Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thankful Thursday - Or is it a Thursday rant?

This was supposed to be posted last Thursday, October 30th. Oops. Even though the date at the top of the post says, October 30, today is November 6th. Not sure what is going on, but here is last week's post. Sorry about the confusion.

A dear friend of mine who is a knowledgeable and seasoned coffee drinker lives in the town where this brave and generous couple decided to take their love of coffee to another level. Check out this video of their story and the difference their coffee is making. Thank you, Lisa, for opening my eyes to how something as simple as thoughtfully purchasing coffee can affect the lives of people in Nicaragua, the country I loved so much when I visited six years ago.

Earlier this week, I read a blog post about still loving the church, even with all of its many, many, many problems. Thank you, Kathy, for expressing so articulately so much of what I feel about this family I'm glad to still be a part of, the church. Thanks also for taking me back to this website with hundreds of videos of people talking about faith, hope, love, growth, transformation, light, life, and everything else that matters. I watched Kathy speak on this video and nodded at how similarly we think about the issue of "us and them."

What if you really are living your best life already? Is it okay to enjoy the life you're already living? Thank you, Glennon, for giving me a better answer when people ask me, "What's next for you now that you're done with homeschooling? What are you going to do now?" I have been stumped by that question over the past few months because I like the life I'm already living. Still hanging out with my son before he heads to college next August. Still cooking and cleaning. Still walking my dog. Still making friends. Still laughing and crying and telling stories. Still traveling and making plans to travel more. Still dreaming about living overseas at some point in my life. Still teaching Sunday School and leading discussions at churches and other places around Charlotte. Still visiting with friends, meeting them for coffee and lunch and dinner and Hindi movies. Still going on dates with my husband. Still reading and journaling and blogging and hoping to write a book someday. Still praying and giving and maintaining my hope, my optimism, and my faith that all shall indeed be well. What's next for me? More of the same. Thanks be to God!

An awesome article for those who are on the healing journey back from kanswer, called, "Don't waste your kanswer" (The author spelled that last word a different way...) Thank you, whoever it was whose blog comment led me down a wild and unpredictable path to this article. Even though some might argue that my kanswer journey is behind me, I know it is not. The woman I am today was shaped, physically, emotionally, spiritually by the diagnosis of kanswer I received almost two years ago. I plan to keep learning the lessons kanswer has to teach me, to keep sharing those lessons, and to keep living in such a way that I can declare that I did not waste my kanswer. Thank you, kanswer, for pushing me into deeper living, deeper prayer, deeper love, deeper joy and deeper gratitude.

In the safety of my home, rather under the protection of my delusions of safety, I must remember that we have ebola. It's not "them over there;" it's us. We as a human race, as people who suffer and die, have ebola. And this article provides us with a compassionate look at those of us who are dealing with and dying of ebola in West Africa.

We are being sold into sexual slavery. Worse, we are selling each other into sexual slavery. This horrendous crime is enacted on boys and girls of outrageously young ages, perpetrated on teenagers whose yearning for love and attention is turned against them, and adults whose addictions and fear and hunger lure us into actions that we know will probably kill us.

We are anorexic, bulimic, overfed and undernourished.
We are wasteful, wasted, and wasting away.
We are bombing each other, shooting each other, and sawing each other's heads off.
We are segregated, isolated, and insulated.
We are tired of being yelled at, being belittled, and being told that we are worthless.
We are angry, accusatory, addicted, and ashamed.
We are sick and tired, so very tired, of being told that we should be afraid, very afraid.

We want to be better and do better, but we don't want to be the first one to change our ways.
We want to be kind, but we don't want to be seen as weak.
We want to be heard, but we don't want to speak up.
We want to be seen, but we don't want to reveal any of our scars or flaws or broken places.
We want to be loved, but we refuse to accept the tenderness and affection that is offered to us because it doesn't look anything like The English Patient or Love Story or Nights in Rodanthe (Spoiler alert - those are novels... besides did any of those stories turn out well for the lovers involved?)
We want to be honest, but we don't want to see our words used against us.
We want to say "enough," but we don't know what "enough" means.
We want to sit down and shut up, but we don't want to be kicked while we're down or be permanently silenced by others.
We want to be whole, healed, and held.

We are blind, deaf, mute, crippled, hungry, thirsty, leprous, and hemorrhaging our lifeblood away. Thank you, Jesus, for coming into the world to heal us, to feed us, to touch us, and to allow us to touch you in order to be healed. Thank you for the many times that you reached out to those who were sick, dying, and even dead, rendering yourself "unclean" for their restoration, for their healing, for their resurrection to new life - and not only for them, but also for us, for all of us, for me. Thank you for giving us each other - so that together we can walk towards wholeness, fullness, and healing. Thank you that we are learning to reach out to one another in our weakness, in our sickness, in our hunger, and in our desperation. Thank you that strength comes, that hope comes, and that new life comes when we receive your touch, your compassion, your tenderness, and your love through those around us.

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