Michele Minehart

words & yoga

Month: February 2012 (page 1 of 5)

here, try this: you’ll loooooooove this (all for $19.99)

While taking a hiatus from buying, I’m more prone to notice how often someone wants to sell me something. Every morning my inbox fills with at least 15 offers to save money by making a purchase. This is not a new trend for Lent; I’ve received them for some time. However, they have a different feel when you automatically delete without finding out what Zulily has on special that day – you might be missing an amazing deal on snow boots or swimsuits, you know. 

Another place that I’m more aware of being seen as a customer is in the bloggy world. I subscribe to a large number of blogs about everything from education to moms in LA (because my life is SO similar) to food and, especially now, grain-free recipes. I even follow one that tends to be an end-of-the-world-er, but he’s got so much great information on gardening, composting and living self-sufficiently. 
However, most of these bloggers are hopeful to make a buck while they put their time into it, so they have conferences to promote, ebooks to discount, even product giveaways to earn loyalty. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for these writers and small business owners making their living doing what they do; however, I’m aware I’m not just a reader anymore. I’m in the pool of consumers. 
One blog in particular (that I love) is geared toward getting more organized. She provides a lot of helpful information on organizing and gaining control over your life. Yes, she even has an ebook to walk you through it (a new task every week). The reason I really appreciate her, though, is because rarely when she gives direction in an organizational goal does she require that you run out and purchase something. Instead she gives many options of looking at what you currently have and repurposing it to meet another goal. Much of what she suggests has more to do with rearranging habits in your life as opposed to where you put the electric bill. This is in direct opposition of what I find in the home-party sphere. So many of these wonderful companies want the same end goal for customers (a more organized life) but rather than focusing on the skill, they focus on the product. We begin to believe, “if i just buy this, I’ll be better at….”
And we’re quite wired to believe these patterns work. That by owning, shopping, buying, consuming X, our life will change dramatically. This is how commerce in our society keeps moving. And the more I see it, the less I trust it. Right now, the surest way to loose my confidence is to offer to sell me something. You might be right – a change in my life might be needed. But a product is not going to fix it. 
This morning I read God’s words through the prophet Joel: Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God.” (2:13, I have no idea whose emphasis – either the Hebrew or Peterson’s). I thought to myself, “if this were written for the younger context it would say, ‘change your life, not just your music’ because so often we place a marker on the shift from secular to Christian music, especially in the life of young people. 
But though music is good, it doesn’t change your life. God’s not selling a new product to try to make life better; he’s looking for a different pattern of life, one that is consumed with the presence of Christ. God doesn’t want the same, slightly improved version of yourself in a gaudy Christianese tshirt. He wants to know that the seed that was planted is growing into a tree that bears the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness and self-control. 
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jump around, jump around

Once every, oh, 2 months I begin to get a bit restless in my life situation. Some people rearrange furniture or paint a room or take up a new workout routine. I tend to daydream about projects that generally involve people around me and large amounts of capital. Exhibit A: so far this weekend, I’ve wanted to start a school and plant a church. 

God give grace and patience to my husband. 
On the one hand, those dreamy notions come as a reaction to the status quo. I’m just not loving what I’m seeing and experiencing. And I’ve heard about places where it’s better. Where people thrive at work and play and service and learning. So I think to myself, “Self, why don’t you just start one like that?”
And I answer myself (as only crazy people do), “because you have no education background, save your BLOG READING, and you have zero desire or the required skill set to pastor a church.” 
Oh,  yes. THAT. 
But yet I really want these things to exist, so it leaves me sitting in a seat of antsy discomfort, like a pair of jeans from your senior year in high school, that though technically you can fit in them, it’s obvious to everyone that perhaps they should seek retirement. 
When my husband’s restlessness kicks in, he seeks out houses or businesses to buy (he clearly married into the right family). Once, cousin E explained that when the boys get these itches,  the good wife learns the art of when to squelch and when to let dream because he clearly won’t follow through anyway. It seems it’s good to let the dreaming happen, but more wise to stomp on things once the checkbook comes out and if he can make a good case, then maybe a check can be written. (In the case of B & E, she’s quite obviously been very wise in her stomping and allowing discernment). 
I would hope that JJ would employ some of this wisdom, allowing me to keep dreaming until I’m leasing large open spaces. This would be most optimal. 
Instead, he sends me links on “how to start a Waldorf school.” 
Fortunately, RAB told me they were selling the space I’ve always had my eye on for my endeavors, so I can hold on to hope that I won’t get too out of control. Which is a thankful thing for nearly every person reading, because all of my schemes generally involve the skills and involvement of people I know and really like. As KLR can attest, a brilliant idea generally involves labor on her part. 
So here we are, greeting Monday. I wonder what genius the next 5 days will bring. 
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so many thoughts running through my head

