Wednesday, December 23, 2015

it feels like Christmas!

Everyone here in Indiana is freaking out over our warm, green, Christmas weather. "It can't be Christmas without snow!" They cry.

Meanwhile, I feel like this is totally appropriate Christmas weather. When you spend 90% of your childhood Christmases in Southern California, 60 degree weather is right on target. In fact, it's been making me feel full of nostalgia and a bit giddy. It FEELS like Christmas.

It just goes to show that so much of life is what we are used to. One person's disappointment is someone's preference. We are products of culture and habit. We can't ever think we know all the right things, or our way is always the right way. 

I hope no matter what your expectations are this Christmas, you find yourself filled with joy and peace. And when life hands you a green or white Christmas to your dismay, you still find a way to stand in awe of our Savior.

This Christmas, may our expectation be set aside as we say, "Come, thou long expected, Jesus".

Monday, December 7, 2015

a blog about a blog

I've been thinking about something for a very, very long time. In a way, it came to a head for me yesterday, and then I read this blog post this morning and I decided it's my turn to talk a little bit about this issue.

For a long time, I've been saying, "It's not you, it's me", but I think it may actually not be me.

http://johnpavlovitz.com/2015/12/01/my-emancipation-from-american-christianity/

I read that blog this morning and tears came into my eyes. Tears of frustration, of loneliness, of relief. Frustration for things I do not agree with but I feel are accepted as "cultural norms", loneliness for thinking I am one of a very select few who think this way, and relief to hear that I am not the only one.

That last one is why I decided to write this blog: if you read that above blog post and resonate; or if you sit somewhere on Sunday desperately wanting to worship God but wrestling with a Christian church or the American Christian Church; if in Christian culture you often feel like you are a round peg in a square hole; if you know only pieces of your faith make sense and they don't fit with many other people's pieces of faith - you. are. not. alone. I read that and cried, I sit and feel alone, I am the strangest shaped peg, my pieces don't go with other people's.

And all that is okay.

I often pray the prayer, "Lord, move - or move me." So far, I keep being moved, and I keep being moved farther away from the direction I think I should be going. I do not get moved back to mainstream Christianity, but I often feel like I am moving closer to Christ. So far, I haven't ever felt moved to leave church, and that's not really an appealing option, anyways.

This is not a passive aggressive statement towards anyone in particular, or towards a Body of Believers, or any one thing; nor is it a criticism or calling out of anyone who has not had these feelings. I am a member of a church I love. I call myself a Christian. But I keep many things buried deep within, and when I cannot reconcile them, I leave at the feet of Jesus.  I don't need anyone to agree with me, but I don't necessarily need to agree with anyone, either. I just need space to exist and trust that God is faithful to me - someone who is not wise, who has a lot of questions, and who recognizes her need for a Savior.

When all else fails, I cling to that old rugged cross. It has never failed me. I hope you can do the same.