Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Love. Is. A. Choice.

As I type this, the Presidential hopefuls of 2016 are pacing anxiously in New Hampshire as America lunges towards another election.

As all Americans breathe in the palpable and nauseating mix of concern and hope in the air, these hopefuls are attacked from every side; at every turn, as philosophies and issues collide and, as we cling to what's left of our democracy, rightfully so. 

Marco Rubio was no exception as a homosexual man furiously accused and questioned why “he (Rubio) wanted to "push this man back into the closet."”

It was quickly evident that the banter between these two individuals would avail to no new understanding and this man scowled and whined into the cameras and to the media that “people don’t choose who they love.”

I completely reject that notion as not only delusional, but dangerous.

This whole issue, this whole nation, this whole election, this whole generation of mankind is operating under a modus operandi of a completely fictional definition of love. #thenotebook

It has us backwards in the most condemning of natures.

We don’t know how to love ourselves. We don’t know how to love our neighbors.

Because we don’t know what love even means.

Let’s put homosexuality and all that it entails entirely and utterly on the side for a moment.

This idea that we are "slaves to love" is not only preposterous it is dangerous.

It perpetuates a sexually violent and coercive culture ("boys will be boys").

It perpetuates abusive heterosexual and homosexual relationships ("but, I LOVE him").

It perpetuates families who are unable to draw safe boundaries.

Attraction, you could argue, and many would agree, is some sort of inexplicable biological and chemical concoction of anatomy and anomaly of which few of us (if any of us) have total “control” or consciousness.

But love?

No.

Love. Is. A. Choice.

Always. Inherently. Totally. Completely.

It begins with the choice of our Creator to love us. Despite our complete and utter deserving of death.

It persists with our choice of loving our neighbor through charity and hospitality and service.

It ends with our choice to love ourselves not because of what we bring to the table, but because of what we have given.

Love. Is. A. Choice.

How toxic an idea that all I am as a wife and a mother can be over in a moment should my husband suddenly feel differently about me in his affection.

How dangerous a philosophy that my ability to care for my children and those around me are not of my own ability and own volition but of some mysterious whim of love orchestrated against my will and the will of my Lord.  

I reject the idea that to love is to be a wandering and aimless victim.

To love correctly and deeply and wholly is always a choice. 

In a world view where the end goal is personal happiness and "satisfaction" the ever rotating problem and the solution is a mere temporary placating of whim. 

In a world view where the end goal is communal and holy joy and purpose the problem and the solution is the choice to fall into the Word and will of God. 

It has nothing to do with whim / "love." 

It has everything to do with choice. 

The easy and cheap answer is I love you because I feel it. 
The hard answer is I love you because I choose it. 

I am in a happy, stable, hard, confusing, challenging, wonderful, messy marriage. 
I am here because I choose it. Every day. I choose him. I choose me. I choose us.

Regardless of my ever changing whim. Regardless of my "love meter." Regardless of "attraction." 

Our inclination to move forward in our view of love should not include abandoning the ship of personal responsibility and the scapegoating of our ever fluctuating hormones and desires. 

Just yikes. 

I didn't "get lucky" and "get wired" from day one with all the "right" hopes and dreams and desires. 

I didn't know anything about love.

Through the power of the cross Love came and rescued me. 

I will choose to live the rest of my life as an expression of that Love. 

The real Love.

The choice Love. 

The He-didn't-have-to-but-He-did-anyways Love. 

That's what I want. That's what I desire.

And, I believe, if you really think about it, and you're really honest about it, that's what you really want too. 

You are worth more than this cheap love sold on the streets and in the screens of this broken, hurting world.

You are worthy of pricey love. 

The kind of love that chose to climb up onto a cross and die for you. 

That's my Love. That's my Jesus. 












Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Word on Marriage from My Grandparents



This past weekend I had the pleasure and honor of celebrating the 80th surprise birthday of my paternal grandfather, Colonel John F. Ferrick.

It was a weekend of family and heritage and my spirit is full of the time spent with loved ones during the whirlwind trip.

As our family (immediate family only was about 27 of us) lounged by the pool, tended to babies, recalculated plan after plan, set playlists for the party, and generally just enjoyed each other, one story in particular surfaced again and again.  

His wife, my grandmother and his Commanding Officer (his words; not mine), had spent more than a year orchestrating this beautiful birthday weekend.

