Change of Direction

I am in a car speeding down the highway, just like we planned all week, but we are now headed back home instead of going further on our journey. Plans change and we go back or change direction. 

Our plan was a two day drive to the Oregon coast. Ahh, we would have driven through gorgeous Autumn turned leaves. Then, awoken to see the Pacific Ocean. As a couple who adore the ocean, that would have been a cherished memory. However, this quick drive to the Pacific Northwest was not a vacation. We were called by a family member who needed our help, we were just throwing in being able to swing by Lincoln City to see my parents – it’s been far too long and I miss them. 

Our last major drive across the country was also for family. We were called on a Thursday and left on Friday afternoon – a decision made in less than twenty-four hours to get to Pennsylvania. We got there in two days – round trip in five. It was fast, but amazing! Plus, we were able to swing through some states further south than we’d previously been. It’s all about the small things. These types of trips make the journey just as important than the destination. 

Our home is also losing another member. This will be the third to move out in three weeks. My heart is having a hard time. This young woman has been with us since May and has become a cherished member of our family. However, her time to return home has come and she will be dearly missed. This momma’s heart is feeling very tender today as she will stop by to pick up her remaining things while we are on our drive home. I had to say goodbye by text. Not a way to do that at all!

The readings this morning seemed to all be about family and other close relationships we have. Maybe I just notice the things that are on my mind and in my heart as I read. Either way, it was comforting. The OA message was about being honest in our communication with those we love and how dishonesty does no good thing for our relationships. This can be a two edges sword. We want honesty, but it needs to come with a huge helping of kindness. Besides, some things just don’t need to be said, honest or not. 

This the AA book I read from every day. It is about the AA program, but talks on nearly every page about our relationship with God and how important He is in our lives. The last paragraph in the reading caught my attention. It says, 

When I take my daily inventory, I know that I must stop judging others. If I judge others, I am probably judging myself. Whoever is upsetting me most is my best teacher. I have much to learn from him or her, and in my heart, I should thank that person.

There is no better place to learn and grow and love than in a family. We can learn about kindness in our honest communication and about not being judgemental. Two veery important things to learn because they carry such weight in our lives – home, school, or office.

In the book of Ether the discussion between the members of that newly founded society was who to name king. We are always in such a hurry to find someone who will be “in charge.” Only one of the sons in the whole group was willing to take on that role. The scripture says that he walked up rightly before God, but I’m sure it won’t be long before there’s a king who doesn’t want to live like that and leads his people away from truth and righteousness. In addition to this king choosing, there was a lot of gratitude and humility happening from surviving the trip. I know how that feels! Every time we get out of the car I’m grateful for our safety and equally grateful for those at home being watched over.

Since I am in the car and reception is spotty, I’m going be skipping the General Conference talk today. Since conference just happened last week, I have to read it online and I don’t want to worry about losing all of what I’ve already written and hope that I can get enough signal to read the talk. It’ll just be less frustration and I’ll get back to it on Monday. 

Befriend focused on sexual minorities and dysfunctional family members. His remarks about those in the LGBTQ community is to stop worrying about them and to fix ourselves. He says, 

Compelled by the love of Christ, we must not withhold kindness or friendship from any person or people group, and we must not engage in any sort of us-against-them posturing.

He goes on, 

Can we envision a world in which convictions are not abandoned but deeply kept, and that not in spite of those convictions but because of those convictions, friendships are made and honoring dialogue happens “across lines of difference?” Can we see a way forward in which friendship and serving the common good become the main emphasis for the Christian and LGBTQ communities? …I think we can do better.

I whole heartedly agree. There is no reason to go to war with our brothers and sisters. We need to circle the wagons and care for each other out of compassion and humanness. Christ frequently talked about that mote we see in another’s eye and even had an interesting encounter with a woman taken in adultery. He is the judge. Not me. He is the example of love. For all of us. He wants you and I to reach out as He did and would to anyone around us going through life’s challenges – even and especially if we don’t agree. We will learn far more than they will gain. 


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Carmen, you bring up some great points in this post. I think the thing that struck me most was the thought that if we are judging others, it’s because we’re also judging ourselves. I’ve never thought about it in this perspective before. Thanks for broadening my perspective. 🙂

    It’s so nice to “meet” you. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carmen says:

      We can both thank AA for that. I hadn’t thought of it as one influencing the other either. The habit of being judgmental with ourselves and others leads right into the valley of shame and that is a place we need to avoid. If we can nip the “should, could, would haves,” thoughts we will prevent ourselves from a lot of unhealthy feelings about what we lack.


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