Michele Minehart

words & yoga

Date: September 19, 2010

Jesus without a cause

Tonight at youth group Mark put on a CD of a group he enjoyed (and after listening to it, I agree – great choice!) and I remarked, “I miss the free stuff.” It wasn’t a bitey comment, if that’s how you read it. But one of the great perks of youth ministry is that anyone trying to market to teenagers – those supposedly on the cusp of trends – who are Christians will send you anything to try to get you to like/promote/mention/sell the product to your captive audience each Sun/Wednesday. I really enjoyed the YLO package delivery day with all kinds of new music.

Similarly I was reflecting this morning that I don’t currently have the newest undercurrent of the Jesus-following movement pushing its way into my thought patterns. No, I didn’t say that I lost my Jesus. Allow me to explain.

My great spiritual awakening came while I was at college and I was introduced to the world of Modern Evangelical Conservatism. Praise songs with a guitar? Rad. Sharing Jesus on the beach? Sure. Tossing out the spaghetti strap tank tops and reading about not dating? Guilty. The teachings of this movement built my faith and provided a firm foundation, don’t get me wrong. I appreciate each of the teachings and the purpose behind them.

Soon after leaving my college scene and embarking in the world of youth directing, I became enticed by the language of Postmodern Emergent Hipsterism. These folks whet the appetite by wanting to throw out rules and reason. Experience was the name of the game. It was wonderful to put something behind all my head-knowledge and validate the heart. The passion for the social conscience also put a little life in my blood. All the individualism that the MEC stood for was sweet at first but then, like too much candy, gave a bellyache. There needed to be room in my faith for a place to give, or at least a desire to and a belief that I should. But the fire fizzled out – or I read all the books – and though I appreciate these voices as well, I’m just not impressed by the new version of an old song. Well, that, and I’m not cool enough. I don’t know anything about new music nor will I pretend to. If David Crowder goes out of style, then they’ll really take back the hipster cool card.

But now? Well, if I were to sing a prom song to Jesus it would be: “It’s just youuuu and meeeee and all of these people…” There’s no particular grouping or affinity that I fall into anymore. I’m not saying that these camps were the basis of my faith – far from it. In the ocean that is faith, the voices active from these perspectives definately put some wind in my sails. The boat was moving a bit quicker. At present, I feel more like I’m on a leisurely float, just watching the fish and enjoying the weather.

I’m finding this both refreshing and frustrating. I’m used to moving at a quicker pace, having a goal in mind. Most of the time I don’t like aimless boat rides. So the leisure can be a bit frustrating. I feel… lackadaisical. Slothful. But on the other hand, it’s good for this girl to slow down a bit and enjoy. Trust the Guy I’m following and simply walk. Understand the beauty of each day. It’s refreshing to balance the impending, immediate nature of God with the eternal and continuous being that He is.

So. It’s good. Mostly. Now for all of you older-than-35 people who are secretly saying to yourself “oh, good – M finally grew up! It’s about time she reached this more mature level…” well… not so fast. I’m not sure it’s as much about growing up as it is about winding down. Breathing.

I can hear friends saying it now… hills and valleys. Ups and downs. Deserts and gardens. God takes us to all places to experience (or know, depending on which movement you’re attuned to) different perspectives of his love. And that’s good news.

Visit me elsewhere:

there she grows

I think I may have missed a month of logging my notes on the children. As usual, the time continues to fly by. Molly celebrated her 5 month birthday on Friday. Five months! I cannot even believe. So here’s the recent skinny on the kids.

Miss M

  • Skinny is the name of the game. After taking off on the weight charts after her birth, she’s hit a plateau and has pants sliding off her. But I’m not going to let the doctor worry me on her charts and how she matches up to the rest of the world (this is a pep talk reminder for me). She’s very, very happy, sleeps great and is content when she’s done eating. In a place and time where childhood obesity is such an issue (I just read 1 of 4 children will struggle with diabetes in their life), I think she’s going to be just fine.
  • M is a giggly gal and has never met a stranger. Anyone who offers a smile will be met with a grin and perhaps a bit of chatter. She’s quite social. I have no idea where she gets it.
  • Best toys ever: feet. Amazing. And they’re always readily available.
  • M is scooting around on her tummy when she’s on the floor, but her favorite thing is standing in the exersaucer. I know, I know – KLR has told me it’s not a super thing. But in limited amounts, she’s a happy girl when she can jump and play.
  • We’re still getting up to eat once a night, but the 6am chat sessions have started to decrease. Thank goodness! She’s discovered that 7am is best spent under the blankies.
  • Toys are starting to be much more fun, as well. She’s got a set of pink balls that make fun crinkly or bell ringing noises, along with a few other plush toys that she likes to squeeze.
  • We’re still working on the sitting thing. We’ll sit in the boppy for a little while, but once she discovers those feet down there, it turns into more of a recline. I told her this is more of an intermediate sitting activity, not really for beginners, but the happy feet always win.

H Boy

  • The little man just keeps growing up. His vocabulary continues to grow, and he’s regularly recognizing a lot of animals, sometimes by name and sometimes by the sound they make. He’s also trying to repeat back anything in a conversation and is totally in the mimic stage.
  • Some of his favorite things: brushing teeth, eating his “fish” (omega 3 vitamin), throwing balls (always!).
  • He is also super at following instructions and being quite the super helper – getting his sister’s blanket, throwing away a diaper, picking out a story to read.
  • Story reading is actually at an all-time high. Multiple times a day I’ve been instructed to sit beside him for storytime. Well… if I must!
  • We’re just recently getting over a sickness (them were some sore buns!), so now we’re making up for lost time in the eating world. For a few days he was eating a snack not even 30 minutes after breakfast! We’re starting to slow down a bit now.
  • Favorite foods: yogurt, tomatoes (even though he calls them apples), bananas (always), cracker (he can call those by name, dang nabbit!), muffins, and he’s generally good about eating the veggies.
  • I don’t think there’s a prouder moment than today in the nursery when he didn’t clobber another kid for the goldfish crackers in his bowl. He was such a gentleman.
  • H enjoys telling everyone in the house “night night” and giving kisses. Daddy, mommy, sister, the dogs… everyone gets their turn.
  • And because we’re deep within the mimic stage, we’ve started sitting on the floor, clasping our hands and closing our eyes for bedtime prayers. It has to be the cutest thing I’ve seen all year.
  • Out of the blue, H will make my day by just saying “Hi Mommy!” or giving quite the hug. So sweet!

The two of them are quite the peas in a pod. They LOVE each other. In the car the other day they were holding quite the conversation (hopefully not a plot to overthrow their authority figures). If she starts to get a bit whiny, we ask H to sing to her or read to her and once he says, “Hi Sissy!” she seems to know that everything will be ok. Be still my heart.

As a threesome, we’ve conquered the grocery store. M gets to ride in the bjorn, H in the cart. We go early in the AM mid-week so that we have less of an audience if there is a meltdown (and much quicker lines). So far, so good.

So there’s the update. What wonderful blessings!

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