Leaning . . .

2007-Aug-24, Fri

(see, this might as well be a continuation of the list, but, if nothing else, it’s amplified and a bit tangential in its approach).

Funny. I was feeling compelled to write this blog, and, before I did, I went back to catch up on any new comments to Do You Ever Just Want to Give Up? and there was Kacie’s comment saying just what I was thinking. So maybe I’m not the only one who sees and is amazed.

Christine, it is truly an uncommon grace to lean in as you do. It should be obvious that you are in pain and you’re experiencing incredible loss. I know that many of the things that deeply frustrate me just as deeply frustrate you. But I confess that I’m not generally so good about leaning into the One who loves me.

I yell at Him, yell about Him, complain about this world for whose fate He ultimately takes responsibility (though, yes, I know, it might be not His fault). I run from Him, bury myself in mindless distractions, discover endless avoidances. But not often enough do I turn to Him and say “I trust you” or even, “I’m trying to trust you.” Not often enough, if the truth is told, do I believe Him when He says He loves me and that He hasn’t (let’s not even touch the speculative “He won’t”) let go. Somewhere inside, I think I know those things are true, but maybe I’m holding on to too much baggage to truly grasp the Truth.

It takes vision and strength to turn to Him as you do. And if it is a habit, it certainly required discipline and persistence to attain and was purchased with much pain. It seems to me that that you have found the truly important thing . . . and you are doing it well.

You encourage me and challenge me by your example. I can’t imagine that I could be prouder or more pleased with who you are, the life you live and the way you live it.

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just for Christine, part 3

2007-Aug-24, Fri

. . . (continuing list of wonderful things about my wonderful daughter that are evident in her wonderful blog–wonder what the motif is?)

6. Jesus. Not just her love for and commitment to Him, but Himself. They talk about that whole beholding and becoming principle. And I think it’s working.

7. Community. Christine isn’t a shock blogger, she’s not looking for attention or any of that, but she has readers. Hey, people love her and her writing; what’s not to love? But the point is that she truly values community and relationship (and, well, duh, people) and invests herself at a deep heart level in the people she loves. That not only comes out in her writing but in the fact that it’s usually a dialog–even cooler and what you might not notice is the levels of dialog behind the scenes.

(to be continued, again, maybe, later, but I think I’ll diverge for a bit . . . oh, it’ll be for, of, about and inspired by Christine, but I’m gonna go another direction in the format; if for no other reason than that it’s too easy to list wonderful things about her–that and the fact that wonderfulness tends to overlap [e.g., try talking about God’s goodness and not mentioning His kindness and mercy; yes, it can be done, but even if you don’t articulate the overlap, some folks will read it in–yes, I’m one of ’em]; and I like the idea of months down the road, popping off with #8 and it really will be #8 [in the ongoing catalog] because numbers should mean something, right? and not just be random artifacts that create faux authenticity [actually, that suggests a whole set of other wonderful things about the wonderful one, that number and logic business, but, hey, I said I’m shifting focus, so try to forget, for now, that I might have just given you 8, 9 and 10]; plus, I’m just listing and not really elaborating, which is difficult and I don’t need that kind of pain–a little freedom and free-flowing is what I need . . . )

just for Christine, part 2

2007-Aug-09, Thu

. . . (continuing list of wonderful things about my wonderful daughter that are evident in her wonderful blog–wonder what the motif is?)

5. Goofiness. So what good is transparency, if it doesn’t uncover some peculiar, silly, absurdity (redundant even) lurking beneath the surface. Um, okay, sometimes it lurks right there on the surface, but let’s not quibble. And this is one, I’m proud to say, she inherits from both her mother and me–which is not to imply that she hasn’t explored goofy territory all her own, because she certainly has. Follow Christine’s advice and “come in for the rain.”

(to be continued yet again . . .)

just for Christine, part 1

2007-Aug-06, Mon

Just for Christine . . . I’m going to actually blog. It may not seem like much of a gift, but Christine can tell you what a master I am at procrastination and avoidance–especially when it comes to the important things.

Not wanting to be outdone by the amazing Beatties (and I’ve only actually met Amanda, but she’s amazing enough to convince me that the rest of her family must be pretty good too–oh, and, yeah, Amanda’s parents have commented and commented well, on Christine’s blog), I grabbed the url. Heh, heh, heh. Hey, I’m entitled; I contributed chromosomes. If it weren’t for me, well, yaknow, she wouldn’t be here. Pbbbbt. Top that.

So, let’s talk about Christine. I’ll start with this blog thing. A few of the qualities that she exhibits here and here that are characteristic of the way she lives her life and that make me so proud to be her father:

1. Transparency. Like Billy Joel said, it’s such a lonely word. And he might have said, it’s mostly what we need from the Church, especially in this hour.

2. Intelligence. Christine isn’t ostentatiously academic or pretentiously philosophical, but there is obvious thoughtfulness, significance and coherence to what she says–yeah, even the silly stuff. If you don’t get it, go back and read it again.

3. Discipline. Um, though I probably can’t take much credit for any of these, this is one that I know she didn’t get from me.

4. Presence–i.e., she shows up. To me, this is a combination of the previous three . . . and then some. Christine doesn’t do something just to do it. She’s engaged and invested. She means it. She does what she believes in and she does it well. She’s probably done research. To put it another way, she’s no good at going through the motions or doing things half way. This is one of the reasons that she’s effective in prayer: read what Deb said and consider that the LORD is looking for those who are, as David was, “after His own heart.”

(to be continued . . . )