Monday, June 23, 2014

The Love That Knows

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"And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense til the day of Christ..." - Philippians 1:9-10

How does my love abound in knowledge and all discernment?

I don't just want a succinct, theological answer. I'm not looking for a catchy slogan or profound motto to become my life catch-phrase. And I'm only remotely interested in what the great theologians of old have laid out as doctrine on the subject. That is not the point. My question is both smaller and bigger than a simple explanation/expounding of the Greek. What do I do, how does my life look different, where do I aim, for my love to abound within these qualifications? What do I say or do with Suzy as a result of having a knowledgeable, discerning love for her? My love has to encapsulate far more than good fellowship and similar tastes, surely. It must constantly be looking beyond the immediate moment and situation, and remembering its origin and purpose - that we both may know our Father more. A love full of knowledge and discernment envisions what a person can become in Christ, and kindly, relentlessly, sharpens and pushes her toward that goal. It involves confrontation - from which I shrink - with tact & sensitivity - which are not my gifts. How do I learn these things??

(no idea where to pin this) The triangular love theory is based on the three components of love: intimacy, passion, and commitment. Having an understanding of triangular...
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But it is more than even this, I think.

To have a love abounding "in knowledge and all discernment" is not merely for the benefit of the person I am to love. A discerning love may well allow me to know when and what to say to Suzy, should the need arise, but it is equally necessary for my relationship with Christ. Suppose Suzy will not be challenged? Suppose she cannot, will not, seek the LORD for all areas of her life? Suppose she refuses to surrender certain likes, tendencies, and dreams? If I love her mindlessly, as it were, ignorant of where such actions lead or unaware of how I ought to respond, I will first accept, then approve, then adopt her way of life. This is the only possible outcome of a mindless love. A love built solely on shared histories, events, tastes, and times. A love with no anchor in morality. A rootless love: it either withers or destroys.

Springing from the LORD, growing constantly in wisdom - it is this caliber of love which enables me to not only see my friend clearly, but also have the vision (eternal eyes) with which to respond to and love her. If Suzy is not willing to rise through the challenges, this love will give me the wisdom of how to interact with her, and that Christ-taught response may be what softens her heart. And if my eyes are on the LORD and how He would have me to love her, I will have the discernment to know where I personally need to draw boundaries in my relationship with her.

So much for the good of wisdom and discernment in loving all those the LORD has placed in my path. My question remains the same: How do I learn to love deeply, with knowledge and discernment? Since this principle comes directly from the Word, I am sure to find the answer there. This, my friends whom I love, is what I have been pondering on lately.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


How did I get here? What am I doing?
I was made to dwell deeply in the depths of the sea.
There the water is cold,
And the comforting dark
Brings me peace by withholding
A life lived just by sight.

How could I leave it? What was I thinking?
It was rumors of pressure-less living that drew me.
I felt buoyant up top -
A great whale with no weight,
And the light sparkled e'er - 
Thus my life lived in shallows.

Why did I stay there? What was so tempting?
I was carefree, I thought, to live warmed by the sun.
But the storm that appeared
I never saw coming.
I was lost and unsure -
Deep depths never have storms.

How did I get here? What am I doing?
I've learned warm, buoyant sparkles bring with them high prices:
To be weightless means tossed,
To see sparkles means surface,
And I long for cool depths
As I bake on this beach.  


"Whoever comes to Me and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great." - Luke 6:47-49

Friday, June 6, 2014

Life Lately

Gather in closely, dear readers, for I have a profound observation to share with you all:

Three and a half weeks can fly by like there's no tomorrow!!!!

You have quite possibly never noticed how a busy schedule can whirl your life away through days, weeks, and months, leaving no time for blogging, little time for picture-snapping, and copious amounts of material for memory-making. The midst of spinning to and fro - this is where friendships are proved, goals are made and met, and where priorities become defined. My past almost-four-weeks have run according to this theme, and I cherish every moment from the decision I was facing in the previous post onward. Now that I finally have a moment's peace, however (although I cannot help but ruefully observe that it doesn't come until nearly midnight on any given day), I am happy to provide the requested "update".

Since May 12th I have...

1. Celebrated a graduation.
*sniff* my li'l bro is all growed up! On May 10th, Ben graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Doesn't he look spiffy?
yes, I know you're distracted by my adorable sunglasses,
but do look at Ben in his boring black robe & funny-yet-impressive
square hat, too.

2) Celebrated a birthday.
Has anyone seen my cane?? My candles read "49," and I was assured this was entirely logical and intentional - not a result of over-estimating my age or having only "4" and "9" candles. Old lady or not, it was a fab birthday, with friends, cake, "The Princess Bride" (thank you, Mr. & Mrs. J, for putting up with me! :p), and a day-before birthday dinner with my parents at a delicious pizza place!
                       dad an' me :)                                                         wood-fired pizza, baked by...Mario??
stinging nettle pizza - call me crazy, but I liked it!

3. Attended an opera!
Pirates of Penzance, to be exact. It was our annual find-something-to-dress-up-for-and-enjoy-an-evening-in-Ptown night. Great singing, great laughs, a fun tramp to a crepe food cart, and dessert at Pix- we enjoyed ourselves immensely!
 the whole gang!
                             besties                                                                       a piece of Portland at sunset

4. Enjoyed Slimification!!
They say it's not a word, but it is. "The are of being slimed," to be precise. While running three miles. And bouncing through obstacles. And slipping down water slides. Pretty much the best race ever. That's all.
 pristinely pre-race
slimey sequels

5. Hosted the "King's Daughters' Tea"
As a final conclusion to our wee girls' Bible study/handwork class, we hosted a tea! Outside, in the sunshine, it was just lovely...breeze blowing, barefoot girls, and fancy dresses: these things are good for the soul. They recited their memory chapter (Psalm 27) for the mums & grandmas, and had their handwork books/pages set out for admiring!

6. Held my Studio Recital!!
These kids...all I can say is they make me proud. Hard work, cheerful souls, beautiful performances - I feel so blessed by each one of these musicians. From the 5-and-a-half-year-old munchkin who proudly played "Mary Had a Little Wolf" to my advanced students whose music swept me away, the recital left me grinning and amazed at the capacity God has placed in these kids to make music. They are so precious to me...
many pictures = enough time to grab a camera and take them
which I didn't have
so I bummed this picture off of dad's phone
and it's all I've got
but aren't they a fabulous-looking gang of music-makers?

7. Made a Trip to Seattle!
Because we could. And we like each other. And the sun was out, and official responsibilities had ended for the summer. So we did! :) Rode the Ferris Wheel right on the water for the first time ~ it was a beautiful view, but my camera informed me that his "batter was exhausted" before I could take any pictures of it! :)

8. Ran Away to the Beach for a Day!
It was cloudy (it always is) but warm-ish and still bright! We picnic-ed, walked to haystack, bought saltwater taffy, patronized the best coffee shop in the world, drank bubble tea, and still made it home in time for Rachel's orchestra rehearsal! :D

everyone knows you bring flowers on your beach picnics, right?

Besides these 8 things, getting ready for an upcoming trip, raising sponsorship money for a race to benefit Pathways Pregnancy Center (thank you to everyone who contributed!!!!), getting together with friends who have just returned from trips and friends who are about to leave, taking Rachel's graduation pictures, getting a new bookshelf (hooray!!), and starting work at a tea room, I pretty much have just sat around twiddling my thumbs for the last couple weeks. I'm sure you know how that is. Just the story of my life, lately...

Until Monday, dear readers!