Posted in Uplifting

“The Terrible No Good Very Bad Day”

Photo by Keenan Constance on Pexels.com

As a child I read Judith Viorst book “Alexander and The Terrible No Good Very Bad Day” and thought I could identify with the character at times, even feeling as if that book somehow was written just for me. Don’t get me wrong I was usually very happy go lucky and full of energy but it was that energy that seemed to add to my days not going as smooth as one would like.

Have you ever had one of those days, weeks or years (hello 2020) when it just left you let down and annoyed? Maybe even further discouraged and needing a lifeline thrown? I know we all have probably been there this past year. From walking into stores at half the compacity to walking down the isle in hopes of finding toilet paper for once. We might have moved on from the isles being picked over but we still are walking around with masks and keeping our distance from each other.

I have always found such solus in being alone. I find such peace when I am at my wits end just getting away, taking a walk by my self so I am alone with my thoughts always helps set things right in my mind. I still feel that way but for once I long for people going about their life, being able to see the worn out looks or smiles. I got so used to not making eye contact and giving half polite smiles when needed that I would give anything to really see people again all exposed and giving off subtle clues to how they really are.

Maybe the reason we are having such a hard time is the very thought of being alone with our own thought for once is just to much to handle. Maybe we are seeing parts of our selves that are to hard to look at and then there is no one to share those new found thoughts because we are shut off from each other. In a world that has such an amazing ability to connect we are so disconnected.

Maybe instead of staying disconnected we could use all the other was to connect. We all have had those days, weeks and years that leave us upset and thinking the world is against us but that’s just it we all have those times and we all have those sweet moments when all is right with the world.

And

If you have ever read the book you get to see that at the end Alexander still had all his “problems” but he did remember his mom saying there will be days like these.

This past year has been one for the books but I have a passage that has helped me so much. Notice it says you will have trouble not if.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

If you are in need of help (in the US) have no one to turn to please call

1- 877-726-4727 This is a referral service to get you to the people that can help you.

Posted in Uplifting

Seeing Everything Clearly

Have you ever had something in your eye that no matter what you did it was still there? You try everything and still it bugs you to the point of asking for help from someone who has a better vantage point. They may not feel the pain or discomfort but they can help because they see what you can’t.

I had that problem the other day. I have vision problems at times due to my health but this time was different, it was due to me being cheap and not wanting to throw away my mascara. I switched to a clean mascara and it works great, never flakes(unless its time to say good bye to it) but it does cost more. Maybe you can see why I was trying to stretch it. If you have ever wanted to stretch the use from mascara you know it can get flaky and those flakes sometimes go into your eye, the fun of makeup.

I was in a hurry, causing me to put my mascara on fast and run out the door blinking as I went because I felt like something might be in my eye. Driving along there was no might or denying it. I definitely had something in it. I had to drive with only one eye while the other one was shut but tears coming down my cheek, yes I looked beautiful. At least I arrived safety at the store. Looking in my mirror I didn’t see anything but I felt what was the size of a boulder in my eye. I blinked, rubbed, blotted but nothing helped. I tried to rub off the mascara on my good eye in hopes I didn’t look as lopsided but of course that didn’t help, instead I just looked like I rolled out of bed crying but into the store pretending all was fine.

I did manage to get my things from the store and back home safe with just my ego slightly bruised.

My face washed, my eye a little better and no mascara this time, giving my poor eyes some much needed rest, and yes the old one finally made its way to the trash. I started thinking on how sometimes we act as if everything is fine even when its obvious we aren’t.

Why do we all seem to have that in common? We all say we are fine when asked but inside we are falling apart.

On the morning of my mascara flake I read this passage, coincidence?

Mark 8:22-26 22They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” 24He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” 25Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”

I always thought how odd that Jesus healed the man but his vision was askew at first. I never got it until the day with the mascara. Just like the blind man that was able to see but didn’t see correctly. That is until Jesus asked how he was and the man was honest telling exactly how he was. He didn’t hold back but told Jesus everything, not just being grateful to see but the weird, different, strange parts too. In turn the man got the full healing.

What would it be like if we were all a little honest with how we really are. Notice the man didn’t start complaining and telling Jesus how he messed up but instead just honest with what was going on. Maybe the man would have lived the rest of his life seeing people as trees if he kept quite.

A lot can be said on being honest. You have to open up and be vulnerable, but think of the healing and blessing we miss keeping our problems to our selves.

Posted in Uplifting

Broken But not Beyond Repair

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I love to look at old houses that some would look at and say they are broken beyond repair or they are so broken they are passed by and not even noticed.

