Archive | September 2012

The Little Things

 

It’s the little things…you hear people say that.  What does that mean to you?  I can tell you what it means to me.  I think it’s what we want to be able to reflect on when it is our last day and to say with no regret:  Those were the things that mattered, and I grabbed a-hold of them.  I lived my life to the fullest and my memories are all I have, and they are good.

I know we all have regrets, but I just don’t want to focus on those things any longer. I want to live life to the fullest.  When I say this, I don’t mean material things, because over time, those things fade away and they can’t bring us what really matters in this life.  I know I am a melancholy person in general but hey, its how I’ve always been wired.  I can have fun and laugh but its matters of the heart that matter the most to me!

This is how I want my life to look:

(I’m going to be brutally honest here)

That I loved: I long to have someone in my life that I can give my all to.  I have so much to give.

That I allowed someone to love me: To have someone who can surrender their past “bad” experiences and just take me for who I am and to accept my love and care and to treat me with  love and kindness.

That I was able to forgive myself and those who hurt me

That I saw God in the little things such as a child’s smile, a sunset, a glance at two people embracing, a flower blooming in middle of a weed patch, an act of kindness, my children’s laughter…etc

That my children will always know how deep my love runs for them

That my home will be filled with friends, family, laughter, and red wine. I love fall nights spent on the patio with tiki torches lit,  sitting around the table with a hot fire burning and great conversation flowing. Nothing better!

That I kept pressing on even when it felt like the world was against me.

That I was generous to others whenever I could be and even when I didn’t have much myself.

That I never lost my faith in the One who gave me this life.  I don’t want to waist it on anger and pettiness.

In Luke 12:15 Jesus said: A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.

 I guess that’s true.  I’ve never seen a hearse being followed by U-hauls on the way to a cemetery!  So, what memories are you making?  What will people say about you in the end?  Will it be about how we loved others or how they loved us?  I hope so…

This entry was posted on September 29, 2012. 1 Comment

Courage

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts- Sir Winston Churchill

I have to admit, the last eight years have been some of the toughest years I have been through.  It’s been an emotional and financial rollercoaster ride that quite frankly, I’m ready to jump off of!  I’ve often thought: “Undo the harness and let me off this thing so I can put my feet on solid ground.”

We are talking about the death of a loved one, divorce, singleness, financial struggle, teenager “issues”  and a myriad of just normal every day struggles.  But somehow I try my best each day to see the good in something, even if it a little victory.  It counts, and it gives me hope to keep carrying on.  If I let those feelings of discouragement plague me, then I fail and somehow the enemy has won and I can’t stand that feeling.

There are many days that I have let fear keep my feet planted in quicksand, forever striving, knowing what I need to do, but I somehow let that fear keep a hold of me and I can’t move forward.  I feel like I’m not on solid ground.  I’m just trudging along, living a life of redundancy.  I’m not following the call that I feel God has put on me because I feel afraid.  I feel like life always knocks me down just as I get going.

Joyce Meyer has a great acronym for F.E.A.R- False Evidence Appearing Real. I love that.  We tell ourselves all kinds of things that keep us from Gods best for our lives.  “I’m not smart enough.”  “Nobody really loves me.”  “I can’t do this.”  “My life sucks.”  “Things will never get better.”  You know the lines we tell ourselves, we all have them.  The problem is that we have to recognize them as they happen and take a hold of them and replace them with God’s truths.  What does He say about us?

We say “I can’t do this.”

He says: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me– Philippians 4:13

We say “My life sucks.” (just being real here)

He says: For I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not for evil, plans to give you a hope  and a future– Jeremiah 29:11

We say: “I feel so alone.”

He says: I will never leave you or forsake you – Hebrews 13:5

I know these things are true. I know I have failed in many things but those failures do not define who I am as a person.  I do get down, many days, but I refuse to be out, so I just keep pressing on. Maybe someday soon I will step out of the quick sand and onto the solid ground of His Word. I know that I need to believe it with all my heart and to have, as a friend once told me, “Crazy Faith.”   It’s the kind of faith that gives us the courage to do it even if we are afraid.

I want that….do you?

To Love Is To Risk

C.S. Lewis once said:  “To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal.  Wrap it carefully with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in that casket- safe, dark, and motionless, airless – it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, and irredeemable.  The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love is Hell.”

I think we were all created to love and be loved, but over time we are hurt by others or by the loss of someone we loved and we begin to build up a wall where we tell ourselves things that seem to justify our lack of reaching out to others.  By doing this, we obstruct our own ability to receive love and what could be wonderful, if we would only reach out to receive it.  Instead of our hands being open, our fists are closed as we say that we don’t want to be controlled by anyone ever again.   We want to do what we want, when we want to do it without having to answer to anyone. We don’t ever want to feel the type of pain again that we felt over that loss. We make excuses to ourselves, and they sound good to a point.

We keep ourselves busy with work, projects, friends, technology, but eventually the night comes when we lay in our bed and we wonder what would happen if we could just break free of the stubbornness and open ourselves up to being loved once again.  If only we could allow ourselves to take the risk and love another.  Yes, they might disappoint us.  Yes, we might disappoint them.  But that is life.  We are all human and make mistakes.  Mother Teresa said, “Love, to be real must cost!   It must hurt. It must empty us of self!”  I wish it didn’t but I know it is true.

As I get older, I realize that life is short and I long for the companionship that I know God wired me to have.  He wired me to give my love to someone.  He wired me to care and to touch.  To kiss and give my heart and kindness to someone who wants it just as much as I do.  I know that to love is to risk being hurt once again.  My fists aren’t as tightly closed as they once were. They are starting to open to the possibility of love and being hurt again and the wild journey they would endure, if only someone would put their open hand in mine and take the journey with me….

The Sparrow

As I sat in the church I listened as the priest said that this life time was like a blink of an eye compared to the time we will have in heaven.  I felt the sorrow fill my young body as I saw my grandfather’s body lying lifeless in the coffin.  His skin was as cold as the snowdrifts that lay outside on that winter day in Nebraska.

Who will care for my grandmother now?  I decide then and there, that it would be me.  So life went on with its sorrows but amidst those sorrows, there was always the sparrow.  It would come and sit on my grandmother’s birdbath, calm and peaceful.  It looked out of place there in the dead of winter. It’s almost as if God brought that sparrow just to come and comfort my grandmother.

When I would see the sparrow, I would think to myself; “how is that fragile bird surviving in this cold?” But each day it would return, and we would draw strength from its ability to survive.

Years later, as an adult I remembered back to those days as I sat in my new apartment after being married for thirteen years.  I was going through a divorce and everything in my life truly had changed in a blink of an eye.  I sat at my desk on the third floor of the apartment and I buried my face into my hands and I cried out to God.  I wanted to know how I was going to take care of myself and my children.  I wanted to know “why” all this had happened.  I wanted to know why I couldn’t forgive what I needed to forgive.  I needed to know that God hadn’t abandoned me.

As I looked up from my hands and out the window….I saw a small sparrow perched right in front of me on my window sill.  The turmoil in my heart seemed to just freeze in place as I saw this.  It was as though, yet again, God brought me a sign that He had not abandoned me and that if he could care for something as tiny and fragile as this sparrow, He would care for me as well.

Matthew 12; 6-7 says Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?  Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

This entry was posted on September 9, 2012. 2 Comments