So. It’s a gloomy 8:13am in middle Georgia. The sky is spewing rain yet the air is warm. The trees are drenched and the puddles in the driveway expand. Grumbles of thunder loom in the distance. The rain stops and the birds start to sing. A couple of them zoom in on a puddle and start to bathe themselves. Spring flowers dot the landscape, just beginning to emerge with their bright and bold colors; an amazing fragrance fills the air. The green of the trees is enhanced as drips of water hit the moist ground. Then, the rain returns. Life is great. That’s pretty much it.
I guess that’s all I really want to share today: life is great, even though to some it may not appear to be. I am amazed at how great my life has turned out. I’ve had some pretty rough patches. I’ve been knocked down so many times in so many ways, but all that, all that has brought me here, to this amazing time in my life – and I am so incredibly thankful you cannot imagine. No. Things aren’t perfect, but, that’s the beauty of it. Nothing is horribly wrong, nothing is even remotely wrong. There is nothing in my life right now that I fear, and for that I am grateful.
You’ve all heard that life is what we make of it. True, but it goes much deeper than that. If you want something, you have to believe. If you want something, you have to work for it. Ok. Some people don’t work for it, which I think is a shame, because without working for it, you don’t gain the appreciation of having it. This world has become too ‘gimme’. We are a society who feels indebted, as if we somehow earned happiness as a birth right. Well, we haven’t. Some don’t have it as hard, some have it worse. While it may seem unfair, life has this natural balance. It’s hard to ascertain a person’s level of happiness just by looking at them or reviewing their bank statements. We all do it, but stereotyping someone is the biggest fail. Some emotions do not have a face. They are felt so deep inside that they are hard to judge. Just because someone has money doesn’t mean they are happy. Just because someone smiles, doesn’t mean they are happy. Just because someone has ‘things’ doesn’t mean they are enjoying life. Some of the wealthiest people are having the worst time of their lives. Wealth isn’t in ‘things’, it’s inside. That’s what makes us unique. Some people do not look deep inside, the expect happiness to follow them, to come to them in the form of another person. I’m learning that ‘happy’ is a state of mind that starts inside. Peace isn’t the absence of pain or trials, it’s knowing who you are in the midst of it. It’s working for what we want and appreciating who it makes us in the process. For all I have inside, and out, I extend my deepest appreciation.
Thank you, Lord, for watching over me. I ask that you watch over my children and help them to succeed in this life. Show them true happiness that does not fade. Shower them with your unfailing love like You do the flowers and the trees. Thank you for the nuturing you provide my soul. Thank you for helping me become the person I am today, for the realization of what greatness lies within me. Thank you Lord, for the beauty that surrounds me, even if at times I cannot see it as clearly as I do now. Help me to continue to grow and be this person I always knew was here. Thank you for forgiving me and loving me through my faults. And thank you Lord, for the rain, and the sunshine.
Posted in Clarity, Motivation, prayer
Tagged appreciate, appreciation, children, gratitude, happy, love, power, rain, sunshine
So, usually I have some type of epiphany that leads to a post, but not today. Today I just want to write. A lot has been going on lately and at times I just feel plain overwhelmed with it all, but, then there’s that still small voice that reminds me to stay calm, stay on track, be focused and keep trudging forward. Eventually there comes a moment where I can pause and look back…I made it!
It’s hard to watch our kids grow up; they know everything…ironically, just like we did at their age. Gone forever are the days of being a youthful sponge and “I can do it” transforms into “I’m gonna do what I want.” Sometimes it’s like watching a wreck as it unfolds. There’s nothing we can do but just wait it out and pray they are wearing their seatbelt.
In this phase of life we find a new appreciation for the endurance our parents had with us. But, we had to learn in our own way, on our own time. Our parents kept faith in us, or at least tried, and they surrounded us with prayer – in kind, we keep the faith, no matter how hard it gets. We remain at their side in some fashion, no matter how distant…even if they don’t realize we are still there.
