fighting sleep

fighting sleep

March 18, 2011 by Philip | Edit

I never seam to have enough sleep.

I can sleep and sleep and sleep. I’m told as I grow older I’ll sleep less but I haven’t seen it yet. I can still sleep in until noon if the day would allow me but life doesn’t usually work out that way. I can’t sleep until noon every day because I have work, and a wife, and volunteering, and volleyball, and on and on and on.

Do you ever get tired?

Do you ever step back and say ‘nope I’m not doing anymore’?

Do you feel guilty after?

I do sometimes.

I consider myself good at resting. I really value rest and I place a lot of importance on me getting the rest I know I need. I work at it and I prioritize rest. I think that I have a nice balance in my life but even still I get worn out and feel like I just don’t have it anyone more and I sometimes feel like I can’t just stop. I’ve made commitments and people need me. I wonder what would happen if I just said ‘I need some space to rest. I’m in 100% next week but this week I need to rest.’

I’d probably feel guilty. Like I failed in a way.

But we shouldn’t. We need time to rest. We need time to take care of ourselves. A burned out person can’t help anyone.

Yes there are lots of people who could take this the wrong way and stay home in their comfortable lives and not invest in others. But everyone needs rest. Everyone needs to recharge.

There are times and seasons in your life where you will need to push through and give more than you feel like you’ve got. But not every time. Not always.

Sometimes you need to stop, if only for a moment.

So if you, like I have, have had a tiring stretch maybe you need some space this weekend to rest, guilt free. Maybe you too need to let your energy and your passion and you soul breath for a few moments. Maybe you feel like I do, tired, worn out and in need of some quiet.

Take that time this weekend. Find those spaces where you can get what you need so you can keep giving and focusing on others the way you want to.

And if anyone complains tell them I told you too.

the days in between

The days in between

February 9, 2011 by Philip | Edit

My dad was sick a long time.

It was about 12 years and our church took great care of us. They watched my brothers and I when we were young and dad was in chemo. They brought dinners and desserts when mom was driving an hour and a half too and from the hospital every day.

And when dad was re-diagnosed after having been cancer free they were there for us again casserole in hand.

After dad passed we didn’t make a meal for weeks there was so much food. Even before when he was in the hospital for almost a month people brought us breakfast, lunch and dinner. We were loved in a way that I will never forget.

In all of that though there were times when dad was just sick. Times when it wasn’t new and it wasn’t the end and it was just our lives. Day after day dad would will himself up, to work and back home again. In those times I found myself feeling alone. The church was there but it was different. The situation became the new norm and everyone carried on their lives.

There was however one thing that stood out to me in those times in-between. A woman in the church came to my parents and said ‘Marion (my mom) I know you have school on Wednesday. I also know that Don, (my dad) you do your bible study on Wednesday nights so I can imaging it’s a very busy day. Why don’t I bring dinner every Wednesday?’

And she did, for a long time. Week after week and month after month we had food appear on Wednesdays.

I think at times it can be easy to ‘book end’ and experience with someone. To be there when it’s fresh and new and also to be there in the transition or the end. But our neighbours, our friends, our family live it day after day after day. It doesn’t grow stale to them. Often they are in situations where every day is a fight and every day is hard.

We need to come along side them in all times. Not just the new or the ending but in the grind through the middle. We need to be there the days they wake up and think ‘how much longer can this possible keep going?’ We need to show them we remember that life has changed for them and that we are there to be a part of that change.

It may no longer be trendy or the thing on your radar. It may be something that has been going on a long time. But think, if for you it seams long how does the person living it feel? How much do they need a friend to make this day in a long line of days that seams to have no end be different?

Jesus was a fat man

Jesus was a fat man

April 14, 2011 by Philip | Edit

Last night with a group of youth we talked about a short story or poem. It was a part of our packet and to be honest I don’t know where it came from, but give it a read and think about what it means for you.

JESUS WAS A FAT MAN

Jesus was a fat man with a mobile phone.

I know because I saw him.

He got out of the community transport but, slightly breathless, helped the old lady out, and walked her slowly towards her front door.

She fumbled for her keys, with shaking hands which were once young, but now were old; which once attracted, but now repelled.

‘See you tomorrow, Maud,’ said the fat man.

‘See you tomorrow, love’.

if it wasn’t Jesus, it was someone very like him.

is need really enough?

is need really enough?

April 20, 2011 by Philip | Edit

How often should we give?

