My husband and I were just talking about the sad events of the last week. I mentioned that somone was in custody from the shootings in Dallas. My ten-year-old overheard the word custody.
Mom, did they catch the guy who burnt the churches?
No, not yet.
Oh, was it the terrorists? Did they catch the terrorists?
Um. No, that was something else.
Wow. There are a lot of them running around loose right now.
And she went back to reading her book.
Yes. Yes my dear. There are lots of people right now caught up in all kinds of anger and hate.
Honestly part of me wants to rail and yell and kick and write snarky comments on posts that don't line up with my personal talking points. I am mad that my children know about arson and terror and snipers and racism. I'm depressed that my daughter took it all in stride. What kind of world are we living in that a ten-year-old is momentarily sad but not at all shocked at the news?
Mostly I'm heartbroken for the moms this week having to tell childen that their father is not coming home. I do not presume to know what those mother's are going through. I don't know what it is like to send my spouse to work in a uniform that could get him killed. And I have never had to talk to my girls about how to deal with the people who judge them based on the color of their skin. Since I do not know I am not going to say how they should respond.
However. I do know that in total my anger makes the world worse. When I yell or honk or snap - others around me spiral that direction. I really don't want to raise kids that make the world worse. And so as simplistic as it sounds I choose love.
I am going to hug my children. I am going to tell them about Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi and Mother Theresa. About how the world changed because they refused to hate. I am going to read them the words of Jesus about loving your enemies and visiting those in jail and respecting the authorities. I am going to deliver cookies. Never underestimate the power of cookies. I am going to thank anyone I see in uniform. I am going to forgive those who hurt me even when its repeated. I am going to pray. I am going to stand in my neighborhood and speak up when people are hurt or hurting. I am going to listen respectfully when I don't agree. I am going to assume the best and smile at strangers.
What about you? Better or worse? The ten-year-olds are listening.
Welcome to Quirky Faith. I'm Mindy. While it is accurate to say I'm a Christian I don't typically introduce myself as such. People expect Christians to be mad or judgmental or scared. I'd rather be unexpected. Fun and goofy. Faithful and joyful and full of hope. Quirky. Mostly I have this crazy notion that God built me as an encourager and He expects me to get on with the job.
I grew up in a Christian home. Dad, Mom, Me, little sister. Dog that kept running away. Church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday, Bible study. Sounds boring, I know. It wasn't. My mother has eyes that sparkle with fun ideas and my Dad always says yes. And church. Wowsa. Seriously good fun at the potlucks, parades, camp, Vacation Bible School, mission trips. You name it. We did all of it. I prayed a classic prayer of salvation as a three year old and marched forward with confidence in Jesus.
Then I went to college.
And wondered aloud if it was all true.
My wise mother told me she understood. She told me to read, and talk and figure out what I believed. She advised that I not do anything I'd regret if it turned out I was all in. She prayed.
So I paused before jumping ship and I watched.
Mostly I watched my aunt. I watched as she got news that her husband had cancer. I watched as she received word that her 7 year old had leukemia. I watched as she walked through hospitals and hair loss and bone marrow transplants and two funerals and widowhood. And I watched as God and grace and hope and love and laughter were still there. The whole time.
So I prayed a messy sobbing and honest prayer and said to Jesus that I'd love to follow along if He'd still have me. I wonder sometimes where I'd be if my aunt had given up, gone bitter, angry or scared. I'm grateful she didn't. Angry, scared and bitter are not good tools for building a life. Or a church. Or a nation.
If you aren't a believer but you are curious feel free to come on in and watch like I did. Or join in and ask all those questions about things that church people say and do. In fact, I'd love it if you would email me questions - big ones or small. You certainly won't see perfect. But I'm hoping you'll see grace. Lots of grace.
If you are a part of my faith family - Come along. Be encouraged.
Time for some quality control. Send me an email if you find any typos. In fact, I'll make it a contest. First one to email me with a typo to fix gets a coffee on me. As in I'll buy you a coffee. Actual coffee dumped on me is a regular occurence already, we don't need more.
UPDATE: Goodness. My friend Sarah is a speedy editor. She wins coffee! Keep sending my typos and I'll keep buying coffee.
It occurred to me a few days ago that if I keep writing I might run out of things to talk about. Hasn’t happened yet in 40 years but you never know.
I heard this song for the first time on Sunday morning at church. The worship band was rocking out. Well. We were Nazarene style church rocking. Not Metallica concert rocking. At any rate. This song Love Come Down by North Point has been stuck in my head all week. Listen Here. What struck me about this song was the joy and fun – and this line about singing forever.
I will sing forever of Your love come down
With my hands to heaven, shout Your praises loud
I was lost in darkness when You pulled me out
I will sing forever of Your love come down
It encouraged my soul. Music has a way of reminding me of what matters.
I took a walk this past weekend. Nice big training five-mile walk. My pace stunk because I kept stopping to take photos. This one made me want to write. Or paint. Or sing. Blue and green and white and good lines. Nice composition there oh Creator of my soul.
I love watching friends help friends. I love watching kids succeed at piano or spelling or soccer or picking up their socks. Popsicles on sunny days. Planting a garden. Finishing a book. Watching the movie. I’m inspired by forgiveness.
I will never run out of things to talk about because Grace never runs out.
I’ve had a day. Or two. The kind of hang your head, kick the tires, sigh and eat chocolate chip cookie kind of days. The “I know I’m a better mom, better wife, better boss than this” kind of days. The “I promise to floss, I promise to ask, the I promise to wait” kind of days.
At one point yesterday I was actually telling my children to stuff the garbage sitting around in our car under the seat so that the people we were picking up wouldn’t see it.
That’s not who I want to be. And its really not who I want them to be. I want to be the kind of people that put their garbage in garbage cans. But that’s clearly not happening. (HA!)
Can I just say I have garbage and you can see it and hiding it doesn’t make it go away and that my dear children its just fine if people see our flaws. But right now I’m tired of the pointless could have, should have self talk.
So I’m going to do what generally works. I’m putting on some music and I’m making a list. Even though I don’t feel like it. Here are the things I know to be true. I stand on them.
I am loved by my Creator. Greatly.
I am not perfect. It’s okay. My story is not the list of my failures and shortcomings and sin. It’s frankly also not the list of things I think I did right. My story is Grace.
Feelings are not facts. Feelings are real. They are important. They are toxic when they are bottled up. But they are NOT facts.
I don’t know what the future holds but God does. He promises it’s secure.
This photo is cute.
My daughter was in the office yesterday morning with me before my day headed south. I found this artwork this afternoon in a stack of paperwork. It reminds me that I often miss the joy in my life in the midst of the junk. And this blue haired wonder made me smile and remember that my husband is courageous and kind and that my ten year old is determined and fun and that my three year old is passionate and clearly a budding artist. It made me remember to count my blessings.
Gratitude trumps grumpy. That is what I know.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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