Thursday, March 13, 2014

These words.

Not a cute kid post; this is simply a (healthier?) way of getting some disappointment off my chest. Lately, I've been trying my hand at "positive rhetoric."

Positive rhetoric, modified noun

Positive = clear, assured; active and effective function; characterized by affirmation, addition, inclusion, and presence.

Rhetoric = written or spoken language intended to influence people; rhetoric may or may not be honest or reasonable

Positive rhetoric must be clear, honest, and reasonable language, intended to influence others and inspire them to active, effective, affirming, and inclusive presence.

You know, this means no lambasting those who live/worship/eat differently, no mompetition (moms in competition), no complaints without also conversation with God, no sarcasm, or "no, not, never" words.

Things I cannot do for others  Things only I can do for myself

  1. Eat. Eat enough for satiation. Eat frequently enough. Eat healthfully.
  2. Sleep. Begin sleep at a reasonable time for when I'll awaken. Prepare my body and mind for sleep with appropriately timed exercise and relaxation, healthy foods and enough time to digest, prayer and relational connecting with God and Nick, my spouse.
  3. Relational and Emotional health. Only I can read God's word; listening to a sermon or reading a commentary uses an intermediary author and can distract me from the message God wants me to hear from a Bible passage. Ultimately, only God has the power to change either my circumstances or attitude. Only God can affirm my worthiness as his individual child. Only God can give enough love to overflow my small heart; I need to ask for it. Only I am responsible for my words; I choose to say them in effective, affirming ways, without sarcasm.
  4. Ask God to be the end-all. Only he can overshadow and consume my idols of control, independence, greed, and envy. Only God can turn my heart, mind, and time around to start and end with himself. Only I can choose to spend effective time with God.
  5. Acknowledge my depravity. Depravity means thorough corruption; since birth, my whole being can only choose selfishness, in raw state and dressed up in winsome requests. Only I can ask for help from God and others.
Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me -- a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:13

Tuesday was a pretty low day. Just at the beginning of third quarter, when my attitude had begun to adjust to Nick's school's culture, a strike-out on the school's part brought all previous disappointment back into my line of vision. Wish it could be ignored. It seems that God wanted me to dwell in that miserable moment to reaffirm that even the most 'perfect' person, place, or thing on this earth is unequivocal with God. That moment seems to be God's invitation to spend some one on one time together. It's his invitation to be social with others, and his clarification that if I am not satisfied with others' teaching, then I should spend time with Jesus, the best teacher.

When have you been disappointed by others, after you had high hopes?

How do you prefer to explain yourself:
directly, indirectly, after much thought, with sarcasm, with positive rhetoric?

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