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.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Change your perspective.  Choose a different post.

On my morning walks across John Adam’s bridge on Manasota Key, I see these birds perched on their post. They amuse me and remind me of the many times I’ve been a single post sitter. 
These pillars are sunk deep in Lemon Bay and these individual birds claim them as their own. Their hidebound attitude allows no visitors or any change in the direction they are facing.  They have chosen a set perspective day after day.  Soon their pose becomes their attitude.  They define themselves by their rigid posture telling all that this is their territory and I am in control.
Sound familiar?  How many times I have looked at the same thing in the same way and it has given me an “ I can’t do this,” attitude or a closed mind.  Am I like the pelican on the post?  Have I become rigid and territorial because of my position and perspective? 
We know countless people who have looked at something from a different perspective and changed their world.  Think of Job in the Bible.  He thought he was doomed, dying, and disgraced.  Then, God changed Job’s perspective by reminding as he talked with him and about his Divine wisdom, magnificent creations, and asked him some difficult questions. Suddenly Job understood.  His epiphany guided him into gratefulness.  Job changed his position and was restored.  Abraham was willing to travel to another land, fly to a different post even though he knew not where he would land.  His life was changed and he became the father of nations.  Noah built an ark with no water in sight.  He followed Father God in obedience and saved his sons, who populated our world.  They each had to make a decision to have a different perspective.  Jesus chose death, and His perspective on the cross brought us life eternal. All these men had to release their “entitlement post” and move in obedience.  This is my challenge. 
I’m going to let go of my entitlement post, my limited view, and my fixed attitude on some issue this week.  I am not going to continue my rigidity on this issue but instead seek out new insights, broader understanding, and choose another perspective.  How will I be changed?  I must abandon my pillar, attitude, resentment, or stubbornness to discover my new understanding. How about you? Have you been post sitting lately?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Long marriages

Old Marriages
I’ve been thinking about old marriages because I have observed many couples married forty, fifty, or sixty years on my snowbird retreat.  Yes, they have been married to one person all those years!  When we had been married about ten years, I couldn’t fathom we’d ever reach the twentieth anniversary.  We still had a lot of tugs, stumbles, and stubbornness in our marriage.  However, we learned the ebb and tide of flowing together through hardships, rearing two boys, and celebrating and having fun together even when we were fussing, arguing, and competing with each other.

It is a terrible combo when two competitive people that are both the babies in the family get married.  We both want to win.  It doesn’t matter if it is playing cards, climbing a mountain, succeeding in our career, or doing our own thing, or arguing.  We want to win.  Having the birth position of “baby” creates a dimension of  “it’s mine and I’m special”.  It has taken years to realize I am competitive even if I am not the athlete my husband is.  But, all these years together have taken the edge off our competitiveness, and we understand each other’s need to win.  We have taken competitive energy and turned it into together energy.  We have turned self-centeredness into we can do this together. 

Our marriage is like the sunrise.  We have seen some stormy mornings, vibrant red skies, ordinary days, and basked in the miracles of the rising sun.  It has taken all these circumstances to mold us, change our hearts, turn our cheeks, and lift our spirits during tough times.  Like a lingering sunrise of red, orange, and yellow upon a tranquil teal sea, each of these days together has created beauty within.  We appreciate each other’s talents and gifts, understand the gold in our hearts, and see the sunrise in each other.

We have celebrated well.  Energized by traveling to new countries, experiencing different cultures, and tasting foods and wines from afar have created an “awe” button within.  When we push that button, we vocalize to each other the magic of travel and how it has changed our perspective, awakened epiphanies, and increased our ability to appreciate those unlike us.  We embrace and love the new friendships that have been gained in our travels from New York to California, from Kazakhstan to Europe.  We always have a travel dream in our hearts and gratefulness for how our journeys have added to our marriage. Traveling together has made us best friends.

When we said, “ I do”, we didn’t realize the struggles and tears we would shed together.  We cried tears of anger and in sorrow.  When our children were hurting, ill, or challenged, our hearts sank in unison.  When we faced illness, financial hardships, or family deaths, that “ I do” became a contract.  I do love you even if we’ve made wrong judgments, been neglectful, are suffering illness, or standing firm in faith for our children’s healing. I do love you when you wrap your arms and energy around me and give me strength.  I love how you help me turn a negative into a positive by joining your energy with mine.

Forty-nine years of cheering at football games, laughing at our children’s antics, becoming that sacred title of “grandparent”, or going on a date, we have been blessed.  Only an old marriage realizes the magnetic energy of dancing like we did when we were teens. When old bodies embrace, music is heard and understanding is projected. We often need to help each other with a lost word when we share a favorite story.   Old marriages are like worn baby blankets.  They have comforted, warmed us, and been there through sleepless nights.  We have become that security blanket to each other.

I am so grateful we both held on to our marriage.  Through battles and victories, it has grown old, sentimental, and so sweet.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Life Lesson 

As I put my toes in the sand, I sink into its warmth.  The dry land embraces my feet.  It makes me aware that I must choose.  Yes, I must decide which direction I move toward the ocean.  Should I walk on the shells, wince and complain?  Perhaps, I need to take more steps on a smoother turf to reach my destiny.  Each step is a process of sinking and selecting.  This awareness reminds me of life.  I may choose to retreat and just stand on the boardwalk and not enter into the clement waters.  I can see the cerulean hues and hear the swish of waves.  This is pleasant and comfortable.

Then, I crave more.  I select a different path to the ocean.  The sand is lukewarm, soft, filled with lovely childhood memories. The sunshine on my skin soaks into my bones.  The balmy breeze brushes my face as I step into the water.  Suddenly, I encounter the waves of life.  They wash around me and sometimes make me off balance.  I must commit myself again.  Do I want comfort or understanding?  I see something shining under the water.  I reach for it just as an oncoming wave snatches it from my sight.  The treasure is gone.  It has been washed out to sea.  Do I quit?  Do I give up?

I choose to stay.  I fight the salty waves trying to push me down.  I ground my feet into the wet sand below.  I am a warrior.  I rest in the position I am in and reach toward the Almighty.  I know He is with me.  I am certain He cares about my destiny because He created me for it.  I am not a robot, so He doesn’t make my choices.  I choose my path, my balance, and my way of reaching and trying.  I reach again for the diamond beneath the water and, this time, I catch it.  It is a pointed shell broken but still lovely with its alabaster finish.  Broken yet beautiful.  I like how smooth it feels and how in the sunshine it reflects rainbows of light and color.  I have received a gift from the hands of the tide. For this I am grateful.

Psalm 36:5, “Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.” (NIV)