It is usually difficult for me to pick anything that is my favorite. I can drive my husband nuts when we are deciding where to eat. But picking my favorite book from this summer was a breeze. It wasn’t because I didn’t read good stuff. I discovered a new favorite author, Kathleen Norris. I actually read a fiction book I loved. There was a pile to pick from, all good stuff.
Warren gives people Christ to cling to and then paints pictures of where He shows up in our every day. Right away she reminds us of who we are.
“As Christians, we wake up each morning as those who are baptized. We are united with Christ and the approval of the Father is spoken over us. We are marked from our first waking moment by an identity that is given to us by grace; an identity that is deeper and more real than any other identity we will don that day.” (pg 19)
With each chapter the author addressed struggles that I have, daily.
Some of the struggles I have are rational and ‘regular’. Others might sound like a highly irrational person (or maybe you will identify with some of them). Many times the thoughts we have that may seem crazy, so we don’t utter to others, the person living on our block is also having. Rational or irrational the author shifts my focus from myself to Christ.
I hope if you are having any of these same questions you would pick up Warren’s book and be pointed to Christ.
Am I doing what I should be doing right now?
I wonder if I should be staying at home…
maybe I should find some part time work?
Maybe full time work?
Should I invest more time or less time in the blog and writing?
As a stay-at-home mother I have the ability to choose what gets done each day. Do we do laundry, or do we find something fun to do? It is an unbelievably awesome thing but also makes me question each second of every day. Ridiculous I know but it is the truth. Meme’s about this drive me nuts also. “Your kids are only this age for one summer the dishes can wait” True they can wait but only for so long. I can attest that if left for to long things get nasty.
“I’m living this life, the life right front of me. This one where marriages struggle. This one where we aren’t living as we thought we might or as we hoped we would. This one where we are weary, where we want to make a difference but aren’t sure where to start, where we have to get dinner on the table or the kids’ teeth brushed, where we have back pain and boring weeks, where our lives look small, where we doubt, where we wrestle with meaninglessness, where we worry about those we love, where we struggle to meet our neighbors and love those closest to us, where we grieve, where we wait.
And on this particular day, Jesus knows me and declares me his own. On this day he is redeeming the world, advancing his kingdom, calling us to repent and grow, teaching his church to worship, drawing us near to us, and making a people all his own.”
Really? The same stuff over and over.
My kids have the same struggle with the same sins. I have the same struggles with the same sins. My husband has the same struggles with the same sins. We eat the same foods. We do the same things. Don’t get me wrong I see the comfort in all the sameness but I also don’t want to miss something.
“Daily life dishes in the sink, children that ask the same questions and want the same stories again and again and again, the long doldrums of the afternoon-these things are filled with repetition. And much fo the Christian life is returning over and over to the same work and the same habits of worship. We must contend with the same spiritual struggles again and again. The work of repentance and faith is daily and repetitive. Again and again, we repent and believe…I often want to skip the boring, daily stuff to get the thrill of an edgy faith. But it’s in the dailiness of the Christian faith- the making of the bed, the doing of the dishes, the praying for our enemies, the reading the Bible, the quiet, the small, that God’s transformation takes root and grows.”
Is this shower super selfish?
I get it, this question sounds ridiculous but I ask myself this. Do I really need to take the time to shower or should I go and get something done in the house? I ask myself the same thing when I take the time to read, to write, to order pizza instead of cooking, to leave the living room a disaster, to make the living room a priority because if I have to look at goldfish ground into the rug, an apple that the kids and the dog have taken a bite of, and old dried up string cheese my brain might just shut down.
“We Christians believe in a God who, by becoming human, embraced human embodiment in fullness, right down to the toenails. Because of Christ’s embodiment, the way we care for our bodies are not meaningless necessitates that keep us well enough to do the real work of worship and discipleship. Instead, these small tasks of caring for our bodies, as quotidian, as they are, act as an embodied confession that our Creator, who mysteriously became flesh, has made our bodies well and deserves worship in and through our very cells muscles, tissues, and teeth.”
How is it possible I do not have my poop in a group yet?
This question here will keep me up at night. How is it possible that at the age of 33 I can not keep all the things doing what they should be doing. I don’t keep my house clean. I curse way more than I should. I forget important things and let people down. How is it possible that as an adult I have such a struggle with keeping life moving forward?… How is it I continue to screw up??
“When the day is lovely and sunny and everything is going according to plan, I can look like a pretty good person. But little things gone wrong and interrupted plans reveal who I really am; my cracks show and I see that I am profoundly in need of grace.
But here’s the thing; pretty good people do not need Jesus. He came for the lost. He came for the broken. In his love for us he came to usher us into his fondness and wholeness.”
What am I going to feed these people?
Leftovers is what I am going to feed these people.
“Word and sacrament sustain my life, and yet they often do not seem life changing. Quietly, even forgettably, they feed me.”
These are so many more struggles that she addresses but pretty soon this post will be longer than the book.LITURGY OF THE ORDINARY ON AMAZON
These are more things that Tish Harris Warren brings into the light of Christ:
Shouldn’t I be doing more??
All these tasks all this work and no finished product?
Do I do what I need to as a friend?
Am I drinking too much coffee? Reading to many books?
How much sleep do I really need?
Go buy her book! You will not regret it!