with Lynne and Leslie
Tag Archives: Jesus

Seasonal Randomness: Lynne and Leslie Ask Each Other Questions About Spring

by SweetMidlife

This is the latest in what is actually becoming a regular feature on our blog, where the Sisters Streeter ask each other whatever comes to their brains. Today, it’s about Spring. At least it will start out that way.

Spring 2008, on our 37th birthday. We like this picture.

Spring 2008, on our 37th birthday., Lynne in black, Leslie in brown flowers. We like this picture.

First, Lynne asks, Leslie answers.

Lynne asks: I am over the cold, but it is getting warmer here in Maryland. Cold to you in South Florida is like 65 degrees. But are there differences in Spring? How do you ring in Spring there?
Leslie answers: Personally, I got to polo, Spring Training and turn the heat off from the 5 days it was on all winter. Ha ha. #warm.

Lynne asks: What is your favorite Easter ensemble to wear? Are we too young for big church hats? I feel like we should be wearing big church hats.
Leslie answers: I love color, pastels that are swingy. And I might, at 45, be ready for big church hats, because I’m kicky.

Lynne asks:  When you dig down to the bottom of an Easter basket, are you looking for jelly beans or malted eggs?Leslie answers: Both. Especially the licorice jelly beans everyone throws into my basket because I am the only person who likes them. Bring them to me, bring your black jelly beans, bring them on home to me. Yeah.

Lynne asks: Favorite Easter memory? I have one, but I wanna see if it’s the same as yours before I answer because I want to see how in sync we are. And speaking of N Sync, JC Chasez should have had a bigger solo career.
Leslie answers: Ooh, I don’t know! That’s not fair! I can’t think of the thing it is you are trying to get me to remember…was it in Saudi? My most recent favorite Easter was going to Palm Beach Polo when a bunch of NFL stars were there, and this girl straight out of Real Housewives of Atlanta was literally sprinting across the parking lot putting her good heels on trying to get to the door faster and my husband turned to me, poker face intact, and said “Wow. She has NO IDEA there are rich professional athletes here.” Ha ha #iaintsayingshesagolddigger. What’s yours? And you know I believe JC was the real talent. Sorry JT.
Lynne responds: Yep, it was Riyadh in 1983, and we went to a sunrise service, and I remember how the sun looked coming up on all that brown, and I remember thinking how cool it was to be in the Middle East on Easter, close to where Jesus physically lived. Yep.

Lynne asks: What is your favorite spring song? I mean a song that makes you wanna roll your windows down and breathe in the air. And again, I know you live in Florida and could have been doing this anyway, but humor me?
Leslie answers: “Here Comes The Sun” by the Beatles. No question. It’s been a long cold lonely winter. It feels like years since it’s been clear. Yes yes.

OK, Leslie’s turn:

Leslie asks: Do you ever forget which way you’re supposed to turn your clocks in the spring?
Lynne answers: All the time. I even know that “Spring Back, Fall Forward” reminder, but I have to take a minute and remember  what that even means. I still sometimes have to do the “Put your right hand over your heart” thing to remember that my heart is on the left. I am not kidding.

Leslie asks: Feelings about certain fabrics and colors seasonally? Is white before Easter OK? Are dark wool things OK for spring? Asking for a friend.
Lynne answers: I think white is fine before Easter and after Labor Day, and I say this on no authority but hearing some fashion person saying that somewhere once, and also because I want to sometimes. And I think if you aren’t sweating, wear the dark wool. It makes you mysterious or something.

Leslie asks: Is it ever OK to pick flowers or fruit off someone else’s tree or bush without their permission?
Lynne answers: No, because that makes you a stief. A stealing thief. Just say no to stiefing.

Leslie asks: Favorite park, anywhere in the world, where you’ve had a gorgeous spring experience just enjoying not being in the winter and cold and wrapped like a mummy?
Lynne answers: It was actually in Knoxville, Tennessee, I think, and I was in a touring play and we were heading to Atlanta as soon as we left. There were these gorgeous flowers, and the cast all laid in the grass. And I remember that we needed that tranquility, because we then got stuck in Atlanta traffic, which is the opposite of tranquil.

Leslie asks: Going back to the Easter basket question for a moment, are hollow bunnies worth it?
Lynne answers: Young Lynne would have said no, because I thought hollow bunnies are a trap, because you sink your teeth in and they fall apart, and solid bunnies are so rich. But then Older Lynne is like “I can hurt my teeth on a solid bunny.” But then Young Lynne tells Older Lynne to take a look at her life, because more chocolate is always winning. So to answer your question, no.

So hey! What are your favorite things about Spring, like music, and food, and things to do? Tell us below!

