All I could think when I read it was Jesus doesn't create a club with a list of requirements in this area. When He invites us, no matter our stinky or self-elevated behaviors, to sit at His family table, He loves up on us as a brother or sister and gives us a whole world as a kingdom to tend and rule. What He asks of each of us is that we accept His brothers and sisters as our own, too, just as they are. He has their self-improvement courses covered. The only thing He asks us to do is love them and not create ANY burden beyond what His Word makes clear - and whaddaya know, His greatest commandment is LOVE - to make His plan for them more difficult.
If our social life does not include a diverse group of people: home/hospital birthers, SAHMs, WAHMs, WOHMs, TTCs, single ladies, married gals w/o children, (this list could go on and on); those who vaccinate and those who do not; raw eaters, meat eaters, veggie-only eaters, McDonald's eaters; the green and the chemical-happy; baby-wearers and baby toy holders; parents who discipline a variety of ways; co-sleepers and crib fams; breastfeeding mamas and mamas who have, for whatever reason, chosen to do otherwise at this moment...A pastor friend once said, "If you don't have people in your church, in your life, that make you uncomfortable, you are not living out the Gospel."
I not only believe these words, I have seen what my own personal preferences have yielded over the years. I don't regret creating some preferences for our family; I do regret having pressed those preferences on others through the years in ways that made them feel they were less.
As for me and my house, we welcome you to our home, no matter your own personal preferences. Ours may be different. That's okay for both of us. If and when Jesus wants to change either one of us, He'll do it without either of us needing to make the other feel badly about our efforts to be good mamas or holy women of God. Yes, there may be times when one of us has to confront the other about a sin, but how about we all make certain we limit those times to what God calls sin rather than what WE think is best for others. Our understanding is so limited, folks. Let's try the love He asks of us and see where that could get us.
[ 5 comments ] ( 64 views ) | permalink | ( 3 / 955 )
But I look over at the number of blog entries I've managed in almost three years time (3 years!) and realize I have more fingers on my hands than blog posts. How could this have happened to a wordy woman!
Well, for one, Facebook happened. I find I have enjoyed the relational feel of Facebook and have almost not missed a day of posting a status on my Shonda Parker profile. Facebook allows for "getting to know you," which I enjoy more than talking at you on this blog. What a shocker for me! I like listening as much as talking. Well, okay, that may be going a bit too far, but I do enjoy listening.
Then I got busy with the new course programs, adding more interaction on our student forum, then adding bi-weekly teleconferences each spring and fall, then increasing that to weekly for different modules of study. This wordy woman began to have to decide where her words were going to be directed, and her students won.
And then there was that bone tumor discovered in January 2010 that turned into bone tumors and soft tissue tumors, one of which decided to try to behave like a nasty cancer and press on my spinal cord, necessitating a complicated and lengthy surgery this past May...not cancer, just not a very benign-acting benign condition. Wait for it. Wait for it. Wait...Multiple, solitary hemangiomas of bone and soft tissue with aggressive factor. Multiple, solitary...why, of course, it could not have been anything other than paradoxical considering its chosen host. There is nothing quite like something destroying a gal's bone to make her begin to measure her words.
Now I am almost six months post surgery...post bleeding out on the table...post complete respiratory depression necessitating a vent...post nerve root severing resulting in partial paralysis of my mid-section...post a year and a half of planning life possibly without mama, without wife, without friend, without teacher, without herbal medicine woman, without Shonda words. Life and the Word that breathes it has become exceedingly precious.
This wordy woman is a little quieter, but I like to think with some of that stillness has also come a greater valuing of words and life shared.
I can't say I'm going to become a prolific blogger. This may, or may not, be the place God has in mind for me to interact with you. We'll see, but I can tell you where you can find me:
Trying to drench my husband and my children with my love and time;
Learning to be a better friend and sister to my brothers and sisters in Christ;
Teaching our students, answering their questions, helping them develop into the health educators they've been called to be in their homes and communities;
Having fun over on Facebook. If you're there, friend me up, and we can visit in one another's lives. I have my personal profile, Shonda Parker, and Naturally Healthy has its own page, too - you can "Like" it, if you...ahem, like.
And, then, of course, as I find my words once again, I'm writing a new book, Naturally Healthy Herbs, getting Mommy Diagnostics ready for reprint, restructuring our course programs to enable those who want the most words to have them, planning a speaking schedule for 2012, and developing and testing thirty new herbal formulas for the market...all in a day's work for a woman who, though she loves words, is a pitiful blogger.
May the Lord rain His blessings upon you, drenching you to the bone with His goodness and mercy...all the days of your life,
[ 3 comments ] ( 82 views ) | permalink | ( 3 / 630 )
Lodging and learning will take place in the lovely Jackson House, located in Monroe, Louisiana's beautiful Garden District. The house has 4 large bedrooms with 3-4 beds in each room and a formal living room we will convert into additional sleeping space for the conference.
The dining room seats 28 comfortably.
The over-sized den will be our learning area, with tables and chairs to comfortably seat 30.
Vendor space will be located in the breakfast room and sunroom.
Daily walks through the Garden District and along the levee of the Ouachita River are usually pleasant, even in late January in the Deep South.
Looking forward to seeing you here!
[ 1 comment ] ( 29 views ) | permalink | ( 3.1 / 35 )