Pages

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...

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Asleep in the Light...a long overdue confession




I could tell I was upset by the way I was folding the sheets...not that I usually strive for perfection.

But whipping them around and flinging them on the counter were signs that I was upset. No, angry. No, ready to blow.

How could this happen?

And then I thought back to the chapter I had read this morning in Donald Miller's book...where he shared about the time that he was forced to go through his checking account from the previous year, looking for tax deductions. He didn't find many, but what he did find sobered him.

Betrayed him.

Opened his eyes.

Oh, how well I was identifying with him during that sheet-mutilating-session!

Have you ever had one of those moments? You know, the ones where you swear you can feel the earth moving under your feet as the walls you have built so relentlessly to protect you come tumbling down?

I know for a fact that I had experienced one...many years ago...at my moment of salvation. And now I was in the throes of another.

As the words, asleep in the light, pierced my consciousness, I felt the gentle knife of conviction penetrate my soul.

And only one Person can do that and you best not ignore Him.

For your spiritual life depends on it.

Friday, January 18, 2019

To the edge of Unbelief...and back again





Behold my second blog for this week. The first one just would not cooperate no matter how I worked with it. So now it has been sent to the place where all unfinished blogs go to die: the Save pile.

I really wasn't planning on writing another one, but this one is begging to come out. And I understand, for words brought into the light are always more powerful than those that cower in the darkness.

It's a confession of sorts...

The uncomfortable but liberating gift of openness...

Thursday, January 10, 2019

How are you doing in the story of your life?




I often thought it would be cool to write a book. I don't know, say a novel. For some reason they seem easier...unlike non-fiction that requires all that studying.

Until one day when I sat down and tried it. Yes, I know, that's a hilarious thought. No one decides one day to sit down and write a book. Not any sane person.

I remember sitting there and thinking, obviously, what should it be about? And the more I thought about it the worse the idea seemed...all the who, what, when, where, and why's were overwhelming.

And since then I've had great respect for anyone driven enough to put their thoughts together and spend the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to turn out any work worth reading.

People often say to me, You should write a book! And Lord knows I try so hard not to start guffawing right in their faces. Dear one, you have no idea. I don't have the training, or the dedication, or the desire to do so.

That's probably why I blog. It's short. It's sweet. It's to the point.

And I can be done in 2 hours or less.

Awhile back, I picked up one of Donald Miller's books at my favorite used book store: A Million Miles In A Thousand Years, and promptly added it to my pile of want-to-reads, where it remained until this week. When I bought his book I had no idea what it was about. But it had Donald Miller on the cover and I hadn't yet read it and that's all I needed to know.

Sometimes I need a dose of Donald Miller. Or Frederich Beuchner. Or Brennan Manning. Or Anne Lamott. Someone who others might might raise their eyebrows over, but who I think are spot on...

People who give me a dose of something out of my box...out of my comfort zone. People who call me to think in ways I have long forgotten. Or in new ways that I desperately need.