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Posts Tagged ‘Jason Gray’

Maybe it’s because I am guilty of saying the wrong things to my kids that made me decide to re-post this … and don’t take it personally, but this one is for me … not you!

When I read the following story, by singer/songwriter Jason Gray, I could relate to his first interaction with his son.

As a parent, I say the wrong things to my kids so often. I sometimes feel that if a caricature were drawn to represent me as a mom, one (either or both) of my feet would be sketched into the gaping hole on the middle of my face!

Please read Jason’s story of foot in mouth disease (thanks once again to Ann Voskamp for sharing this story, with such perfect photography, on a holy experience Caring For The Right Thing At The Right Time)

“The other night while we were washing dishes, my son Jacob said he’d seen a trailer for a movie he wanted to see.

“Oh yeah? Which one?” I asked.
“The new Red Dawn.”

“Ugh.” I said. “Why would you want to see that one? You know they’ve been sitting on it for a couple of years because they knew it was a stinker. I think they’re only releasing it now because it’s got Thor and Peeta in it and they’re hoping they can cash in on their popularity and at least get something back for their poor investment.”

Jacob continued, unfazed. “It’s also got an actor in it who I used to love when I was a kid—Josh from Nickelodeon’s Drake and Josh. I’d really like to see what he’s doing now.”

Undeterred, I continued my diatribe. “Well, I loved the original when I was a kid in the ’80s, but this one got TERRIBLE reviews. It’s going to be bad. I’m just telling you because I don’t want you to waste your money.”

About the time these last words came out of my mouth, I began to realize how much of a self-righteous jerk I was being.

Unfortunately this is not uncommon for me—I can be oppressively opinionated and uppity. By God’s grace, however, I am learning to recognize it better and quicker.

I’m so grateful for growing conviction, the evidence that God is still at work in my life.

A part of my problem is that sometimes I care about the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Sometimes I care about fairness instead of generosity.

Sometimes I care about someone else’s theological accuracy when quiet listening would be better.

In this particular instance I was caring more about the quality of a film than I was caring about the quality of a conversation with my son. (In fact, I think he knew that I wouldn’t care for this movie but brought it up anyway, risking my scorn. Brave.)

Of course it’s good to care about things, and it’s good that I care about things like well-crafted films and good storytelling.

I care, too, about nuanced and cathartic acting performances that are as delicious to the soul as a fine meal is to the palette. I am grateful for my capacity to enjoy these and other forms of art-making: books, music, painting, and on down the list.

I care about these things because I’m convinced that beauty matters and is both a grace to be enjoyed and a calling to participate in.

But in that moment with Jacob, my care for a certain kind of beauty turned ugly because I was picking the wrong thing to care about.

Consequently I failed to recognize a more subtle and significant beauty that was being offered to me: the beauty of my son sharing his simple desire to see a movie—one that reminded him of fond memories of his childhood.

In that moment I had also been offered a chance to create something beautiful myself: a generous response with the power to foster a culture of kindness, grace, and intimacy in our home. What work of art—be it a song, a book, or a film—can compare to this?

By God’s grace I recognized what I’d done early enough to maybe do something about it.

“Ah Jacob. I’m sorry. What a jerk I am sometimes. Can we try this again, would you let me? Let’s start over. Tell me again what movie you want to see.”

He laughed, but played along. “Dad, there’s this movie I really want to see. It’s called Red Dawn.”

“Oh yeah? Man I loved that movie when I was kid. Tell me more about it, why do you want to see it?”

“Well, it’s got Peeta from The Hunger Games in it. It’s also got Josh from Drake and Josh” and just looks kind of cool to me.”

He was creating something beautiful of his own by graciously playing along with me, giving me a chance to make amends. This is the beauty of grace.

“Awesome! Well, let me know when it comes out and maybe we can watch it together.” I said, smiling.

“Okay, dad,” he said, smiling back. He had accepted my apology and offered me a way back into his world. He is a kind boy.

Later that night my youngest son Gus asked if I’d lay by him in his bed a little bit before he went to sleep.

After a little reading (from The Jesus Storybook Bible—so, so good, check it out if you haven’t already!), we lay there a bit in the dark.

Kipper and Jacob had come upstairs and were across the hall talking with their mom, laughing, being rambunctious and making some noise.

I sensed it was distracting Gus in the quiet of the moment we were sharing.

With every word and bark of laughter he heard from across the hall his body would tense. I could tell he was about to holler down the hall for them to be quiet because he was trying to sleep.

I was about to say, jokingly, “Man, your brothers are noisy!”

But remembering my earlier moment with Jacob, I wondered if there was something else I might say that would be better, something that might help foster kindness, grace, and intimacy in our home.

What was the right thing to care about?

