Saturday, July 30, 2011

To Tell the Truth..

Seeing as we have children of a certain age, we seem to go through stages where we have to really emphasize telling the truth. As our children have gotten a little older, we have begun to discuss telling the whole truth, not trying to deceive by adding to or leaving out some of the story, and even lying by exaggeration. 
They are all pretty bright kids and seem to be "Getting" it, and if there is a question, they can get a "freebie" by asking first, "If I say such and so, is that a lie?" 

I'm a stickler for truth. I won't abide lying... I'll put up with all sorts of other mischief and even disobedience, but do NOT lie to me. Jeff feels similarly, so in our home, lying is about as bad as it gets. Lately I feel like I'm being bombarded with lies. Oh, not outright, "the sky is green" lies... but deceptions, partial truths, exaggerations. 

When I think of the reasons why my kids might lie (to get out of trouble, to gain attention, or to sway favor to their point of view) and then I see all the grown-up lying that is going on, it seems like we never quite outgrow all of those reasons. 

I wonder if some of us as adults might need a refresher course in telling the truth? 

Why is lying so wrong? 
First and foremost, God abhors lies and deceit. 
Second, when you lie, you ruin your own credibility. Even if 98% of what you say is true, I will not have confidence in it if I find out that 2% was a (purposeful) lie. 
Finally, whatever change or decision you were trying to get from people may come undone if it is for the wrong (not true) reasons. However, even if you ARE able to effect a good decision based on untruth... that does not absolve the lie! 

In the interest of telling the (whole) truth, this line of thought is a result of the many politcal discussions, emails, articles, etc. that have been going on for the past few years.  
I'll be blunt; to stretch, disort, hide, or otherwise color the entire truth of the matter even for a "good cause" is lying. It is not honoring to God, it does nothing for your cause, and perhaps most scary of all, small exaggerations seem to pave the way for larger and larger distortions until I am recently seeing things that are just outright NOT true, being spread (perhaps not originated, but spread nonetheless) by people who ought to know better and do better. 

There is no such thing as lying for a good cause. This includes exaggerations and partial truths put together for the sole purpose of eliciting a strong emotional response. Truth does not need embellishing. 

I challenge you to very closely take stock of your manner of communicating. I understand that the political issues on the table right now are such that do inspire a strong emotional feeling... some of the issues are incredibly important and many people feel that our country is at a turning point right now. I agree, and it is BECAUSE the issues are so incredibly important that I implore us all to proceed with carefulness, thoughtfulness, and attention to morals and ethics. 
Do not be drawn into the mud that often surrounds "certain topics."  Be responsible for the information you spread even if it did not originate with you. 

Take a moment to consider, "If I say such and such... is that the truth?" 

Friday, July 29, 2011


 Pardon the re-run, but I was looking over posts from years ago and thought this one was good enough to share again.

Jessi is convinced she can fly. Remember that ANNOYING song from the mid-late 90's? I mean the girl truly believes she can fly. She spent quality time this summer jumping and jumping off of the little playhouse to see if she could ever go up instead of down. Yesterday she was doing a job of straightening the pantry, which like any good job involved the use of the step stool. Once she lost interest in arranging the boxes and cans, she turned around and began making mighty leaps from the pantry into the kitchen. I tried to convince her that people couldn't fly, that if they could, everyone would be flying around. She will have nothing of it, and demonstrated that SHE flaps her wings, err, arms, just perfectly and she CAN fly. 

I decided that other than the possible trip to the ER, it was harmless fun and let her continue jumping while I prepared dinner. After one particularly HUGE leap, she picked herself up off the floor and with the brightest eyes, her voice full of faith, exclaimed, "Whoa, I have to be careful, I almost fell!"

You see, in her mind, she WAS flying; that wasn't a long jump ending in a fall, it was a successful flight with a slightly rough landing. It's all about perception.

Do you still believe you can fly, or have too many rough landings made you lose sight of your dream?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Letting Go

On a beautiful spring day, the kind where you simply can't bear to be inside, I took my two toddlers outside to play.  After a short time of pushing them in the swings, I thought that such a perfect day as this one deserved a bigger and better playground!  I grabbed my keys and loaded them in the car.

Well, I loaded one.
My daughter came to me when I called and willingly climbed into her car seat to be buckled up. My son on the other hand... He clung to his swing, both hands tightened around the ropes, legs clenched tightly so that I couldn't lift him out of the bucket-type baby swing. I pried him out deftly avoiding those strong toddler kicks and wrangled him into his seat.

Our yard was nice enough, lawn, flowers, and two baby swings hanging from a simple swing set, certainly nothing wrong with it and big enough for two young toddlers. However, the playground I was headed for was better; ladders, platforms, stairs, slides, a hanging bridge, and fire pole. New, beautiful, and right on the beach, in short, paradise.
Driving the short distance from our house to the park, I listened to my little boy crying about his swing and tried to reassure him that we were going somewhere so much better!  He was far too focused on losing his swing to listen to my assurances that we were about to have super-big fun.

How many times does God have to pry our hands off of something and carry us kicking and screaming to the place he wants us to go?  We are SO sure that what we have is just fine and if we let go it will never be the same.
It's a matter of trust.
Yes, it is hard to give up your swing... but until you let go of the ropes, he can never take you to a better place.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Clearing the Air

As I sit and listen to the final raindrops from this storm, it occurs to me that while one normally wouldn't welcome and even long for a good, loud, thunderstorm, something about days on end of 100+ degree heat can change what you wish for!
The air has been so hot and so thick, oppressive and hazy, that last night when the thunder rolled in, I was hoping we would get some of the storm. It was not to be, thunder, lightening, even wind, but no real storm broke. Today dawned just as hot and hazy as the previous days.
Tonight the storm followed through on it's promise. Thunder, lightening, wind, and finally, rain.
The atmosphere feels lighter already. The oppression is gone. The air is clear.
Not to get into a physical science lesson, but did you know that thunderstorms happen because two masses of air are trying to be in the same place at the same time? They butt heads, block out the sun, make our vision hazy and often give us headaches with their  pressure.
Ever have times in your life like that?  Even butt heads with your spouse or friends or other family members?  When it goes too long, we can't see or think clearly.
Eventually, it all has to go somewhere and we have to face a storm and clear the air.
My suggestion?  do it sooner rather than later.  An empty thunderstorm with lots of noise but no completion is no good for anyone.  Deal with the situation, clear the air, and then rest in the gentle rain of reconciliation.