21 August 2008

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass It's about learning to dance in the rain.

Another abnormally long title taken from my flair board.

Dancing in the rain is fun, you let go of your troubles to sway, splish and splash. The hard part comes in seeing the rain as a blessing instead of a curse. Whenever things get a difficult I try to remember to think of lessons learned in physics.

Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in
that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.
Newton's First Law of Motion

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction
Newton's Third Law of Motion

You are probably wondering why both of these laws cause me to think of dancing in the rain. I am using these laws outside the realm of physics and have taken them to a spiritual plane.

When life is hard and things are difficult I have two choices. I can choose to allow the difficulties to provide the direction for my life or I can apply an external force to change the direction. In my case I choose to accept the hardships for the blessings they will someday bring. I use prayer as the external force alter my path from difficult to delightful. When I make that pendulum swing I then note that Newton's third law holds true. For every physical setback I am grateful to receive a spiritual blessing.

Not quite the way Sir Isaac meant for his laws to be applied, but I find them handy.

Who knew physics class would one day lead to dancing in the rain?

Swaying in the raindrops,


18 August 2008

Hiding away never works for God sees everything!

I have had the privilege of having made many mistakes in my life. While that may seem an odd thing to consider a privilege you need to know why it is so.

  • When you have made major screw ups you know that failure is not fatal.
  • You learn nothing is so bad that God cannot forgive you.
  • You know which of your family and friends are compassionate souls.
  • You also learn that trying to keep everything hidden away until you can resolve it never works. This you learn after the first mistake if you are wise enough to realize it.
  • You learn that pride is a real stumbling block to repentance. If you could fix it yourself, you wouldn't need forgiveness.
  • You learn to care less for what others think of you.
  • You learn to care more for what God thinks of you.
Katie's sermon this Sunday dealt with David and Bathsheba. There was a screw up of monumental proportions. David resorted to murder to hide his sin. David who had been such a strong example of God's man fell as low as you could go. (BTW there is no scorecard awarding points for different sins, we have all been as low as you can go.) In Psalm 51 David writes one of the most heartfelt verses which has meant more to me than there are words to share.

Going through the motions doesn't please you,
a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
don't for a moment escape God's notice.
Psalm 51: 16-17
The Message

I can remember one occasion where I let shame and embarrassment keep me from reaching out for love and support. It took me a while to realize that what I believed was shame and embarrassment was actually pride. I was afraid to let go of my pride and let someone see me in my fallen state. I had a misguided belief that if my friends knew the real me they would be so disgusted they would leave me. I could not find any peace no matter how much I prayed for relief. It was only after I went and confessed my sin and the pride I was hanging onto to try to hide it away that peace came.

Whatever may be keeping you from God's presence is not worth it. If your friends can't love you the way you are, they aren't friends. Do whatever is required to find peace for yourself. It is worth anything.



14 August 2008

Soul aid

The past few months have been full of things which have caused my heart to ache. So when a niece asked if she could come for a visit I was glad to see her arrive. My favorite little girls came for one night of her stay. It is always a heart healer for me to spend time with children. They are so genuine.

Julia and Meredith are missing their big sister this week. She is off at camp. So last night when they came over we decided it would be "Camp Nené." They have both called me Nené for all of their lives. "J" sounds are hard for little mouths and this just worked out easier for them in the beginning. Truthfully, they probably didn't think of calling me anything else as they just copied what their older sister had done.

Last night we did silly dances, watched Donald Duck, ate pizza and made cinnamon rolls for in the morning. The girls love doing a massage train so that was our last activity before bed. We all sit in a row and massage the back of the person in front of you. You switch places from time to time and then everyone ends up with a good massage. While we were doing the train we also had our "thankful time" and "what am I going to do this week to make the world a better place" time. Each of the girls was thankful their sister got to go to camp even though they were missing her. Their choices to make the world a better place included picking up litter, being nice to people, listening to mommy and daddy and putting away toys.

