Sunday, August 10, 2014

Other Thoughts On Life and Living...all while riding a roller coaster

 We spent three glorious days
 in the beautiful
 Ozark mountains of Branson, Missouri. 
 Part of that time was spent riding roller coasters.
 When I first step onto a roller coaster
 the anticipation is high for the thrill of the ride.
um...sorta... 
 Can I just say, I DO NOT LIKE roller coasters?
  I do not like them. 
To say I don't like them,
 should not be confused
 with saying
 I'm scared to ride them. 
 I'm not scared.
 I just don't necessarily see
 any sane reason
 to have my hair flying through space
 and my head banging
 and my neck jerking
 and feeling my body be lifted off the seat
 as I plummet head long
 into the next upside down turn. 
However, when my kids want me to ride,
 I ride!
And I tell myself to shut my eyes,
 don't anticipate the turns or falls
and just enjoy the ride,
  feel the exhilaration,
sense the wind on my face,
feel the air pulling my brown curly hair,
 listen to the sounds,
mostly screams,
 and then the laughter
and sighing and more giddy laughter
 as the coaster slides to a quick and abrupt halt.
 In about two minutes and 45 seconds,
 it's all over
 and I step across the barrier to the exit.
I can look back at that point
 and see the five times
 I was hanging upside down,
 the times I was going up
 and coming down,
 and I  may even gasp and say,
 "I did that!"
I can walk through the gift shop
 and get a t-shirt describing
 the thrill of my ride
 on a steel track,
 rising to heights of 155 feet,
 reaching top speeds of 66 mph,
 and dropping down yet again 155 feet,
 all while coiling through Cobra Rolls
 and Full Loops.
  No I'm not scared.
I just don't like the uncertainty,
 the "out of controllness" of it all.
 
At times I've heard people say
 life is like a roller coaster. 
 I've said it too.
Because in the ride of life
we aren't in control.  
Do you agree?
 
When I step off the coaster
 and look back at all I just did
 as I rode that piece of machinery,
 putting my life
 in the trust of the designing engineer
and surveyors
who marked the positions
of the support beams
and  the controller
sitting at the desk,
 and computers
 and chains
 that keep it going, 
I think,
 "what was I doing?'
 
When you stop and think about it,
 life really is like that.
  We can't see the whole track,
 the path of life
 that we will journey. 
 We don't know the heights
 we will climb,
 and the depths
 to which we will drop,
 the upside down helplessness
 and the G force of pain or peril. 
 We don't know
 the times
 we will reach a tip top peak
 and sense the wonder of the view
from way up there. 
 
So I guess,
in reality,
we all just get on,
 with anticipation,
 and know that we just have to trust the Maker,
the Master Designer.
If we could see the whole track
of life
at one time
before we ever got started
or got on
maybe we couldn't endure~
maybe we couldn't
bear
the ride.
 We have to trust our Maker,
 for the whole journey,
not just parts of it,
no matter how bad you or I may want off,
there's no gettin' off. 
 
When my life is done,
 if I am allowed to look back
 and see the twists and turns,
the exhilaration and despair,
 the whole track of life
 that I travelled,
 I know I will say it was all worth it.
I might even sigh and say,
"I did that!" 
 
 "What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived"
 -- the things God has prepared for those who love him--
Holy Bible New Testament
1 Corinthians 2:9

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I Suppose This Is What You Will Have To Do

When every door is closed,
closed tightly,
and there is not a single window opening,
then I suppose the best thing
you can do
 is patiently wait in the hallway.
 
Are you walking through open doors,
 or waiting in the hallway?

Old Testament

Book of Jeremiah chapter 29 verses 11-13

11 For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
 plans to give you hope and a future.
12 Then you will call on me
 and come and pray to me,
 and I will listen to you.
13 You will seek me
 and find me
when you seek me with all your heart.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

This Is What I Do Know...life is not always gentle.

In January I flew.
 
We had such a cold and snowy winter,
 
so it was a reprieve to go where there
 
was no snow.
 
Upon my return it was interesting to see
 
a distinct line
 
where the snow began.
 
I was returning to 16 degrees Fahrenheit,
 
and cold frigid winter.
 
Were it not for the perspective
 
of seeing the snow line from above the earth
 
it would have been easy to think that everyone
 
was enjoying snow.
 