In May of last year her plans for a wonderful surprise almost caught fire.

Although they have many shared assets as a married couple the two still hold separate checking accounts.
Upon mistake, my grandfather had opened her mailed bank statement and saw the charge for the deposit on the banquet room.  

From a generation of scrupulous money spenders and savers (rightfully so) he approached her about this generous charge with something along the lines of, “what in the world!?”

My grandmother, feeling like she needed to say something, said, “Now, Jack, just be careful or you might ruin something very special.”

And then, with the wisdom and maturity of 58 years of marriage; he totally and completely forgot about the conversation. 

Without going into specifics, or defending herself, my grandfather trusted her enough and respected her enough and loved her enough to simply let it go. Nothing more, nothing less.

And that is beautiful to me.

When he was reminded of that story this past weekend, he recalled that he did truly forget about that interaction entirely and replied that he was completely and utterly surprised when he noticed that the large crowd enjoying drinks by the pool Saturday morning were his children,  “adopted children,” nieces, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

My grandfather is not a forgetful nor careless man.

He chose to forget that moment because he decided, for the who-knows-what-time in their marriage, to give my grandmother the benefit of the doubt.

It was a deliberate decision

How can we today give our spouses the benefit of the doubt?

How can we take them at their word even if we don’t understand their actions?

What in their past can we choose to forget?


What can we decide to let go? 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Why "Anti-Establishment" isn't Enough

Being raised in Davis, California I totally "get" the “Bernie Sanders” allure.

He’s so …. easy. You get to be edgy without actually saying anything about anything.

And if that isn’t the liberal millennial slogan I don’t know what is.

As a politician running on primarily “anti-establishment”laurels, this appeared (To some. For like 0.5 seconds) to be a unexpected step for the pro-life movement.

Wrong. Duh.

Bernie is absolutely pro-abortion in the name of “women’s rights” (but only women who can prove they have a viable way to live … or are more than a “clump of cells” …or are… wait, what’s the argument today? And also only women who aren’t women. Because if a woman says she’s a woman and different she’s ignorant and a Bible thumper, but if a man says he’s a woman and different he is inherently a woman. Grammar check is ironically completely underlining those last two sentences. Unfortunately, they are, in fact, representative of our culture’s thought process currently. Sorry Grammar check. You sexist establishment. Sorry, I digress. This is a really long parenthetical paragraph.), and where he stands on the mega-corporation PP is left to remain clear as of right now.

All people have a common longing for the (perceived) underdog, because I think that we all, to a certain degree oftentimes feel like the underdog ourselves. When you are unhappy with current administration (course that’s not quite the way Bernie spins it) it is so simple to become wrapped up in “anti-establishment” woes.

“Establishments” are easy scapegoats because what does that even mean? Who are “they?”

Are you talking about companies? The government? The laws? Societal norms? Perception of those societal norms?

Yes.

Too fickle to stand on a certain charge or principle voters can now, with the click of a button, just merely be “anti-establishment.”

“What establishment?”

“Just…the current ways. Power. Big-pharma. People with money. Wall Street. THE ESTABLISHMENT.”

“Okay but what exactly are you even saying?”

Clayton Christensen is quoted saying, and is rapidly becoming one of my favorite quotes: “It is easier to stand your principles 100% of the time than 98% of the time.”

Our nation has taken that last “grey” 2% and completely run away with it.

A sane person cannot be “anti-establishment” 100% of the time, because “establishment” means 100 different things to 100 different people.

It doesn’t MEAN anything. It means you’re for changing the status quo, or the current “establishment.”

It's like saying you’re “pro-moon.”

“Okay, but what about the moon?”

“Just…the moon. In general.”

It reminds me of

…those fortune tellers that start a reading by saying “You….are trying to contact someone with the letter….l…..m…..n…. (you start nodding)…N! Of COURSE N!”

…the rebellious teenager who is against what their parents say simply because they say it.

…the executive of a large merger who indiscriminately eliminates the previously autonomous company’s strategies and policies because it had “failed.”

It’s an easy and SO completely obvious way to say “I’m just against… whatever we should be against.”

The easiest political stance I have ever seen ever.

It means never having to commit to anything or to anyone.

No names mentioned. No principles mentioned. Just “things will be better.” What are we against today?

