Posted in Uplifting

Getting Socks On

Last Thursday was the last day for me to take my grandson to school due to change in my schedule. It’s a bitter-sweet time for me.

As I got to his house to pick him up I could hear his mom telling him to hurry and get his socks on because I would be there any minute. I knocked on the door and walked in finding my grandson looking shocked with huge eyes that said he knew he should and listened to his mom.

My heart melted the moment I looked at him, I have had those same feelings my self.

Those feelings of if only, of embarrassment, letting someone you love down and the one that can really keep you down, regret.

As adults we all still choose to not get our socks on then beat ourselves up and live defeated lives holding our heads down.

I walked over to my downtrodden grandson sat down beside him and just talked plus with a hug and kiss, all was right in his world he knew grandma still loved him, he would still make it to school on time and he worked out his problem that caused him to not want to listen.

Just like when I walked over to my grandson to extend grace so does God. He is always there to extend grace even when we choose to do something we shouldn’t. His love is always there with His arms open wide to make our world right again. We don’t have live with our heads down, we can live loved.
Ephesians 2:4-5 – But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved …
Romans 5:8 – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Zephaniah 3:17 – The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
1 Peter 5:6-7 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Psalm 86:15 – But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

 

 

 

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Posted in Uplifting

Its in the Little Things

I have always been a firm believer in greeting each day with conscious breathing and putting my hand over my heart to feel it beat. As I do this I do some mindful waking and prayer. I know that to have my heart beating means I have purpose but it’s up to me to embrace this and do it. I will pray for guidance but it’s up to me to do it.

This being said I also now have a puppy who is a morning soul and greets each new day with such joy it puts me to shame. I not only have a mindful wakening but get to laugh as I greet each day, her joy is infectious and it got me thinking.

I have thought that with the tragedy in Vegas the people who went to the concert did so looking their best and thought they were just going to have a wonderful time. I am sure that with each makeup application and each careful thought out piece of clothing no one would have thought what was to happen.

My prayers go out to all that have been impacted by this and all other tragedies.

It seems that as I watch the news it turns into my prayer list and I must leave it at that or I will start to get to sad for those in the news. I also can turn it of and start thinking about all the little things in my life I take for granted.

What if we all start to see each small thing in our life from the time we wake up until we fall asleep we acknowledge all of it. I bet that when we start thinking of every small thing in our life as celebrations in stead of obligations and yes even on Monday morning as we go to work instead of complaining you have to go to work look at it as I am thankful I have a job.

Lets celebrate the small things, burn those candles, use the best china just because and celebrate life.

I believe if we start just how my puppy’s joy for each new day is infectious so will our grateful attitudes be and we might just start having a happier life.

Psalm 39:4

“LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered–how fleeting my life is.

 

 

Posted in Uplifting

Yoga and a Puppy

I have been practicing yoga for a lot of years. It helped me when my children were young and as I went through a divorce but I had no idea how stuck in a rut I have been in until I got a puppy a few weeks ago.

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This is my new addition Padme Rose, she is only 9 weeks (10 in a few days) and so full of life. I was reminded how dull my life was, with adult children and my girl Dingo who is nine years old my home was almost a tomb when I did yoga. The morning after I brought her home I got my mat and started as usual but as I centered my self I could feel nipping at my toes that progressed to jumping up and grabbing my ponytail. I continued to just breath with her growling and tugging on my shirt. I was brought out of my breathing and centering with a bite to my toe that reminded me her teeth are tiny needles.

I gave her some toys but that only lasted a moment then my older dog decided to join in the fun. They started playing so I started to do some poses. As I went from downward dog to plank a perfectly timed jump brought my puppy landing on my back. I couldn’t help but plop onto my stomach with a laugh that continued for a while.

Yes this is my new normal. My quite yoga days are gone but I have found I am growing in my practice and with that I am growing off the mat as well.

I cant help but see how my wild yoga practice is parallel to life.

We can go through life at a quite pace nothing really happening until one day a problem or crises will arise. We can either go with it, feel the pain or problem then move through it or get upset that are normal quite life is anything but what it use to be and stay in that hurt.

One thing is consent and that is change nothing will ever stay the same . We wont always have an easy smooth quite life but then again our problems wont last, we will move on even as painful as it seems from death or trauma. The sun will still rise and set then one day we will start to notice this rising and maybe the colors and a little of the beauty that still can be found if only noticed for a moment.

Just as I know my puppy will grow and I will have my quite yoga back. I know that right now my life is a bit crazy but in time that to will calm down. I have so many favorite passages that always encourage me but here are two that might help you.

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Romans 8:18
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

 

 

Posted in Uplifting

“You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important”

Last Friday I was in the mood for a heart-felt movie. Not really a romantic one but the kind that leaves you thinking or needing a box of Kleenex. As I looked at what was getting ready to come on I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I did a double take at the guide on my screen and pressed enter so I could watch “The Help”.