Because "my world"
was covered and wrapped
 entirely in snow.
 
Perspective,
 yes,
perspective
 is how we
can attempt
to see things
 from a different point of view.
 
When I was expecting our first born son,
 
I began to wonder,
 
what my perspective would be,
 
if I could see life through the eyes of
 
Mary,
 
the blessed mother,
 
of the Christ Child.
 
I'm sure it wasn't easy
 
to travel in the condition in which she found herself.
 
Did she long for her circumstances to be different?
 
Did she have a willing heart?
 
Did she have a hopeful heart?
 
Was she resisting every change?
 
Or was she pursuing the future?
 
We can't know the answer,
 
but I believe anyone
 (any woman at least)
 
would have enough perspective to say,
 
Mary was walking through some really hard times.
 
But God provided a place:
 
in a manger.
 
God provided a protector:
 
in Joseph.
 
God provided for physical needs:
 
in the Magi who brought expensive gifts.
 
God provided love:
 
in adoring shepherds.
 
God provided celebration:
 
in the chorus of Heavenly Angels.
 
I have no way of knowing
 your perspective.
 
I have no way of truly knowing
 the depths of your pain.
 
I have no way of knowing
 the arduous journey you are travelling.
 
But I do know that God will provide.
 
I do know
 
LIFE IS NOT ALWAYS GENTLE,
 
but
 
GOD IS ALWAYS GOOD!
 
Feel blessed today.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

"Medium Notes" of Pure Yum!

We eat a lot of fresh fruit and veggies.
 
Tonight it was
 
 nectarines
 
plums
 
and
 
blueberries.
 
Yum!
 
That's a new combination for us.
 
It's a new favorite.
 
The tangy tartness
 
of the nectarines and plums
 
paired very well
 
with the smooth and mild
 
blueberries.
 
You know,
 
if it was coffee
 
from a coffee shop,
 
it would likely be
 
described with
 
"medium notes
 
of something or the other exotic".
 
Just thought I should let ya know that.
 
What is your favorite summer fruit right now?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Why Do I Wonder These Things?

So after having all day today to think
 
 about the post I did last night
 
 about the wishberries,
 
I began to wonder...
 
what if I were a wishberry
 
so to speak?
 
Have you ever wondered that?
 
Have you wondered
 what it would be like
 if you were a wishberry?
 
I know...
that's a crazy thought.
 
What if  you and I were battered
 
by rain
 
and wind
 
or the innocent breath of by standers
 
or kicked around with a heavy leather boot
 
by the wiles of living?
 
What if the seeds of our lives just turned loose
 
and floated
 
floated away?
 
It's kinda freaky really
 
if you think about it,
 
because
 
that is happening constantly
 
to you
 
AND me.
 
The seeds of our lives
 
are spreading influence.
 
Influence for good,
 
or bad,
 
or indifference.
 
Where do those seeds go?
 
Actually, where have they gone?
 
Has my influence mattered?
 
Have I had a positive affect on others?
 
Have I brought joy
 
or encouragement?
 
Have I been faithful?
 
Have I been trustworthy?
 
Have I bloomed
 
where ever the seeds of my life have fallen?
 
In all my failings
 
as a wife,
 
a mom,
 
a friend,
 
a sister,
 
a daughter,
 
a daughter in law,
 
have I still had a positive influence?
 
We really can't control life
 
not really,
 
not absolutely.
 
We can do our best,
 
our very best,
 
with our circumstances,
 
and let that be good enough.
 
The wishberry seeds are blooming
 
where they are planted.
 
 





Tuesday, June 3, 2014

It's In The Promise Of The Wishberry

 A few weeks ago on a damp and cold and dreary 
 Spring day
she asked,
"When do you ever think
we will see those yellow flowers again?"
 
I said,
 "What yellow flowers?"
 But I was thinking
tulips...
or
daffodils...
 
Then with a contemplative
tone in her voice
she said,
"Well...,
 the only way I know
to describe them
is
 they are
young wishberries!"
 
