Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's Your Choice

You don't always get what you want. You know that, right? Sure, we all know it; but we generally don't like it. I mean, we want what we want when we want it. And when we don't get it, we stew over it. We brainstorm about how we can get it. We wonder how we might manipulate the circumstances in our favor. We contemplate, fret, fantasize.... And then we stumble upon the word "contentment". Therein lies the rub. Where in the world does "contentment" fit into the picture? And how? What about hope and faith and believing for change?! How do we know whether to let it go or keep pressing in? How do we know???

There are plenty of things I don't know and many things I will never understand about this world and this life; but one thing I know for sure is this: happiness is a choice, my choice. And I choose it today--right now--for me. I choose to be happy in spite of circumstances, in spite of let-downs and disappointments, in spite of people and of 'stuff'....I choose happiness! I choose not to let a few ruts in the road deter me. I refuse to let sadness creep in and steal my joy. I snub the invitation of self-pity. I will acknowledge them, certainly, but I won't invite them in for cocktails. I choose not to stop when hurt or disappointment comes in like a flood. I will mourn my losses, my disappointments; then I will dry my tears, look up and take comfort. I will breathe in and breathe out, and I will move forward.

Am I saying that we should never strive and strain and stretch for a goal? Of course not! There is a time for pressing in; but there is also a time for letting go. We just need wisdom to know the difference. And in both cases, we can still have joy. That is our choice.

Here are the facts:
Life will let you down.
People will disappoint you.
Tragedies will come your way.
Your dreams won't always be realized.

But the Truth is:
God is always good.
Life isn't always easy, but it can always be sweet and meaningful.
'Things' don't matter as much as relationships do.
Hurts heal.
Strength comes from adversity.
True character is proven in hard times, not easy ones.
Sorrow may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

I have found some passages that bring such comfort to my life. They resound within me and give me amazing comfort and peace. Take them in and mull over them for a while, then look up and take comfort. Breathe in and breathe out, and move forward!

"...We know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we'll never have to relocate our "tents" again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what's coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we're tired of it! We've been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies!

The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what's ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we'll never settle for less. That's why we live with such good cheer. You won't see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don't get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It's what we trust in but don't yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we'll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.

But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that's what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. Sooner or later we'll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what's coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad. That keeps us vigilant, you can be sure." 2 Corinthians 5:1-11 (The Message Bible)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Take a Hint

Why is it that men just don't know how to take hints? I mean, you would think... a subtle (or even not so subtle) hint dropped here and there would cause some lights to come on. Oh, how I wish they would. But, no! Hint all you want, girls; you're just wasting precious time. Men, it is apparent, just don't have what it takes to "read the signs." Period. But the question that every woman keeps asking herself is, "For the love of God, WHY???"

Well, I've been giving this a lot of thought recently, and I've decided that there surely must be some logical explanation for a man's inability to 'pick up' on things a woman is clearly trying to say. Hummmm.... I've come to a semi-rational conclusion that might be helpful to the female population. Here's my theory:

After much observation of the male species, I have reason to suspect that there is a chemical missing in a man's brain that blocks his ability to take hints. After all, what is so hard about this process? A woman of any age can take a hint--even the slightest one--without the tiniest bit of strain. I would even go so far as to say that women are (at times) guilty of "reading into things". But rarely--practically never--will a woman be accused of not taking a hint. I think we can all agree on this fact.

Also, it has come to my attention that men do not, cannot, and will not take hints, even blatantly obvious ones. Thus, it has become clear to me, ladies, that from this day forward we must take a different approach to making our feelings, thoughts or wishes known to our men. From this day forward, all hints are null and void, out, kaput, gone baby gone! I have overwhelming evidence that overt communication is the only thing that will work effectively.

Ladies, beginning today, we must actually be willing to say what is on our minds, since sadly, men cannot read them. (Shocking, I know.) We must spell it out, girls! Lay our cards on the table, make no bones about it, tell it like it is, leave no stone unturned... (You get my drift.) Then, and only then, will the men in our lives fully understand what is floating around in our heads. Weird, isn't it???

Monday, September 14, 2009


I have words. OK, I said it and now it's out there. It's true. I have words and lots of them. The problem, however, is that they don't always find their freedom. They usually stay locked up in a prison, longing to be released--in a smooth, unending flow.

Since desperate times call for desperate measures, I've come up with a plan--a way to liberate said words. I must, I've decided, emancipate these precious words before they die alone in their cages.

"The freedom plan," though quite simple, is one that will (if carefully and strategically executed) unshackle my pent-up words and allow them to leap forth with vigor and potency, engage in meaningful conversations, and finally find full expression. Oh, joy!

So, the plan is this: I will take my words, once bound, out on a weekly excursion to mingle with another freedom-seeking-word-carrier. I will strategically and purposefully choose a time and a place where we can sit and drink freely of each other's words. We will take turns pouring and drinking, pouring and drinking, pouring and drinking...until our thirsty souls have been satisfied and our words have begun to wane. I will call this day "Thirstday".

I am very eager to put my plan into action. My words are stirring inside me at the thought! They've already begun to ask, "Will two hours a week be enough?"

"Probably not, but it's a start," I reassure them.

Relationships take time and effort to build, and my lonely words and I are ready to take our first Thirstday trip. The exact date and time for the rendezvous has not yet been set, but I'm working on it; for in the background I can hear my desperate words dragging their cups along the bars of their cells as they cry out, "Free us! Free us!"

And I reply, "Hang on, my words, Thirstday is almost here!"

Saturday, September 5, 2009

You Inspire Me

Long time no write. Hummm... Guess I need to give myself a little pep talk and get back at it while the gettin's good, as they say. Actually, I've been so inspired by some of my blogging friends out there in cyber world (you go, girls!) that I'm shamed..uh..inspired to add a new post.

So... what will it be today? Well, I was thinking about how much we actually do influence one another...to do things, to say things, to believe things...by something very simple: our words. It's true! Words have much more influence than one would suppose. For example, I recently posted on facebook that I had baked some homemade banana nut bread and wa-la! Not only did I have several requests for the recipe, but two people actually wrote back and said they'd tried the recipe!

Wow...the power of words. They're pretty amazing, don't you think? Words have the power to inspire, influence, encourage or, sadly, to tear apart, demean and devalue. The Book of Psalms says that the power of life and death is in the our tongues (pretty potent, eh?) So, I am planning on creating something wonderful with this little muscle in between my teeth today. I want to offer words that will challenge, motivate, encourage, inspire and influence. I want to speak life to the lifeless, hope to the hopeless, peace to the restless, and joy to the sadness. And...I invite you to do the same.

Let my words stir in you this challenge: taste carefully your words before you share them with others. After all, you would never share a recipe for banana nut bread that you hadn't tried yourself, right?