Tuesday, March 20, 2012

God and Organic Eggs

Like a kid on Christmas morning, I raced down the stairs as soon as I awoke this morning. The downstairs attraction was not shiny packages though, rather a simple brown ellipse—an organic egg. What’s the big deal about a brown egg? I haven’t tasted a delicious egg in a long time. This morning I truly savored breakfast.

We are blessed to live in a subdivision that includes an organic farm with chickens and neighborhood children (Henhouse Helpers) who collect, wash, and box eggs for sale. In the ten years we’ve lived here, I’ve often bought the organic eggs to support the farm, so I know they taste fresh and well, eggy. But for various reasons, I hadn’t bought them in more than a year. Instead, I’d bought the cheapest eggs at the grocery store. They have NO taste. My only satisfaction was that the eggs were protein. I couldn’t stand the breakfast blahs any longer, so yesterday I walked up to the farm and paid $5 for a dozen organic eggs laid by happy hens that morning. It was worth it.

Sunday at our church’s annual meeting, we learned our leadership team is hungry for more of the Holy Spirit in our church and community. I’m excited about this, because well, the Holy Spirit is exciting. Not just as the manifestation of God’s awesome power in miracles, but especially in whispered wisdom and comforting caresses in daily decisions and sorrows. When God wants to lead us into a faith adventure, He sends His Spirit. God’s Spirit has been more evident in some periods of my life than in others, so I’ve tasted of the Lord’s vivid presence and miss it when He chooses to be quiet or when I’m not paying the price.

The price? Just like organic eggs, cutting-edge Christianity costs more than the blah kind where you say at least you go to church and eat your protein. Just before the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus and a voice from heaven said, “You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well-pleased,” John the Baptist urged, “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” A practical example is how Dr. Gary Chapman begins in The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted. He urges us to take step number one: Confess how we’ve sinned in our marriage. If we’re going to let the Holy Spirit lift up the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in our marriage, workplace, family, neighborhood, or church, one cost we need to pay up-front is repentance. That may sting even more than paying $5 for organic eggs, but it will stimulate our taste buds for more of the Lord’s presence, will, loving laws, lessons, growth, and faith adventures. And it will be worth it.

… Prepare the way for the Lord ... Luke 3:4
… Taste and see that the Lord is good … Psalm 34:8

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Who me? Snore?

“Like a bear!!!” my husband exclaimed when I, astonished, asked him to verify his claim that I’d snored heavily the night before—ALL night. When my head hits the pillow and the world is silent and my breathing is so peaceful, I drift into dreams like a baby. At least that’s my perception. I still find it hard to believe I snore. He, however, was awake, thanks to my snoring, so his perception is probably more accurate. 

Receiving feedback is like a mug of cocoa. When someone tells me I’m thoughtful or capable, for example, feedback delights my taste buds and coats my insides right down to my toes with warm comfort. When someone tells me I’m quiet by nature, feedback is room-temperature cocoa. Nothing surprising, since that mug has been sitting on my table for decades, and it’s still quite drinkable. But when someone tells me I have acted in an offensive manner—even in my sleep—it’s ice-cold cocoa on a chilly winter’s eve.

I like to hear what people really think of me, and I always hope it’s positive and warm. But I have to face the fact that sometimes I snore. Sometimes I’m judgmental. Sometimes I’m impatient and snap at people. Sometimes I just plain want things to go my way. Sometimes people will tell me I’ve stepped on their toes or hurt their feelings. Sometimes they tell me gently and in love; sometimes they are not so nice. Either way, I need to hear it, or I won’t grow as a loving human. I’m in relationships with people giving me feedback; they see and hear me in ways I can’t see and hear myself. One thing I don’t want to snore through is relationships!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dancing Through Life

Baryshnikov’s insight (previous post) on what dance reveals about us got me thinking. I so admire the freedom and joy I see in gifted dancers. In some dancers, I imagine this freedom comes from years of lessons and disciplined practice. In others, it’s just abandoning themselves to movement, emotion, or music. I think for all, though, it takes humility to really soar. Couldn’t we all learn a few dancing-through-life tips from Arthur Murray?

Excerpted from The Arthur Murrays’ Dance Secrets, by Arthur Murray, ©1946
  • Don’t steer your partner around the floor like a bicycle.
  • Don’t be so serious. Leave your business face at the office when you step out.
  • Don’t say you hate dancing just because you don’t know how.
  • When you make a misstep, don’t blame the orchestra.
  • Don’t brag “I never had a lesson in my life.”
  • Don’t dance passively—be glad you’re alive.