Oh yeah, me too.

The Bernie proponent might say, “Nu HUH, Kaitlin, look at his website! Here are his stances on this this this this…”

Okay.

But what are they based on?

God? The Bible? No?

How about The Constitution?

Still no? (I couldn’t find the word “Constitution” on his website at least.)

I don't think I'd offend either political party by saying that our voting and our issues and our politicians should be making not blanket decisions but decisions based on something more than our whims. 

We cannot afford to be indiscriminately “anti-establishment.” 

We must be seeking God given discernment. On each issue.

Let’s pull apart each issue one-by-one and put aside our own individual agendas and look at the big picture here people.

Let’s stand on principle and on not on pacifying empty promises.  

It’s easy to say “I’m anti-establishment because votes.”

It’s harder to say “I’m pro-life because God.”

Do we want someone in office to take the easy road or the high road?

You can’t just hate the establishment because it’s successful.

That is immaturity by any definition.

You have to hate the establishment because it does something morally obtuse.

P.s. Also, if you’re “anti-establishment” as a campaign move at what point to you become “the establishment?” I mean surely at some point…but at the VERY LEAST when you become President of the United States right? C’mon people. 

P.s.s. This train of thought above is very similar to the train of that that ultimately led me to Jesus. Unfulfilled and unsatisfied with a "just because I want it" mentality I had to reach outside of myself to find the ultimate litmus test. I was terrified that if I put the Bible and God to the test that I'd find a logical hypocrisy, a flawed argument, an erred view, but in the last (almost) decade of following Him, He has never disappointed me once. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Life Buffering




Today I want to talk to all of my fellow sisters and brothers who are waiting in Christ.

Waiting on love, waiting on career, waiting for healing, or simply waiting for 8:00PM when you can finally put your feet up after the little ones are in bed.  

Wherever and whenever you find yourself waiting today, I want to look at two passages of Scripture and then reflect on what we should do with those waiting hours (days, weeks, months, years, decades).

The first passage I want to look at is 1 Peter 5:6: Humble yourselves, therefore under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

This, I believe, is a message of great hope.

This is a promise from God that this, all this, is, in fact, a journey.

That where we are today is not where we’ll be tomorrow.

That when Jesus healed the man He ordered Him to walk!

Also, it takes the pressure off of us.

HE will lift us up. HE will set us upon higher callings. HE will do all the bidding.

And then, there’s the phrase, that all of us hate: “…in due time.”

Ugh.

If you’ve ever been waiting on “God time” you know what that means.

Basically, it means it could be before you finish reading this sentence…or thirty years from now…or … never (at least in the sense we finite creatures inaccurately interpret “never”).

But, God does promise this to us. And so, it would be in our best interest to be prepared.

Why?

Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.

What if you don’t get yourself ready? What if you aren’t prepared?

Would that “promotion” or “lifting up” prosper you or harm you?

And would that be God’s fault?

Surely not.

I'm not going to write this and pretend like I know how "it all works," but scripture tells us that just as the King of Heaven strung the galaxies together for His eternal and infinite cause, He did so unwilling to break you, individually, over it. While His glory will come (and has come) to fruition perfectly, our ability to share in that on Earth has a lot to do with us and how we choose to allow God to pursue us

A cliché, but true, work adage goes like this: “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”

It’s sort of a half “self-fulfilling prophecy” half “others will respect you if you respect yourself” type of philosophy.

We should be dressing, every day, ourselves ready for the spiritual realm, should we be called higher, at any moment, to the frontline.

We should be reading our Bible intensely, having a deep and powerful prayer life, intentional about staying sober of mind and spirit, and equipping ourselves for that promise.

For that promise is the establishment of our truest self, making the truest difference, for the truest cause.

If you are feeling complacent and comfortable today.

Don’t.

Lives, eternal lives, depend upon it.

When Isaiah confidently, yet humbly said, “send me” and when Moses was sent, despite all of his objections of his “abilities” those were branches of the same Ultimate mission.

Both servants were used. 

Both were wildly successful for the Kingdom because of the Mighty Father who sees our truest potential through Christ calls us not according to our ability but according to His Nobility.  

However, both had the preliminary credentials of immersing themselves completely in Christ.


The only way for God to lift your life Higher is for you to cling Tighter.