Diving, Returning, Obscurity, and Leaving :: ideas worth sharing ::

My brain is mess of thoughts these days. It seems to be always going back and forth between the mundane, the removed, the riled-up, the to-do list, the wishful thinking and everything else. It just won’t stop.

I had a dream last night about diving into a swimming pool. I’m pretty sure I was much more talented in my dream than in real life, but I love diving. I love the feeling of the water rushing past my ears. There’s always a quiet moment at the bottom of the dive when you stop moving downward and have to begin the journey up.

A silent world for just a moment. Submerged. Alive. Alone. And then up again into the swirling water and loud voices and the rest of the world.

Yesterday felt like that moment at the bottom of a dive.

Just quiet. Removed. One purpose. On purpose.

I love days like that.
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Here are a few things I’ve sifted out of the swirling voices this month:

Emily and Myquillyn just got back from a blogger trip with Compassion International to Uganda. I really appreciated the thoughtful way they described their feelings on returning.
Myquillyn tackles the question of how to move forward after the experience with Dance:

“Dance in your kitchen.
Do your thing well.
Share what you have.”

And Emily shares her experience with: In which we are all under the same sky, a reflection on a statement made by a former Compassion student: “I don’t understand how great wealth and deep poverty all happen under the same sky.”

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I loved Sarah Bessey’s talk at the If:Gathering . It was freeing. And forceful. And graceful. And full of Jesus. It encourages to live the life we’re given and learn grace.

“May we be the ones who do not despise the days of small things, but instead find You in our beautiful obscurity.

I pray that no matter our tool or method – parenting, preaching, cooking, writing, organizing, teaching, pastoring, whatever – all of our whole lives encompassing it all – that we will walk in the knowledge of the sacredness and purpose of our callings. I pray for dreams and visions, for the active leading of the Holy Spirit, and I pray we would never forget that we are loved, that love is our identity, our calling card, our home. As John wrote, may love have the run of our house.

I pray for perseverance and for discipline. I pray for speech seasoned with salt. I pray that when we are bored and tired and discouraged and frustrated, when we feel futile and small and ridiculous that we will remember your words in Matthew and learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”

Ann Voskamp shared something that seems similar now. Our job is to Do You Whatever He Tells You. And that is it. We don’t get a map. We just get God.

“We need the person of God more than we need the plan for our life.

His voice is what you keep listening for…. and the heart of faith is your ear pressed into the heartbeat of His Word.

“This is the way for you — not her way, not their way — but My Way for You.” Stay close enough to the Word to hear your Father’s voice. Do Whatever He Tells You.

Do whatever’s the next thing. Do whatever He puts in front of you and do it with great love and this is what makes any day, any life, anybody great. Miracles keep happening in the mundane.”

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On Church and Not:
These articles struck a chord with me. I took some time off from church the year before last. I wouldn’t call it quitting church or leaving church. I called ti taking a break or a church vacation. I really think that time was an important part of forming who I am as a Christian and gave me the ability to take charge of my faith for myself instead of letting someone else lead me all the time.
This article

“Quitting church reminded me that spiritual growth and being attentive to God is my daily work, not just the job of my church, pastor, or friends. My faith is not the responsibility of anyone else. Ultimately, healthy Christian spiritual practice involves a lot more listening to yourself and the Holy Spirit in dialogue than just following the rules.”

and this article

“i wish we could just trust people more and respect that there are so many wild & beautiful & unique & wonderful ways to live out our faith. and i wish we could trust God more. i’m pretty sure he’s big enough to handle it. he’s creative like that.”

This idea is important to me because it’s vital that people take their faith into their own hands and really dig into who God is. May we have the freedom to pull away from the mainstream body of believers and maybe see a different piece of God and how He loves.
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Laura at Enough Light shared her journey being an Accidental Christian Feminist. I’m finding that words like these ring true to me more and more these days.

“The sequestering off of women hinders the ministry of the church because we limit the influence of God’s image. Men can grow in their knowledge of God by hearing the unique perspective that only women can bring, and vice verse of course. How can the church properly reflect God when half the image of God is so restricted? There is certainly a place for distinct men’s and women’s ministry, but a false dichotomy has been created and we have forgotten the interdependence of men and women.The church misses out on ministry that could be valuable to ALL when women are limited to only working with children or other women.”

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and if you have a Graco carseat… there was a recall and you might want to get your buckle replaced. They made it really simple to do. Ranger’s will hopefully be coming in the mail soon.

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What have you been reading? Or writing? Share you favorite find or story!

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