Thursday, November 22, 2007

a glorious thanksgiving.

as matt and i were driving [the 12 hour drive] to chicago from wichita, something glorious began to happen between kansas city and the iowa boarder...

it began to snow.

my mom had been telling me that for the past few weeks, chicago has been getting flurries and serious snow was in the radar. i was jealous. it snows in kansas, but nothing like chicago snow.

just the other day it was 75 degrees in wichita. and as far as i know, there is no snow predicted in the near future.

so if someone were to ask me what's one thing that i'm thankful for this thanksgiving, as ridiculous as it may seem, i'd say that i'm thankful for snow. you don't realize how much something means to you until you don't have it... and in this instance, moving permanently away from chicago and des
moines, i've moved away from big snows.

i think i will go out and build a snowman.

Monday, November 19, 2007

scuffed up hands.

Being a teacher, I don’t get to do much physical labor, or “working with my hands”, so to speak. I don’t get to do any building or lifting of any sort. [Normally] you would find no calluses on these hands…

Yet, after this weekend you may find a number of bruises, cuts, scratches, and chipped fingernails covering my hands… and arms… and feet… and legs…

I spent the weekend helping Matt work on his new house. He’s not building it himself, but he’s doing a good amount on his own. One of those things included tiling. A lot of tiling… with complicated designs. Yesterday we finished up with the front entry way, the fireplace, the laundry room, and the master bath (bathtub and an entire shower).

I’d be okay if I never saw tile again…

Men are definitely built more for that kind of stuff. I was able to do it, and surprisingly, I did it well… butI’m exhausted. My hands are sore, my back aches, my feet hurt, and I still have some putty in my hair that I can’t get out… [sigh].

There were times when I found myself wanting to go home and to stop helping because I was so tired, and then thought to myself, ‘“serving” isn’t one of my spiritual gifts’… And then I realized how ridiculously lame that logic was.

“Serving isn’t my gifting, so I’m just not gonna do it.”


I get tired of people, particularly myself, using the “that’s not my spiritual gift” excuse in order to not do something, or get by with not doing it well. I understand that the Lord has gifted some people with one thing more than another, but to say that something isn’t “my strongest gift”, in order to squeeze my way out of it, is absolutely ridiculous.

We are called to be like Christ, right? Therefore, I have to ask myself a simple question, ‘did Jesus serve people while He was here on earth?’


It says in Ephesians 5, “Be imitators of God…”

Be imitatorsimitate God. Be LIKE God. Aim high, and be as Christ is; live as Christ lived.

That’s a pretty high expectation to live up to… really high. Too high in fact. Yet, we are called to that role.

Ephesians 4: 22-24: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds by letting the Holy Spirit dwell within you; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (my own words in bold).

I do not need to walk around looking for manual labor work in order to be like Christ or to serve people well, but when I do find myself in positions of “getting my hands dirty”, I will do it with a joyful heart.

My ultimate desire is to be like my Father. To do so, I must do as He does. Serve as Christ served. Pray as Christ prayed. And Love as He Loves. Again, too high of an expectation, but I will do whatever I need to in order to be transformed, even if that involves “service”.

So as I sit here, I look down at my hands, and at the large bruise that has overtaken my left arm, and see a reminder of my hard work over the weekend, and of the transformation that is continuing to take place deep within my heart.

Again, I don’t have a great gifting of service (especially service dealing with manual labor), but I desire to. “Eagerly desire spiritual gifts…” (1 Corinthians 14:1). The Lord says to ask, and it will be given to us; perhaps not in the way that we expect, but something will change. As an attitude changes, so does the heart. Thus begins the process of a greater understanding, and a greater resemblance to Jesus.

Perhaps I should stay clear of getting a manicure for a while…