Tuesday, June 27, 2017

to my best friend--may you be at peace!

"The older I get the more I realize the utter simplicity of human relationships. I guess when I was younger thought it all to be much more complicated and sorted. And as I age and a I gather more wisdom and see the world nor for what it really is I find this simple truth, Positrons...
You have the "Givers" and you have the "Takers". And ultimately we have a choice not only which ones  ourselves wish to be, but we also find ourselves with the choice of which types we wish to allow in our our circle.
Remember that Positrons, you are the master of your circle. Which then determines not only your future happiness, but how you, yourself positively effect future change to people's lives you may not even yet know! Just ponder that one for a minute while sipping your coffee this morning.
You, can be a powerful harbinger of change simply by examining who is really occupying your circle. Are they mostly Givers? Or are they mostly Takers? It's the simple stuff, Positrons! It really is. Whenever life life spiraling out of control......you are simply moving too fast! Break it down and simplify!"
~ Andy Lindquist

Last week, a dear friend whom I have known for 30 years passed away. She was my confidante, my best friend, my hero, my everything. It is rare in life to have someone such as this who is NOT your spouse for so long. It is said that people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. She was my lifetime friend. How can I eulogize her without making her out to be some grandiose saint?

Quite frankly, that is exactly what she was. Although she was humble enough to never have admitted that. Her faith in God was strong, her actions always spoke louder than her words. She had a "dark night of the soul," however, as she had suffered through depression many years of her life. Although I tried, I could never fully understand just what it was she went through inside her mind. I could only be her friend, I could only show her the bright side of life and when we laughed, it was a great day!

Three years ago I moved away from my hometown, due to my husband's job relocation. Although it was a three hour trip one way to see her, many times other things in life came up and those visits never happened as often as I'd have liked. I did write her letters, however, to keep in touch. The last time I saw her, I was shocked by how thin she'd become. She leaned heavily over a walker and although her face bore a smile, I wondered what lay underneath. And yet, was it my denial that I couldn't see what was playing out before me...that her time on earth was limited day  by day...minute by minute? And then, she was gone.

I feel guilt at not having known she was so ill- she complained not one whit! I feel guilt for not having a clue that I was needed by her. I feel guilt for so much. And alI I can do is to look at the morning sky yet again, to thank God for this wondrous day. To be able to breathe, although grief is kicking my butt, I have another chance to do something...to BE something...for someone else.

Maybe that is all we are supposed to do. To take each day as it comes. To give of ourselves without complaint. To enjoy every minute we have because we don't know just what lies ahead. My friend more than likely did. She knew, yet her pure heart didn't allow her to dwell on that more than she worried about her also ailing husband of 53 years. His care was steadfast in her mind. I can only imagine that, as her she became more frail, his health was utmost in her mind. She was just that way.

When I grow up, I hope to look back and see that maybe I was like her. Maybe I have given enough, maybe I have done what I could. Then again...maybe I can do more...
to Norma...may you always rest in eternal peace. I love you!

"For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race,I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but to all who crave His appearing."  
~2 Timothy 4:6-8

"The blood of the martyrs, though not a sacrifice of atonement, yet was a sacrifice of acknowledgment to the grace of God and his truth. Death to a good man, is his release from the imprisonment of this world, and his departure to the enjoyments of another world. As a Christian, and a minister, Paul had kept the faith, kept the doctrines of the gospel. What comfort will it afford, to be able to speak in this manner toward the end of our days! The crown of believers is a crown of righteousness, purchased by the righteousness of Christ. Believers have it not at present, yet it is sure, for it is laid up for them. The believer, amidst poverty, pain, sickness, and the agonies of death, may rejoice; but if the duties of a man's place and station are neglected, his evidence of interest in Christ will be darkened, and uncertainty and distress may be expected to cloud and harass his last hours." 
~ Matthew Henry

Friday, June 23, 2017

are you the dog turd of life?

if you wait long enough, what may appear to be nothing can instead be the most beautiful something you have ever seen!

Last year I moved into an older home that had a yard with nothing more than grass, some trees and several hosta plants around the perimeter. The rest had been kept trimmed with a weed whacker and thus, I really had a clean slate to start over with. I selected a few more hostas, along with lily of the valley and many geraniums, petunias and more to begin what I knew would be a lifetime passion to "get it all right." Last summer as I carefully trimmed the perimeter, I followed the basic outline that had been set years before, never deviating from the path.

Imagine my surprise this spring and summer thus far, when I saw new shoots coming up in places I normally had trimmed down to the ground: a lilac shoot? Why, yes! I love lilacs! and what's this? More and more, plants sprung up where in the past summer, there had been nothing. Then I realized, whose fault was that? I was the one who judiciously pruned everything to ground level, never giving anything a chance to grow! Yet now, here were things growing that I became curious about. If I let "this" grow, what will it become? And much to my surprise, things were blooming, flowering! And all I really need to do was to cultivate patience as well as a nurturing attitude.

It is the same with our lives, all of us. How quick are we to cut people out who we deem unworthy? Someone moves into our settled neighborhood and right away, instead of being a welcoming person, we immediately sniff them out. Do they go to a church we approve of, work at a place of employment we approve of, dress as we approve of? Soon within our minds, we have either cut them off or allowed them in, however tacit that approval was. Then we go about our way without so much as a "howdy do!"

Oh my!

This is how hate breeds into more hate. We have zero clue about another's ethnic background, beliefs and more. We act as judge and jury, never allowing the other person to even give themselves a chance. This happens in neighborhoods all over the world, in churches, in grocery stores, on the road, even. If, for whatever reason, another doesn't meet our approval, we sneer and move on. I witnessed a video on the news yesterday of a motorcycle driver who, for whatever reason, didn't like the driver of the car next to him, so he kicked that car, causing its driver to swerve, then over-correct and crash into a pickup next to it, which caused the pickup truck to roll over, injuring THAT driver. Meanwhile,the motorcyclist rambled on down the highway, probably feeling very justified for his act of impunity, not even caring about the carnage he'd left behind.

We can be that callous, too, uncaring as to the carnage WE leave behind when we shut down and put up barriers to others. Look at how many wars have been caused in the name of "this is mine, NOT yours!" Had there been Eyewitness news in Jesus' day, it would have been filled with exactly what we see and hear now: reports of man's acts of iniquity against man. Some things never change, even two or three thousand years later.

Carl Heinrich Bloch ~ "Woman at the Well"

In Jesus' day, He spoke of Samaritans and Jews not getting along, yet He spoke to a Samaritan woman at the well. In fact, He spoke to women quite a bit. Women in His time were treated as nothing more than property, yet the Samaritan woman, shocked at being spoken to at all, went on to describe her life. Jesus forgave her for her sins and she, realizing to Whom she had spoken, went on to proclaim the news that Jesus was preaching. (John 4:1-42).

We need to open our eyes to the beauty that surrounds us. In an area that may look barren, there is still fertile ground, just waiting to be nurtured! In your own neighborhood, there is probably someone you still haven't met or taken the time to know. Today, go out to meet that person! In a grocery line, coffee shop, on the highway, give others a chance! Walk (or drive!) in their shoes, ask yourself, "if that were me, how would I want to be treated?" then go ahead and do it! Who wakes up in the mornings, hoping that someone somewhere will treat us like a piece of dog turd on the bottom of our shoe? Sure, we love disdain, am I correct?
 NO? Well, there is your answer!

May you be blessed today- but more...may you be a BLESSING to another today!