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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Who are you comparing yourself to?





I often say, "I am what I am, by the grace of God, I am."

This sounds like I'm content with myself, doesn't it? Like I've arrived at a peaceful resting place, where there's no self-contempt or judgement...just abiding in His grace.

Truthfully, I think I use it more for an excuse and consolation...for the times I fall short or fail...another way of saying, "Well, gosh darn, I still haven't got it right but it's okay...slowly I go, step by step, inch by inch."

I wish I believed it more...that I'm enough, just as I am...a hodge podge of sin and grace, light and darkness, beauty and scars...custom made by the Master Builder with a purpose in His mind, though often I admit I have no idea what that is!

Monday, June 24, 2019

The call to be astonished at who you are!



As I stood there this morning, finger poised above the Start button on the washing machine, I remembered a post I had written years ago about the very same thing...

My parents had just driven off after a lovely visit. Their sheets were in the washing machine and I felt that by pushing the start button I would be forever washing away the sweetness and memories of our time together.

Today, as I looked one last time at the mud encrusted pants and soggy socks thrown into the washer, I felt the same way...

That I was washing away something priceless.

Which really is crazy, because at the time those socks and pants were not welcome. Not at all.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

The power of a dying Osprey to bring about change








How do you know you're hearing from God? And not your own disillusioned mind?

For me, it's usually a matter of running across the same thing, said in different ways, over and over again...usually in a short period of time. Probably because God knows my attention span and containment levels are so low.

It's kind of like those connect-a-dot books where you know there's a picture coming but you just can't quite discern it yet.

So when I'm in Crisis Mode and looking for answers and I see the first "dot" show up on my radar screen, I automatically start looking for the next one.

Like today.

Because I'm madder than a wet hen over something that happened yesterday and though I would prefer to hide away and deal with it over a large chunk of chocolate, I also realize that what I need is resolution.

And courage. Definitely not one of my strong points.

So, what has me so riled up you ask?

If you know anything about me, you know that I am empathetic to a dangerous level. I feel pain deeply. So yesterday, when we as a Naturalist class had the opportunity to save an emaciated, exhausted Osprey and get it to a place that could revive it, we...and I use that term as relating only to the class, and not the individuals in it...left it to die.

It's a long story, but suffice it to say that stupidity won. It should never have happened, and need not have happened. And many of us were angry and disillusioned over the decision that was made.

And to make it worse, the leader came up to me after and admitted that he agreed with me- that we should have gotten help for it. And that was the proverbial final straw. Sure I had stopped to save a goat that was loose on the highway on the way to class that morning, knowing that it might not end well. And I didn't lose it when we found a beheaded Red-tailed Hawk on the trail that had fallen prey to an owl. Such is the 'circle of life'.

But to withhold help to something that could have been saved? To me that is a denial of humanity.

So I looked at the leader and said, "If this is what it takes to be a Naturalist, I want no part of it," And I walked out and away.

And today, I still mean that.

But I see it differently.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Feeling like a punching bag? Up and down...up and down...



I can't remember the last time I wrote a blog. And since I'm too tired to look it up, let's just say it's been awhile.

Realizing that, I have two choices- don't write one and fade off into the sunset, or get back in the saddle and let 'er rip. Talk about mixed metaphors!

I'm not thinking I'm going to let anything "rip" today...that takes too much energy...a precious commodity to me at this point. Instead I shall burble a bit, watch the birds a little, burble a bit more, follow a butterfly's flight, carry on with the burbling, and so on and so forth and see what comes forth. Such is my creative curve today!

I would love to have you join me on my flower-festooned deck this cool and breezy morning. As it is, I see my  reflection in the computer screen and not your lovely and much-welcomed face. So I shall flit through the friend list in my mind, and picture you with me...drinking a cup of whatever brings you joy...and commenting on my burbles as I ramble. I think that will work nicely!

So, what has brought me back to the land of the living, you may ask? Valid question! Have you ever been so busy that in the midst of it all you realize you are missing something? Something important to you? Something that got pushed to the side as you plowed through the daily grind, as you tried to "keep it together, man"? Something that gives life rather than drains it?