Then I knew!
Ah yes.
Young wishberries.
When she was just a tiny
wisp
of
a
child,
quiet
and
intuitive,
hardly talking,
she christened a dandelion puff
calling it
"a wishberry".
I've loved dandelion puffs,
since I was a child.
Still,
even now,
I love blowing them
and
watching the seeds
float,
float away,
on the wings of the fragile puff
of my breath
or the wind.
Once when I was in elementary school
I found a huge dandelion puff
where two stems had fused
and grown together
making a
heart shaped puff
much larger than I had ever seen.
And so began my fascination with them.
Upon her pronouncement of calling them
wishberries,
so very aptly named,
in my humble opinion,
they became just that much more
dear to me.
And
we've enjoyed
wishberries
together
ever since.
 
We never fail to have
a bouquet each Spring
 of
young wishberries
and violets.
 
I perused the yard and I only found one actual wishberry.
 
It wasn't a perfectly round seed pod of puff and promise.
 
It was actually kind of small and tattered.
 
It was battered by the wind and last night's rain.
 
But still the promises were there,
in the seeds
that waited to be released
from their tiny station on the stem.
 
The seed held the promise for more young wishberries.
 
The seeds will float,
float away,
still a part of their past,
but becoming something new.
 
Renewal
Growth
I suppose life
just isn't life
without it.
Scattering and change
and yet
still
hope for regrowth.
 
When there is enough rain and wind and battering,
 
those seeds will
loosen their grip and spread
 
and there will be more yellow polka dots across
 
the lawn.
 
I know most people don't like them.
And find them to be a nuisance.
 
I see hope...
in the promise of the wishberry.
 
Don't you?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

You Are Really Gonna Be Somethin' Pretty Awesome!

He said he awoke to sounds
 of someone coming in through the window,
and instantly,
 his stomach was in his throat.
So leaving the safety of his bed
 he began to search for the intruder.
Upon closer inspection,
 he realized
 that the
"intruder coming through the window"
was nothing more
 than his son's gerbil
taking a midnight spin
 on the gerbil wheel!
 
He was unnerved.
Wide awake.
All systems primed to kill the gerbil.
And yet,
there was safety in the house.
Home was a refuge,
a safe refuge.
And though he didn't say,
I suppose he went back to bed,
and I would imagine
 sleep was long in coming.
 
I overheard my brother
relate this story a few days ago.
He told how the incident
completely unnerved him.
I've thought about it all day today,
 off and on
and
I've thought about how
life can deal you some blows
those hard difficult blows
that just simply
 slug your stomach
to your throat
in much the same way
that my brother felt.
Often those blows
bring up emotions
and
responses to fear.
 
F.E.A.R.
f...false
e...evidence
a...appearing
r...real
 
I know
I know...
not always...
is fear based on false evidence,
but yes,
 sometimes it really is.
 
This evening late,
thunder rumbled,
lightening flashed,
the wind blew,
leaves swirled across the yard,
the temperature cooled,
the humidity evaporated.
We gathered on the porch
to enjoy a summer storm.
 
And yet,
everything
we heard
and saw
was false evidence.
There was no storm.
There was no rain.
 
On a particularly long
and stressful day,
not too long ago,
I told my husband,
"If we can just get through this,
 we are gonna be SO AWESOME!"

Ha ha ha,
now I chuckle at my attempts.
 
I was trying to keep it light
and
interject the positive
and try to feel things
that neither of us probably
felt like feeling.
But hey, why not try?
Right?
And he would chuckle
 and respond with a half hearted,
 "Yeah."
 
Because you've probably dealt
 with some of the same things we have,
when life is
knocking you around
and
slugging your stomach
right up to your Adam's apple
and the thunder is rumbling
and the lightening is flashing
and on top of all that...
you think you hear an
 "intruder comin' through the window".
 
When all along,
that ruckus,
that noise,
that emergency,
that tough time,
  is just the gerbil on the wheel.
 
So don't give in to fear I tell ya.
Recognize
"that gerbil"
"that intruder"
"that joy stealer"
"that worry maker"
"that energy zapper"
for what he really is,
and focus on
Truth
and
Peace
and
Joy
and
Love
and
Comfort.
 
I have to tell myself that too.
Because many times fear is from
false
evidence
appearing
real.
 
So tell me,
how do you deal with fear?
 
He knows the way I take and when He has tried me I will come forth as gold.
Old Testament Book of Job, Chapter 23 verse 10
 
So look out y'all,
once you get through whatever
 it is you are going through,
you are gonna be somethin' really awesome. 
 Just you wait and see!