Thursday, November 29, 2007

From where I stand to take this picture I can hear the kids playing in the schoolyard in the first real snowfall of the season. Who can resist the joy of a Central Oregon morning like this?!

Make it real

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Go ahead and leave me a comment from time to time.
I'd love it.

I think there are maybe about 6 people who read my blog occasionally...ok, maybe that's stretching it a bit. I'm sure I have at least 2 readers. My fabulous husband reads it and faithfully tells me he likes my writing (I like him too) and I just gave Aimee the address last night, so I think she'll read at least once (chuckle).
I love blogging and would do it even if I didn't have any readers because I just love the writing part, but I think it might be kind of fun to know if I have an audience. And it would be fun to know who you are! Even better would be some fantastic dialogue around particular subjects...I'd LOVE it if you left your thoughts from time to time. You know, "Good point" or "Jennie you're an idiot". Either is fine. I'm a "D" personality type :-)lol.
Would love some interaction with you. Make it real.

There's Risk Involved

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

We went to Seattle to visit some dear friends this weekend and had the time of our lives. Gazed up at the space needle glowing in an amazing blue sky (how common is that in Seattle?),got the necessary parking ticket, ate cheap Japanese food and amazing pomegranates, made the mind-boggling pilgrimage to IKEA, heard a great octopus story from the fish guy at Central Market, got naseous on this cool playground thingy (the sort of thing you'd only find in Seattle), fell asleep on Heather's squishy couch to the sound of rain and football on a Sunday afternoon. Heaven.

It was hard to leave. Just as we were finishing up breakfast before heading out on Monday morning, Simon crossed through the kitchen on a mission. Simon is 6. He was wearing shiny black church shoes, jeans rolled up above bare ankles, carrying a bright green collapsible light sabre. "I have to go have a sowed fight, Mom." (Sowed is case you've forgotten). Heather was giggling, but she followed him to the sliding door with mild concern on her face. As he hopped down the steps she called out after him, "Ok Simon. As long as you're aware that there's risk involved." I busted up. Simon was, of course, undeterred.

"As long as you're aware there's risk involved!" Go slay the dragon son. Just be aware that they breathe fire and you could be toasted. Go impale the heathen enemy, just be aware that you could be the one kebabbed! "Ok Mom. See you at dinner!"

I tucked the moment away in my heart. I've learned that words fly around me at the speed of life and I can't always process them in the moment, but sometimes there are words that seem to have a weight of some kind and I've learned to tuck them away for later with a note that says, "i think this is important". Heather's words were like that for me, so I tucked them away along with a mental picture of Simon in his shiny shoes and green "sowed".

It didn't take long for the words to come back. I've been enamored with some of Elisabeth Elliot's writing lately and I was reading her book, "Loneliness" in the car. She's talking about the life of a disciple and relates it to the commitment of loving another, accepting the pain with the joy. She says,
"Acceptance is abandonment, the great risk of great lovers, when an awesome power is given over-the power to hurt. No one in the world has such power to hurt as a husband, wife, or intimate friend. To love is to be vulnerable to that power which lies in the hands of the one loved." Boy don't I know the truth of that! She goes on, "To love means to open ourselves to suffering. Shall we shut our doors to love, then, and be safe? Acceptance of discipleship is the utter abandonment of the disciple, the surrender of all rights to the Master. This abandonment, in all cases, will mean pain. Christ listed some of the troubles His followers could expect, so that they would not be taken by surprise and thus discard their faith in Him. He did not offer immunity. He asked for trust."

That's when Heather's words came floating back in through my rain obscured window. "Just be aware there's risk involved." She had turned to Steve and I and said with the familiar cringe in her voice. "It never fails that it ends in him getting hurt and coming back to me crying." We laughed at the familiarity of the situation to our own two boy family. But I remember how Simon didn't pause, didn't think twice, didn't even look back. He did exactly what all three tea-sipping adults fully expected him to do. He marched off to find his opponent and proceeded to sowed fight him!

I'm struck by the fact that Elliot doesn't say that being Christ's disciple "may" mean pain. She says "in all cases, will mean pain." And I know she's right. Jesus never painted any sappy watercolors about what life in his footsteps would be like. I have known pain. I have known the deep cutting that can be done only by the friends endowed with that tremendous power to hurt. Oh why do they do that? And more...why does God allow them to cause me such pain?

If I am to go on loving (and I must somehow, musn't I?), and moreover, if I am to be his disciple, I must do what Simon did. I march out saying, "I have to go love now, Father." Surely His response is, "ok, just be aware there's risk involved. Those dragons breathe fire, those swords can be sharp, that betrayal devastating. But march on child!" How dissappointing the moment would have been if Simon would have taken stock of the danger and instead hunkered back into the kitchen, defeated the way I am tempted to be so many days. But he didn't. He was still swinging that light sabre when I went to hug him goodbye. I almost lost my neck. I'm sure the dragon did.