Friday, October 30, 2009

each word a gift

This week I was in a very typical situation and I blew it. (Also, pretty typical).

The setting. A meeting.
An off the cuff comment by (person 1) led to hurt feelings (person 2) led to defensiveness then trying to walk back through it to resolution in front of others.
I am a huge fan of healthy conflict in meetings, so that’s not the issue.
The issue is what happens next.

As the dust settled and there were only a few people standing around (person2) asked for honest feedback on their behavior.
I froze. It was nearly impossible to discuss what we had experienced without talking about (person 1 who had left the room).
I know because I stood there for minutes trying to figure out how to do it.
I finally stammered something, with no real explanation and slithered out of the room feeling uncomfortable. The

The rest of the week I’ve wondered about that situation.
What should I have said?
I’ve landed on… “I’m sure the two of you can find resolution if you talk it out.”
But the setting was public. So is there some acceptable discussion with the group?
The people in this setting did a good job. But, more often than not, this kind of thing gets ugly.

Who do you go to when you need a shoulder to cry on or to be challenged to be your better self?
I have a couple of girlfriends who I tell most everything. They are safe. They love me when I'm an idiot. They keep my head on straight and challenge me.
But if I retell a story in order to get counsel… what is gossip and what is healthy constructive communication?

This got me thinking about the peril of communication and community in the church.
One of my favorite topics.

I’m so challenged this week, that we’ve got to be different from the world.
Is this one way we could mark ourselves as more like Christ.
I’m sure that Jesus had conversations with his disciples about the events of the day but I bet they look a lot different than mine.

"Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. Ephesians 4:29 MSG"

Friday, October 23, 2009

This little piggy

Long before Facebook launched a family beta... the technologically savvy Fraser Clan launched their own google group.
this week Chris posted this and because we happen to be related to the grand champion pig farmers in Wa. County... he's actually getting some real advice. Who'd a thunk?
but in the slim chance that you might also have some info, i'm posting it here.

Hey everyone.
So I should probably update you on my life at some point but not today :). Things are going well basically. School is fun; classes are cool this year and actually not as hard as in previous years (more advanced but less work), and I am busily applying for graduate schools and scholarships.

Anyway, the more pressing question is this:
My residential college's mascot is the "battlesow." For some reason, the master at my college (that is, the professor who lives with us and throws social events, gives advice etc.), thinks it is a good idea for my college to obtain a live pig which we will take care of, feed leftovers, etc. Don't ask me.

He has set up a committee of people to investigate the viability of obtaining such a pig. They are thinking of probably a very small pig for ease of care. Besides that, I am not sure what they are thinking really.
Anyway, one of my friends is on the committee and I mentioned that my extended family had a number of pigxperts.
So, do you guys have any words of widsom?
For one thing, do you know what laws about owning pigs are like? What sort of work is involved in taking care of a small pig? We have heard that you have to take care of their teeth? Can you blindly feed them leftovers from the cafeteria or is that a bad idea (we have read you have to boil food).

Thanks for your input,

Thursday, October 1, 2009


It’s Sep 30th and I am "home"
It’s the first time I've been here since my father’s memorial service.
He would be 80 today.
But, he is not here.
I noticed it as I lifted my own suitcase in to the trunk at the airport.
I'm realizing a little better what life must be like for my Mom, now.
His things are here.
The garage, the Studebaker model, the chair he napped through Donahue in and the chair he used when he was sick, the crepe myrtle, the aviary, the nail kit, the piano, the organs.
But his touch, his spirit is missing, it’s as if the music in our home has died.

Reality is easier to ignore at a distance.

I didn’t expect it.
I thought I would sense him here, feel his presence more.
What I am struck by, as I get used to him not being here, is the reminder that life is not about our stuff.
It is about what we do while we have breath.
And he did a lot.
And, how strong and brave my Mom and brother have been to continue breathing here without him.