God the Father…of open sourcing?

 I am in love with the concept of open sourcing. Offering ideas, designs, and products for the public good fits well with my personal belief in philanthropy. Even further, the concept of open sourcing involves improvement upon the work of others. In this respect, Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:6-8 advocated a type of open sourcing in that he said “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.”

The Bible is filled with incidents of generations who reaped the benefits of their parents’ blessings or, in the case of Abraham, an entire people who did. In fact, the centerpiece of Christian faith is belief that Jesus Christ died for our sins. He came to earth, did great works and appointed disciples to continue his work (Matthew 28: 18-20), who then encouraged all believers to continue to build upon their work.

But as humans, we are tied to the fact that there is a beginning and an end…deadlines for our work, seasons to our lives, and limited years to our time on earth. In Acts, Jesus’ followers wanted to know a time-frame for His kingdom on Earth. But Jesus cautioned them to keep their minds on the task at hand. Sharing with others what had been given to them…the gospel message. Jesus understood that the disciples’ lives were just the beginning of centuries of God stretching out His hand with His most perfect gift. It is not for us to put a time-frame on the days leading up to Christ’s coming. It is enough that we open source our lives, our blessings, our talents so that all may be reached and not one should perish. Blessings!

From Stressed to Blessed

I hit a wall on Wednesday. Not a literal wall. My life had just become a rollercoaster careening out of control. I was tired of holding on for dear life and wanted off the crazy ride. Wednesdays tend to be appointment days. Some of my kids require more than the average amounts of appointments and my parents, although relatively healthy, still have medical needs.

Usually once a month, I have a Wednesday appointment marathon. This month, however, every provider, counselor, and caregiver was trying to make up time from taking 2 weeks off around Christmas. So, I was having trouble getting anything done because of appointment-mania.

Wednesday dawned and I tried to psych myself up with words of inspiration. “It’ll be great to get these all out of the way.” “These things have waited long enough.” “You’ll be near medical professionals if you keel over from exhaustion.” I rubbed my French press but no genie popped out to offer my 3 wishes so I resolved to just dive in and start the day.

But alas, fate had other plans. Two of my girls awoke sick. I am fortunate to have my family all around me, so I transferred my girls to the sick ward (at my sister, Susan’s house, where she and one of her daughters were also sick). This effectively dropped the piano lesson from my to-do list and made it unlikely that I’d be able to help with the kids club at church that evening but my day was still full.

And so it was that 4 appointments, 1 meal, and many miles later (having run back and forth to drop my son at school and pick up my parents and drop them off) that I pulled in the driveway just as my son was getting off the bus from school. We high-tailed it out to the store to pick up the requisite sick bay supplies: tissues, popsicles, juice, and Oreos (those were for me, don’t judge), bought Chinese food for dinner, picked up the sick kiddos and finally arrived at home with a plan to throw wood on the fire, food at the kids, and hide in my house until Spring. Unfortunately, I arrived home to a trash explosion, compliments of Trixie, our not-quite-as-cute-as-she-was-yesterday-before-the-trash-incident border collie. Then I got 2 urgent phone calls for things that had to be handled by 9PM that night (because not everyone works in Eastern Standard Time).

She put herself in the corner

She put herself in the corner

By the time I made it to bed, I was barely functioning. I forgot about my son’s homework until right before he was going to bed. I never put away the Chinese food leftovers. I didn’t clean up the house before I went to bed. And I never put wood on the fire. The list of things I neglected was huge.

But, I had also received a huge amount of blessings to be thankful for that day. I’m incredibly thankful that this was not one of my son’s more difficult days. I am thankful that I have an awesome sister who’s always got my back (and would have taken my sick kids even if she and her family were healthy). I feel tremendously blessed that I can live next door to my parents and be there to help them. My heart sings because my kids want the privilege of helping their grandparents or delivering dinner to them.  I’m thankful for the patience and kindness of mental health professionals who are willing to help kids who have had rough starts overcome them. I’m thankful for medical professionals who respect the right of the elderly to retain control over their care and treatment. I’m grateful that we were safe on the roads.

But most of all, I am thankful for a God who keeps me going through all of the craziness and who has provided for me physically and financially so that I can be there to take care of my family’s needs.