Loving the Unlovable

I think when most of us read about loving the unlovable - we recall Christ's love for those around him who were seen as untouchable by the cultures and communities around them.

the beggar.

the orphan.

the tax collector.

the lunatic.

the demon possessed.

the whore.

From a modern Christian perspective - looking back into the days of 'ol - these folks are EASY to love.

It does not take much convincing to love an orphan or the exploited or the downtrodden or the mentally unstable or even someone who has a "job" that we wouldn't necessarily agree with (I'm referencing the tax collector - not the whore. Most prostitutes are the victims of exploitation and I would never call what they do a "job." I call it slavery...but that's another post).

Who we don't immediately think about Jesus loving is the Pharisee. We see the Pharisee as the bad guy...which, they weren't all that great, but Jesus loved them. Loved them enough to debate with them, challenge them....discipline them. That's a pretty great love.

I admit. I have some "pharisees" in my life that are pretty hard to love.

It's a heart issue. Call me crazy, but I don't really like being told that my life is unbiblical when it doesn't align with what some politics-from -the-pulpit "theologian" has spouted off and sadly, many modern day Christians have accepted as biblical truths.

So sad.

I have realized, however that as I open my heart and my home and my time and all things required to be relational - it hurts and frankly, only God can give me a heart to keep "trying" to love certain people.

Lord, give me a heart today for the people I do not care for. The people that I avoid. The people I force myself to converse with. The people who you love, but I do not...the modern day pharisees...


When it all seems...a bit hopeless

I'm not one to despair easily. In fact, I would often times call myself an optimist. I usually think the best of people, I think all things are possible, and I definitely find the motto, "it's worth a shot," coming out of my mouth often.

There are two sides to the optimist coin. The first is faith. I've always had a lot of faith. In many things, I don't worry. I trust...until I do (worry) and I don't (trust). That's the other side of the coin.

I guess that's the same two sides of every coin ever, but there you have it.

I trust in the early stages of a problem or journey. I trust in the middle. I even trust as we near the middle that (in my opinion) SHOULD be the end, but when said journey fails to end when/how I envision, I get a little freaked out.

For example, I have never been worried about food or money. What an incredible blessing is that? Even as I write this I'm thinking, "Man, I'm a spoiled brat." And indeed, I am. I have it way better than so many of God's people on this earth.

So, what am I worried about. A house. A house never selling. A house not getting a renter. "Losing" money. And I don't know if it is so much distrusting or more ("Why did we even buy THAT house?!"). Or maybe it's comparing our plight to others' lives ("We are SOOO much better with money than they are and have been SOOO careful and have done EVERYTHING right!" - obviously, except pick a house that would re-sell). Or maybe it's just envy (could be). Or Pride (Ah, there it is).  

I do not doubt God taking care of us. I doubt the decisions that end up being stupid and the pride that may have got me there and the pride that thinks I am deserving of an "easy" out instead of a hard and valuable lesson. Ugh.

And there you have it. My ugly heart. May God continue to instruct it and change it. 

Giveaway :)

Check this adoption story over on Lee, Me, and the Girls! They are in the midst of a Grow Your Blog Giveaway to help in the fundraising process. Help bring a baby home, y'all.

McCall is a fellow Noonday Ambassador. She and her husband (and two girls) are trying to bring home their baby from the Democratic Republic of Congo....living out the gospel. International adoption is expensive, but they feel called and they are being faithful. They are fundraising so that when they are matched, they can GO, no waiting, no undue heartache!

Please take the time to visit and donate. It's building a family. :)


A Beautiful Family & a Beautiful Little Girl - Please, Pray.

The following is a post by Jake Hunt. He and is wife are friends from college. I have several good memories of Jake and Melissa. The best by far include me giving Jake a TERRIBLE haircut and neither of them killing me, but showing incredible grace; several of us getting together and throwing a busted TV off the roof....just to see; their wedding. These two changed the way that I viewed god and ministry - for the good. They now have 3 beautiful children and are still inspiring me as they serve in Prague. I ask you to read their story and pray.

We learned yesterday that our daughter Eliza (almost 11 months) has what appears to be a cancerous tumor in her liver. Melissa took her to the doctor for an ear infection, and while doing a general checkup the doctor was concerned about possible swelling in her abdomen. They sent us to the hospital, where an ultrasound found the tumor.
We were able to meet immediately with a pediatric oncologist, who laid out a plan for getting started with treatment: blood tests right away, and a battery of other scans and tests Monday to confirm that it’s the type of tumor they think. Then there will probably be chemo and surgery, though we’re not sure of the order.
There are some encouraging signs. The tumor is large, but it’s isolated to one side of the liver. From the ultrasound it did not appear to have spread to any other organs. If it’s the kind of tumor the doctor suspects, and if that type of tumor doesn’t metastasize, and when they’re able to remove it completely, the survival rate is as high as 90%. But it is unbelievably scary.
We need you to pray. You can imagine how our heads are spinning, and how the questions and needs are wherever you look. So pray whatever you think to pray. But here are some specifics.
Pray for complete healing. That the tumor will be gone entirely on Monday. God can do that. And that if it’s still there, it won’t have metastasized, and they’ll be able to remove all of it with a good margin. That the drug treatment will do its job, and that God will sustain E through all the misery of chemotherapy. Pray that this is completely healed and that it never returns.
Pray for clear communication with all the doctors, and for lots of translators to be available when needed.
Pray for our decision about whether to do treatment in CZ or US. So far we feel like the doctors here are doing the same things here they’d do in the States. And we are happy here and have no need to escape. But there are a thousand other factors to consider as well. Please pray for clear heads, and for Melissa and Jake to have the same strong leaning.
We will use this website to keep people updated. There’s a signup on the right side to get new posts by email, or you can subscribe with a reader if you’re into that sort of thing.
We are terrified. And we are hopeful, sometimes. At times it feels like the waters are closing over our heads. We break down, we pray, and they recede for a while. Many of you have already been sending us Scripture and reminding us that you’re praying. Thank you. Please keep it up. We love Eliza so much, and so do many others. But God loves her more than we do, and he knows her body because he created it. We trust him to care for her (and us), because he is good.
Thank you for praying.
If you are interested in keeping updated with Eliza and the Hunts, the website he is referring to is
their blog, Hunts In Prague. Thank you for praying.


