Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Good News, Bad News

The good news is that today is a brand new day. The slate is clean. You have a fresh start. Nothing is hindering you.

The bad news is that we forget this and often start each day with our past. The past that is no longer who we are, but still bringing us down.

Christian author and speaker, Joyce Meyer, ever so eloquently lets us know with these words how our past can take over our life if we don’t put a stop to it.

“Don’t waste the rest of your life feeling bad about the part that you already wasted. It’s never too late to begin again.”

With the rising of the sun, God says here is a new day, go out and live and love according to my commands. He doesn’t complicate our lives with hundreds of commandments; just ten basic rules that are easy to follow and if one could muster up the courage to follow these on a daily basis, yesterday’s shortcomings and failures would fall to the wayside.

We all have ways we need to improve and the Christian life is an everlasting exchange with a God who loves and provides.

As I sit here the sun is rising, and a new day is about to begin. I can feel and see the presence of God surrounding me.

I hear these words, “It’s never too late to begin again.”

Enjoy your day with God!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Inside Out

That’s the state of many jeans that I would pull out of our laundry hamper as I sorted the soiled clothes into color piles.

I won’t name the culprit, but getting tired of this extra chore thrown into the task of laundering our dirty clothes I decided to use reverse psychology, and returned the washed denim as it was received…inside out.

This act got my point across, and after discussing the dos and don’ts of laundry etiquette, it has been decided that a certain someone will try to remember to not throw their jeans in the hamper inside out, and me the laundress will have some laundry compassion and rectify the situation if by mistake a pair of jeans or other clothing item was to arrive inside out in our pile of dirty laundry.

Life continues to flow happily here in our humble abode, and I realize I’m not a perfect being just because I take time to make sure my clothes are right side when I toss them into the hamper.

One stop at my dinner table that displays some of the crazy concoctions I tend to serve masked as meals, will tell you the mercy my family extends to me each and every week.

Any hoot all this is meaningless compared to real issues.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

What sort of person are you on the inside?

Have you ever taken time to think about this? How would you describe your heart and soul?

I would hope that when God sees my heart He would see some compassion, some tenderness, some kindness, some mercy, some softness, and some yearning for love.

My soul, which dictates who I am, I hope gives off the aura of a being created in the likeness of our Creator. A soul who worships God and all that He is, a soul who prays to be forgiven for missteps, a soul who takes time to be thankful and grateful for a God who gives life.

All the other tiny matters, are just that…tiny matters, they are not what lies within us.

Ask this of any soul who prays, and I’m sure they will tell you the same.

It is what is found in our heart and soul that really matter in life.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Age-Old Advice

“Compare yourself to yourself.”

Believe it or not, I came up with this all on my own.

It came to me when I was thinking about the aging of our bodies. In truth, it partly came to me as I looked at the two feet, the ones sitting there peering out of my sandals, wondering exactly when did my toes start to curl towards each other.

Did it happen overnight? Or was this a gradual process that I hadn’t noticed because I had other aging issues going on that needed to be concealed, disguised, and covered up?

We should be thankful that we get to see our bodies mature and age. Getting old is a privilege that not everyone gets to venture through.

When I look at these not so perfect feet, I now think of how many different size sandals, shoes, and boots they have worn. I marvel at the places they have taken me, shake my head in bewilderment at the trouble they have gotten me into and out of.

My wrinkled hands show their wear and tear of hard work, a few scars prove my feeble attempts at trying to copy Julia Child’s art of cooking.

And, this old heart that beats to a different drummer than that of my youth, now has a firm connection with faith. I have hope. I am in love with life and with God.  

So, no more comparing myself to anyone but myself. Furthermore, no more comparing myself to my (old) young self.

I’ve earned these stars and stripes, which to some look like defects, and I’m so very thankful for the life I have, and hope to become much more than this body that houses me.

Age-Old advice – don’t spend your days trying to preserve your body to its past form. Let it be used.

Love the age you are.

All the dings, dents, scars, and wrinkles, they are a testimony of a life lived to the fullest.

Trust me on this!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Get Up

Yessiree, you need to get up.

You can’t just lie there. Life is going on.

If you’ve ever meditated on the Stations of the Cross you’ll eventually get to the ninth station where Jesus falls for the third time. It is here at this station that I find the strength to get up from whatever it is that is trying to hold me down.

My comfort comes from realizing that Jesus is telling us that it doesn’t matter how many times we stumble, what really matters is getting back up.

He knows how hard our cross is to lug around. He knows even with help we still fall down. He knows and He cares.

So, don’t go thinking just because you fell off the wagon, you can’t get back on; one failure of the bar exam doesn’t mean you’ll never become a lawyer.

Jesus’ death and resurrection is the victory that defeats death. It doesn’t matter how many times we fail or fall, what counts is the rising every time.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, literally put yourself back together, life is going on.

If you don’t think you can do it anymore, go walk the Stations of the Cross, and when you get to the ninth station linger for an extra few minutes, and listen to Jesus tell you it is ok if you have fallen, He will help you.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me.” –Jesus Christ

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Branches and Trees

I have an ongoing, secret love affair with trees.

Every time I see one I want to run over and hug them. I’m constantly eyeing them up and down. I love them all; it doesn’t matter if they are tall or short, old or young, healthy or barely hanging on.

I’m always checking out their branches, wondering what sort of color their leaves will produce come fall.

I simply marvel at the way their branches sway, and move, and grow, and change.

I know, I know, enough already.

Ok, since I’ve contemplated trees and their branches to the nth degree, how can I not bring up our family trees?

I’m thinking of how our family trees branch out far and wide, and how those branches are so similar to the branches found on real, live trees.

As members of a family some of us are strong, some bend, some seem to snap at the slightest breeze, some fall off and die, some seem to live forever, some are young and green, some are so beautiful they stand out in every season, some seem lost being stuck between a mass of leaves, some lean over and allow to be used as a brace for others to hold on, some are just cute and little, and some just hang around.

No branch knows for sure how long it will remain connected to the tree.

Best it can hope for is that while it is there it will live the life it was meant to be.

It will mingle and move with the other branches throughout its life.

Yep, we are but a branch; born from a family…we work and play together, mourn and rejoice together, despair and hope together, argue and then make peace together. 

One thing we can count on is our family tree will grow and change as time passes. Seasons and circumstances take its toll on our lives.

We are members joined together forever by a bond called love whose roots run deep and trunk stands strong. 

Like a tree, our branches, well they lean on each other, swaying in out of each others lives here and there, touching each other in ways only branches belonging to the same tree can.

As families are suppose to do, we rely on each other and love each other. 

I hope you love your family tree as much as I love mine.

Don't be shy.

Run on over and give them all a big hug!