I Used Up the Coffee Creamer

I Used Up the Coffee Creamer

Every time we are asked to write articles on the theme on forgiveness, my brain hits a blank and full writer’s block hits hard.  I feel like I’ve told all my good stories of forgiveness, and all that are left are my dumb stories of forgiveness.

You know how in the Bible there are the MAJOR prophets like Isaiah and Daniel, and then the MINOR prophets like Nahum, Amos, and the other little ones that are hard to name?

These are my MINOR forgiveness stories.

Like today—I was moving baby from my arms to my shoulder and my fingernail snagged her nose and scratched her, resulting in instant tears and momma saying, “Oh, I’m so sorry, sweetheart! Mommy didn’t meant to scratch you.”

Or yesterday, I accidently dried my 9-year-olds favorite hoodie after lecturing him to never dry it because it would probably shrink and not fit anymore. Oops.  I had to tell him and apologize.

Earlier this week, I had the table all setup for dinner—burger buns √, ketchup √, baked beans √, mustard√, plates √, chips √.  We all sat down to dive into our burgers and had no drinks, napkins or silverware.  A minor irritation, but still resulted in an, “I’m sorry.”

This morning I dropped my curling iron which bounced from countertop to floor, making a giant CLUNK orchestra on it’s escapade to the floor in the upstairs bathroom.  It woke up two of the older boys earlier than needed.  “I’m sorry!” I quickly professed to them.

Sunday, I gave the worship team one set of words, and another set to the tech team. They didn’t match. It caused confusion. I’m sorry!

I spilled my coffee on the carpet…

My lunch exploded in the microwave and I left the mess for someone else to clean up…

I didn’t fill the Keurig for the next person…

I didn’t return a text, email, voicemail in a timely manner…

I shut my office door because I’m not in the mood for people…

So many minor things that require a quick and easy apology.  Small, but not to be overlooked.

Or this article—it’s technically 17 days late and I’ve been whining about having writer’s block without really even trying.  So Jennifer—I’m sorry! I’m going to double proofread it so you don’t have to fix too many grammatical errors!

I often picture forgiveness as this big life-altering event that will radically change the course of events. Sometimes it works that way. But maybe, more often than not, it happens in the little moments, the silly mistakes, the ‘oopsies’ and day-to-day grind. And perhaps these little moments prepare us for the big, life-changing forgiveness narrative when it comes.

By the way, Rick, I used up the rest of your favorite coffee creamer this morning.  I should have seen it was low and used less so you’d have some when you got up.  My selfish self wanted all of it. I’m sorry!

Leah Carolan
Director of Worship & Media

 

Did you enjoy this article? Did you laugh, cry, or learn something new?  Let Leah know.

    The Practice of Forgiving

    The Practice of Forgiving

    Jesus said some very challenging things about forgiveness. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15). That is a tough one. It ranks up there with loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute us. These difficult sayings make it easier to talk, or think, or write about forgiving – anything to divert our attention from the actual practice of forgiving.

    Forgiving is hard and I suppose that is one reason for the parable of the unmerciful servant which came after Peter asked: “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” 

    “No, not seven times,” Jesus says, “but seventy times seven! (Matthew 18:21-22)

    We are the kind of people who forgive and I, like you, am working on it. I’ve appreciated the novelist Ann Lamott’s advice from her book, Traveling Mercies, “Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” 

    She also wrote, “Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back. You’re done. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to have lunch with the person.”

    Another piece of Lamott’s advice stuck with me. She suggested that if we are just learning how to forgive then don’t start with Adolf Hitler. Start with something smaller – like the guy who cuts you off in traffic, or the neighbor whose dog wakes you up in the morning, or your kids.

    Now, stop thinking about forgiveness, and go practice forgiving someone.

    The Lord be with you,

    Kent Landhuis
    Pastor of Teaching & Leadership

    Did you enjoy this article? Did you laugh, cry or learn something new? Let Kent know.

      Ask An Elder

      CEDAR HILLS FUTURE – ASK AN ELDER –  The Elders have been discerning our current partnership with the RCA (Reformed Church in America), and in light of major changes coming in the RCA, they recommend a future partnership with the ARC (Alliance of Reformed Churches). Next Sunday, May 15 and Sunday, May 22, between the services in the Gathering Space, the Elders desire to hear input from the congregations. Bring your questions and also join us in praying for clarity as we continue to discern next steps for Cedar Hills.