I started about 4 posts in draft only to get about 40% of the way through and be distracted by a shiny thought in another corner of my mind. So instead, I’ll got with a list of mini-posts. 

1. This weekend my mom gave me my final hair washing in The Shop as we know it. Next time I come home, her shampoo bowl will be in the basement, where I will be less likely to beg for a good scrubbing. Mom also gave a trim to all the children, Baby C got her first (and last in the salon) haircut. We celebrated in the way our family celebrates best (with 40 of our closest friends) mom’s last week of paid professionalism. It’s a new chapter for her, one I’m quite excited to see how it unfolds. 
2. I picked up a new read via Kindle app (library loan!) this afternoon – Radical Together, about rethinking the way in which we seek Jesus as a community. I haven’t read the book on which it’s based (Radical), but I did request it via library Kindle and have high hopes of reading it aloud to someone from the couch. But the book I did read contained all sorts of fodder for thinking about how we go about the life of the church. Perhaps I’m 3 years late to the party, but if you’re also not on the cusp of current church life events, I’d recommend it. (And if it takes you longer than a day to read, please let me know. It seemed this was more booklet like in size, though wasn’t lacking in content. I’ve only read a few books via Kindle, so perhaps it was a user error and there are chapters upon chapters left for me to discover). 
3. Baby C got her first tooth. I was quite celebratory about it as she hadn’t slept at all her best for me the past few days while at mom & dad’s, and now I can at least have a reason. 
4. Back to the church thoughts (I had a lot of time driving, the second best place for thoughts to brew, right behind the shower). Long story abbreviated: what if our differences and our personalities and our gifts and our talents and who we are (I bet there’s a great Hebrew word for it) actually has very little to do with us but it’s much more about exposing, revealing a unique part of who God is? We like to think of our gifts as something we can do for God, but what if we were to understand that by living and utilizing our gifts, God shines through us. We’re showing the world a glimpse of who God is, and only we – made in His image – can do it in such a way. Just like 10 artists can paint the same sunset, but each drawing will highlight characterizations of the sunset in a different way. By serving as we’re gifted we allow those around us to experience God in an unique way. 
5. Miss M put herself to bed tonight. She came upstairs as I was rocking C (see #3) and said something, then shut the door. I came downstairs and asked JJ if he’d put her to bed. “Um, no, I thought YOU put her to bed.” So I poked my head in her room. She was in bed. 
6. I posted on FB earlier this week: My parenting thought of the day: if you don’t want your kids to break the rules, have less rules. As a rule-driven personality, it was probably an overstatement. I’ll never get rid of rules. However, I did a lot of thinking about how my kids don’t do everything I asked or expected of them. But I thought, perhaps I’m just expecting out of their capacity. Not that I need to lower the bar, but rather understand and know their limits. And perhaps allow them some creative freedom in how they seek to meet expectations. Maybe I need not be as much a choreographer as a coach. 
7. I wasn’t sure on Ash Wednesday if I would “take my Sundays” or not. I surely will not take a mobile Sunday, planting a little cheat treat when Lent becomes inconvenient. But I did rest from my spending fast today as we got Chipotle for dinner. Let it be said that it wasn’t without effort to cook something first; JJ was going to make fajitas at home, but the chicken went rank. At that point we’re just looking at it being God himself saying, “it’s okay, M. Just get something.” So a burrito bowl it was.
   
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