After we had finished we all gathered on my niece's airbed to say our goodnight prayers. The girls love to lay down and stretch out with all of us joining hands in the center to form a cross. I love praying with little ones. They just open up and pour out whatever is troubling them, what they are grateful for, and what they want. I love that these girls know that they can pray together and feel comfortable doing so. I pray they continue this even as adults. I too am so grateful for the chance to refresh my soul by spending time with little ones who love me. I am truly blessed.

Tired but thankful,


P.S. You'd be tired too if you had two little whirling dervishes in your bed.

11 August 2008

I'm not superstitious, I'm just a little stitious.

When I saw this flair I knew it was for me. I love to play with words. I can play word games by the hour because I get so lost in the moment. Words are one way we can convey the intention of our hearts. Ideas are born and blossom by the exchange of words. When I wake each morning I spend time with the words God has for me and then pray that all of my words for the day will be nurturing and encouraging. I do this because I know that words can also be hurtful and belittling.

I was helping a Mom today and her son and daughter were in their own little universe. I heard the brother tell the sister "You mean nothing to me." She was still for a moment and then looked away seeming to struggle to not cry. I wondered if the mother had heard or was she ignoring those words deliberately. A minute later he banged his sister's head with a metal drawer. Now she did cry, and her mother did intervene. She told her son to apologize to his sister and to put the drawer away. I know the knock on the noggin was an "owie" but I think the bigger hurt was the earlier words. "You mean nothing to me"; could there be a more damaging phrase in the English language. Even when someone says "I hate you" there is still some emotional feeling to the words.

I was meditating at lunch and my heart kept feeling such sadness for this little girl. It was just a moment of time. She may never remember it clearly. But for that moment she was hurt as deeply as she can ever be. I prayed the rest of her day would have moments of love and compassion, God knows her morning didn't.

Praying that my words harm others as infrequently as possible.


07 August 2008

Knowing when to say nothing

Right now there are several people close to me who are suffering through various hardships and I don't feel there is anything I can do for them. I know that the feeling of inadequacy on my part is false. I have offered them my love and support, but more importantly I have offered them my silence.

That may seem odd if you don't know that silence can be a very loving gift. When someone is hurting they don't necessarily want to hear the "God works in mysterious ways" or "all things work together for good for those that love God". Just because it is a right message does not mean it is the right time for the message. My father and I were discussing this just yesterday. A cousin's family is enduring a horrific tragedy. Their two year old daughter was run over and killed. To add to their suffering is the fact the car was driven by her father. For this family the only thing I can offer is my sincere sympathies and unending love. There are no words to in any way make this situation better. Silence is a great gift to give them and I am hoping everyone they meet this week will offer a quiet hug.

I often think of Job when his life fell apart around him. His friends came and for a week they sat with him in the dirt and kept silent. They could not know exactly how he was feeling but they wanted to offer their companionship anyway. For that week, they were the greatest friends a hurting man could have. After that, he should have sent them away.

The next time someone you know comes to you and tells you their tale of woe, pause for a moment and see if the desire to speak comes from your desire to do something or from God. Remember, just because your words may be right, it does not mean it is the right time for them.



02 August 2008

This should make you laugh

This little guy knows that happiness is of his own making. The hard part for him and for all of us is to remember that happiness is a choice we make. It's certainly influenced by our surroundings, but ultimately we either choose to be happy or don't.

You can find joy in all sorts of places. Earlier this week I was pretty worn out. I had a rough day and could not wait to get home. Once I got home I parked the car and went to get out. While driving home some of my joints locked up and my knee just didn't want to let me stand. I sat there for a moment and contemplated how I would even call for help. Do you call a friend and say "I'm stuck in my car and can't get out." For some reason just the thought of having to call someone to help me get out of the car started me giggling. It is not the first time I had been stuck in a car. Twice I have been in accidents severe enough that I had to wait for outside assistance to get out . Here I was again only I had no accident to blame. Giggles soon gave way to very large laughs. Before I knew it, things loosened up and I was free from my Nissan. I was sharing this story at work today and had everybody in the breakroom laughing along with me. I could have chosen to panic at the moment I realized my predicament. Fortunately, I am predisposed to laughter. I have had so many bizarre moments in my life I have long learned laughter is always a better response.

Still chuckling,