With these houses my imagination gets to run wild. I can imagine who lived there, happiness and pain that took place in those walls. I also see them as the beautiful building that they once were, and could be again.

This is not much different from what we do with people. We see the outer shell and judge, it is hard not to. I have judged forgetting the real person. I find it is easy to miss treat others if we stay shallow and look at the outward only. Isn’t it so much easier to dismiss them if we can write them off in the story we perceive instead of what is?

We all have a story and some of us show the brokenness more so than others, in fact it’s the ones that push the hurt onto others that are so broken, needing the most repair.

How many times do we pass by the homeless, mentally ill or a person that looks or smells.  We turn the other way not seeing that they once shined. They had a day before the brokenness took over. A day before the lights shut off, the door closed and someone left. A day before the weeds of hurt and pain took over. A day when they had curb appeal.

If only the next time we pass by these people we stop just for one and really see them as someone who is broken but not beyond repair.

I am so thankful that God looked at me, didn’t give up but has compassion sees me in my brokenhearted state. Now I need to show others that compassion.

Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Posted in Uplifting

20 Seconds of Courage

“You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it.”

― Benjamin Mee-We Bought a Zoo

I have never seen the movie but would like to, so when I read that quote and thought how true. I couldn’t have read it at a better time. I was having one of those days when all I wanted to do was have a melt down and if I was a baby I’m sure I would have. You know those days you wake up maybe a little crabby and all the normal things that you do in the morning with out effort take effort and don’t go smooth. You start to wonder if you should have stayed in bed but you can’t because life goes on even if its not smoothly.

This was were I was at but trying to make the best of it when I read that quote. My mind went into over drive I thought I have 20 seconds to be kind and not have a crabby attitude. I think that was the longest 20 seconds I have had in awhile but I made it through. I moved on with a little more of my day with that thought of I can be nice for 20 seconds and for me on a crabby day that is real courage.

That day kept me in the moment, it kept me mindful, and how to be nice when I don’t want to be. How when everything feels like its just one big crap shoot you can still rise above it even if it is just for 20 seconds at a time.

20 seconds may seem short, but when you are trying to have “insane courage” and be “embarrassing brave” its a lifetime. Isn’t it just that, how funny when broken down it can be so do able. If done then that is when we get “something that is great”. We get a good life even when things are going just the opposite of great. Even in a pandemic, unrest and political craziness let alone all the little day to day problems that we face. 20 seconds of stepping out of our bad mood and being kind is just as infectious as the problems but what peace and contentment we have, making others want it.

Maybe next time someone cuts you off or miss treats you think 20 seconds, I know I will. We all are walking in some really uncomfortable shoes now but 20 seconds of kindness goes a long way and who can’t be brave for 20 seconds?

This did help me, my day stayed the same but my attitude didn’t and with a better attitude I could handle life not as smooth as I’d like.

I also started to remember a Bible verse I love because it really breaks down what is required of us and it is simple especially when done at 20 second intervals.

Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,[a]
    and to walk humbly with your God?

Posted in Uplifting

To Be Seen

Have you ever had the pleasure of being around someone who with out saying a word they just got you? Or maybe someone you could go to and they would listen in such a way that you not only felt heard but seen?

Those traits are only found is rare special people that have a quite strength that draws you in like a moth to a flame.

I had the good fortune in calling one of those rare special people my grandpa. He was quite, quick witted, compassionate…..the list of his traits go on but it was his ability to really listen even taking note of what you didn’t say, because of his active listening I always felt like I was seen.

Sure, perhaps I have my rose color glass of a granddaughter who adored her grandpa on but even those that worked with him felt like he just got them. The quite carpenter, volunteer firefighter, writer, family man who saw pain and grew up with abuse gave such compassion people flocked to him.

I was reflecting on this as I dusted the picture of him and I. I came to a stop with cleaning and putting up my fall decorations. It has been years since his passing but his ability to love still stays. I miss just sitting with him and feeling understood without words. I said a pray about how much I miss being with him, when I felt that I have something even better.

I have my father who I am able to really be seen by. I went on cleaning and decorating but that feeling of peace knowing I am really understood and loved stayed. We may think God is just out there waiting to hit us over the head when we screw up but what I find so amazing is that when he gave us His son Jesus, Jesus spent his years on this earth teaching healing and just being with us and if that wasn’t enough I love the fact that the longest recorded conversation Jesus had with anyone was with a women!