Not in a number counting kind of way but in a here is someone who needs but they are using our giving wrong.

What an odd statement to make, using our giving wrong, but you think it sometimes don’t you? I do. If you don’t that is remarkable and I want to know what your secret is.

I don’t know why we do it but I think sometimes we see giving as kind of a contract. Like we say,

‘I see you’re in need and I want to help but you have to be helped the way I choose to help you. Here are you steps to getting my help. You must say the proper things to me when you ask for help. You know look sad and talk about how much what I’m doing is impacting you and how I’m marvelous. Once I give this to you make sure you only use it the way I deem appropriate. You don’t get to choose what you need or want, I do. If you choose to not comply with these stipulations I’ll find someone who needs me to give to them more, because if you needed it you’d jump through all my hoops to get it.’

Sure it’s over the top and it’s not like that but how often do you catch yourself holding back? How often do you ask ‘I wonder if they will appreciate this enough, it’d be a lot of work’ or ‘I don’t want to waste my giving on someone who won’t be responsible with it’.

Yes we should be a good steward of our resources but do you see how arrogant and controlling that all is? As if need isn’t enough.

We give because it’s the right thing to do. Because we have resources others desperately need. Because people matter more than our stuff. Because it’s about showing love and grace over and over and not keeping track of when someone took advantage of us.

If no one has ever taken advantage of you how generous are you really?

the burning car at the end of your rope

the burning car at the end of your rope

August 15, 2011 by Philip | Edit

I would say that I am a fairly rational person.

I act in what seems like a relatively logical way. I try to be aware of my soundings and the impact of the things that I say and do. I know that I don’t live in a vacuum and to some my thoughts, opinions and actions will hold weight. Not much weight but hey even a feather weighs something, right?

So cognizant of that, I don’t say everything I think. Much like most of us I would imagine. We have our thoughts and we filter. We get hurt and we say ‘it’s ok, no worries’.

But what do we do when the grace runs out? When they’ve pushed to far too many times. When they should have known better but still just don’t get it?

The answer is fairly obvious.

We give grace.

Yup, so simple isn’t it? We just keep giving it.

See we may run out of grace but grace never stops being the answer. No matter how many times and how hurt we end up grace HAS to be the answer.

Might I encourage you to answer with grace a little more. Maybe all you have is once more. You feel like ‘one more time and I’m going to light their car on fire’ (or whatever it is that reasonable people say at the end of their rope).

One more time. Just once more.

I love you and I’m here for you and do you like lasagne?

So babies take a lot of time.

I knew this, Quinn isn’t my first, but didn’t anticipate how I would react to 4 hours of sleep. I reacted by not getting these posts sorted.

But I’ve sorted it now. I hope you enjoy some of my favourites from the past.

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I feel like I often talk about food here.

It’s a dinner here, lunch there and I do seam to have a lot of my meaningful experiences over coffee. I suppose there is something sharing a meal together or providing for someone meal that speaks to me. If I were to guess it’s something to do with meeting a physical need as well as some of the time the emotional need. An outward display of care and love that can sometimes be hard to articulate.

So when a good friend of mine appeared at my door one night with dinner it really meant something to me.

His wife has a mother who much like my father has spent time in the hospital. They knew from experience how meaningful it was to have food on hand. If you have to spend an extend time at a hospital you’ll quickly learn that when your home that last thing you want to do is cook.

So here he is standing in my front hall with a frozen lasagne and a caesar salad saying ‘hey I know it sucks cooking when your going back and forth to the hospital so here’s dinner for one night so you don’t need to worry about anything. No clean up just through it in the oven.’

It’s not that I wasn’t listening to what he was saying but I heard something much different than that. I heard ‘hey buddy, we love you and we know this all sucks. This doesn’t make it all better but I hope it makes one day easier. If you need us we’re here for you.’

I think we often have experiences like this. Someone does something selfless and touching to us and we think ‘wow they are amazing’ and they are. But then we seam to think that we can’t do the same. We discredited our experiences and our abilities to the point that we say ‘yeah I really appreciated it but no one would want me to do that’ or ‘I can’t be that person to someone else, I don’t know how’ when we have just experienced the template for what to do.

So today look back and reflect on your experiences. When have you been moved by a friend and what is it that they did?

Now go and do the same for someone you know who needs it. Be the one to say ‘I love you and I’m here for you and do you like lasagne?’