I only had a few minutes to get my pajamas on and a good snack. I flew around the house to get everything done so I could have a great Friday night at home nice and comfy. I had read the book and loved it but was hoping I wouldn’t be let down by the movie.

I was anything but let down, as I watched Aibileen ( the maid ) try to help the poor little toddler Mae Mobley  who is a hot mess and pushed aside by her mom. So in need of a kind gentle reminder that she mattered. Aibileen spoke such simple and to the point words of encouragement that she hoped would take root in her little heart. She said ” You is kind, You is Smart, You is important”.

I got a tear in my eye for all the Mae Mobley’s that are alive and need this reminder, myself included.

Sometimes I forget to see myself as kind, smart and important. I forget something so simple when I just get frustrated with myself. I really needed it put so simply to speak to my inner child that can be in need of a kind gentle reminder.

I wrote down that simple phrase on a card but didn’t stop there I went to my bathroom, grabbed my red lipstick I never wear but new it would come in handy and wrote it on my mirror as a reminder, Just in case I forget.

 

Posted in Uplifting

Value of a Moment

“Sometimes you will Never Know

the value of a moment

Until it becomes a memory.”

                                                                                        Dr. Seuss

 

I am one of those people who love a good quote. I have sticky notes and index cards all around my house to prove it but this quote I have written on a large piece of paper on my refrigerator at eye level to remind me to value each moment just in case I forget.

It seems to me the older I get the more this quote is so true. In my 20 and 30’s I was so busy doing life I would forget to enjoy small moments but looking back how I value them. This was driven home to me when I was talking to my daughter about dropping her son off at school. She was wanting to do the drop, hug and go home quick method because she has so much to do before going to work.

I remember that rush and not stopping to savor the moment that is now only a memory. I remember the quick hug, kiss and glance over my shoulder. The rushed mornings of getting sleepy little ones off.

I have the blessing of dropping my grandson off at kindergarten one day a week. I am able to see him run, swing and play with such enjoyment it brings a tear to my eyes. I can value each of those moments a little more than when I was younger. I can give my grandson the best gift a person can give and that is to be fully present with them.

To be fully present in the moment with each person even if those moments are the hard ones when all you can do is hold their hand, hear their cry or just be present and let them share the silence with you. Its sharing of the hard hurtful dark times that can bring the most valued memory.

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, MSG

“After looking at the way things are on this earth, here’s what I’ve decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. And that’s about it. That’s the human lot. Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s God’s gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now. It’s useless to brood over how long we might live.”

 

 

Posted in Uplifting

Baggage

I haven’t had a good vacation in a long time but I have been blessed with short mini ones. The chance to go and see new places or just enjoy favorite spots is so much fun for me. Not only the destination but the getting there is just as wonderful.

Perhaps its my wanting to go on a trip that got me thinking.

Lets say I have won a trip to a tropical island, I have never gone but I need to pack because a cab will be here soon to pick me up. I pack everything I can think of. When the cab comes I bring all my baggage with me. The driver look at me like I am crazy bring bag after bag.

I get to the airport to check in ALL of my bags. I hand them over one at a time, the person behind the counter tells me I have to pay a large amount if I intend to bring it all with me. I feel upset thinking of course I want all of it but the cost of it is getting in the way of my free trip. I go through my bags one at a time. I take out items that don’t make sense to bring to an island getaway but I want them, I had them for every other trip why not now? Who knows you might need a big balky sweater?  The person is waiting for me to decide if its worth bring all my extra baggage.

Now its easy to see that no you don’t need balky sweaters for a tropical island but we do that in life. I have really been working through how much of my baggage of my past am I willing to pay for so I can take it with me to a new wonderful place of today.

Am I will to leave baggage that is of no use so I can move forward?

Yes I am and what’s so great is I don’t have to go through all of my bags alone. I have someone to help me. I have the one who can see what’s a head and what in my past I need to leave because it has no use for me today but weigh me down. God is always with me to help me go through these bags so I can be free to enjoy my todays.

Isaiah 43:18
“Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.

Philippians 3:13-14

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus

 

 

Posted in Uplifting

Turbulence

As my parents were waiting to fly back home out of Chicago O’Hare my mom calls to talk. I ask how the weather is because I know for my mom this is important, she lets me know that there is nothing but clouds and I know that to her this means some anxious feelings, my heart goes out to her as we talk.

To me this would be a great sight, call it a sucker for punishment but when I see clouds all I can think is a bumpy start as the plan goes down the run way to take off in the clouds with so many bumps its exciting. Or when I am flying and that drink on the tray starts to move then you hear please fasten your seat belts, that’s just music to my ears.

I know that my feelings of enjoying the turbulence is the minority but it got me thinking.

What if the pilot went into the cock pit looked out at the clouds and came on to let people know that due to the clouds they will stay grounded until a clear sunny day. If this happened not only would planes never fly but we would wonder about the pilot and his abilities. We want to get to our destination, we know that it will be hard but understand its needed to get any place.

