for? What takes up most of your thoughts and conversations? I always prefer people in small groups as a way to get to know them better on a real scale.

Not everything (and actually most) deserves a response. You are responsible for your actions no matter how you feel. (This is something I tell my kids as soon as they can understand the thought). People’s lives generally play out in the way they are any way. (We don’t need to be the sounding judge).

I enjoy good, thought provoking conversations, debates, and arguments. I legitimately have no problem getting into debates with persons on most any subject. (I also like to think I’ve gotten better at admitting when I’ve been had). Husband, we don’t need your input. 😜

We are the first generation learning to deal with social media. I love it for so many reasons, but my disdain becomes just as prevalent some days too. Let’s all practice more discretion and more love. (I’m with you ✌🏻).

Love Thy Neighbor

I’ve been cleaning stuff out today and stumbled upon the only picture I kept of our daughter’s sister (whom we affectionately refer to as Magnolia). For months after meeting her, I kept everything as it was and didn’t touch anything. Then once that time had passed (much to my now regret), I got rid of every picture and item except for this picture.

I was up until about 2 in the morning a couple nights ago, listening to sermons and crying over the division in the world, and Christians alike, over the racial problems that still exist in the world today. My eyes (and heart) were opened when we spent those couple weeks in Wisconsin. Much of our time was spent in the black and brown neighborhoods up there. I saw differences like I have never seen in my small town Kansas.

I still sometimes question why we went through what we did with Magnolia. And when I was up late that night, it came to me that maybe it’s because that experience shaped something in me that’s irreversible. It makes me sad because I feel this situation is a great opportunity to love others and have conversations. I also feel that a good discerner of a Christian heart is how much they love. “God is love, and all who live in love live in God”, after all. (I didn’t make that up, it’s from the Bible).

Then this morning I was thinking about the story of The Good Samaritan in Luke. The priest walked by a person who had been beaten and left on the road. (If you didn’t know, if someone helped a person like that in those times they would be considered unclean by cultural standards). The priest lacked compassion for this neighbor of his, even though he had all the theological training to be a priest. Then a Levite walked by, and did the same. But a Samaritan (you could say Half breed), walked by and helped him. He didn’t question what he did to get himself in that position. He didn’t pepper him with questions about his life, he just helped.

It doesn’t help the person on the road (or in the sketchy parts of town) to love them at arms length. Or to yell some Bible verses as you pass by. It’s going to get messy. It’s going to be costly.

But, according to Jesus, this was the answer when asked “who is my neighbor”. So I’m going to do the messy work…gladly. Because there’s a girl I loved the moment I saw her and while she didn’t end up being my physical child, she’s my neighbor.

One True Love Story

Valentine’s Day is this coming weekend. The kids have been talking about their parties and we’ve been buying classroom Valentines. The kids’ memory verse this week is actually 1 John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us”. This week has found me thinking about the word “love” a lot.

Someone once told me that “love” is a gift that God gives to all people, as in all people can experience true love. I didn’t find reason to question this theory at first. It’s a nice thought, actually. I want to think (and we often do think) that love is limitless.

A few years ago, however; I found myself questioning the theology pertaining to this thought. 1 John 4 also tells us that “God is love”. I don’t believe you can experience love as it’s truly meant to be, apart from knowing God’s love.

Love while here on this earth is still a flawed love. Every thing on this earth is tainted by sin. Knowing God, we know the one true example of a completely self-less, living-for-others kind of love. Without that example guiding us, we will fail to understand the full capacity of what love is capable of.

I have many people in my life that I love and will do most anything for, but I know at times that love can even be selfish, proud, and feeble. There has only been one perfect example of love- and I am happy to celebrate that love every day of the year. But I don’t mind a special day to accept extra chocolates and roses. 😉