In a time when women were less than property He sat down away from crowds and just spoke to a women that doesn’t even have a name recorded in the Bible. Instead she is just “The Women at the Well” (John 4:5-30) with a very colorful history. Jesus shows us that taking the time to sit and really be with someone has a lasting effect, because Jesus showed the women she was seen, her whole village heard about it and came to check it out. Jesus showed love, acceptance and broke rules for someone who was viewed as lesser than property. If he was willing to do that then don’t you think that He sees you and loves you warts and all?

Psalm 139:2-4 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD.

Posted in Uplifting

“It’s Forgiveness” Part 2

I really like that quote but it is so much harder for me to do. I tend to forgive others so much quicker than I do myself, I seem to think that I made such a mess of things with my actions, (or lack of action) words that have been said (or not said) that I find it only fair that I carry guilt of what I did. Why should I extend grace to myself?

Along with forgiving my (ex-)husband I needed to forgive myself for the part that I played. To let go of the if only, why didn’t I and how could you. Those are the bitter pills for me to swallow. It is easier for me to accept and carry the guilt and shame than to release it and give it to God. To leave all of that baggage at the foot of the cross where its suppose to stay but I somehow manage to make a hike up to old Calvary to collect what I feel is mine to keep.

The baggage can be a comfort. It can give a false sense of security. That blanket of shame has been with me to long I feel incomplete with out it.

The sad fact is that living that way is what keeps me and any one else behaving in the state of I deserve less so accepting less is fine with us. We end up not living our full lives and really living.

I love hiking but making that trip back to Calvary to collect what I was never meant to have only takes my energy. It is telling Jesus that what he did was great for everyone else but I am the exception to the rule of forgiveness. How it must break His heart when we decrease the value of what He did on the cross. We cheapen the act of His death and resurrection.

To accept that we are worthy of forgiving ourselves, learning and moving on and actually living loved is the best way we can say thank you to God for what he has given us.

When I am starting to make that hike I reach for Psalm 103 then I feel I deserve to just accept, not over think but to give grace to myself because “it’s forgiveness”.

1 Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: 8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. 15 The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; 16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. 17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— 18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. 19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. 20 Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. 21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. 22 Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, my soul.

Posted in Uplifting

“It’s Forgiveness”

I thought I had a handle on forgiveness, not perfect but I thought I had the basic thought down. I had forgiven those who had wronged me and moved on, or so it seemed. I had read some insightful books that really helped, spoken to very smart people that “specialize” in helping people “like me”. I have healed a lot, I could talk about memories of my past hurts and not want to cry or throw up. So I was taken back when I kept feeling the nudge ( thank you God) of no I haven’t truly forgiven someone who hurt me in my past, the one who hurt me the most.

I was given the kick in the pants that I need to really dig deep and it all came in the form of entertainment. I was watching Sex in the City the movie, yes I know but I wanted a “girl movie” and turned it on but I wasn’t expecting to get pearls of wisdom to come from it.

The part of the movie that spoke to me was the exchange between two of the characters Carrie and Miranda, both friends but Carrie felt that Miranda did her wrong by keeping something from her. They got so mad at each other they didn’t speak for a little while until Miranda couldn’t take it any longer. Maybe it was the split from her husband who had cheated on Miranda, making her need her friend more than needing to be right. She needed her forgiveness and wanted her friend back. She made the first move. She stopped by and had a chat with her friend. She wanted forgiveness from Carrie. Carrie was surprised Miranda was expecting such quick forgiveness from her when Miranda couldn’t even entertain the idea of forgiving her husband after time had passed. Miranda said that was different but Carrie responded “it’s forgiveness.” As those words were spoken I had a nudge in my heart and that’s when I knew I really hadn’t forgiven my (ex) husband, ouch!

Had I really just done lip service?

I had and new I need to do better, I didn’t need to keep this resentment going allowing him and the things he did in the past to continue to hurt me so that it stills the full joy of today.

Forgiveness is NOT Conditional. That is exactly what I had done, I had made a list of what I would allow myself to forgive on one side and the other side are the wrongs that will never be forgiven. I didn’t want to admit it but its true. I had put my husband and some of the wrongs in that never forgiving column without even realizing it but they can’t stay there “it’s forgiveness”.

“Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing you were the prisoner.” unknown

Posted in Uplifting

The Future

I enjoy taking pictures of my flowers, not just for the beauty but I like to look at the growth that a picture can show that maybe with the naked eye you forget. Its funny how what is right in front of us can be over looked. We might not see the progress but its there.

We all like to notice the growth and changes but are we sometimes so fixated on them we don’t notice what’s in front of us?