Same thing for life when the hard times come if we stop and let the clouds scare us into grounding our plane we would never get anyplace. I have been struggling with this in a few parts of my life. I have wanted to throw in the towel to just stay in the hanger but I know that nothing ever worth anything is ever achieved if you give up.

My only option  is get on that plane, talk to my pilot sit down and buckle up knowing that in the end I will make it through the turbulence and fly above the clouds because I have the best Pilot in charge, my God has it all in control and I will persevere knowing this because it will get better and it will be worth it.

Galatians 6:9

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

 

 

Posted in Uplifting

You are Unique

Growing up I did not want to look or act like anyone else. I went to great lengths to look like what I thought was unique and in my young mind if I looked unique then that must be what I am, no label for me. Over time and growing up of course things change but it got me thinking a lot about how in this world everyone is striving to be unique but some how when it comes right down to it most would prefer to be like someone else.

People, me included at times look at someone and see their talent or looks and think…if only I had that ability or those looks how nice it would be, how easy life would be.

To see a talented artist and acknowledge their talent is great. In fact to be grateful for what they bring to the world is a good thing but it can start damaging us if we start the if only, if we start to covet. Then we start to not be happy with our own unique selves.

I was reading the story of David and Goliath ( 1 Samuel 17 ) I know this story from childhood but what got me was that David used what he had. He used what was his own way to defend his sheep. He didn’t go up to one of the soldiers and ask for a sword because he knew that he could use a sling shot better. He was happy with what he had, with out second guessing himself. He owned that sling and stones. He knew that God would use what he was good at to deliver the giant over to the Israelites.

So I am happy to embrace my little sling shot. Yes I might only have a sling shot instead of a bold beautiful sward but I am good with that. I know that no one else has one quite like it. I am unique, I have talent that no one else has and I am so blessed to be able to share what I only can offer. I know when I am looking at the world to share my uniqueness then I am able to fully enjoy other people and the unique talents that they bring.

“There is an abundant need in this world for YOUR exact brand of beautiful.” Lisa Terkeurst

Posted in Uplifting

Feeling Drained

On Sunday my service was on Matthew 14:13-21 the feeding of a great crowed with five loaves and two fish. I have heard this story so many times but on Sunday when I was feeling sluggish and drained I couldn’t help but notice things that I hadn’t before.

Frist I noticed from the beginning that Jesus was trying to make an escape and get away from the crowds. He was just told of his cousin’s death and yet everyone was needing more of him, all he wanted was to mourn his loss.

I have felt the same way, the need to be alone so I can just heal from some hard parts of life that have drained me and left me mourning.

My ears perked up again at another part in this reading. Jesus went in a boat to get away now my favorite part ” When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them.”

Yes the rest of the story is the feeding of the people with just five loaves and two fish and that is amazing but what I found so comforting is not only did he have compassion but knew they needed food and met their need.

I thought how many times do I get so wrapped up in me that I forget to see people with eyes of compassion, then take action.

I found that when I do help others even when I am feeling low that by the time I am done helping them the person that was really helped was me.

 

Posted in Uplifting

Letting Go Of Your Blankie

I am surprised that I was not called Linus. Yes the nerdy kid that was naïve and carried his blanket everyplace not caring what others thought or said, in fact with his blanket he could take on the world or use it to help others.

As a very young girl that was me, I had a green knitted blanket that I loved. It went every where I went and over time this blanket got ripped and so thin that I bet no one wanted that ugly thing near them but I did not care to me that blankie was the essence of comfort and my sail for my imagination when I needed a retreat from an average life, what adventures I had with it.

I loved my green blankie, so when the day of going to Kindergarten came I just assumed I would have my beloved green blankie with me. I mean who could go to school with out it. By that time it was so small from years of washing and falling apart it would have fit fine in a back pack.

I was told I could not bring it! I had such a hard time giving up my friend. I mourned the loss of it.

It sounds so funny now to say that but to me at the time it was if I had to say good bye to my best friend. I also had no idea of the freedom that would come to me when I didn’t have to look for it.

I eventually grew and wouldn’t trade my new independence and freedom for even a moment to have my blanket back.

Looking back on this got me thinking on how we all carry a blanket.

A blanket of :

Anger, bitterness, resentment, jealousy, self-pity, self-condemnation, grumbling or complaining.

It can be so hard to let go of that blanket that has kept us warm. It almost feels that if we were to let go of that comfort what would we have left.

How easy it is to let go if thought of as a childish thing but just as I had to let go of my beloved blankie, in life I have had to let go of my other blankets that I would fold nicely and put on the shelf to bring down when it suited me.

So all those blankets we carry or put away,  how about getting rid of them for good and in turn we get so much more.

Galatians 5:22-23a New International Version (NIV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23a gentleness and self-control.