“It’s nice to hear their voices, isn’t it?” I whispered to Gus in the dark.

“Yeah,” he said as his body noticeably relaxed.

He was quiet for a moment, and then said, “That’s just what I was going to say.”

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31525266111735619_mN9c2Kr4_bI have been pondering the question, “who am I?”

As I have been pondering and researching that question I have kept returning to the same response …

Before I get to that response, let me expose myself to you first (my kids would now place their hands over their eyes and say “TMI Mom” (too much information).

As I see myself, I see one word …

f   a   i   l   u   r   e

As a wife, I am a failure.
I love my husband, but truly I do not always like him. I do not put his needs first (unless he has done something to meet my own before that). I do not love him unconditionally. I do not save my best for him. He usually gets all the frustrations of my day dumped onto his shoulders (and the residual anger and frustration).

As the wife of my husband who is a pastor, I am a failure.
I do not even try to ‘work along side of him in his role. I do not sit with him in church. I do not spend my every spare minute leading Bible studies, teaching Sunday School or visiting the sick. I do not initiate connecting with people from church on a weekly, or even regular basis. I do not even play the piano!

As a mom, I am a failure.
When our three kids were born, I had such grand intentions. I whispered promises that I have broken over and over again. I have not stepped in when they have needed me to. I have ‘wigged out’ at and on them, like a wild woman. I have not tucked them in, with stories and prayers every night of their existence. I have not helped them with homework on a daily basis (in this I am a really big failure, because that is what I get paid to do at school!). Heck, there is a science fair coming up, and I have not done much other than edit my son’s paper. I have even told them, “no, I do not want to hug you right now.”

In my job, I am a failure.
I do not use my time well. I do not show up to classes prepared. I stand in the hallways and chat, when my students are in class. I do not always follow directions from my supervisors. I have even been known to leave early. I do not always like my students, my co-workers, my supervisors, my school.

As a friend, I am a failure.
I do not always make time for my friends. I do not always return their calls, emails, texts, messages quickly. I do not always remember their birthdays. I do not always listen actively to them.

As a child of God, I am a failure.
He, who I say is the most important part of my life, does not always get my attention … at all.

But …

Because I am a child of God, who I am is a reflection, not of what I see in a mirror, but who I am when His light is reflected through me.

Like the image at the top of the page, I am like that elderly woman. I am weighted down by the reality of living in this sin-filled body, in this sin-filled world. My body, my mind, my heart are aging towards their natural end … death. But, like that lady in that image, who I am is being reflected, not as I think I am, but as the beloved of the King.

“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine”
Song of Solomon 6:3

Who do you think you are? In the light of your heavenly Father, you are

B   E   L   O   V   E   D

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The first day of classes is now behind me 😀 and many other adults and students, and we all breath a sigh of relief that we made it through the day. A number of times colleagues would ask, “how is your first day going?” My response each time was, “I just want to get through it.”

Then, this evening I sat down to catch up on emails, notes, and other communications, with tunes cranked to put me into a delightful state of bliss. The first song must have been mistakenly put on repeat, and so it played over and over and over again.

Maybe, though, it was providence, fate or divine message from God that caused it to play again and again.

Now I am hoping that it will play again and again in my head, until I get the message of it’s words.

I really love it when a song speaks to me, makes me wonder, teaches me, or reminds me of something I have forgotten.

That is what the song, Good to be Alive, sung by Jason Gray, does for me, it reminds me of something I keep forgetting … remember, I was the chickie who “just want to get through it (the day)” … that it is good to be alive, and that we live best if we keep this in mind, in the exciting and the mundane of life.

If I look at my life I am so blessed. I have been made fully and completely alive by my Creator. I am healthy. I have a great hubby and amazing kids. I have a job AND I love it. I have friends, family, home, etc., etc., etc. I have so much to live for that should make every moment of every day be seen by myself as a gift. I should NEVER be viewing any part of my day as something to get through!

Check it out, maybe it will put a spring in your step too.

“Good To Be Alive”

Hold on
Is this really the life I’m living?
Cause I don’t feel like I deserve it
Every day that I wake, every breath that I take you’ve given
So right here, right now
While the sun is shining down

I wanna live like there’s no tomorrow
Love like I’m on borrowed time
It’s good to be alive, yeah

Hold on
If the life that we’ve been given
Is made beautiful in the living
And the joy that we get brings joy to the heart of the giver
Then right here, right now
This is the song I’m singing out

I wanna live like there’s no tomorrow
Love like I’m on borrowed time
It’s good to be alive
[x2]

I won’t take it for granted
I won’t waste another second
All I want is to give you
A life well lived, to say “thank you”

I wanna live like there’s no tomorrow
Love like I’m on borrowed time
It’s good to be, it’s good to be alive

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