Tag Archives: inclusion

Expand, expand, expand…

Circles are everywhere.  Our lives are filled with both figurative and physical circles.  We see them in nature, we see them in actions and re-actions and we experience them physically around tables, in meetings, and during circle time as children.

We include people when we are willing to expand our circles, but we can just as easily exclude others by refusing to expand our circle for new arrivals.

My sister wrote a blog that I loved last year, Is it a pie or a triangle?.  The conversation we had regarding this blog stands out clearly in my mind as a moment in my life when I finally started to scratch the surface in my personal understanding of Jesus and what He did for me.

Ever since this conversation, I have thought of God as a large circle that we are all held within.  I then picture all of us as small circles within the God’s large circle.  Some of our circles are bigger and some of our circles are smaller and some of them overlap.  The bigger ones represent those who have accepted or included more people, and the smaller ones have accepted or included fewer people.

I don’t think heaven or paradise is possible without everyone and unfortunately we are the ones imposing limitations and building walls within God’s beautiful, all-inclusive circle by excluding others.

Pray for everyone, try to empathize with everyone…
Empathy will lead to forgiveness, and forgiveness will lead to love.

OUR best life doesn’t work unless everyone is included!

I pray and dream for OUR best life for everyone, everyday!  I hope you do too… together we can expand our circles!

The Gates

Back in high school there was a party one weekend that some friends and I had been invited to and we were planning to attend.  My best friend’s mom dropped us off and as we were walking towards the front door we caught a glimpse of one of the cool and intimidating girls in our class.  In an instant the four of us made a decision not to attend the party, we turned around and ran back to the car.  That night we instead had a slumber party together and laughed at ourselves and had a really good time.  I haven’t thought about this night since then, but for some reason listening to a song tonight made me think of it.  I wondered about the feelings my friend’s mom must have experienced that night.  I think she was probably sad to see us exclude ourselves from a party out of fear and intimidation.  I would have been very sad to see this happen to my girls.  As a parent it is one thing to see your children excluded by others, but to see them exclude themselves leaves you completely helpless.

In the gospel of St. Matthew 7:7

Jesus said ” Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Thinking about this tonight made me wonder

  • Am I humble enough to realize that the gates of heaven will not be standing wide open for me when I arrive?
  • Am I fearless enough to have the courage to knock on those enormous, beautiful and radiant gates?

In the gospel of St. Matthew 15:22 – 28

Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”  Jesus did not answer a word.  So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”  He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”  The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.  He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”  “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”  Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith!  Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Finally thinking about this next passage in conjunction made me wonder

  • Am I humbly persistent enough to keep knocking until the gates are opened?

I want to teach my children to be humble, fearless and persistent.  I want to teach them to include others and themselves.

Include yourself!  God is our Father and if it pains me to see my children exclude themselves then imagine how painful it is for Him to see billions of His children exclude themselves everyday.

Jesus wants ALL of us, He is preparing the rooms and He told us to knock when we arrive just as any friend inviting us to His parents home would ask us to knock when we arrived!

It is Our Best Life!  Let’s believe it together and it will be for all of us!

I am a friend!

I have been wondering how to include EVERYONE.

When I pray for Our Best Life, my intention is to include EVERYONE (NO EXCEPTIONS), but how can I then best apply this intention to my physical life (LIVE IT)?

I think attempting to get as close to “I am” as possible is the best way to apply this prayer into physical reality. As soon as I say, “I am a graduate from Purdue” or “I am a wife” I have put myself into an exclusive club that does not and cannot include EVERYONE.  Obviously these statements are true, but the less I use them to define me, the closer I am to reaching the true and complete “I am”.  The problem arises in the fact that “I am” is a very abstract way of defining one’s self physically so I then started wondering what is the least exclusive, but a less abstract way of attempting to get closer to “I am”.

The one I came up with is “I am a friend”.  If you can be a friend and accept friendship from EVERYONE (NO EXCEPTIONS), then I think you are getting closer to “I am”.

Therefore after this long and complicated thought process I have looped back around to exactly what our pre-school teachers taught us, be friends with EVERYONE!

Say it, live it, believe it and IT WILL BE!  It is Our Best Life!

 

The one path, our path!

I have been thinking about Our Best Life a lot over the last two weeks.  I am finally starting to see!  For those of you who are already there, thank you for humoring me as you read this with a joyful smile and excitement in your heart.

I am imagining our world covered in billions of little paths crisscrossing all over the place, and now I can finally see the one large path that has been created by the convergence of many small paths.  This one path is not paved in gold, but is a beautiful dirt path surround by fields of wild flowers and green grass covered in dew and glistening in the morning sun.  We are in awe of the mountains we see ahead, but our joy as we walk down the path is in the relationships we build and the soul mates we meet.

Say it, live it, believe it and IT WILL BE!  It is Our Best Life!