Monday, June 25, 2012

Do It Anyway

Do It Anyway
By Kent M. Keith, popularized by Mother Teresa

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

Friday, June 22, 2012


The last month has been a whirlwind of emotions. It has been a proving ground for my faith and values. It has been uncomfortable, painful, exhausting, and trying. In coming face to face with a nightmare I have seen what my values are really made of

As my support system has split into factions around the issue I have been able to hold my head up and keep pushing through with a sense of peace I've never known. Yes, fear of the unknown is there. Yes, my plans have been trashed. Yes, my life is upside down and inside out and none of it is fair or my fault. Yes, my heart is bruised and broken. Yet despite all the discomfort and pain, the knowledge that it is all out of my hands and at the close - however far into the future that ends up being - the Bentleys will be stronger for having endured.

In the time I've spent meditating on and practicing grace I have begun to wrestle with the question of redemption and restoration. I believe redemption is always possible, and out of that comes restoration, but in my humanness I don't always want to believe it's available to everyone. The beauty of the gift is I don't get to pick and choose who "qualifies" for redemption. I am comforted that not one of us is ever too far beyond the reach of grace and there is always hope for restoration if we're willing to do the dirty work. Redemption and restoration is dirty work.

Lord, help me stand by my relationships even in the yuck and see the work through to completion. May You make something beautiful from these ashes. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Thing About Grace is...

It doesn't make sense. It goes against our very nature to extend mercy to someone who doesn't deserve it and could never earn it. Yet we all long for it; even demand it of others.

When I chose "grace" as my One Word for 2012, it never occurred to me the trials that would come my way to teach me the meaning and depth of grace. I understand in a whole new way how the Father's heart must have broken when the price was paid for reconciliation.

Six months have passed since I committed myself to focus on grace. Each time I have made the choice to extend grace and withold condemnation, my heart has grown fuller. This is a phenomenon that I cannot explain. In the midst of my current storm I have felt tremendous peace when no less than five months ago I would have been an unconsolable wreck.

I like the person I am becoming, but Lord it's hard. It is so very, very hard to choose grace in the face of betrayal. It is so hard to choose grace in the midst of disappointment. It is so difficult to choose grace when I want to condemn. But it is a choice. I have a choice. And I choose to keep choosing grace.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Communication Breakdown II

I've talked about it before, this idea that maybe technology and social media isn't all it's cracked up to be. Three years later, I'm feeling even stronger about this.

I will be the first to admit I'd rather e-mail than talk on the phone. Texting has entered my world, so now I can send text from anywhere at anytime. (Three years ago to as recently as a year ago I was refusing to jump on the text bandwagon. Oh how easily we cave when every one else is doing it.)

My Facebook friends list has been parred down since I last discussed it. The people on the list are ones that I have regular connections with or are related to me. I'm seriously contemplating deactivating it as I waste so much time there and the interactions are rarely meaningful. I want my life to be a blessing and I'm no longer convinced that can be done through technology.

I miss the days when friends got together and talked with no interruptions from cell phones. I have nothing against cell phones - they're dang handy - but when I am spending more time looking at it than the person talking to me there is a problem. As a result, DH and I set a house rule that when we are together in public, sharing a meal, or visiting with other people our phones are put away. They were becoming too much of a distraction and took away from quality time with people we say we care about. I'm hoping this is a trend that we can extend to the people we live life with. Cause I love their faces and don't want them hiding behind a 3"x5" screen.

What do you think of cell phone dependency?