Love in the Chaos

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and you shall have hatred for your enemy.’ But I say to you: Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. And pray for those who persecute and slander you.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:43-44‬ 

Love.  It’s the first and simplest commandment in terms of rules. However, it’s also one of the more difficult to follow.  Not for reasons people often assume.  It’s easy to love your children, your spouse, your parents and relatives.  Sometimes it’s not though.  Sometimes, it’s the most difficult to love the most obvious.  Ourselves.  Even more so, going a bit further, our enemies.  With social media being the modern propaganda arm for any would be radical group or government ideologist, groups in control often seek to divide the masses.  Perhaps because united as one, we are unstoppable. Divided we fall. 
You see the social media posts, “so and so is a nazi” “so and so is a racist” etc. Most of us roll our eyes and know a shill when we see it. Don’t fall into the trap. I see life in memes now since we have kids under the age of 7. I can no longer look at an article and give it proper attention since my life is filled with bathroom breaks, snack breaks then lunch, then dinner, dishes, trash etc. I can’t forget to mention all the wonderfully amazing snotty kisses and spaghetti sauce-laden hugs.  Thank the Lord Jess handles most poopy diapers that are horrific. (thanks Jess, you’re a lifesaver).  I assume most people are entirely too busy to give any real research into any given subject that may be an important topic of the day. They look at memes. I look at memes. For those who may not know, a meme is typically a photo that sums up an idea with a text based message scrolled across it. Or a gif with text. I. E. “My life right now…” and it’s a picture of a raccoon in an attic with 9 babies. Which is funny because the author had 4 kids in less than 7 years. . 
The meme is and will continue to be a powerhouse of attracting and spreading misinformation, ideas, truths and also, unfortunately, lies. What the point of all of this? Well time. Attention to things is less and less as our lives become more filled with technology. It almost seems like part of a grand plan to overload us, then easily distract us making us forget our purpose here. It’s to love! If anything we’re doing is anything but loving one another, it’s not of God. 
 As most of you know, we were slated to return December 28th to the DR. Our newborn daughter (Oct 5th) was diagnosed with bronchiolitis making it impossible to travel that day. We decided to put off travel and change our tickets for Jan 2. This fall and winter while we were home we sent out a mailer detailing what we’re doing, what we’ve done and what we need to keep doing the things. We are humbled and honored by the huge response. We’re much closer to our goal for a utility vehicle for our family/mission in the mountains. We have a ways to go still, but it got me thinking about how we can communicate more effectively as a mission. If you know me personally, then you know I LOVE memes. So I put this out there as a pseudo poll. Would anyone want to see a monthly meme from BBOH? It would be via Facebook because that’s what we use mostly. I know all the cool kids don’t anymore, but we’re older now so we aren’t as hip as we once thought we were. This would be a meme that’s pertinent to the topic for the month in order to draw conversation or ideas from. They would be uplifting, funny, or a tear jerker. I would love to hear your thoughts. These memes would either revolve around our family as a missionary family, our organization etc. One thing we never do, nor will ever do, is political memes or memes that hurt people in any way. That’s our rule. So send us your thoughts!

Also, remember to love your neighbor, enemy and yourself!! 

Keep us in your prayers! Have a great 2020!!

PS.  In typical Carlile fashion, this blog was written before the New Year but we got tied up caring for a sick baby Camila (she’s better now, praise God!), traveling to the DR and receiving an awesome team from Rockhurst University that it is just now being posted.  We have settled into life back in the DR somewhat chaotically but we are thrilled to be back!  Please check out our social media for photos from last week’s team and to be updated on the teams coming down soon!