Open Invitation – Part 2

This is a continuation of a previous post, now that I’ve had a little more time to think about it.

See the original post HERE.

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With the ease of Facebook and other technologies to share information to a mass audience, some people consider the mass invitation a form of spam. I don’t do it in that way. Each time I create an event on Facebook, I go through my friend list and the people I invite fall into one of a few catgories:

1) We’ve spoken about this and I know you want to come.
2) I want you to come and think you’ll be able to.
3) I want you to come (and want you to know that) even though I don’t think you’ll be able to.
4) We haven’t seen each other in ages, possibly years, and this is one way to let you know I still think of us as friends and would like to spend time in your company.
5) You, like me, might be a company hungry extrovert and therefore appreciate an invitation to an event that you didn’t have to organise.

So, if you are invited to things by me and you didn’t understand, I hope you have a better idea now.

And in a few minutes, I’m off to buy lunch……

Want to come?

Veritas, Eski

Open Invitation

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You are cordially invited….

To basically everything I do. Ever.

I have confused people over the past few months (possibly for years, I don’t know) with my mass invitations. If I’m doing it, you’re invited. In an attempt to make my thinking transparent, here are the reasons why.

1) I’m an extrovert. Now for some, this may need no explanation, but for others, it does. In psychological testing, I am above the 88th percentile in extroversion. I need people around me. A lot! In the first part of the video below, it describes an analogy of introverts and extroverts which I just love. 

Video – Introverts and Extroverts

2) My Love Languages are Quality Time and Acts of Service. (Gary Chapman’s Love Languages here) This means that having people around me, doing things with me or for me, charges my batteries. I feel loved and my tank is full.

3) When I am energised, I talk. And I talk. When I spend time with people, I speak. A lot. I ask questions of you and answer ones you haven’t had time to ask of me. We share of ourselves to a certain degree and we become closer. I haven’t so many friends in my life that I don’t want more. 

Grow – Reconcile

A few weeks ago, I posted about being an extrovert and sometimes missing having extrovert friends who would invite me to things or want to be doing things as often as I do. (Read about that journey here.)
I had a friend respond to me in the middle of the night (immediately after she had read the post) with, “Me, me! Pick me!” She felt the same. A day later, I was invited to Grow 2015. And here I am.

I love watching the gathering on days like this. Women of all walks of life mingle, their colours flashing and clashing and brightening a cool Brisbane morning. Short, tall, dark or blonde, we are all here to listen to the same message. Glints of silver stranded hair reflect the same light as multi – pierced ears, noses and lips.

After worship in song, we are brought a message by Lesley Ramsay.

Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you. How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.
2 Corinthians 5:16-21 MSG
http://bible.com/97/2co.5.16-21.MSG

“God acts to end the war.”

Lesley tells an almost unbelievable story from the Truth & Reconciliation Commission, South Africa. I have found a copy of the story to retell here:

I quote an episode from “Call Me David” by John McSweeney to clearly understand the “understanding” required for reconciliation through a TRC.
“A frail black woman stands slowly to her feet. She is over 70 years of age. Facing her across the court room are several white security officers, one of them, Mr. Van de Broek, has just been tried and found implicated in the murders of both the woman’s son and husband some years before.

It was indeed Mr. Van de Broek, it has been established, who had come into the woman’s home many years back, had taken her son, shot him at point-blank range and then burned the young man’s body on a fire while he and his officers held a party. Seven years later Van de Broek and his cohorts had returned to take away her husband as well. For many months she heard nothing of his whereabouts. Then almost two years after her husband’s disappearance, Van de Broek came back to fetch the woman herself. How vividly she remembers that evening, going to a place beside a river, where she was shown her husband, bound and beaten, but still strong in spirit, lying on a pile of wood. The last words she heard from his lips, as the officer poured gasoline over his body and set him aflame, were `Father, forgive them.’

And now the woman stands in the courtroom and listens to the confession offered by Mr. Van de Broek. A member of the commission turns to her and asks, `So, what do you want? How can justice be done to this man who has so brutally destroyed your family?’ ‘I want three things” began the woman, calmly but confidently. `I want first to be taken to the place where my husband’s body was burned so that I can gather the dust and give his remains a decent burial.’ She pauses, and then continues, `My husband and son were my only family. I want secondly, therefore, for Mr. Van de Broek to become my son. I would like him to come twice a month to the ghetto and spend time with me so that I can pour out on him whatever love I have remaining within me.