I took the above picture to see the progress of my flowers but I was totally missing the best part of the picture until I looked closer. I looked at the picture and noticed the blurry bee so I looked at the flower and there it was happily doing what bees do. I got so excited that I didn’t miss the bee I started taking more pictures but this time of the bee and when I did that the flowers and bee both came into focuses.

How many times are we going through life so fixated on our growth, future, or goals that we forget to see the great things in our life at each moment. Growth and wanting a future are great but if its our only focuses it can lead to worry and missing out on some great things in the present. Looking to far head will do nothing but bring worry causing us to loose focuses and brings blurriness to the precious moments in our lives.

I love what Thich Nhat Hanh said “The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment.”

Maybe if we take care of the present moment especially now, do what we need to do and enjoy the little things that are in each of our moments then we can let the future be left to the one who really has the control, and I’m so glad.

Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

Posted in Uplifting

Worry

Worry, just the word can make you think of the things in your life that make you anxious or even stir up the uncertainty of the things going on in life that you have no control over. Maybe its my parents love of language/words in me but I find it amazing that the word worry is a noun and a verb. Now stick with me incase you are like me and forget a lot of what was taught in school.

A noun is a word (other than a pronoun) used to identify any of a class of people, places, or things.

And

A verb is used to describe an action, state, or occurrence.

Amazing isn’t! Worry is just a word but how many times do we put the action to it? We bring it to life then wonder why our life has so much anxiety. Why we cant sleep at night and find it hard to laugh at things in our life that we usually find amusing. From worrying about what to wear for an interview, the economy, sickness, family…..I could go on and fill up this page and I am sure you can add a lot too. Worry zaps the life out of us but it only can if we give life to the worry, if we give that action to that thought.

I can worry and that is what bought me to writing about this, I have written about it (check out old post) so you would think I might have a handle on it but just like you I give life to worry because lets face it, worry is a control issue. We try to control what we cant and even worry about what we can, just for good measure.

As I was sitting on my back patio watching the first rays of light. I was praying about some of my worries. One of my favorite passages in the Bible on this topic is Matthew 6:25 – 34

Matthew 6:25-34 25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Can I get a Amen? Said so well I could end it here but as I was thinking this and looked it up on my phone I glanced over at my tomato plant getting so tall and doing what it should do. It’s growing, blossoming and getting tomatoes. It doesn’t worry about the pest that I am trying to fight off so it can grow and give me fruit ( yep I said fruit) it just grows. It doesn’t worry if I will water it or what will happen when the weather gets cold. All it does is do what it was meant to do.

When worry starts, how about we don’t give it action, but instead how about letting God be God so we can just be who we were meant to be. We can dream our dreams and live a wonderful life that we have been given to live.

Posted in Uplifting

Waiting

I have found that waiting on somethings is not my strong suit. Sure I have been told that I have the patients of a saint but that is not with everything. It seems that these last few years I have been in the waiting room of life.

I think back to the times when I have waited in the cold uncomfortable hospital waiting room for the news of a loved ones update. Where every move would make me look up in hope that I might get word but as each movement comes and goes nothing. The cleaning crews come by, the staff hurry past with their jobs to do. Others come to sit and wait for news of their loved one and then it seems that they get word. I would see the smile with relief on their faces then they move on and then I am left once again waiting. I would go to get a drink just to change my scenery not for the fact I was thirsty but thinking the change will do me good. I come back to a new group of people ask the nurse if there is any word but get told no with a kind smile and a it should be soon.

I sit back down and wait.

Somehow it should comfort me that the common thread of being human is waiting. We all go through it, we all wait for

Covid-19 to be less of a worry

Test Results

Important Pappers

An answer to a prayer

A loved ones results

A job offer…….Our heart to mend.

What ever the wait I feel you, I have been waiting for way to long and perhaps today I am just a little more worn out and tired of the wait. I do have comfort in knowing I am not alone, yes I know other people are waiting but what helps even on these days that the wait is just so hard. I know I have God, I had my prayer time and devotional this morning and what was in it for me to read but the story of Hannah. Now this lady new something about waiting. She waited to have a child but didn’t have one for years and during the time of waiting she was made fun off. Talk about salt in the wounds. God is so good, he new I woke with a heavy heart and needed comfort and a reminder. He always gives me just what I am in need of. I may be in this uncomfortable waiting room of life but after reading about Hannah I knew that even though this wait is hard I have something to do while I wait, I will praise Him.

1 Samuel 1:10-11 10In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. 11And she made a vow, saying, “LORD Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”

God heard Hannah and in time she gave birth to Samuel.