 


They Should Know

by SweetMidlife

Hi!! Lynne here! Happy end of the year.

I have a bunch of stuff that I want to do next year: stick to my workout plans; update this blog more and make money off of it; be more present in my life and stop worrying; eat better; and watch less dumb TV, unless I am doing it on purpose and am only using it to delay things that I should be doing.

But the biggest thing that I want to do is to love better.

And this is about to get Jesus-y. So you know that before you read this.

IMG_20140114_105806 (2)

Loving people more sounds like one of those things that people say that means nothing and everything all at once, because it sounds great and positive, but is also so broad, it’s easy to not do. But I have to do something.

Because I have sometimes majored in the minors, and focused on good stuff that is not THE stuff.  You got something good like Jesus, you want to share that news. You want everyone to know. But that is where things get a bit, well, besides the point. Because while we are supposed to glorify God in everything that we do, the way to do that, in my view, is not to have your expression of faith limited to, let’s say,  monitoring other peoples’ holiday vocabulary and whether they say “Merry Christmas” to everyone they greet from Black Friday through New Years Eve. This is not what we are supposed to be ABOUT. Because while doing that may be Christ-related, it’s spending a lot of energy on semantics. And not the point.

Because the point of this was supposed to be love. In the Bible, in John 13,  Jesus is preparing His close followers for His return to heaven, and He tells them that everyone will know that they are His friends because they love one another. This will be their calling card, their identity. Not in how they obey the rules, or in how they get everyone else to. Now, I am not saying that rules aren’t good. But they aren’t supposed to be what guides us. Love should be our default, our big goal. We shouldn’t be leading with rules and then deciding how to love within those parameters. Love should be our priority, and then if you are doing that, you are going to want to do the things that honor that love. That is where the rules come in. That’s good.

This is not one of those posts where I put people on blast and talk about what other judgmental people do or say and take them to task for not living like I think they should. This is a post where I am calling myself out.

This year, and for the rest of my life, I want people to know that I am a follower and lover of Christ by how I love people. Because that is how He said they will know us. I don’t want you to know I am a Christian only because I say that I am. I can say that I am Denzel Washington’s niece, but I’m not. Me claiming it doesn’t make it so. So while Jesus would want us to tell people that we know Him because we are proud of this, this can’t be the only way they know. If people who I know find out that I love Jesus, they shouldn’t be like “Say what now?”

So here are some of, but not all of the ways I intend to do that……

Giving the benefit of the doubt to people.

Not assume that everyone is out to ruin my happiness, because this is not “Dynasty”, and I am not Diahann Carroll and they are not Joan Collins. But that would be cool. Until it got old.

Look for ways that I can open myself up to help people, and not be a jerk about it. But actually fix my heart so that I WANT to help.

Show grace. That’s probably the biggest one. Being a Christian shouldn’t be that there was a line of people who got to be forgiven, and you were the last one Jesus is ever going to forgive, so everyone else needs to wallow in their eventual trip to Hell, because you got the last Golden Jesus Ticket. And you are gonna remind them of that. That is just eww. You got grace when you were sketchy, and when you sometimes continue to be sketchy, and God still loves you now that you are trying to not be sketchy. Which brings us back to what He told His friends. He was saying “I loved you. I am leaving. The best way to continue my legacy and truth is to love like I love you.”

So that is what I am going to do. I will mess up sometimes. But that is going to be my default. I want people to see that that I know Him by how I love.

What are things that you can do to be more loving? They can be simple or grand? Share below!

 

 

 

 


Making Room For the Good Stuff

by SweetMidlife

Hi!
Lynne here!!

So, my husband, son and I started going to this really, really cool church in the town where we live, and we are getting involved. One cool thing they are doing is offering a group for people who want to lead Bible studies, and it has been really eye-opening. I feel led to do a Bible study for parents who are at home during the day, and I am getting a lot from this leadership group. A few weeks ago, our assistant pastor taught a session on being like Christ, and that our lives as leaders should really reflect that we know Him. Awesome, right? So I went home and prayed, earnestly, that God would work in my life to make me more like Him, and that I would follow Him wherever He took me.

So.

A few days later, I started feeling some not good feelings. Like, I looked at someone’s Facebook posts and got really annoyed at them because I was jealous of their vacation. “Eww”, I thought. “I don’t like feeling like that. They are entitled to what they have.” Okay.

Then maybe the same day, I saw some young ladies walking down the street in short-shorts, and in my head, I almost went full- Church Lady on them. And it felt like I was being stabbed when I realized how judgmental I was being. I was wrong. Eww.