So refreshed...

A few months back, my hubs had to take the Myers-Briggs personality assessment for a leadership program he is attending. The results were in no way surprising. We are the EXACT opposite in every single category. Seriously folks, we got that WHOLE test nailed. We are basically the perfect person. Two becoming one...it's very similar to how those five kids from Captain Planet. "By our powers combined...." Just kidding.

In all seriousness, I am amazed we get along as well as we do. People may say, "opposites attract," but a truth of life is that the grand majority of us surround ourselves with other little versions of us.

I digress.

So, the hubs is an introvert. He gets energy and enjoyment and a revived spirit from being ALONE. I am an extrovert (although I do have some introvert tendencies) and I get "life" from being around others...I'm basically an energy succubus...or parasite. Parasite might be better.  I would like to think that for most folks we have a symbiotic relationship and hopefully, I help "revive" and "enliven" them as well.

All this goes along with my newer, busier schedule. I was hesitant to commit to several things over the past few months (MOPs Steering, Noonday, our awesome Church), but I have come to find that the busier I am (spending time and working with others), the happier I am. Plus, it forces me to change out of my PJ's, take a shower, and do my hair. I'll admit I was worried that I would be overwhelmed by it all, get burned out, and never have the mythical "me" time - I mean, all of this on top of my two littles. 

But it has become apparent that my "me" time is best spent with others. When I most feel drained is when I am by myself without a mission outside of myself. To force myself into this alone time really is me not seeing WHO I am and WHO God has made me to be. So to all you extroverts, introverts, and in-betweens, own who you are and run with it. I think it can make all the difference. 


When it rains, it pours...and I love singing in the rain.

So,  if you have read all of the two posts that I have written since we moved to Wyoming, you have probably noted a sense of solitude, loneliness, despair, anguish...discontentment. Discontentment is not a new thing to me...although at times, Wyoming has received the lion's share of the blame for it's current appearance. This (discontentment) has, in fact, been the state of my heart for the majority of my life.

As a kid it whined:
Why do we move so much?
Why can't I look different?
Why can't my family be normal?

and then it nagged:
Why don't I have a boyfriend?
Why can't I look different?
Why can't he ask me to marry him sooner?

and oh, how it grumbled:
Why can't we start a family NOW?
Why can't we be like that couple (and have a boat)?
Why are we moving so much? 
Why can't we get pregnant? 

The list goes on and on, but the overall theme just SCREAMS out from the page. Discontentment.

I used to think that it was a good thing - to always be in want of something better. It gave me a goal or something worth striving for. It isn't wrong to "never settle", right?  Well "yes" and "no." It's not a sin to say, "Oh, fill in the blank would be nice." It's another thing completely to become consumed by that thought...and worse to begrudge God in thinking that He is holding back His best from you. Now, I know that not too many people will openly admit to shaking their fists at God and questioning His design for their life...we have all done it (if not physically then certainly in our hearts). But the saddest thing to me looking back on my life (full of discontent) is that I could not see at the time God's incredible GOODNESS in that moment. That sweet moment that God was calling me to savor with Him...I spat on with my want and envy. Oh, wicked me.

Seriously, Paul even speaks about contentment in Philippians 4 and I think he would have labeled my life "cushy to the max" (or whatever that is in Aramaic). 

All this to say that I have been in Wyoming for a little over a year and a sweet friend reminded me last night of how when I first touched-base with her here, I was lonely and bitter and angry and miserable and discontent. She reminded me of this while at a book group, hosted at my house, surrounded by a group of wonderful women and close friends. She called to my mind all the growth that has happened. A new baby. God's miraculous protection of that baby. The healing of my body. The desperate state of my heart that has lead to a personal revival in my life. MOPs. Leadership opportunities. A brand new church. Two new businesses. CONTENTMENT.

I know that it is incredibly hard to read this during certain seasons of your life and not want to backhand the author. I get that. I was there for a very long time. But at risk of getting punched in the nose, let me encourage you to focus on the goodness that God is calling you too RIGHT NOW. Savor  that He is drawing you near. Know that He loves you.