      MORE INFORMATION & FAQ

      1. Cedar Hills’ Future with the RCA (March 2022)
      2. Cedar Hills’ Future pt. 2 (May 2022)
      3. Letter from the Elders (May 2022)

      The RCA requires churches leaving the denomination to join another denomination or network. We believe that there is wisdom in this requirement. We long to partner with other churches who are like minded in theology and mission. We want to grow in kingdom impact and we believe that God does this when like-minded congregations unite in mission.  We are requesting to join The Alliance of Reformed Churches (ARC).

      YOU BELONG membership class

      Are you curious what it means to be a part of Cedar Hills? Or what it means to be a member of a church? YOU BELONG is a class to explore both these things at Cedar Hills.  The class runs six weeks beginning Sunday, April 24 at 9:45am. (May 1, 2022 is the final deadline to join).

      REGISTER NOW

      Some fun membership benefits – use of the church for events without rental fees (baby showers, parties, reunions), a discount for weddings and events, and a tuition discount at Noah’s Ark Preschool! As well as the spiritual benefits of affirming a commitment to where God wants to plant you and find a home for your unique gifts.

      YOU BELONG is held a few times every year. If this session doesn’t work for you, let the office know and we will be in touch when the next session is scheduled.

      REGISTER NOW

      May 15 Picnic at Noelridge

      Our next Faith, Family & Fun event is a picnic and grill out at the Noelridge Park pavilion (nearest to the pond on Council Street) on Sunday, May 15 at 5:30pm. This event is for the entire church family and anyone else you’d like invite! Bring a side to share and Cedar Hills will provide the meat and drinks.

      There is a great playground area for the kids, trails, and more at Noelridge.  There are picnic tables in the pavilion and a few benches in the playground area. Feel free to bring lawn chairs and lawn games if you have some!

      Maundy Thursday

      Maundy Thursday worship service at 6:30pm.  We will have a potluck dinner prior to the service, serving 5:15-6:15pm.  Chicken provided.  If your last name is A-P, bring a salad or side.  O-Z, bring bars or cookies.

      At Maundy Thursday, we celebrate the Last Supper and reflect on the death of our Savior on the cross. The service will last around 45 minutes.  Families are children are welcome!

      Am I Living Authentic?

      Am I Living Authentic?

      Authenticity. It seems like a loaded word. What does it mean? Am I living authentic? If I’m not, how do I? If you are like me your head just keeps spinning with those questions.

      Growing up I was always told to treat others as I wished to be treated, be truthful, be a good person, do my best, try hard, work hard, etc. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I really started to take those statements and put them in to action.

      Living authentically seemed very out of reach to me just a few years ago. I thought I had to live up to certain expectations; not disappoint anyone; apologize for things that were out of my control; don’t say too much because you might hurt someone’s feelings; please everyone I possibly could and the list would go on.

      It wasn’t until after going through a tough divorce, hitting rock bottom, and meeting my current husband that I really started to live more authentically. I started to realize I was loved for exactly who I was. I didn’t have to put on a brave face for anyone. It has been a tough switch in my life to live more authentically, but one that is so much easier. I’ve learned that I don’t have to hide behind someone that I’m not. In a recent book I read by Amy Carroll and Cheri Gregory, they said: “The difficulty of hiding your gifts behind a façade to fit in feels less scary than authenticity.” (from the book Exhale: Lose Who You’re Not, Love Who You Are, Live Your One Life Well). I’ve learned that people need the gifts that I have and the love that I have, just the way I am.

      Where do you start to live authentically? How do you know what to do first? I started my whole goal with just me and God. I started journaling and speaking with God about who I was and where I wanted to go, started reading my Bible and going to church more regularly. I started making daily changes, small changes, like washing my face every day. Then moving on to picking up toys at the end of the day. Then reading each night for 20-30 minutes and I just continued to work on myself. I was still a busy mom and working full-time, but I started to make small changes for myself and my family. That start date was almost six years ago and I still mess up. I have bad days, where I get nothing done and I struggle to even say a word to God. Remember to give yourself grace. I’m thankful to be a child of God who forgives me when I confess my sins and I get to start each new day with a clean slate and the ability to make it a better day than the day before. Go out and live authentically and start today!

      Bridgette Hintermeister
      Member of Cedar Hills Community Church

      Did you enjoy this article? Did you laugh, cry or learn something new? Let Lindsey (and Bridgette) know.