‘And finally,’ she says, `I want a third thing. I would like Mr. Van de Broek to know that I offer him my forgiveness because Jesus Christ died to forgive. This was also the wish of my husband. And so, I would kindly ask someone to come to my side and lead me across the courtroom so that I can take Mr. Van de Broek in my arms, embrace him and let him know he is truly forgiven. As the court assistant comes to lead the elderly woman across the room, Mr. Van de Broek, overwhelmed by what he has just heard, faints. And as he does those in the courtroom – friends, family and neighbours, who were all victims of decades of oppression and injustice – begin to sing softly the great hymn, `Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me…’

Truth told. Forgiveness offered.

Bigger and grander is God’s reconciliation with us.

This is not always the first thing that comes to our mind when we share the gospel. It’s because we have a problem – God is not good enough and we are not bad enough. The gap between us is huge, but we don’t see it like that.

We see God as a suped-up version of us. BUT!

Here’s the reality. God is holy.
Isaiah 6:1-5

We know what holiness is because God is.
1 John 1:5
Something is good because God does it.

Righteousness is holiness in action.

God comforts Israel. Isaiah 51:5.
Why? Isaiah 5:16

Love. 1 John 3:16. Love changes everything because God demonstrates His righteousness and holiness through His commitment to reconciling with us; His enemies.

Us. We are very bad.
Romans 1:18-32
No redeeming features here.

Thanklessness is at the heart of humanity’s moral bankruptcy.

We are pretty horrible really. Without understanding this, we won’t understand the love and reconciliation of God.

We hide sin, rename it and ignore it as long as possible. God does not.

But there is nothing we can do to regain God’s favour and friendship. God has to do it. Romans 5:6.

We have a big sin debt against us. We can’t pay our debt, but God does. By the death of Jesus, our debt is paid.

We get to swap our sin for Jesus’ sinlessness. Romans 5:1, 6-8.

If you accept God’s offer of reconciliation, peace is declared between us.

Have you accepted this offer? Do you understand the breathtaking magnitude of the chasm God had to cross to reach us?

What a brilliant message from Lesley Ramsay.

And what a wonderful day out with my friend; who responded to my honesty with action. While the day was fantastic in itself, the very best bit was the drive to and from the event; drinking coffee frappe and discussing the messages of the day and the weird, freaky honesty that is only possible in a REAL friendship. I was able to share a real concern in my life – perhaps a story for another blog post – and feel safe in the sharing. What an awesome gift.

Veritas, Eski🐛

May I buy a vowel please?

I’ve been discovering that my anti – depressant medication is working well – That is:
I’m not crying all the time;
I’m not a screaming fish-wife;
getting out of bed is not ALWAYS as difficult;
I have interest in life;
I’m doing creative things for myself;
I recognise the goodness in my life;
I can get out and do the things that seem like a good idea in my head most of the time…… and much more that has previously been in the too hard basket.

However, I’m finding I’m still not as ME as I want to be, or think I ought to be. There are things I want to achieve; things I want to do each day that do not eventuate. And it causes me to question: Are these still symptoms of depression or am I just inherently lazy?

For such a major part of my life; for the past 22 years; I’ve been misdiagnosed and mistreated for depression. I have struggled with all of the symptoms above and the guilt of being ‘wrong.’ Finally, last year, I referred myself to a psychiatrist who properly diagnosed me and I have been properly medicated and improving since. As I said, though, I have certain expectations of myself and my accomplishments that are as yet unrealised. Is this normal? Does everyone, especially those who are NOT depressed, feel like this? Is it just me? Have I always been a thinker and NOT a doer of my wild and wonderful ideas?

I don’t have all the answers to the above. My hypotheses so far are: yes; yes; no and probably a bit, but I hope not.

So now, further experimentation is required.

May I buy a vowel please? I’d like an E. Are there any spare Es out there willing to be my friend?

In case it sounds like I have actually lost it, I’m talking about Extroverts. I’ve been undertaking MBTI personality testing with one of my senior classes and in teaching them have learned a bit more about myself. I’m an extreme extrovert.

