Out my Window: Snow!
Enjoying: I am loving my Christmas lights I left up, comfy flannel PJ bottoms and slippers a friend gave me, reading, figuring out what partial hibernation mode looks like, I am pretty obsessed with crepes right now
Listening to: Weekly release of Holy Post and John Branyan. Had a long car trip so I listened to a whole book, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World by John Mark Comer. It was a good listen. I definitely would like the paper copy for the last bunch of chapters. I had listened to an interview with him on the Holy Post Podcast https://www.holypost.com/holy-post-podcast/episode/9438d169/episode-376-the-ruthless-elimination-of-hurry-with-john-mark-comer that intrigued me. I was pleasantly surprised when it went along with what I have been pondering about Jesus’ invitation to take up His yoke. https://inkblotlife.com/2020/01/13/yoke/ The challenge that got Comer changing his life comes from Dallas Willard, when asked how to be more like Jesus, he responded, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. There is a difference between being busy and being hurried. Jesus was often busy, but never hurried. Being hurried is a condition of the soul.” It was a good listen, but I kept wanting to capture quotes and thoughts. I think I need to stick with fiction and memoirs for audibles, but this was done well, as far as listening, but also content with definitely worth re-reading the book. Much to think about and practice.
Reading: By my bed: Bob Goff’s new devotional Live in Grace Walk in Love and Adorned: Living out the Beauty of the Gospel Together by Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth.
My carry around book (on the couch books): I finished The Divine Commodity: a Faith Beyond Consumer Faith by Skye Jethani This was very interesting. I am intrigued by Van Gogh and his spiritual life now. He interwove Van Gogh’s life and paintings with a journey through the marketing of church and forgetting the divine. He warns that we are losing our true identity as the Body of Christ as we emulate the culture in our way of doing church. He makes a case that we need to use our imaginations to step outside of the box we have put church into.
The challenge facing Christianity today is not a lack of motivation or resources, but failure of imagination.
The more I think about it, the more I realize there is nothing more artistic than to love others. -Van Gogh
What compelled Jesus was not impact but obedience. He was nourished by doing everything his Father commanded.
What if we stopped judging ourselves and others based on outcomes which rightfully belong to God, and rediscovered the humility of the sower-the one who rises day and night, casts the seed upon the ground, and marvels as it grows?
I started a book my friend sent me Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy, Get More Done by Laura Vanderkam, and in my sub bag is Not from Around Here: What Unites Us, Divides Us, and How Can We Move Forward by Brandon O’Brien (I wanted to read this after an interview I listened to https://www.holypost.com/holy-post-podcast/episode/277e34e9/episode-378-is-the-real-america-urban-or-rural-with-brandon-obrien and then it came up as a reviewable book so I jumped at the chance) so review coming.
Pondering: Still pondering gentle in the framework of Matthew 11:28-30 I love Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of these verses:
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
Unforced rhythms of grace… gentle, humble, light, easy… I listened to The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World by John Mark Comer this week and was pleasantly surprised that it was centered around these verses. He talked a lot about being an apprentice to Jesus and practicing His ways. There is much to ponder from both books that I interacted with recently. I love that when we seek God and ask Him to teach us, He is faithful and gentle in His desire to teach and show us the way. I have been on a trek looking at discipleship for myself and others but apprentice gives a bit more of a modern context that I can envision better. I think of the kid who apprentices with the blacksmith to learn the trade and how he learns the art and science and nuances of that person. I am pondering what that looks like as a life practice. Comer states many times how Jesus was never in a hurry. I think of how many times I am hurrying from here to there and my life isn’t really that busy. It is more of a soul state. Apprenticing with Jesus is more about letting Him set the pace as I am yoked to Him.
Learning: Learning what that yoke looks like. For some reason if it is not heavy and difficult, I think I must being avoiding what I am supposed to be doing or not doing it right. I grew up in a home where the philosophy was you learn the hard way. I was talking to my brother and mentioned that I was helping my son get re-located to Seattle, and he said still mothering your adult kid? At first I felt guilty, and then I was like of course I am. I am still his mom. He’s my kid. (not in a over reaching way, I am learning that, but in a this is one of my people that I love, so I’ll use my skills and resources if he wants me to.) I was thinking how we grew up with your eighteen and done, good luck philosophy. Learn your life lessons well the first time, or you’ll have to keep learning them the hard way. I do think sometimes we need that, but other times we need people who are further along to help out. The same is true for me. So I am slowly learning to look for those people and resources in my own life and allow them to help. Paul in the New Testament refers to this in his letter to his young friend Titus about having the older people teach the younger. We are in this together. I tend to jump into this as the giver and older person, but I am slowly learning what it look like to allow others to do this for me. I think community is part of what makes the yoke that Jesus refers to light and easy.
Home Life: Keeping up. Mostly helping my older son pack up and he is leaving almost everything, so we are upgrading our stuff (bonus for us), or finding homes or places to store the rest.
Fitness and Mental Health: Still doing Pilates. I would like to get some schlogging in there, or figure out some sort of cardio, but I am sticking with the something is better than nothing mentality. Mental Health: Leaving the Christmas lights up makes me happy, Vanilla candle burning is so soothing, reading and choosing to be present each day when it is very tempting to run ahead.
Giving Thanks: For freedom to work or not work based on my schedule, for praying friends, for comfy clothes, for the excitement in little kids when they encounter new things, for fun and laughter with my family, for good food, for the mechanic who generously fixed our exhaust on both our cars, for a long weekend