Sunday, September 13, 2009

Honesty--What Is It?

The following is entirely my thoughts and not a reflection of today's sermon. In fact, my thoughts drifted along way from the sermon's point. I'll post a link to the sermon when the podcast is available.

Our pastor preached on I John today and the importance of being honest with oneself and with God in regards to sin. The point of the message was that we are not perfect and need God's forgiveness, but first, we have to be honest about the fact that we have a sin that needs to be forgiven. He went on to explain that sin builds a barrier between us and God and breaks down our communication with God.

Following the sermon, a member gave his testimony that was so poignant! I had a lightbulb moment and realized, it would be so much easier to admit to our sin if we were not judged by those around us. It is so easy to tell a small lie or to be someone we are not when we are afraid of judgment.

Case in point: I once made a conscious decision to lie because I knew I was facing severe judgment. The incident was simple. I had not yet visited my newly born niece who lived three hours away. When asked about it the first time, I responded honestly and was profoundly admonished. The second time I was asked, and still I had not made the three hour drive, I lied to avoid judgment.

A friend of mine recently lied about the number of weeks she is pregnant because she had not shared the news with a relative. So she lied taking a month off her pregnancy so as not to be judged by the other person. Little did she know the other person would not have judged her, but it was her fear of being judged that propelled the lie.

With this thought in mind, I posted the following on Facebook:

When did honesty become devalued? Honesty with ourselves, honesty with others, and honesty with God is not given enough credit in our society. We should applaud anyone for being honest and not judge them for being honest. Yet, it is judgment that we receive for our honesty which in turn devalues that honesty.

While this post can be considered the age old question of "If my wife asks, 'do I look fat in this dress,' how do I answer?" It is not! The question is why can one not commit a sin--large or small--confess that sin and not be judged for it. Why can we not see past the sin and love the person where they are? God did so much more for us, and yet, we find it impossible to accept that people are sinners. We immediately judge and condemn their actions... as if we had that right.

Judgment is reserved for God alone. When a person shows true remorse and a desire to walk away from that seen and is seeking forgiveness, we should grant them the same love and forgiveness granted to us upon the cross.

I am not saying that punishment is not in store, but forgiveness should be in store as well. Dismissing the arguments about murder and the like, stop and think about those around you. I realize immediately that I have been judgmental, and in that I have sinned as well. My quest will be to stop judging and to be more forgiving. I also realize I have not forgiven one who has judged me, and that too is a sin.

Being honest with myself is not easy and being honest with others incurs judgment. Step back from the age old arguments about punishing murders or answering honestly about new haircuts.

How do we judge others on a daily basis? How do we extend God's mercy on a daily basis? Let he who has never sinned be the first to judge.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Quest For Time

Blogging has not been a priority lately. It's not that I don't have anything to say or write about; it's just that the time isn't there. I finally have a toddler, and there is really no time to do anything but run after him. People told me before we began physical therapy that I would regret teaching him to walk. I am sure this is what they were talking about. But, despite the fact that my pantry is in complete disarray, and I am stepping on toys, I do not regret a moment of physical therapy. I am still cheering. In my mind, I am still thinking, "Scooooooorrrrrrrrreeeeeeee). The cheering only gets louder with each day and each mess he makes.

In addition to physical therapy, we have now started speech therapy two days a week. My hope had been to work with ECI or perhaps a local therapist but alas, like all my other plans, it didn't work out that way. Instead, twice a week, we load up at 8:30 in the morning for a 45 minute drive one way for only a 30 minute session. By the time we get home, it is lunch time and naptime.

I'm told once again that I will regret teaching him to talk, but once again, I cannot see where regret would ever come into play. Just today, I heard several times a very labored, "Mama." It was so sweet. He has to work so hard to get the sounds out, but there it was. He has been signing Daddy for some time, but to finally request mama whether in sign or words is very sweet. I look forward to the day that he talks my ear off!

I have also discovered a support group for 7q11.23 duplication. I am still learning about its members but I am so excited to find parents who are experiencing the same sort-of things that we are with Gabriel. I will write more about the support group later.

My quests have taken me on a journey of self-discovery as well. But, that's another post for another day. I want to thank all my friends and readers for sticking with me during this dryspell (of posts). I will once again find the time to write. It just may be a little while longer before those missing minutes are found.

While I am away, you can catch up with our quest to discover and overcome Snugglebug's disorder:
Tying the Pieces Together, Part II
Busy Month


I have discovered a whole new world opens up with a toddling toddler in the house. For 17 months, things have been rather laid back. Snugglebug did not investigate too much and certainly did not make messes. One cannot make a mess if you never go anywhere. But, now that he is walking everywhere, there are messes left in his wake. I cannot walk anywhere in my house without stepping on or tripping over a toy. There is no keeping up with the messes either. I have tried, and now find it pointless. Thus, my house is a disaster. But, I am okay with it. I'm not okay with it enough to post pictures. Perhaps, I will eventually be comfortable with that level of honesty. But for now, I admit that my lack of housekeeping is embarrassing.

At the moment, it is naptime, so I am taking on one task of housekeeping right here in blogger-land!

I have wonderful friends who also blog and I am embarrassed to say I have not even been reading their blogs. Chasing after a little one has left me with very little brain power left. Why is chasing a toddler so taxing?

One of my blogger friends has awarded me an award which I would like to acknowledge at this time. Thanks Tammy for thinking of me, and now I get to share this award with my friends!

The terms of this particular award are: Make reference to award and publish it, disclose rules, share 5 things you like to do, share with 10 blogs, inform each blogger (simply got to JeanneLee's blog and right click on the "circle of friends" button and click on 'save picture as' and save the button to your desktop, you can then upload it just like any other photo into blogger).

So here are my 5 things I like to do:
Spending time with my husband
Playing with my son
Chatting with my sisters on the phone
Catching up with friends via Facebook
Sleeping (not that I ever get to, but I do enjoy it)

I want to pass this award on to my friends:

Liz at It's the Bee's Knees!
Laura at The World Is Our Classroom
Becky at Young Readers
Cindy at The Carson Connection
Whitney at A&W's Ethiopian Adoption Adventure

and even though she's already been honored....
Tammy at Not Just Paper and Glue

These people are my wonderful friends with whom I share my daily life. They are my encouragers, prayer partners, kindred spirits, and most of all my friends. Hats off to you!!