When you’re with family

Sometimes you just know when you are with family.

When you sit quietly, and want to listen. When all of you share your wants and desires. And their goals are the same as yours.

When they pray with you and allow their hearts to pour out for all to see, and their hearts are pure. And neither age nor employment affect the direction of your lives.

Tonight I give thanks in praise and relief for newfound family.

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What I’ve been up to lately

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Do I have to love EVERYBODY???

Wow,  I posted this and promptly went off on my way. So now that I’m back online this looked pretty funny. As if I was whining about having to love the hard to love.

I have NO IDEA where my awesome post went (and it WAS awesome, I’m telling you), but I CAN clear this up:

I was NOT whining about loving others!

I was mulling over John 13:34 which states:

 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

So, yes, EVERYBODY.


Peering into passing cars

Photo by Patricia

Photo by Patricia

Do you live somewhere other than where you were raised?

Another city, another state, or country?

I live in a state different from where I spent my childhood.

I have fond nostalgic memories of my childhood, and many regional specific  sights, sounds, and scents made indelible memories for me.

So when I see a car with the license plate from that state, I look twice to see if I can recognize the driver or the inhabitants.  Of course I expect to see ONE person from ONE town out of thousands! And of course, chances are SLIM that I would even recognize anyone I knew from my childhood. After all, I’m… well, over 45.

But what I am hoping to get out of this? It’s not like the person would stop the car if I asked them to (IF I recognized them – and they recognized me). And it seems pretty dangerous for two cars on a highway to try to communicate while driving 65 mph.

I think what I’m looking for is a re-visit to my past. To connect with someone who can bring those memories back to life for me. Which can’t really happen, of course. For numerous reasons. And not only was I a loner, but the few people I was extra close to as a child are still in contact with me (albeit sporadically).

But still, I look. I strain my neck trying for a chance recognition.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * *

When in truth, I need to live more in the moment.

Paying attention to the minute details that make up my life TODAY.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This is God’s gift. Life. And he wants me to enjoy it fully, working on perfecting my mission of serving Him as I do so.

I find it harder and harder to do as I get older. As my children get older. But still, I am so blessed to be able to enjoy this wonderful gift of TODAY.

                     Forget about what’s happened;
                                 don’t keep going over old history.
                Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
                               It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?

           Isaiah 43: 18-19 (from The Message)


The Chimpanzee, and Why your Church or Work might need an Attitude Adjustment

I recently posted THIS and THIS, and I don’t know that I’ll ever be done addressing this topic.

So today I wanted to share a little story I heard!  If you know the origin of this story, let me know so I can give credit.

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Eight chimpanzees are put into a room.

In the middle of the room is a ladder, leading to a bunch of bananas hanging from a hook on the ceiling.

Each time a chimp tries to climb the ladder; all the chimps are sprayed with ice water, which makes them miserable.

Soon enough, whenever a chimpanzee attempts to climb the ladder, all of the other chimps, not wanting to be sprayed, set upon him and beat him up.

Soon, none of the eight chimpanzees ever attempt to climb the ladder.

One of the original chimps is then removed, and a new chimp is put in the room. Seeing the bananas and the ladder, he wonders why none of the other chimps are doing the obvious. But undaunted, he immediately begins to climb the ladder. All the other chimps fall upon him and beat him silly. He has no idea why. However, he no longer attempts to climb the ladder. A second original monkey is removed and replaced.

The newcomer again attempts to climb the ladder, but all the other chimpanzees beat on him. This includes the previous new chimp, who, grateful that he’s not on the receiving end this time, participates in the beating because all the other chimps are doing it. However, he has no idea why he’s attacking the new chimpanzee. One by one, all the original chimps are replaced. Eight new chimps are now in the room. None of them have ever been sprayed by ice water. None of them attempt to climb the ladder.

All of them will enthusiastically beat up any new chimpanzee who tries, without having any idea why.
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There are times in life when I just don’t know how people can’t see the effects of their own behavior.  Maybe they have never heard of self-reflection, I guess. Or maybe they don’t know how to do it, or maybe they are just blind to their own behavior! Cognitive dissonance, anyone?
I sound like a broken record, but start first with your bible. Maybe try starting with Ephesians 4:29:

Ephesians 4:29

(NIV)Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

and remember to pray for God’s desires to be your desires, so that we can be the people He wants us to be!

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I don’t have anyone in my life right now who is making me see or feel that this is something to address.  But I have it pressed on my heart that I need to share this.  I have been feeling so strongly compelled to talk about modifying behavior in this way, and I don’t know why, but I know it can’t hurt. So I hope you are inspired just a little by my posts, to remember God’s words and to retrain or regain your attitude!


Women Maintaining Friendships

With the big holidays rushing up to us, we often think about getting together with friends, hosting parties, or attending parties.  And yes, sometimes it is a good time of year to host or attend an event, because it seems that some people make it a point to visit with others at this time of year.

And this is important, because sometimes it is the only time you’ll get to see your good friends.

I got a text yesterday from someone I would unequivocally entrust with my children. It was an invitation for a breakfast get-together. This is a woman with whom I shared countless hours when our children were little. If I have a problem, I love to call her for advice because she has such a practical perspective.  She is active in her church and in her church community, and is a very involved parent.   She also has extended family who live nearby.

I have only seen her twice in the past 12 months!

She doesn’t use the internet for much, so we don’t keep in contact through that simple outreach.   We both work full-time and live in different communities. What is a working mom to do?

We are both busy and tired. Sometimes we think the kids or our husbands can’t do without us, if we take the time to meet with friends.  Sometimes it feels too self-indulgent.

Sadly, life often gets in the way of maintaining friendships. And it gets in the way of adults MAKING friends.  But today I’m thinking about maintaining friendships and why I need to maintain them.

Some reasons adult women need to maintain friendships:

  • Emotional Support through shared experiences
  • Women’s perspectives on issues you face
  • Listening ears that don’t immediately offer solutions but instead, commiserate with you!

When I was worrying about job-hunting in the bad economy, friends were there to boost me up. When my father died, friends made sure I knew they were thinking of me through meals and cards. And in the year before my oldest child left for college, and I was such a basket-case, they were there for me.

And now that I’m reminded of why I need to take some time out to maintain my friendships, I’m going to do just that – even a quick cup of coffee will be worth taking the time out of my schedule for the boost I’ll get from getting together.