Tuesday, January 22, 2008

lighten up

"in principle great clarity, in practice great charity"

These are my notes from Chieko Okasaki's book 'Lighten Up'.

"Come unto me...for my yoke is easy and my burden light." (Matt 11:28) Do we believe him? Jesus is our yoke mate.

Diversity is a strength, not a division. In principle great clarity, in practice great charity. I don’t know many women who are not doing their absolute level best. If I know how you feel about Jesus Christ I am much less concerned about many other things. Ask ourselves: does it meet our needs? In Zion I want to see singleness of vision and a kaleidoscope of possibilities. Focus on the ‘coulds’ not ‘shoulds’. What is your season? What are your challenges? Our options and possibilities are endless.

Do not worship ideals. Avoid fragmenting labels (single mother, less active, molly mormon). Drop unrealistic expectations. “Ideals are stars to steer by, not sticks to beat ourselves” ~Barbara Smith. Do not compare self with others. Develop ‘realistic ideals’ and don’t be paralyzed by perfectionism. “Be ye perfect..” is to pray for our enemies. Not the dishonest rule keeping of the Pharisees.

Man is that they might have joy and peace. Fear and shame are not of God. Take care of yourself. Don’t settle but be content. Love yourself and drop heavy burdens. Do the shoulder twitch right now. Take a deep breath, shrug your shoulders, let it go and repeat three times as you exhale: “my grace is sufficient for thee”. Don’t be hard on yourself and don’t let others be hard on you. I want dialog in Zion. Let’s talk and share experiences. If you hear something oppressive in relieve society might I suggest that you politely decline to accept it. How can we refuse social pressure afflictions in a way that honors all without competitive contention, or strong brash opinions?

Example: A sister came to me with a smile on her face and said “Tori, I feel angry. My name is Sue. Not Sister C. When you call me Sister C I feel old.” I responded “Oh, I didn’t know you felt that way. Thank you for telling me.” I could not take this personal because she was talking about ‘her feelings’, not about me. She used “I feel..” statements. Not “you are..” statements.

When we do what we can IT IS ENOUGH. You are enough! Who you are now is an acceptable gift to the Lord. Pat yourself on half a back and lighten up. As a broken tool in His hands we can consecrate our infirmities to Him. (I do it unto Thee) Paul said “I will rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ rest upon me.” When we can thank God for our trials and limitation something magical happens. Adversity is transformed into blessings and weak things become strong. “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

I hope you dance- by leanne womack

The atonement frees us from the paralyzing fear of making a mistake. I hope you dance.

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