My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Friday, January 20, 2012


It's Friday and to God be the glory for getting me through another week. Had a bit of pain yesterday but it was tolerable. I was exhausted at the end of the day but I made it the whole day. That's what life is all about... little victories, day by day, moment by moment sometimes.

I am being discipled. Not disciplined. Discipled. I'm learning to be humble. I'm working on my character. I look at my sweet Steel Magnolia and how treasured she is by her community and her family. I know that she has spent a life of faith, working on who she is. I know that even her, in her advanced years and extensive experience, has had times when she was at odds with people in her life. I suspect that it grieved her in the way it grieves me. All of us, I believe, have someone in their lives who isn't their biggest fan. My challenge is to respond with grace. That's the challenge... that's what I work on daily... because it is those conflicts that make people really look at who you are and how you respond, right?

I'm on a shorter schedule this morning because I promised to take Austin to school today. He likes it. I'm trying to be supportive and encouraging during this last "mile of the marathon". I would hate walking to the bus stop in the dark and cold. So this morning I'm going to give him a treat. It puts me in the car a bit longer but it's ok. I use my time in the car to pray and I can use a little prayer. I'm wearing thin this week. Figuratively, of course. I'm wearing fatigue like a thick, heavy cloak but I can do this.

Austin has company coming for the weekend. Not the usual suspects... this guy I semi-approve of because he's a Gator fan. I am not thrilled about having someone else in the house all weekend. I like my space. This is a small apartment. It's supposed to rain. I need Austin's help to get groceries. But... all of that aside... I'm glad that Austin is social and has friends.

We watched a video last night of Austin's preschool friend Hunter and his band. Austin's not a huge connoisseur of music. I'm more a show tunes or Contemporary Christian music fan. But Hunter is talented and it's surreal to see who he has grown to be. Austin had a very profound statement, though, he said, "the last time I saw Hunter it was weird. Awkward."  It is hard to reconnect with people sometimes when you've both grown and you don't have the same things in common that you once had. Austin and Hunter were friends when they were going through potty training and that sort of thing. And Austin struggles with making small talk and articulating with people he doesn't know well. Although I haven't approved of the "element" he has connected with everywhere we've been... I'm proud of the work he has done to make friendships. It's not easy.

Every friend is a treasure. Every enemy is an opportunity. Every life that intersects with ours... whether for a season or a lifetime... makes an impact on us - and us on them... and I think as Christians we have to make the most of those intersections. That's what I mean by being discipled. If I truly want to be a follower of Christ, I have to make sure that when people pass through those intersections with me, that they understand how and why I am different. I can't put my focus on how they treat me... I have to put my focus on how I respond to how I'm treated. And if I'm treated in a way that I feel is unfair, I have a greater burden, as a Christian, to use that experience for my good and His glory.

In the end... it's not about me. No one can separate us from the love of God. If I am crucified with Christ, in other words, if I make my life about believing the crucifixion as the saving experience that allows me access to God and entry into Heaven... then these light and momentary troubles... these minor conflicts... these seasons of being "at odds" ... aren't going to change my destination, they're just going to present opportunities for me to extend the grace I've received to someone else. I've been on the receiving end of that grace and it is transformational. When I have been the ugliest, meanest, least deserving of forgiveness, I've received it, both from God and man. I need to make my life about giving in the same way that I have received.

Heavy for a Friday, right? Well... it's time for me to glam and spend a little time with my not so little boy and then head into the work world to make the most of the intersections I cross through today. Start the weekend countdown clock, folks! My weekend begins in 11 hours!