Thursday, May 19, 2011


So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. (1 Corinthians 12:25-26)

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (Romans 12:15)

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. (1 Peter 3:8)

In the past month, I've had two eye opening experiences that have taught me I need to be more sympathetic.

Experience 1:
My oldest son, Jacob, is eight years old and has had vary levels of speech therapy since he was five. After three years he is much better then when started. I remember distinctly telling the first therapist we met with that most of the time when he talks I had to translate because people who didn't talk to him everyday literally could not understand him. We started with two one hour therapy sessions each week, and Jacob now only has to go once a week for thirty minutes at a time. Here we are years later, and my younger son, Josiah, who is now four has begun to show many of the same sign. We've had him tested, and sure enough, he will begin to have speech therapy in the fall when school resumes. But meanwhile, Jacob gives Josiah such a hard time about the way he talks. It would be one thing if he was correcting him to help him say things correctly, but sometimes he is just being mean. Of all the people that should be sympathetic to Josiah's situation, it should be Jacob, right?

Experience 2:
A few weeks ago, for several days when I leave Josiah at my mom's house, Ty (another little boy who she watches, who is only 1) would cry. I know Ty likes me, but it's not enough that my leaving each day would make him cry. It really feels like he is trying to experience the pain that Josiah should feel (and who incidentally could not care less when I leave... lol). What a sweet expression of sympathy and compassion!

So where are you? If you're anything like me, you have far too many days when you are not sympathetic toward someone experiencing difficulty. Shame on me for those times, especially when it's an experience I've already come through.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Any size you want

You're going to read a phrase a lot in this one: Completely Honest.

If I asked you to pick the clothing size you want to be, what would you say? Let's be completely honest - most people would pick a size smaller than they are. However, I propose that the size you are IS the size you want to be. You may dream of being a smaller size, but that is different. What do I mean? Even if you are completely unhappy with your clothing size, you are that size because you want it more or less than something else. Your size is a direct result - albeit confusing and mysterious at times - of the effort you put into it.

Tangent Alert: I'm not denying that there often genetic issues that are completely out of our control, causing a person to be thinner or larger. However, if we're being completely honest, in the majority of situations size is a direct result of diet, exercise, and social influence. Agree?

Ok, back to my last pre-tangent thought: The effort you put into it. When I am able to eat healthy and exercise frequently I find that my fat reduces and my muscle increases. Not necessarily rapidly or consistently, but there are definite changes in my body that do not occur when eating without regard and not staying active. Furthermore, I continue to read that eating healthy makes you want to exercise and vice versa.

So I am here to say that your faith, also, can be any size you want. Do you want to live a pseudo-Christian life? Though if we are going to be completely honest, is there really such a thing as pseudo-Christian? It's the religious equivalent of being half-pregnant. You either are, or you aren't.

Putting aside for a moment the items that you are pre-disposed to - a short temper, addiction, worry, or really anything that draws you away from God - what do you chose to do with your faith? Will you exercise it for the muscle it is and make it grow? Or will you feed the sinful nature that wants so many things that will ultimately lead to death?

As with diet and exercise, when you have victories in your faith over the little trials it is so much easier to be victorious over the big ones.