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"Lollipop and Pearls" - Jared Kraft

Friday, January 20, 2012


In perusing the blogosphere I’ve discovered many folks declaring a “word for the year”. (Check out some at The Lettered Cottage). So I have decided to claim a personal word, as well. Are you ready? Drum roll please!!! F.L.E.X.I.B.I.L.I.T.Y. There! I said it! WHEW! That was rough!!!! Not really…but kind of!
Flexibility is: “Stiffness" or "flexibilityy" is the pliability or rigidity of an object — the extent to which it resists bending. They are complementary concepts so the more flexible an object is, the less stiff it is (Wikipedia)”. I grew up in a home with a gentle, patient and level headed mother who preached “rules were made to be broken! In fact, I don’t like the word ‘rules’. I prefer ‘guidelines’”. Conversely my father, an alcoholic, was a “no” man~ “Daddy, can I…” “NO!” And he rarely even knew what it was I was asking. For example, I was told to be home at midnight on a very snowy evening; my actual arrival times was 12:05. I was grounded for the entire Christmas vacation albeit my sorority formal and a couple hours on Christmas Day with my boyfriend)! Really? Yeah, really! I determined right then that, when I became a Mom, I would never be that vague, that strict, that unreasonable with my children! NO WAY!!! Well…

I like the comfort and security guidelines offer. I need them and want them…I thrive under detailed guidelines. However…or should I use the proverbial “but”?... I also need/desire/want/expect flexibility within those guidelines. For example: we expect our 18-year old son to be home at a certain time, even though legally he has no curfew. However, he lives in our home; he is financially dependent upon us; he is a part of our family. We expect him to abide by (i.e. “honor” the rules of our home. However, if he cannot or will not be home at that time, and he lets us know, all is well! That’s called flexibility! Another example: for the past 10 years I have gone on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. At the beginning of each trip we are told the “guidelines”, the “expectations”…the “rules”. The first one is always “Be flexible! If we tell you in the morning that we are doing construction after lunch and something more necessary comes up, we need you to be flexible with the change in schedule!” Because I am a detailed planner, that can mess with my head a bit! But you know what! I have learned flexibility in the DR and it has helped me be more flexible at home!

Scripture outlines God’s laws…His rules…His standard. The 10 Commandments were the blueprint for the Israelites lives. Strict laws! Specific laws! Laws about clothing, and food, and character, and behavior, and worship…laws impossible to fully comply with! Much of The Word is God’s road map for the Christian life…His expectations and promises. Call the “rules” or “guidelines” or “expectations”…He loved us enough to help us know how to live a life pleasing to Him; He loves us enough to forgive us for our failure to comply. IF God does that for me, does He not expect likewise that I will offer the same to others? YES! Yes, He does! He says in Scripture (Ephesians 4:32). That seems so reasonable …yet, it is often difficult for me to do!

So, I will work tirelessly this year to become more flexible! Will you please pray for me, that I will practice what I preach and will achieve my goal?
Many thanks and abundant blessings on your year,

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