Well, that is writing for me. It's cathartic. Creative. And in a strange way it connects me to you, as limited as it may be for fostering closeness and connection.

What is that for you? How do you get energized, refilled, realigned when the craziness of life threatens to topple you?

Remember those knock-em-over inflatable toys we had as a child? The ones that were sand weighted and no matter how hard you punched it, it always came back up? Well, that's how life can feel at times...like life is punching and laughing as we are kept in a perpetual state of being knocked down and popped back up again.

And it can be ever so tiring, this going up and down in constant motion...not being able to focus or rest or get your balance back.

And sometimes, what's even worse, is it feels like it's God allowing the punching! I mean seriously, I can understand the world and its lovely inhabitants throwing a left and a right, but God?

So what's a person to do? Run for the hills? Hide so they can't find you? Binge watch Downton Abbey with a bag of chocolates? Well, yeah, definitely the last choice!

I came across an idea this morning that seems like the perfect answer to this dilemma, though I am a ways from making it my own. Let's just say at this point I am dancing around it warily, wondering how prickly it will be if I decide to embrace it...

"Consider the most difficult, annoying people in our lives as "Grace-Builders". 

How Pollyanish is that, I ask you? It feels like I'm putting cream cheese frosting on a moldy cake. That no matter how hard I try to cover it up, the cake is still rotten and I don't want to eat it!

Me? Personally, I would not label the punchers "Grace-Builders" but "Idiots-In-Need-Of-Justice" or some such loving thing. Sigh.

I'm sure you never feel like that.

Friday, March 1, 2019

The world needs your story!




I love stories.

I woke up this morning thinking that, for whatever reason, the favorite part of any book for me is when I stumble into a story. They are like jewels that glitter and sparkle in the midst of a landscape of monotone words and thoughts.

My new read, Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel's Classroom, is chock-a-block full of stories.

As I am prone to do, I started in the middle of the book with a chapter that sounded interesting, only to discover that if I wanted to follow the map to all the buried treasure this book contained, I would need to start at the very beginning. Which I did. This morning.

I am nothing if not methodical in my own crazy way.

Friday, February 15, 2019

On grace and love and hope and forgiving pants




If I were to ask you to name One Thing that you struggle with, what would it be?

It's like at work when I have to ask a new customer for their birth month so they can receive a special offer, and they not only give me the month but also the day and year. And I'm like, too much information! I don't need it all!

I'm not asking you to tell me...or write me...or post it on Facebook. I'm simply giving you a chance to name it and claim it.

Why are you doing this? you may ask. Why are you disturbing my well-ordered and tightly contained life?

Because what we bring into the Light can no longer hold us hostage in the darkness.

Here, let me go first...

Friday, February 8, 2019

How are you doing with the Who Are You bit?



I about fell off my chair laughing this morning when I read this one simple chapter by Anne Lamott:

Bitter Truth

Chocolate with 81% cacao is not actually a food. Its best use is as bait in snake traps. Also, as a shim to balance the legs of wobbly chairs. It was never meant to be considered edible.

Don't let others make you feel unsophisticated if you reach middle age preferring Hershey's Kisses. So many of your better people do. Also, always carry a handful of Kisses in your backpack or purse to give away. People will like you more. 

After I finished high-fiving Anne for her honesty...and of course taking a picture of it to post on FB because that's where all truth ends up...I felt a sudden connecting of the dots in my somewhat foggy brain that this is exactly what I have been reading about over the last couple weeks! And that is...

We all have a story to tell.

And we must tell OUR OWN story.

So evidently, my story involves Hershey's Kisses and how very much I love them. True confession...I'm coming out of the closet on this one...I have always loved them. My dream burial would be in my most comfiest Cuddle Duds, lying on my memory-foam-covered-bed with a bag of Hershey Kisses clenched to my chest. Perfect. Kids, take note.

Now, back to the Bitter Truth...