Love God, love your neighbor… for Christians these are the two greatest commandments, because all other laws hinge on these, right?

Today I realized my testimony is built on a foundation of love as well: learning to feel God’s love for me, and recognizing his immense love for all of us. Everything else I believe in really does hinge on that. So when I’m struggling, I try to go back to feeling that love, first.

My Burden is Light

“And the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.”

We read Luke 2 every Christmas. And every Christmas, I’ve assumed the same thing: these shepherds were probably just shocked to see an angel. Anyone would be, right? And yet, why “sore” afraid? These people were faithful, they would “haste” to follow instructions, so what was so scary to them?
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Abide with me…

This is one of my favorite hymns — maybe my fifth or sixth favorite even.

Sorry I haven’t been posting the six times a week I committed to! I’m actually well over that if you include my other blogs, but most of those are private. I’ve just been super busy with homeschooling and working and trying to put together a very special Pi Day celebration. And I *will* post about that very soon.

Right now, though, I’m working, and trying to fix a video embed / Facebook OG issue for one of my customers. I’m checking to see whether this works and had to find a video to post. But even though I haven’t time to say much here, one of my favorite concepts in this song is that we need the Lord to abide with us through the good times as well as the bad. It seems my life since this time last year has just become more ridiculous — and I do mean ridiculously happy — as each day passes. Sure, there were some rough moments, but for the most part I can’t even begin to fathom why I could be so lucky. I have great kids, a super kind sweetheart, a job I love, a home, awesome friends, gorgeous surroundings … but the best part of all is that I feel God’s love for me (and you!) and the same Spirit that pulled me through the hard years I’d had before.

“Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.” I’m praying the same for you, too. It makes all the difference.

Fools Mock…

So the kids and I are working our way through Proverbs. For whatever reason, I’ve just had a hard time getting into the spirit of it. Perhaps it’s that the full chapters tend to touch so briefly on so many different topics, none of them really sink in.

But we’ve been wanting to read straight through, so we’re trying. This morning we were so unfocused as we read, I decided we’d listen to the chapter on loop while we folded laundry.

I’d thought the voice actors would add to the message. Instead, by about the second loop through, they just had us giggling with the way they pronounced the words so dramatically. And from there we started poking at the message itself… a man’s** actions have consequences that will either reward or hurt him, but woman is either a good or bad thing for her husband? Nice.

So I was trying to patch things up, explaining that language is a reflection of culture and so on, when I realized we’d missed one of the major points in Proverbs: mocking doesn’t bode well for anyone.

“Guys, we really shouldn’t be making fun,” I’d finally sighed, while the kids stacked up the towels to put them away.

They both agreed. After a moment Ethan added, “You know, it’s great to have fun and it’s even okay to make the fun you have. The problem is when we make fun of something or someone.”

Smart kid. Maybe something from Proverbs is reaching us, even if I lack some understanding myself.

That awkward moment when…

… you find yourself putting someone down in an effort to be more accepted yourself.

I caught myself doing this at a party this week. I didn’t mention her name, but did vilify her intentions. This was especially awkward since I’ve become super self-critical of my own failures where I was knocking her. My kids just looked at me with wide eyes. We had a pretty good chat about it when we got home.

If you catch me doing this before I catch myself, stop me, please. But it isn’t just a matter of what I say out loud. It’s what I’m thinking that counts. My thinking errors in this case:

  • I’m not accepted enough
  • I’ll feel more accepted if I seem better than someone else

Pretty silly and insecure and mean of me, yeah?

What’s odd — just hours before this incident I’d been chatting with a friend about a pretty nifty scripture:

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Ether 12:27

Why would we ask the Lord to show us our weaknesses if we’re already pretty sensitive about them? Consider the source of that sensitivity: who are you trying to impress? Who would you be disappointing by finding out what needs to be fixed?

It’s like asking your favorite teacher to go over your homework with you. I guess if your main goal was to impress the teacher or convince yourself and others that you’re already a 4.0 student, then perhaps trying to hide any mistakes, even from yourself, might seem prudent.

But THIS particular teacher sees everything anyway. He knows exactly who we are, and you know what? He loves us anyway. And He’s more than happy to gently point out our blind spots. Not to shame us, but to help us repent and become better.

I wasn’t expecting to be shown one of my weaknesses, but I needed it for sure. Now to work on that acceptance thing. 🙂

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