Showing posts from April, 2015

i'm no good at this

I was spending some time talking with God last night, trying to make a decision. Not really an earth shattering one, but it kind of was. Because I knew that no matter what choice I made, it meant something was coming to an end.
I’ve never been very good at saying goodbye. The first time I realized just how bad I was at it was when I was graduating from college and my friend Ryan came over to my dorm room the night before graduation. He handed me a small gift, wrapped in newspaper. It was a book of devotionals from the Psalms, and he’d written this on this inside cover,
Stephanie, Ahh, how short these four years have been, and how close we have become. My heart is sad, and I have realized how selfish it is to grieve and pity the hours I spent doing other things rather than getting to know more about you. Shall we ever learn? Perhaps for a few minutes.
Thank you so much, Steph, for laughing with me, and thanks for your silence when I was crying. God has given you the gift of compassion and …

blogging thru Scary Close - chapters 12 and 13

Vulnerability and openness act as the soil that fosters security. (pg. 157)
In chapter 12, Don writes about a friend who cheated on his wife when their children were very young.  He chose to tell them what he did, once they grew old enough to understand. He believed openness and honesty would bring intimacy, and that secrets wouldn’t. He gave his children the power to reject him, not forgive him. “There are no shadows in our family,“ his friend says. “We don’t hide anything. But that’s a tough place to get to. It takes work and it’s painful.” (pg. 160)
I’ve seen firsthand what secrets can do to people. To friends. To family. It fosters gossip and rumors. Mistrust. Misunderstanding. And just so many hurt feelings. Because the truth comes out eventually. It may not be the full version of truth, if we insist on continuing to hide. But some or all measure of the truth comes out whether we want it to or not. This kind of half-truth secrecy is a major barrier to intimacy. Secrets create walls…

the beauty and the mess of grace

I’ve been thinking about this word a lot lately.
Do you remember that scene in Evan Almighty when Morgan Freeman is talking to Noah’s wife and he says to her, “If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous?”
Sometimes the law is too easy for me. Because instead of comparing myself to Jesus and seeing my inability to keep the law, I compare myself to others and think how better I am at keeping the law than they are.
There will always be a tension between justice and mercy. I side with justice most of the time, probably because I grew up with the law being preached to me and not grace. I want others to feel accountable for what they've done. I want every moment to be a teachable moment, rather than just being present and offering grace. Yes. This is my greatest vice, and such a sin.
I am a failure. So ar…

blogging thru Scary Close [the risk of being careful - chapter 11]

I remember being part of a ministry in college where we were trained to be mediators for our fellow students. We had a wonderful pastor and counselor train us during a weekend retreat each year. Showing us how to listen, how to manage conflict, how to do the hard things of life with our fellow students. Every year he gave us a poem. I have a copy in one of my scrapbooks. It’s about risk.
I haven’t thought about it for a while, but I remember it having a profound effect on me, which is why I’ve kept it all these years. There is so much emotional risk in what we are doing in this life with each other. And because there is risk there is fear.
I spent a lot of time in my thesis exploring fear for the learner and how it creates obstacles to learning. And sometimes even greater obstacles occur in fear-based learning in how the learner uses what they’ve learned. There are many contributing factors for transformational learning to take into account as a teacher – and one of the biggest, in my o…