Monday, January 6, 2014

A Matter of Time - Making Big a Small Way.

Making BIG Change in a Small Way - Grand Canyon: Colorado River - Cooking at Cafe D
A Matter of Time.

Today in Chicagoland it's a whopping -15 out. Practically everything is closed - even the Chicago Public Schools which never happens. My husband still had to take the hour plus trek into work. But, my office is closed so I'm snuggled on the couch watching the cats nap.

It's been a good day of ketchup..I mean, catch-up. And, I needed it.  We couldn't get out of our driveway yesterday before snowblowing the 3 foot drifts so we bundled up and got to work. Church was not meant to be for us. So, today I've been able to catch not only on yesterday's message, but also on a few others I missed and have been waiting to hear. (Yes, our messages are available online.)

One I've been meaning to listen to is from Shauna Niequiest called "The Power of the Living Room." She talks about how important Hospitality is as a spiritual practice.  Paul talked about it in Romans. How we need to worry less about performance and more about presence. How opening the door can be scary, but it's critical to building meaningful, transparent relationships. It's a message I've heard before, but she shares it with humor and charm - you should hear the story of Mary and Martha as she tells if from Martha's point of view!

My husband and I have been talking for the longest time about inviting a few people over for board games.  We've hemmed, we've hawed.  (Is that how you spell that?)  Our schedules have always been too busy, our home too small, too cluttered, our friends live too far away and they surely wouldn't want to travel out to us.  Basically, we've spent hours planning an event that has never happened because we've never even opened the door.  My husband was at church the day Shauna gave her message and now I know why he said it was important for me to make time to listen to it.

Oh, if anyone else wants catch it, you can listen to Shauna here, scroll down she's second on the list.

It was getting a bit cold with the -15 degrees and all, so I preheated the oven and tossed a bunch of chili fixin' in a big pot.  You know how we love our Dutch oven.  It makes the whole house smell so good.

Next, I turned to a fav blogger of mine and got a dose of when good mommies go bad.  Actually, she's a great mommy and Kristen's post is called, "What Our Kids Really Hear When We Yell." She explains the damage that is done when the method overtakes the message.  And, she really hit home.  She mentioned how yelling is frequently tied to feeling a loss of control of the curcumstances. 

She's so right.  For me, it's usually when a plan I had didn't work out the way I had decided it should work.  (Note how *I decided* the way it should be.)  Let's picture a trip out of state.  I had figured out in my head, "If we need to be there by _, and we want to stop at _ for dinner, we will need _ time on the road and should leave by_, be packed by_, have breakfast by_, be up by_. 

Then, it happens. 

We wake up late and I want to feed my family a hot breakfast so I toss the bacon in the pan and run to go get dressed.  The bacon burns but I think some can be salvaged, I'll just scramble it into some eggs.  Then I taste them and they taste all burnt-y and we're out of eggs now.  So it's cold cereal, why aren't you dressed yet?  Did you brush your teeth?  Really, those shoes?  Arrgh, my own pants are wrinkled!  You took the LAST of the milk? Were you planning on telling anyone?

Okay, there might be some exaggeration there.  (Not really.)  But, what I wanted wasn't simply to going church.  I wanted to go to church, make a hot breakfast for my family, and for us to arrive clean, pressed, and early to church.  Here's the thing.  No one else knew I wanted to make a hot breakfast.  There I am frazzed and freaked out...and LATE for church when....they were fine with cold cereal.  They would rather have cold cereal than have me all stressed out.

They hear, "You should have set your alarm."  ( I should have too, by the way.)  The stressed out comments, looks or just silent emotion sends messages of: You're not moving fast enough.  You're not doing enough.  You've dissappointed me. 

You should have known better.
You're not good enough.

We don't have to say it.  We're not saying those words.  We're talking about shoes or pants or bacon or toothpaste.  But, those are the messages they're hearing.
Patience isn't just a virtue.  It's a fruit of the spirit.  And, it's something we can pray for.
Oh, and as Kristen mentions, so is Self-Control!

This morning I thought I would catch up on a sermon or two and read through a few of my favorite blogs.  Instead I got a wake up call.

It reminds me of seeing the Colorado River flowing through the Grand Canyon.  (The photo above is from our honeymoon.)  A little river with a big impact.  We can be quiet and steadfast and still help make big change.  We can point the way by first going there ourselves.  Quietly.

So, tell me. 
How is your family time going in your home?

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