Monday, July 20, 2015

Tell the guards to open up the gate!

How often do you come drive home, pull into the garage, and then shut the door? How often is the only time you come out of your house it's to walk straight to the mailbox or on the sit back deck where you are surrounded by your fenced in backyard? How often have you nodded your head to the neighbor that lives in the white house, oh you know, the one that has the black jeep and two teenagers? How many times have you started a conversation with the owner of the black jeep? Do you even know his or her name?
We are so guilty of this. We is talking about my husband and I. We know one set of our neighbors well enough to walk into their house without thinking twice about knocking.  We've lived in the same house for 8 years. It's beyond sad. 
We are called to live in community and our church family lives this out better than most churches I've known or interacted with. We are blessed by it but with this blessing comes a sense of contentment. A sense of contentment that needs shaken up a bit. Because contentment is often a slippery slope.  I talked about needing a neon sign that flashes sometimes to get the point across? Well, that neon flashing sign came by way of a for sale sign in the neighbors yard. You know, the neighbors that I nodded my head to the other day? The neighbors whose names I don't even know? 
Something that has been convicting this family of ours here lately is our comfortably in community. We have been blessed with such a tight community that we consider them family. But we've become comfortable. It's easy and amazing and a blessing to send a quick message and instantly have dinner guests (not guests, companions is more like it) and just spend the evening laughing and loving on one another with ease. 
It's time to open the gate of our fence and perhaps linger a little longer at our mailbox. Or perhaps it's an intentional walk across the road and a knock on the door and an invitation to a cup of coffee or some hotdogs on the grill. It's time for the garage door to not come down with such ease so quickly after we get home. 

1 John 4:11 "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." (ESV)

Friday, July 3, 2015

Comfort. Control. Contentment.

Comfort, control, and contentment are three huge things to me. I struggle when even one of those elements of my life are either missing or out of whack. Sometimes, I find myself relying on those things more than anything else and a mere shift of one of the three can turn my world chaotic, as well as the world of those I hold closest. However, I am beginning to realize sometimes a shift of the elements is necessary when we become too comfortable, when we rely on elements other than our savior to make us complete. Sometimes we just need a gentle reminder. Sometimes it needs to be one more forceful and of the flashing neon light persuasion. Sometimes, life just gets out of whack and we have choices. We have the choice to wallow in those moments, "take charge" of it, or just submit and fall at the foot of the cross. I tend to cycle through all three during a shift change but thankfully as I've grown older (maybe a tad wiser) I've begun to cycle through those quicker and find myself landing at the foot of the cross much quicker than I ever have before. Submission can be harder than anything but how sweet it is when it happens.

Psalm 139: 10-12
"even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night," even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you." (ESV)