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This comes as no surprise to those who know me, but perhaps very few realise how far I swing in that direction. When I’m really ME, I need literally no alone time. During my serious bouts of depression, this flipped to barely wanting to see anyone. I would work when I had to – and ‘play’ at being my general happy self – come home and go immediately to bed. I would often pretend to miss phone calls so that I could either text people or call them when I could cope with it. This is NOT the real me. Nowadays, I ask my family members to follow me to the shower to continue a conversation in case I miss out on company time.

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Back to my experiment. My hypothesis is this: My motivation to do more will increase with the acquisition of an E friend who likes similar things and has/makes time for me. So I need an E please!

My family love me and do spend time with me, but all 5 (actually, uncertain about Theo) of them are I people and, after a day at work or school, scatter like cockroaches under kitchen lights. They know who I am and do spend time, but, short of a roster, there’s not enough company for me.

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All of my close friends are I people. That’s always been the case, now that I think about it. I make plans and my friends enjoy coming along, but they don’t NEED me like I need them. Not need like clingy for emotional support, but need in terms of time. I’ve always had I friends and they don’t think of inviting someone (specifically me) every single time they think of going somewhere. Not out of spite, you understand, just because they are happy to do things on their own.

So, I’d like an E friend who’d like to spend loads of time with me.

The idea I have is that I will have more E time and therefore more energy. More energy equals more things achieved.

What are your thoughts? Any other experiments? What’s your personality type and how has it affected you?

The importance of being social…

I’ve had better days. I was up til 2 am and then awake with a small, bright little person again at about 5:30am. I have a cold; a floor that’s as well used as an outback landing strip; a broken vacuum cleaner; dinner and games for 11 tonight; a barking dog and a bad case of the self pitys!

I feel miserable enough that I’ve made Mr 17 drive to shops with me so I don’t have to get out to buy the crackers I’m taking to a mothers’ group that’s on now. I’ve stooped pretty low. Why not stay home? Well, why not indeed? Sleep could be had. There’s always a teen to request babysitting and housecleaning services from. But I can’t. I literally can’t.

You see, I’ve been afflicted or blessed (depending on the day) with an extroverted personality. I need people. I get energy from people. So to go out and be with people is more energizing to me than sleep. You either get it or you don’t with extroverts and introverts. It’s just one of those things. As well as being blessed with a need for people, I’ve been blessed with a husband and 4 lovely children (and a few ring-ins). All of my delightful housemates are INTROVERTS. Take a moment to let that sink in. I’m surrounded by people who need to recoup their energy by NOT being with people. More ironic than Alanis Morrisette, that one.

So, I got up and went out and had an awesome time with my Misfit Mothers’ Group. We’ve deliberately planned it this way. Probably shouldn’t have a title; that’s how out there we are! They’re extroverts too, so it suits us all. Misfit Mothers are the sorts of people who don’t always talk about their child or want to hear about yours. MMs are likely to laugh when their child (or yours) runs into a glass sliding door. Said sliding door was my offering to MMs group. However, mine is unlikely to be clean, so will perhaps provide less opportunity for accidental walk ins. Cleanliness of house is not important to hosting MMs and I’m thinking of implementing a No ‘sorry for the mess’ policy. I’m not certain that we have room for policies actually, but we do have the underlying idea that we are visiting to see one another and not to determine ‘what does your loo say about you?’

So back to my day. Brilliant time with my fellow MMs, talking about all manner of things, then back home in time to use energy gained from those interactions to clear floor sufficiently to avoid Lego brick fire walking;
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hide dirty dishes in the dishwasher that came with our home and make play dough out of what should have been delightful mushroom risotto. We had chicken pieces and salad instead – salad purchased by a guest after slightly frantic phone call.

After dinner we played numerous board games. If that’s your thing, I suggest you check out Concept, Pix and Anomia. Loads of fun had by all. And my favourite thing? I was surrounded by people, enjoying conversation, and even my introverts enjoyed the time. And if they did scatter like proverbial cockroaches when the light is switched on when the games finished? Ah well, that’s the way of it sometimes.

Veritas,

Eski 👍