Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How Are You?

One of the most powerful questions we Elementers ask at our "third place" small group is "How are you?" We don't let anyone answer with "Fine," unless they really are fine, in which case they must share some of the good things going on in their life.
But most people are not fine all the time -- in fact, most people aren't fine most of the time -- and "How are you?" is the deceptively simple way we share our hurts and fears and struggles with each other. And it helps us pray with and for each other.

So, you who are reading this: How are you?

Anonymous commenting is enabled.

Let us know how you are, and then take a second to pray for anyone else who might've commented.


Songstress7 said...





Jared said...

Songstress, words fail. Honestly.

I feel sinful not knowing about your loss until just now, when I visited your blog for the first time in forever.

I'll be praying for you; I promise.

diane said...

Slightly harried and hurried...lots of stuff at work and several "school starting activities" to attend for the girls.

But all is well.

Praying for Songstress.

Bird said...

Doing well for the most part, but I have to daily remind myself of who I am in Christ. It's been a tough season, but necessary.

Blake said...

"doing well for the most part, but I have to daily remind myself of who I am in Christ."

Bird's comment sums it up very well for me as well.

Songstress - you are certainly in my prayers

Marie said...


Thinking about some family relationships which are really not relationships at all. They are just me trying to be nice enough so that they will love me. Today through a phone call I realized my brother is so toxic I am completely done (unless he desires to change and reaches out - I'm not unwilling to build a relationship with anybody).

So I've been mulling that over, thinking about a few other toxic folks I've wasted too much angst on, realizing I really can let go.

It's kind of enervating.

Jared said...

Songstress, Diane, Bird, Blake, and Marie, I just prayed for each of you, asking God for the strength and peace and healing portioned to each of you for your hurts and needs.

diane said...

Thanks Jared. I just read your Subverting Suburbia...makes me want to go home and hang with my girls on the porch with some sweet tea. It is so easy to let work and "obligations" make you ragged...while breathing in the knowledge of God's glory brings such peace.

diane said...

So are YOU?

Bill said...

I'm blessed. Beyond what I know. I read what Songstress has been through and I realize how fragile life is, and how loved ones can be gone in an instant. Songstress - my heart weeps for you.

I'm also frightened for the future, and I wonder (all the time now) how good a dad I've been and am being to my four. I really don't know sometimes. It all made a lot more sense when they were little. These last few years have been an education.

They are all great kids - we're blessed and that's a comfort. But life is a struggle, and they begin to become their own persons as they hit their teens. My oldest, in particular, has battled through a LOT this year and for a few years prior and is doing better now than he has in a long time . . . he's still putting the pieces of the spiritual puzzle together.

We're entering the era of maximum challenge (thus far) in our family life - we will be challenged emotionally, financially, and in many other ways over the next decade as we release them to college, to their own lives, to possible marriage, new families, mistakes, troubles, triumphs, setbacks. We take our oldest to college next Thursday.

I wonder what God will say to me when I stand before him, and he reviews how I've raised my kids and been a dad to them. I don't really know.

And that's how I'm doing. Thanks for giving me this forum to be honest about that.

Jared said...

Diane, thanks for asking. I'm doing fairly well this week. A couple of people are actually paying me to do things I love. It's not much, but it's more than nothing. I sold an article last week to a "real" magazine, so that was nice too.

Grace starts kindergarten next week, though, and I just am not looking forward to that at all. We've been buddies for 5 years now, and letting go is going to be really heart-wrenching. I'm going to miss her a lot.

I've had a baby home with me for 7 years now, so I don't know if I'm prepared to not have one. I struggled early on with accepting being a "stay at home dad," but now I'm not sure how to feel about not being one.
I guess, technically, I still am one. But, you know. It's going to be really emotional for me, I think.

diane said...

Jared, congrats on seeing some return on doing that which you love.

I get tearful reading about you and Grace. I will keep the whole family in my prayers as this is a big step for all of you.

I weep for you and for me. I never had the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. A part of me really mourns that, yet another part of me tells me that I need to make the best of the situation that God has placed me into. It's a constant and very emotional struggle.

Like Bill, I worry about how good of a job I"m doing raising these 3 girls. We're entering the "tween" years and that can be very scary. Real life stuff happens there. We need to put our trust in God to lead them to Himself, but we love them so much we just want our guidance to be helpful in that end.

Let's just pray for everyone here as we all experience love, changes, joy, fear, even immense loss. May we all lean on Him for our strength and guidance.

Anonymous said...

Mostly I'm good. I feel like I'm on the upswing. Turning 40 was hard on me, I would have never guessed that it would have been. I'm not the kind of guy who cared how old I was, but becoming 40 brought me face to face with my mortality.

Spiritually, things have been pretty blah. Nothing has seemed to matter much, it's all been debated before, the answers all seemed vague and uncertain. Blogging seemed pointless and that made me sad.

But (and here's where I'm "mostly good" :-P ),I'm coming to terms with all that. Getting older happens. There are no concrete answers to every spiritual problem. I can deal with that. Blogging is fun again. Things aren't great, but it fells like I'm on the upward side of the valley.

diane said...

I just turned 40 too! I think it is a great time to be able to look back at all we have learned (mostly from our failures) and realize that we have a great starting point for what I call "the second 40 years of my life". I've lived some, learned a LOT and now I'm ready to do the rest of life from a much better frame of mind.

40 rocks! Enjoy it, and Happy Birthday!

Daniel said...

I saw my oldest off to kindergarten today too and it was tough. I know it was very tough for my wife as well (who's a stay-at-home). It's difficult when you've been there to watch over them every step of the way and all of the sudden, you have to put your trust in the hands of a teach and school you don't know. So, yeah, I cried a bit this morning but it's life, and it keeps moving ahead with or without me.

Spiritually, I'm trying to really digest what it means to follow Jesus. I keep getting the nagging feeling that SOMETHING'S not right about the way I think the Christian life is and am starting to examine everything starting with our budget (which is already tight by an American's standards).

Struggling with some sin in my life too. Mostly lust, to be honest. Girls and possessions (gadgets and whatnot), to be more honest.

Thankful for grace and mercy.

Jen said...

My morning sickness is all consuming and I feel useless and weary and ill. I feel like I'm completely self focused right now and it's frustrating. I can't do anything when at home - I'm not being a good wife or mother - I just don't have the energy or will to do more than lay around.

It makes me so grateful for Beau, who is such a wonderful husband and father. Jesse is well cared for (as am I), by this man who is a gift from God to me.

Yet in the midst of this, I am amazed at how God has blessed us over the past few years.

Milly said...

Great idea.

I’m holding on to God while my dad is in the hospital with pneumonia. He is still healing from the pacemaker. He’s my daddy and he has been great to take care of the kids and me during my divorce. He’s the first one I handed my baby girl to after she came of the oxygen. He is a kind and gentle man and my children love him.

I’m holding fast to God during my divorce. It’s been a bit ugly.

How am I? I’m leaning on God

I'm praying for all of you.

Ronni said...

Struggling. Trying to get victory over an area of my life I have just had enough of. Feeling like I'm on the edge.

Trying to stand under a ton of new responsibility I haven't shared with many people. I went from being a housewife to the manager of a good sized biz. Huge shift.

Being obedient and finishing school. I don't wanna, but I know I have to.

Hard season of obedience and pruning and I'm trying not to whine or grumble. Just keep walking.

And I'm in tears when nobody's looking. This is harder than I thought it would be.

I'm seeing and hearing so many things so clearly and that also is breaking my heart... God must have more confidence in me than I do...

And it seems so minute compared to songstress... I'm praying for all of you.