A couple of days later, my husband and I didn’t communicate clearly about who was going to actually be watching our son one weekend day while I had to go out. I said bye to my son, and my husband said, “Wait, he’s staying here?” And because my husband was actually remodeling and tearing down cabinets in the basement, the boy couldn’t stay here, so I took him with me. And I felt really annoyed, and I wanted the husband to apologize more than he did (and really, he did enough), and then I knew that I had to let it go.

And then it hit me. God was showing me that if I am going to be like Jesus (or as much like Him as we can, since we are still, well, people), I need to recognize all of the things in me that are very un-Jesus-y. And I then need to stop doing those things. But if I never face how petty and jealous and judgmental I can be, how can I deal with those things and make room for the forgiveness, and grace and humility? Huh? I can’t. Because Jesus knows our crap. All of it. He wants us to see it, but then not beat ourselves up over it and stay there, because who does that help? No, he wants us to see it, admit it, fix it, and roll the heck on doing the right thing. So, if you have been seeking to be a better people to people, and you find yourself realizing that you have work to do, be happy for the lesson. And don’t waste it. There is hope for us all.


BlackSantaJesusPalooza

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here.

 

Okay. So last week, Aisha Harris, a black writer from Slate, wrote a piece about how we, as a multiracial society, need to come up with an across the board Santa Claus image that is neither black or white. Or any race, actually. She said it should be a penguin, since they are benign and everyone loves them. Now, I think she was kidding about the bird, but she was serious in suggesting that Santa should be all-encompassing. And this made lots of people crazy, including Megyn Kelly of Fox News, who in self-described joking comments, said that she understood  Harris’ feelings of wanting someone to identify with when she was growing up, but that all of us had to face the fact that Santa was a white man. She even reassured children everywhere that it was okay and they didn’t need to fear, because Santa, and Jesus, for that matter,  was still white. And I guess that made a lot of people sleep better.

Yeah.

So I have been debating this with other people and myself over the past few days, because I, like Aisha Harris, grew up with white Santas in print, and black Santas at whatever kid party you went to, and sometimes at the mall. And also whenever my aunt Ann got a hold of a brown crayon. And we had both black and white Santas at home because my parents were fine with that. But I got WHY we would want to have a black Santa: we wanted something that looked like us.

Yes, St. Nicholas was a real person, and he wasn’t black. He was Greek. And somewhere over the years, he was re-imagined as a jolly white man with light skin. Cool. But I am sure that part of this was that this matched the skin of those who were enjoying the image. I get that. You see the goodness in your own reflection, and that is healthy.  So I don’t see why it was such a large jump for other people to take the now-fictionalized image of Santa and adjust it for their own race so they could also have an icon of generosity that looks like them. Especially if when you look around, the positive images you see don’t look like you. Or, when only the negative ones do. I get that.

And I thought about Megyn Kelly’s assertion that Jesus was white, too as I put up our nativity set.  Which featires all black people. That I got from a white friend. And it is beautiful. It is lovely. And is probably as historically inaccurate as Megyn Kelly’s initial insistence (she has back down from THAT a bit) that Jesus was a white man. Because He was a Middle Eastern Jew.

I am under no illusion that the historical Jesus was as dark as I am. Not at all. I am actually fine with images of white Jesus. Because Jesus as a spiritual being transcends color and race. He is for everybody.  I guess the question, again, is why it bothers us if someone else wants to picture a Jesus that looks like them?   I think, if I can surmise with my BA in Psychology that I never used professionally, this: That people want a Santa or Jesus or Disney Princess who looks like them because it says that THEY too can be something good and holy and beautiful. And I think that we are afraid if that if everyone doesn’t hold that image, we are losing ground. And I say we should let that go. I think this: we all want our goodness, our beauty, our humanity recognized. And it shouldn’t bother us when other people want that too. Hopefully the black/white/Asian/Latino Santas of the world can take turns going to places where kids don’t look like them, so they can see that good can be all colors. And you can have white Santa, somebody else can have back Santa and someone else can have Asian Santa. And guess what? White people can have black Santa! And Black people can have white Santa! Have the Santa you want.  That is the loveliness of nowadays. Little black girls can look up to Katniss Everdeen the same way that little white girls want a Princess Tiana doll (from Disney’s “Princess and the Frog”, the first Disney movie with a black princess).  Racism is so powerful because it is based in fear. Fear that if I don’t dominate or belittle the other, than I will be compromised. So I insist that beauty and value can only look like me. But we should see EACH OTHER’S  beauty, and we should be able to do that without feeling that we are losing something. And we all win then.


Scrappy Theme by Caroline Moore | Copyright 2017 The Sweet Midlife | Powered by WordPress