Friday, June 26, 2015

SQT On The First Week of Summer, Love, and Hospitality



Well, hello Friday. And hello you old friend Quick Takes. It has been awhile since I've visited. How have you been? The same? Fair enough. Here's a quick update from the fine folks at the Casa (that's us).



It's the first week of summer, and it's off to the races, if by races you mean dallying about. While the Hubs was gone, the kids and I took a neighborhood adventure walk (or stroll if you want to get honest about our pace). There has been plenty of playing outside and a little grilling and a healthy dose of summer rain. C'est la vie a la casa!




Another big summer goal is almost on the checked off list: our front door facelift! All that is left is to touch up the trim and dream of a new storm door...




Incidentally, one thing that should have been on our home improvement list was getting a new spray nozzle for the hose in the front yard. It sticks. This didn't seem like a big problem until I was cleaning off the roller from the paint job and the hose became stuck on full force causing the paint from the roller to spray all over. On me. On the house. All. Over. Did you know that paint doesn't just wash off siding? (I had guessed as much, but gave it a foolish try anyway.) So, one bottle of nailpolish remover, a scouring sponge, and a metric ton of elbow grease later, the front of the house no longer looks like a Smurf splattered against it. Let's put that one in the "things I hope to never have to do again" box!



Part of the inspiration behind painting the front door, other than covering up the stains on the old "white" one, was to create a more welcoming look. This, of course, means we have to be more welcoming. If you want a great read about opening ourselves up in the here and now, read Laura Kelly Fanucci's post from earlier this week. Her post inspired my own thoughts about hospitality and the meaning of home. Take a read if you missed it, and let me know what you think. What keeps you from opening yourself and your home to others?




As I am talking about love, openness, and hospitality, I can't seem to avoid the GIANT elephant in this room, and the not so invisible pachyderm traipsing across the internet today. I am desperately trying to think of something witty, funny, and off the wall here, but it really just comes down to the plain old fact of the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage, making it legal in all 50 states. I've seen those on the right act as though the sky is falling, and those on the left celebrating the victory of love.

The fact that there is a right and a left on this is perhaps the biggest issue of all, in my not so humble opinion. I've said it before and I will say it again - these are not political issues at their core. They are issues of humanity in which there are actual humans involved. Sadly, we have allowed political machines to take over. Carefully crafted messages lead one side to hate/distrust the other inhibiting any possibility of fruitful dialogue and understanding on a large scale. Gay marriage proponents are heathens causing the destruction of good society as we know it. Gay marriage dissenters are bigoted devils wanting to destroy love and happiness. How can we possibly arrive at a consensus of how to live in a pluralistic society when those are the scripts that are being played over and over? 


I say this to my brothers and sisters in Christ, because I believe change begins with us. There have been moments of moral decline throughout the history of the world, but Jesus reminds us that He has overcome the world. Our work here is to make disciples of all the nations. If we are so intimately embroiled in proving we are right about the day's moral and political issues, are we our own stumbling block in leading others to the heart of a loving Christ? Yes, Christ is also a judge, but first he is a Lover. Can we please take the offensive (and not in a combative sense) finally and be about God's business? Can we admit that we will never change hearts and minds - that conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit? Can we open our hearts and our lives to walk with those who we intimately and passionately disagree with so we can start to form relationships to make it possible for the Holy Spirit to enter into our lives in power? Can we please stop arguing? It makes my heart hurt that when people think about Christ and Catholicism that the words bigot and hate are involved. Please, oh please, choose your words carefully. Choose love. Choose mercy. Choose kindness. Allow words to have meaning, speak and preach truth, but please, oh please, remember that fragile hearts are tied to those truths. 

Whatever battle may come, and believe you me there is a battle looming, please let them always say of us that we chose love as much as we chose truth. They cannot be separated as Christ Himself is both Love and Truth personified. Yes, love has lost all meaning, but that is because Love has ceased to be Lord. Ideologies have replaced faith in Christ. Please, and truly for the love of Christ, can we embrace Him as Lord again? Preach Him as Love again? Somewhere He has been lost in the battle for righteousness as we react to every volley thrown at us. We have the fullness of Truth...the fullness of Love. Let's stop letting the world write the story and show them what...and who...the face of real Love is again. It is the face on the cross. It is the blood poured out. It is sacrifice and it is mercy before the judgment, which belongs to God in the end. Love one another, please, oh please. For the sake of the Gospel, love one another beyond an ideology. 




Well, that wasn't such a quick take up there. I will fast-forward through this one and just tell you that there are two quick "tutorials" up for those of you who may still want to join in the June Sketch-Along and help to share the joy of the Lord through art. There is one on the very basics of hand lettering, and one on creating digital images. I hope you will join me! 



...and now to leave you with a laugh, hopefully!

They say kids say the darndest things. Well, this one's a doozy! Gianna is about waist high now, and she is a lover of kisses, which can make things a little awkward. Like when she comes up behind us to give us a kiss. On the rear. And then says, "I kissed your butt!" proudly, the simultaneous hilarity and irony totally lost on her sweet four year old self. 


That's life at the Casa in a snippet or seven! For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain't The Lyceum!










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I'd love to hear your thoughts! Rest assured I do read each and every word, but please forgive me if I don't get back to you right away. The toddler tugging on my leg and the one year old pulling my hair may have seized control of my typing abilities. Blessings on your day!