Thursday, November 10, 2016

we are alike.


I’m hot, sweaty and I stink. My ears and lungs are burning. I just got back from a run on this beautiful 55* November day. (should I be running?! Some say it’s bad for my joints and I’ll regret it when I'm older?? I’ll need to google that later…)
I’ll never forget the day the good Lord told me to run (although, I don’t call myself a “runner”- I’ve been lacing up my shoes and hitting the pavement for 3 ½ years and I’m forever grateful for the outlet) I needed today’s run more than I think I’ve ever needed one in the past… Well, I can’t say that that is true because I’ve received devastating news multiple times over the years and typically my first response is “I. must. Run.” I’ve run with tears streaming down my face… I’ve gotten out there to unknot my stomach, clear my head, pray, worship, ask for forgiveness and write. Yup. Write. Many of my best thoughts have come to me during my runs. (I give God all the credit…) He spoke to me in a big way today and I’d like to share my insights…. Please leave your pitchforks and doomsday predictions at home and just hear me out for a few minutes.

We are more alike than we are different. Let me give a you a moment to digest that…….. 
We are more alike than we are different.

We all want the best, brightest futures for our kids. We tuck them in at night, kiss them, and tell them we love them. We chastise ourselves for not being the most patient mom, the most playful dad that we can be. We promise that tomorrow we will try harder. We hope that tomorrow doesn’t bring a terror attack, the shooting of a police officer, the shooting of an innocent victim, riots, robberies, or tornadoes. We want them to grow up in a safe, prosperous country (which is a legacy millions of children are not afforded- I am not na├»ve to that fact)
As a whole, we generally want the basic comforts of life including a decent roof over our heads, a healthy dinner (that reminds me, I need to google “arugula” it seems I should be eating a lot of it… or adding it to my drinks? Or putting it in my bath water? Anyway… I’ll look into that later) where was I? Oh yea, basic comforts… We’d all like 1 or 2 really great friends, a spouse that loves and protects us. Equality- whether that is who you marry, what bathroom you use at target, equal pay or paternity leave.  Whether we admit it or not, we just want to be accepted and loved for who we are. The majority of us go to work and carry out the daily grind all for the good of our family. To advance ourselves, pay off debt, contribute to college funds and retirements, donate to church and missionaries…. Some of us are stay at home moms, home schooling moms, stay at home dads, part time employees, or 60+ hours a week employees. Whatever your title- it’s what works for you and your family so it isn’t wrong! We all are just doing the best that we can with the tools that we are given. And this war must stop. This war of indifference for what we say and who we hurt because we believe we are right and our way is the only way.

Hang on- my tea kettle is whistling. Green tea is supposed to be good for your heart. Or your blood pressure? I don’t know I’ll research it later. 

I’ve been allowing myself to be way too affected by the statuses and comments of others on social media. I read things and immediately conjure an argument and a rebuttal.  The desire to debate down to the last period the infinite minutia of every issue that comes to mind is undeniable.  I think to myself  “but, you’re wrong and I’m right” “I’m trying to get you to see things my way” “I want you to understand where I’m coming from” “you’re wrong because you don’t agree with me” Well, folks. I’m here to tell you that IT ISN’T ABOUT ME. It isn’t about you.
Many more of my friends are hurting in ways that I’ve never imagined… the proof has bled out in their Facebook statuses. You formed your opinion based on your research, your emotions, your life experiences- including your hurts and fears just as I have. Please know, friends, I’ve been praying for healing for all of us. I see your pain and I’m sorry for it. But, I’m also hurting because of the name-calling, bullying, the complete intolerance and lack of respect of other people’s opinions. While the country continues to feel restless, afraid, and hateful we all project and reflect that in some way. Some of us carry the words of others very heavily. Some of us post very emotionally charged statuses, a lot of us pray, some of us run, some of us drink wine, some of us clean from top to bottom (My hubby recently joked that our house hasn’t been this clean since the last presidential election, when nervous energy had me scrubbing from floor to ceiling!) I did some of that today, too. I stripped beds, swept, dusted and bleached bathrooms- wait… should I be using bleach?! Does it cause cancer? Add that to my list of things to google later…. 

Can we agree to unite for the future of our children? What’s done is done. Burning a flag and name calling and then saying “I want my children to grow up in a great country” is completely contradictory, self indulgent and unproductive. If you are the best you that you can be. And I am the best me that I can be- isn’t that all of an example that our kids need? If we wake up with thankful hearts, joy, patience, understanding, peace and hopefulness that everything will be ok; then our children will carry that with them. If we continue with the blatant hatred, bullying, and riotous behavior than that is the example we are setting. Is that the best we can do? No. It isn’t. I am choosing love, forgiveness, joy, and acceptance of my friends and family both who do and who don’t agree with me. I’m moving forward with a newfound hope and peace as frustration, fear, and anger are too great of burdens to bear.

I want to close by reiterating the fact that I am sorry I allowed myself to be offended by others. I want to apologize for my frustrations and the thoughts that I’ve had over the past few days (they haven’t been pleasant). I sense the pain and fear in everyone’s words and I’m praying for healing. Praying for peace, unity, and acceptance. The clarity and calm that I feel right now is one that I wish everyone could feel. Please know that it will be ok. It will be better than ok. I truly, firmly believe that. No matter who is commander in chief of this country. It will be better than ok.

He has overcome.

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to give you hope and a future.”  -Jeremiah 29:11


“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:13-14

 

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” –John 13:34-35

 

 

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In this time of desperation

When all we know is doubt and fear

There is only one foundation

We believe. We believe

We believe in God the Father

 ---We Believe. The Newsboys

 

 

What about people? Let’s get together and feel all right.

As it was in the beginning (one love)

So shall it be in the end (one heart)

All right!

Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right.

---One Love. Bob Marley

 

 

We were raised in the shadows of crosses and flags.

When we pledge allegiance we take off our hats

Here in our town

We say yes ma’am and no ma’am

We love we don’t hate

That world that’s gone crazy- it don’t have a place here in our town.

---Our Town. Tyler Farr

 

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Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.
Amen.