Thank you for stopping by my blog.

I write day after day because I discover extraordinary lessons from ordinary life experiences. I record my visual portraits of everyday life filled with something sacred in hopes that my reflections might bring an insight that blesses my readers.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Too slow my heart has been in learning how to live.

Too slow my heart has been.

Learning how to live

            Today I have learned to model my life after the nature God created. I will strive to stand tall like the oak tree. I will gladly give shade to those who are hot and sweaty from life’s hard work. I will hold fast during the storms of life. My roots are deeply grounded in the gospel, and that is why I can stand using the Creator’s strength, not mine. 

Today I will be serene like the mountains.  I will learn from them the importance of staying still and listening to that small voice. I will not be like the busy highway below the mountains that is cluttered with trash, cans, garbage, and fast paced vehicles. Instead, I will be those Smokey Mountains in the distance speaking peace.
Today I will mimic the free spirit of the light-hearted birds that eat from my feeders. I will drop in for bits of food and fly out to discover new branches to rest upon and watch the world. I will hide in these branches from the winds of the storm, and start the morning with sweet songs of praise and glory.
Today I consider the lilies along the roadside. Their beauty and brightness softens each landscape. As I walk beside them, I learn from them not to worry of a tomorrow that might never bring some direful, long anticipated thing. Instead, I will sway in the warm breeze and feel it upon my petals. Today I rejoice for how wonderfully I am created by the Master.
Today I will extend the loved odor of the lilac bush. I will refresh those who come into my path by my love extended unconditionally. Free kindness is what the lilac spreads by its pleasant fragrance. Me too, I want to have the sweet scent of the Savior and extend free kindness to strangers, friends, and family. 
It has taken a long time for me to gather these simple lessons that my Master teaches through His magnificent creations. Ah, too slow has been my heart in learning how to live. Dear Father, please forgive.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Project 137

Project 137

I am involved in Patti Digh’s Project 137. Patti has published six books on living well and reaching out to others. The course gives us opportunities to not only evaluate how we are doing at showing others love, but challenges on how to share our words and gifts with others. Another lesson of the day includes living fully. Assignments include everything from taking time to meditate to organizing two drawers and finding good stuff to donate to others. The third lesson to practice every day is how to let go deeply. In other words, remembering the significance of my day and accepting that the imperfections of today are perfect for today. We were instructed to put 137 objects into a pretty container and transfer one a day into another container. I chose seashells, of course, and treasure looking at them each day. As I place the day’s shell into the glass cylinder, I thank God for this precious day and put it behind me. I put another shell by the container and all day this visual reminds me to cherish today and live and love today to the best of my abilities. 
I’m enjoying the class immensely and am impressed with so many talented and wise participants. There are no rules, but it is encouraging to respond to some of the post of how others lived well or needs a little help on an obstacle or issue in their life. No problem if someone falls behind on their lessons, they still transfer the object at the end of the day. There is no chastisement or guilt involved. Our class is over in 125 days, which will be New Year’s Eve. It is sobering to watch how quickly the shells accumulate in the now almost empty vessel. The numbering of each day makes me appreciate my life, moment by moment.
Because of the suggested assignments, I feel like I accomplish something good for my soul and have encouraged someone else each day.  I love an assignment of clearing clutter and giving to others. The best part is that almost $2000 dollars has been collected by Patti from our enrollment. The fee is a donation to the 137 fund, which will bless different ladies who have unexpected financial needs. The amount of the fee is the participant’s decision. So, the next time Patti offers Project 137, you might want to get involved.  I promise Patti doesn’t know I am writing this. I was inspired and wanted to share this privilege to anyone interested.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Revisiting God

A new life-lesson

Today during my Bible study, the Lord showed me an old truth with a new slant.  It amazes me how I can read the same Old Testament story and gain such different insights each time.  I guess that is why it is called the living word.
Ezekial 34 is the story of Moses going to the mountaintop to receive more instructions from God.   Can you imagine spending time with God and leaving with handmade, hand fashioned God tablets with ten simple commandments?  I am sure we would call this a mountaintop experience.  Just when Moses thinks things are going well for his people, who were former slaves, freed by God, his dream is shattered.  He comes down from the mountaintop and finds they have made a golden calf and are worshipping this idol.  He is furious and drops the tablets to the ground, and they are shattered.  Moses realizes his dream will not materialize.  So, does he give up?  Does he leave these people?  Does he go into a deep depression and isolate himself?  No, even though I might have chosen one of those reactions. 
            Instead, he goes up the mountain to be with God again.  “Carve for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will inscribe upon them the words that were on the first tablets.” Exodus 34:1   I realized today that the replacement tablets were a joint human-divine effort. 
I know that Moses wrote this in his life-lesson blog.  He probably wrote, “As leaders, we should set high standards for our people.  However, be prepared.  They may not reach these standards.  They may fall short, but God uses mankind and His divine intervention to pick up those broken pieces and recreate their lives. ”
God gave them a second chance by allowing Moses to carve the tablets and then add God’s holy signature and words.  How many times have I dropped the tablets and a relationship was shattered, a job not completed, a friend not given all the time he deserved?  How many times have I too had a dream that rotted in the sun?  How many times have I blamed someone else, isolated myself, or called on a friend to hear my tale of woe, instead of revisiting God?  Have I allowed Him to take my shattered dream, hopes, or expectations and recreate them with His divine knowledge? This epiphany and awareness was a profound realization this day.  I wanted to share it in my life lesson blog just like Moses. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Forgiveness-being a part of something bigger than I.


            Can you remember a time when someone forgave you?  Perhaps they dismissed your angry outburst, or they understood when you borrowed something and it was broken.  They asked no payment and forgave you. That was living grace. Learning to forgive is for the strong, not the weak.  It is easier to hold on to resentment, a wrongdoing, or grudges.  It takes a powerful inner strength to genuinely forgive a spouses’ unfaithfulness, a mother’s abuse, a sister’s betrayal, a brother’s lie, or a friend’s deception.
            Webster defines forgiveness as, “ the attitude of someone that is willing to forgive other people”. That helps; it is an attitude.  Does it require actions?  I can talk myself into the fact that my attitude is right.  My son did not have the right to reject me.  It is his fault, not mine.  My husband doesn’t listen and he purposely ignores me.  That’s his fault, not mine.  They have the attitude problem, not me.  See what I am saying?  Attitude is too nebulous for we human beings to define or act upon.
            Instead, remember what Teilhard de Chardin said, “ We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.  We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” His perspective makes it so much easier to forgive.  Consider the irrepressible spirit within each one of us.  It cannot be blocked because we have a built in longing for love and peace. So, when you get slapped, Jesus advocates turning the other cheek. Why?  We have a spiritual presence that helps these heavy weights of hurt and despair create a being more in the image of Christ.  As we forgive, our spirit grows in the love that Christ has put within each of us.  Granted forgiveness may start small with uttered words to our Father.  Little by little the love of Christ inroads our selfish self, our bruised ego, and our broken heart.  This slow erosion process reaps forgiveness in our soul and loosens the other person to discover more of his/her spirit of love.  Who would think that our conscious act of forgiving could bring so many benefits to us and shape another soul?   Ephesians 1:7:  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”