Posts Tagged ‘reflection’

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God in the Details

November 25, 2015

I bought a car today. I bought it because I need a vehicle in Texas. I need a car in Texas because I am moving there. I am moving to Dallas because my job morphed into a new one. My new job is practically my dream job, and this new job is in Dallas. I am less than a year from being retirement eligible, so my cool job and a move to Texas is kind of a no-brainer.

But not without its challenges. It means quite some time living halfway across the country from my best friend and husband (one in the same). It means leaving a GREAT church, my incredible daughter, great friends and the best neighborhood ever. It means a lot of flying home to stay connected with the aforementioned. It means moving my Mom, who lives with us, to another place.

But it’s not forever. And I have an amazing peace about the whole thing. Because I trust that Jesus has my future and my now in His hands. He knows what He is doing and I am totally confident in the knowns and unknowns in every step of this journey, because He is faithful and true, full of grace and mercy, and all loving, all the the time. Count on it.

So I bought this car today, and after two hours of the you-know-what in the dealership finance office, I drove away and noticed…  the car stereo was tuned to K-Love (a Christian radio station) playing a familiar song. What??  God smiling, God taking care of me, taking care of the little details. Making it easy, making it feasible, reminding me He is in the every-day of my life. Today, tomorrow, for the next many months… This song came to mind: You Are for Me 

I serve a great God — the same God Who created the Universe, this earth, and everyone one of us upon it. And this Jesus, Who gave everything to make me (and you) His (when we follow), also bends to remind me each and every day that He is attentive and kind and gracious. None of which I expect, and certainly don’t deserve…

Today I feel like a daughter of the King. He reigns over heaven and earth; Let Him reign in my heart each day like He does today.

 

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Busyness: Bah Humbug!

April 6, 2011

Who knew recovering from major surgery could be so enjoyable? I TOTALLY get “staycations” now!  This past week, even though a little painful and frustrating, has been a week of realization; Realization that the incredible busyness of my life as a professional working woman has really taken its toll. I am shocked and saddened at the insidious infestation of busyness that has choked out important things in my life over the last few short years. I am both grieving the loss but cheered by the reawakening.

My Top Ten Re-realizations of Things That Are Wonderful:

  1. Other people. It’s not all about me and I am really unimportant.
  2. The basic pleasure of simple observation, like watching the dog “make” her bed, catching the first blooms of my favorite garden flowers, really enjoying that first cup of coffee instead of inhaling it to kick-start my day, finding the incredible humor in people watching.
  3. Listening. When SO much is going on, my mind is constantly racing, thinking of a hundred things to do or remember. I only half-listen, which causes me to half-forget (or more…). Really listening to someone else is a blessing and a joy.
  4. Recognizing my husband’s and my daughter’s amazing and varied talents and wit and their incredible skill in so many areas. This is something I know full well, of course, but somewhere along the line stopped appreciating fully on a daily basis.
  5. eCards are fun and cool and easy to send if you don’t have a ton of time, don’t have what you need on hand or don’t want to go out and spend $10 on a Hallmark card. There is no excuse for not remembering someone when eCards are so accessible.
  6. Snail mail. Writing a short note, addressing and stamping and envelope, and walking to the mailbox really isn’t that time-consuming.
  7. There are a LOT of really great blogs out there!
  8. There are a LOT of really great unread books on my shelves and in my Kindle.
  9. Playing Words with Friends with my daughter on our iPhones is a kick.
  10. Real quiet time. Popcorn prayer and scripture scanning is really rude to God. He deserves a LOT more attention than that. (It doesn’t really do me that much good either.)

And those are just from my couch! There’s more, but you get the drift. I go back to work part-time next week. I hope I can learn to keep a better balance between doing a great job at work and not being a jerk of a friend, wife, mom, neighbor at home. I pray that toxic busyness does not once again blot out my rekindled re-realizations. I think that I will be a better person at home and at work if I keep first things first.

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Sticks and Stones

December 27, 2010

 

“Sticks and stones will break by bones, but words will never hurt me.”

A nice childhood rhyme; An injurious falsehood.

Words never hurt? I think most of us would agree that just isn’t true. Sometimes, they hurt worse. Bones heal. Hurtful words, especially those spoken by those closest to us, those most cherished, take much longer to heal. For some, those wounds never heal.

Experientially I can speak of this. I can recite many instances where words hurt far worse than physical infliction and took far longer to heal. I have close friends who can say the same. Some have not yet healed.

But don’t take my word for it, hear what the Authority has to say on this subject:

  • “The words of the reckless pierce like swords.”
  • “A perverse tongue crushes the spirit.”
  • “The tongue has the power of life and death.”
  • “No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”
  • “A crowd of unfaithful people…make ready their tongue like a bow, to shoot lies.”
  • “Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceitfully. With their mouths they all speak cordially to their neighbors, but in their hearts they set traps for them.”
  • “Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.”
  • “I am in the midst of lions; I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts—men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.”
  • “They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s; the poison of vipers is on their lips.”
  • “Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”

That: A small sampling regarding the power of the tongue; the power of “mere” words from one human being spoken to another. A WEAPON.

I have heard, very recently, a good friend tell of a “joke” about him that, when told in a crowd of intimates, is merrily received. It is oft repeated. And my friend laughs, hollowly. Yet this “joke” is hurtful, far more than any of the tellers could know. Yet it goes on. And the wound grows.

