I actually had this conversation with Sebby when he was 4. It is crazy that I have an actual name : )
Also crazy news? According to The New York Times I will not look like Sharon Stone at 59.
I’d just like to note that in this interview Stone says she consumes zero caffeine and alcohol but does consume meat, dark chocolate and an occasional soda. I like this. People act like soda is killing the universe but please let me enjoy a Diet Caffeine Free Dr. Pepper with my popcorn once in awhile without judgment.
Kids had another snow day which meant hang time at the house: did laundry, called LG Customer Service and learned how to turn OFF the narcissistic song the washer kept singing, DVR’d American Idol (Lionel Richie! Luke Bryan!) read this interesting piece on Chris Hughes’ simplistic solution to poverty, signed Seb up for fencing lessons (because who wouldn’t want to duel with a sword after seeing Mask of Zorro?) and read more musings on how faith infuses our work.
TK (Tim Keller) cites the book of Esther in Every Good Endeavor and notes that if we don’t use our financial, social, and emotional capital to serve others through our work then the “palace” where God’s placed us (the home, the bank, the law firm, the classroom) “becomes your prison”.
And serving the work means doing a good job. It’s landing the plane if you’re a pilot. Hitting the right notes if you’re a musician. Keeping the fridge stocked and having bubbles on hand for long snow days if you’re a stay at home mom. “Building good tables” as Dorothy Sayers explains, if you’re a carpenter:
And if you’re a waitress on Portlandia it means answering inane questions about the origin of the chicken you’re serving:
What serving the work doesn’t mean is practicing what TK calls “dualism” (read pages 200-201 for more on this):
“Dualism leads some to think that if their work is to please Christ, it must be done overtly in his name. They feel they have to write and perform art that explicitly mentions Jesus, or teach religious subjects in a Christian school; or that they must work in an organization in which all people are professing Christians. Or they must let everyone know that they lead Bible studies in the office in the morning before work hours.”
TK goes on to say that this dualism leads well-meaning believers to disengage from culture instead of seeing God’s beauty (through Common Grace) in television, movies, music, and art – identifying, with a critical eye, the longings of the human heart as expressed through the popular culture of our day.
Insightful stuff. After living in France for 3 years, I still find Americans love of work quite endearing since the prevailing attitude I discovered in France is that work is a necessary evil. And American or French, how we think about our work absolutely influences what we do there. Pastor Aaron Tredway noted Sunday that we spend 2% of our time as a believer reading the Bible, 40% of our time at work. So what happens 7AM – 7PM is pretty important.
Instinctively, we know it matters. Because when the cashier at Costco is friendly and helpful while loading your fruit snacks and milk cartons into the cart – it makes a difference. When the barista at Starbucks in Aurora (though that parking lot is a death trap) compliments your hair – it brightens your day. We all have the ability to influence and love people through the smallest interactions that happen throughout our work day. And the fact that God cares and values what we do through our work should make all the difference in how we go about that work whether it’s folding laundry, handling HR matters, working on an investment deal, or standing in a courtroom.
Quick break: here’s your daily dose of cuteness, cousin love in action:
And a friendly reminder that Mother’s Day is fast approaching (Sunday May 13th) – if you need a ringtone for your maman here’s mine:
And finally, if you’ve had a challenging situation lately I heard an interesting conversation around the dinner table, compliments of Blue Bloods (Tom Selleck still got it).
Each Sunday the family gathers around the dinner table to discuss their biggest fail of the week because: “if you’re not failing, you’re not trying. And if you’re not trying you’re not living. You only learn from when you fail.” This Trump fail of the week made me smile:
My own failure of the week involves a very long phone call with a woman from customer service at Spectrum, part of my adulting process. My consolation for her rudeness came from this quote, stitched into a pillow in our living room, borrowed from former Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner’s life motto: