Sunday, October 26, 2008


Halloween is here. And it's time for the "question." It pops up as frequently as pumpkin "farms" on every vacant lot between Apex and North Raleigh. The perennial Christian query, "Do you celebrate Halloween?"

As if true Christians would actually partake in pagan rituals.

"Why, yes," I answer, "we do. Tomorrow we're dancing naked in the backyard and drinking the blood of a stray cat."

C'mon people. We celebrate Halloween like we celebrate Valentine's Day. It's not about worshipping the devil. It's a day for the kids to dress up as their favorite princess or superhero and have a little fun. Lighten up.

We take our kids trick-or-treating. (I know: GASP!) It's a social time for our neighborhood. We've done it every year since we moved here, my son's whole life. The two cul-de-sacs get together and walk our kids around our neck of the woods. We adults have time to talk and catch up. The kids have fun. The older kids watch out for the younger ones. There's plenty of laughter to share.

It's Norman Rockwell. It's harmless. It's communion with our community. Trick-or-treating can be a mission in itself when you reach out to your neighbors with different backgrounds and different beliefs.

And, isn't that what we're supposed to do as Christians? Share the faith by showing how we live and commune with others?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

god sign

Obedience doesn't come naturally. I watch my children and it's bold face underline obvious.

Same with me. I'm striving to be obedient to God and mostly that means to dive into scripture and keep my mouth shut.

On Friday, I went over "the list." Galatians 5:22, the fruit of the spirit. So, I'm counting them off on my hands. 9 to be exact. Starting with the index finger on the right hand: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness; and moving to the left thumb: Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

Out of that counting, I get my own gang sign. Like a God sign. With the ones that I've got covered, like Joy, the finger goes back to the palm. The others stick out...pretty much like they stick out in my life.

Patience, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. Yo, yo, God, what up?

What's your God sign?

Oh, and a caveat: if you only have to work on Joy or Gentleness, or both, don't show your "God sign" to your pastor or neighbor.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

pain in the neck

I'm a pain in the neck. No, well, yes maybe, but more clearly I have a pain in the neck. It's been there for about a week. I can't figure out what to do about it. I'm popping Ibuprofen like candy and I'm I stressed? Do I sit un-ergonomically at work? Is it a sign? Am I sleeping strangely?

So, what to do? Typically, hit it on all fronts. Isn't that what we do?

I'm buying new pillows today. I'm cutting back on computer time. I'm going to powerwalk today. I've taken my pills. Man, that's gotta have some effect on something, if not my neck...

Everytime we get a kink in our life, we stab at it. We make it go away a hundred different ways. We do this and that and then someone suggests something else and we do that, too.

Why do we do that? (Or maybe we don't. Maybe it's just me.)

Shooting a fly with a shotgun will make the fly go away, but what about the walls and furniture?

Friday, October 17, 2008

work in progress

I have to preface this by saying that I love my Beta Group, I love the people in it, I'm excited about where we're going as a group, and I believe we all have the intention of Life-ing together. It's going to be a great experience.

But, group makes me anxious. Not because I'm hosting. That's a no-brainer. I love having peeps in my space...but last week and this week, I've been on edge. I'm feeling prickly and not satisfied when we finish. I feel like I'm in the room but not in the group. I feel like I'm not "getting it." Last night I cried before bed.

It dawned on me when I hit the morning with a hot shower and a fresh perspective--that only a night's sleep can bring--that God wants to work on me. And, he wants to work on me through this group.

If all things were perfect, I would want group to be only a place of refuge and refuel. However, that's only one slice of a large pie. God also (or mainly?) wants group to challenge me to grow, to see things from other perspectives, to learn about him through the knowledge and experience of others. And, frankly, to realize I'm not always as right as I think I am.

I'm excited about that. But, I'm also sad because it IS going to be work.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

where you lead I will follow

Part of the new path for the Lewis Household is to trust where God is leading us. That means giving up. Giving up my desire to live in warmer climates, Howard's desire to live in developed countries, my desire to shop, his desire to make a certain salary, my desire to have a bigger house, his desire get the picture.

So, we have to completely give it up and let God tell us where to go. Without filters. Without desires. Knowing he'll take care of our needs.

It's scary to give up the desires, the shoulds and the gotta haves. But, then you do it, and you feel calm. Yes, calm.

I don't know where God is leading us. Maybe it's just for Howard to get a new job here in the Triangle and our life goes on as before. But...maybe it's something different.

It will be interesting to listen and learn.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


We do a horrible job of listening these days. We're so busy talking and writing emails and texting. We have so much to say and so little time to say it. We rush in, apologize, and blurt our bit. When we're done, we're on to the next thing.

How many times a day do we say, "I've got to tell him..." "I need her to know..." "I have to write..." It's all about ouput.

The prayer series journal at my church is causing me to think about silence. I have talked to God all my life. I'm very comfortable carrying on a conversation with him, or informing of something, or petitioning him in prayer, or praising him for a glorious sky. Sometimes he answers. Sometimes my constant chatter causes him to shout.

So, I sat down and tried to listen to God. Sounds easy. In reality, a totally different story. I couldn't shut up my mind. Like the Energizer bunny it just kept going and going and going. I found it nearly impossible to simply listen.

At first.

Now I've gotten up to a whole 45 seconds. Doesn't sound like much and you're probably laughing at me. But, hey, that's the best I can do right now. And, the first time I tried I think it was something like 0.45 seconds. So, while I might not be a chatterbox of a person, my mind is a regular Chatty Cathy.

How's yours?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

While the Cat's Away

While the Cat's been away the mice have been playing...

I'm learning to juggle working full time with home and family. It's a different life now. Blogging is something that will either go away or evolve for me. It won't be like it's been. It will be new and different, like my life.

I will attempt to condense my thoughts into snippets, turning verbose musings into concise blasts of observation. Pages will turn into not quite a page, paragraphs into sentences and words into a word. My blog will become a movie trailer, not the movie, a Reader's Digest version of what I would prefer to expose, or espouse, or put more directly, an (gasp!) abridgement. Every writer's nightmare.

It will work, or it will not. But it cannot continue in it's present form. I haven't posted in a month! So, if there's anyone still out there seeking curiously with me, we can do it in shorthand.