Being the Salt, Continued

Living on the border or coming into contact with decay are images we can rebuff easily. It sounds hard, it sounds dirty, it doesn’t sound like “living on an island” or “handling fresh fruit”. But if Jesus did it, why can’t we? He purposely walked the border, he washed the feet, he gave his life.

But I’m shy.

I get it.

I’m shy too.

I can sit for a whole evening enjoying conversation and not coming out of my shell. Then again, out of nervousness, I could talk your ear off over facts that are a little bootless for the current situation. Surprisingly, even though I am a teacher, a dance teacher no less, it isn’t my first instinct to get up and steal the limelight or make a scene.

So how can a shy person be the salt? Shy or not, how can we, creatures of habit, be the salt? My first excuse as to why I wasn’t “very good salt” was that I’m shy, but then I thought that is a poor excuse, so my brain promptly came up with a second excuse of I don’t have time to break out of my routine. My routine is generally wake up, tackle my to-do list at home, go to the gym some days, then work, then bed, repeat. But, another great book has challenged me the way “The Mercy Prayer” and the Family Talk podcast “Fight for Freedom in a Godless Society” have.

“Be the Gift” by Ann Voskamp is yet another beautifully written book by Ann that brings pictures to life with words and touches the heart. Though an easy read, I can only make it through a few pages before I have to stop and reflect. As it suggests, she challenges that we bring ourselves to be the gift, to give of ourselves, even through the brokenness. I could go on all day about her writing and this book, but what I want to look at in context to this blogpost is the “Gift Idea” pages in the back.


What a perfect way to look at being the salt this time of year, a gift list. As you can guess, these aren’t things that are for yourself, but instead, it is ideas to give of yourself. With my love of all things list related, it seems conceivable to me that I could tuck a few of her ideas into my own to-do list. They are acts of every size, and depending on how shy you may or may not be, some that sound small may be very big, like number sixteen:

16. Choose the ministry of smiling at everyone today. It’s contagious!

Meanwhile, number forty-four makes it easier to live on the border while staying more anonymous:

44. Make a donation of any amount to a group or cause of your choosing.

Shy or not, routine oriented or not, I pray that these are some ways to kickstart your calling to be the salt and light in this world.

Matthew 5:13 ““You are the salt of the earth…”


Revisiting Why

Making it about the “How’s” not “Why’s”

There are a lot of why’s right now in Shane and I’s life. I have been in a place where why’s can become all consuming. The biggest, most overpowering why of course being why did Scott’s life end so soon? The thing with why’s though is that to get caught up on the why can overshadow the times we did have. The little three letter word can overwhelm and block out the brightness that Scott’s life did bring to everyone. The parts where Scott was in our lives aren’t gone.

I wanted to share some previous writing I had done in regards to my son. I found this entry I did about asking how, not why. It’s curious, I don’t even remember writing it, so I really don’t remember who I am referring to when I give the quote someone gave me about people happening for a reason. Despite the mystery, the words from a previous me was comforting and I wanted to share.

I don’t often ask why when it comes to my baby not being with me. Partly because I know I will just never know in this life. Don’t get me wrong, I am utterly human,and there are days of complete frustration and I wonder why I am not holding my son. But it normally quickly subsides into saddness, and I wonder what I would be doing with him at that very moment.

Someone said to me in the middle of the time I had with my boy that she doesn’t believe in the statement that things happen for a reason, but she does believe people happen for a reason. I appriciated that statement, though there were days where I thought long and hard about it, because I struggled with the concept of it.

Maybe in the days where we ask why, why is this happening? Why did this happen to me?-maybe the best answer we can get right now is simply people happen for a reason. Whether it’s a baby that was only here two and a half days that changed your life, or it is now you, because of what you’ve been through and you have a chance to change someones life for the better.

In my last post I said how we are all beautiful. We are rifined by the fires of hardhsips in our lifes. The beautiful silver and gold could not be as beautiful with out being refined by fire. We are made who we are through time, undergoing the pressures of this life, like a diamond. A lump of something not on the beautiful side of things, made into a beautiful diamond by time and pressure. Those two visuals give me hope for myself.

Because of these trials we each go through, we have a chance to relate to different people and to help them, because people happen for a reason. This is a pretty big deal.

You often hear people say, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Well, trial seems to show what’s really in the heart, and maybe bad things happen to good people because they come out for the better and they are a living example for those who are going through tribulation.

I can say I had a living example of someone who didn’t get bitter towards God when she was going through something terrible. Before I went through what I have gone through I was amazed that she, in her circumstance, didn’t ever lash out at God and just give up on him. She hung on tighter. She gave me hope, and I thought of her when I was going through hard times.

A woman told me that God hand picks us. Just that statement may not sound comforting right off hand. But she followed with He picks us because we are strong, and we will be able to handle what we’re going through and those around us. Now she was talking more about having a baby young, not married, but over all God still hand picks us because knows what we’re capable of.

People happen for a reason. JT, my baby, happened for a reason. That reason affected my life. So why did JT leave so soon I may never know exactly, but now it is the how I have to answer. How will I let what happened to me affect me? How will I let JT, this little person with a little life, affect me? For the better I hope, and I hope I can help other people struggling with the why.

The questions still remain, how will I let what happened affect me? Affect my marriage? How will I let Scott, this person who my husband was best friends with, affect me?

Right off the bat, I know how much color Scott and Shane brought into one another life. I am so grateful for their passion, I am grateful for having gotten to see it in full living color. How will I let Scott’s life affect me, our marriage? For the better I still hope; I know I must keep encouraging that passion and color to continue. I also still hope I can help other people struggling with the why.


“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” -Henri J.M. Nouwen