Do you ever dread when the doorbell rings? You never know who could be outside. It could be a sales person, a delivery person or someone sharing a different gospel. In these days and times you have to be careful to whom you open the door. Even with a peephole, it is hard to tell who is on the outside.
When we deal with those who are outside of Christ, we have to be wise in our relationships. Whether it is family, co-workers, or someone you meet in passing, we have to walk in wisdom in these relationships.
The fact that I’m thinking about Christmas gifts this early in the game says something for how I’ve grown in the last two years. I’m very much a “last minute” shopper! As I reviewed some products this fall, I realized that other Christian women might enjoy the items I’d discovered. Since I’m frequently asked where I buy my coffee, Bible, commentaries, and clothes, I thought – why not compile a holiday gift list from my favorite items?
This is by no means an exhaustive list (I’ll need a separate list for books alone!) but it highlights some of my favorite products and companies of 2016.
We like the Gilmore girls because they typify real life, but when people like Lorelai show up in our neighborhoods, churches and schools, we forget our evangelistic responsibility. We forget that it’s Lorelai who needed love so much she sought it all the wrong ways. We stand aside, the “Mrs. Kim”s of the world, only emerging to condemn and correct – but never to give, love, and listen.
You’ve stopped on the breakneck journey of life to read this post, and I’m glad you did. For the moment you’re here, I want you to set down the two suitcases you have in your hands – the one called Father, and the other called Mom.
I want you to set them aside and hear something true.
Every person on this earth has parents, whether that term refers simply to their biological origins or if it has the deeper relational meaning of a family tie. You have a mother and dad. Some of you don’t know either of them. Some of you lost one to death or divorce. Some of you were hurt by them, abused by them, or neglected by them. Some feel you can’t meet their expectations. Some of you were babied and enabled by them.
Our parents have a profound effect on our lives, and their choices have the power to influence us for years to come.
But dear girl, your life is not the sum of your parents’ failure or success.
You are neither a trophy nor a disappointment.
Your identity is not based on your last name or your parents’ actions. They are imperfect people, sinners just like you and me. But their flaws should not dictate our value, or we will go through life measuring our worth against the opinions of people instead of the opinion of God.
Some of us had parents who did things well: they loved us, they trained us, they taught us, they cared about us. But those of us with this story carry another burden: the burden of expectation. Just as some carry the weight of their parents’ poor decisions or disapproval, others carry the weight of comparison. They think their marriage is supposed to look just like their parents’ did. They think their lives, homes, and children are supposed to be just like their childhood. And when it isn’t – as most assuredly will be the case – they are assaulted with discontent and disillusionment.