Because of this, I see why God instructs His creation (us humans) against “coarse joking” and perverse speech:

  • “From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be silenced.”
  • “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.”
  • “I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.”

Perhaps some of the world’s ills, certainly some of the ills in our local communities and social circles, could be cured by the simple discipline of keeping our mouths shut.

Maybe it’s not easy because we are SO proud. AND selfish. And it’s “all about me.”  I am as guilty as the next: “Go along to get along.” But when it happens, I feel a stab—that stab of a knife thrown but ricocheted. Perhaps I am becoming more sensitive. Praise God.

But what would be the harm if we ALL tried not saying anything disparaging against another? What could change? In families, in politics, in church, in schools, in national and international conflict? I am just asking. It’s a question that shouldn’t be ignored.

A “Snark Free Week.” I’ll lobby for that.

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Waiting for the Light

November 20, 2010

 

The light makes all the difference. You can’t manufacture it or control it. Only God can do that. There are things totally missed or unappreciated in darkness, mist, haze or shadow. These same things, in the right light, are noticed; they glow, stand out, give us pause, makes us stop and wonder.

Wait for the light, it’s worth it.

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Jenny

November 19, 2010

 

She was my best friend. Pretty sure she was the best friend I’ve ever had. I am older now and making new and deeper friendships, and had she lived, and had we reconnected, we would certainly be the epitomy of earthly friendship.

But let me explain.

We met at 19. Two young, immature, (THIN), fun girls, crazy for Jesus and crazy for each other. WE-JUST-CLICKED. From day-one. It didn’t matter that the controlling church in which we met tried to rule our lives and the limits of our friendship, somehow we found a way around and through that. It was a weird and wonderful time.

Then she moved. Away. To California. And left me there in Hawaii. I pretended to be happy for her. But I was devastated. She was pregnant, I had an infant. She had to go; I had to stay. Serving in the military is like that. Hard. We were in the Air Force, they were in the Army. (She was with me when my daughter was born. And I mean WITH ME. Friends do that.)

So fast forward a couple of years. My husband and I leave the military and take a job with an airline company in the San Francisco Bay Area, near Jenny and her family. It’s a GOD THING. We reconnect. Our kids grow up together, are homeschooled together, in and out of each other’s cars and houses.  We attend the same church. We are once again inseparable.

Then the unthinkable happens. People who you think are “good” are not. Leaders in the church twist things; manipulate. It’s not right, hopefully it doesn’t occur often, but it happens. And it happened to us. It happened to me and it was me.

Here’s the great regret in it all: As close as we were, we let the “authority” of the church dictate the way in which we responded (or more correctly, did not respond) to each other. She believed one thing and I believed another and neither one of us felt like we could just pick up the phone and say, “WTH?!?!?”  Now: I wish I would have. I SO WISH I WOULD HAVE!

I missed out.  On a lot. Not only the high school years of our daughters together, the maturing of ourselves as sisters in Christ and aging physically, but the final knife: Her illness and early passing, of which I had no part. After she moved on to a better place I heard later that some old “friends” were “there” for her in her last weeks, but she wished they weren’t; I heard that she had a different perspective on things. Rumors only to me now: I have to wait to see her in a few years to really know.

But the weeks I was out of town while she was suffering, while her memorial service was held, were very conflicting for me. I wanted to see her while she was alive. I wanted to honor her after her passing. But so many “others” were in the way. I hadn’t yet fully known or understood what caused the canyon between us.

Then came FaceBook. And some mutual friends with whom I reconnected, who set me straight on more than a myriad of things; more things than (to this day) I can fathom. It is so sad that we believe things that aren’t true. It is so sad that we assume things that aren’t so. It is so sad that we don’t ask, seek, probe, learn, love. I lost because I did not do these things. Neither of us did these things.

Yet one thing I know: I will see Jenny again. We will likely hold each other tight, but not so tight that we cannot dance with delight. And all the while we will laugh: The kind of laughter that rarely happens between friends but often happened between us. I remember it well and I hope to repeat it often in the eternal years to come and the friendship ultimately sustained because God is GOOD and He knows we should have always been friends. And, I really think He liked the sound of our laughter.

Jenny: I would say that I love you more than you could ever know, but you now know more than I ever could. So, I will just say that I love you, and I am sorry.

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I’m middle-aged. You have to listen to me.

March 30, 2008

I used to tell people (still do actually) that I so looked forward to turning 40. I felt that sort of officially marked “middle aged” and that event somehow signaled my arrival at “having lived.”

My philosophy was, “I am middle aged. I am no longer a kid. You can’t dismiss me. I have something to say. You have to listen to me.”

But.

Now.

The older I get (closing in on 50) the more I learn that I have SO much more to learn. And what I have to say is, basically, live a better first half than I have.

Here is what I know:

I am the poor planner that Jesus had to bail out, break out His early miracle and make wine for.

I am Jonah, sulking under a tree.

I am the whore Hosea married and loved deeply.

I am John Mark, changing my mind in the middle of the journey, stuck up for by Barnabas.

I am Martha, trying to do it all, a little jealous of Mary.

I am Jesus’s mom, asking Him to drop what He’s doing to come here.

I am that guy beating his talking donkey to get it to do what the ass knew wasn’t so good for him.

I am middle aged, and you don’t have to listen to me, but if you want to know what NOT to do, give me call.