This is the cycle of life. Up. Down. Pause. Reflect. Repeat….just maybe not always in that order. (lol!) Life is like a rose garden: full of beauty, demanding of work and dotted with thorns. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘life’s downs are temporary’, but I’m here to tell you, the ups are temporary, too. That’s why we are supposed to enjoy them to the fullest. We can’t have all sunny days – how would the grass grow? How would the trees provide shade? What would we have to drink? The rain is necessary. The sun cannot always shine, yet, it can’t always rain either. Life is a series of balancing acts. A series of ups and downs, decisions and reflections, joys and sorrows. Just as the rain rejuvenates the Earth, so do our troubled times. They help us grow as humans. They challenge our perceptions and keep our brains in motion. And we will continue to grow no matter our age, no matter our status in life. Maybe that’s why in times like these, I miss my Mom…
Yeah. I actually find that funny. My Mom was a very compassionate person, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes when I would call her she’d simply tout, “Well, what do you want me to do about it?” Loving? No…and yes. That’s what I needed to hear sometimes. Often we put ourselves in positions that no one other than ourselves can dig us out of. And I’m a firm beliver that when we do the work, we appreicate it a hell of a lot more. I may not have gotten showered with hugs and kisses or ‘I love you’s’. I may not have always received the best advice, but it made a huge difference knowing she was simply, ‘there’ for me. A sounding board if you will, yet…sometimes she got me out of a bind when she shouldn’t have. She listened too long and helped me too much (yes. That IS possible.) I accept my fault in that..it only hurt us both: prolonging the lesson for me, and the pain she must have felt as she helplessly watched the wreck unfold. Yet, I’m better for it now. I finally did ‘get’ it. And hopefully, someday we each ‘get it’ on our own accord just like I did.
This reflection reminds me that I just need to do the same: be there even when what I have to say or do is tough. Listen but don’t enable. Encourage but don’t demotivate. Love but don’t smoother. My Mom did the best she could with what she knew and that’s all I’m trying to do. Ican humbly admit that I am not perfect – nor do I expect to ever be – but I am the best ‘me’ I know how to be. Our goal in life should not be the pursuit of perfection, rather, to do the very best we are each capable of. I can’t fix it for them; I can’t always pick them up. All I can offer is my love, my advice, my shoulder or my ear…whichever is more appropriate at the time. My Mom taught me it’s not always best to throw out a life raft or spread out our wings for shelter. Life has a cycle that we each must experience on our own. It doesn’t mean I don’t care. It doesn’t mean I’m not here. And it definitely doesn’t mean I love you any different…we just each need a little time, standing in the rain.
Posted in Reflection
Tagged be, best, children, choices, compassion, compassionate, do, guidance, help, humble, kids, love, mom, mother, pain, perfect, perfection, prayer, rain, reflection, stress, suffer, support, talk, tender, tough, worry
I read another blog that really touched me and brought back memories of writing this poem. I’ve always been attracted to rain and storms of all shapes and sizes. While some people can become terrified and literally dread the coming of a storm, I relish in it. The smell of it’s approach, the wicked colors of the sky, the varying degrees of severity as it swoops in and then effortlessly moves on. It’s soothing…comforting. Sometimes I think it’s because the rain drops perfectly mask my tears, while other times, I think it’s a reminder that storms don’t last forever…and they have their purpose. For the garden to grow, for the flowers to bloom for the trees to continue stretching towards the skies – we need rain. Do we always need a hurricanes or tornados? No, but sometimes…we do. We need someone to shake us – rattle our worlds, turn us upside down, make us realize what is important in life. And if we don’t stop to figure out what the storm is trying to reveal, we miht as well just plan for yet another.
Just as Mother Earth repairs herself with quakes and storms, God gives us the opportunity to repair ourselves by revealing things to us. We call them storms but it’s really just an opportunity for an awakening. We all sin. Each and every one of us. It’s a given. God knows it, I know, and you oughta know it. And when we sin, we let the devil in. Not that we are possessed but we are deceived, and if you think you aren’t…well…that just proves my point. We make excuses to justify our sins, make them not seem so bad. We think we can always repent later. That God understands our faults. Yet be warned that freewill does have a price. We are so spoiled. We just want what we want and we want it now. We are an instant, ‘gotta have it now’, ‘gotta have it how I want it’ society. Look back in history at the pain and suffering – holocaust, war, starvation, true and utter poverty – what we go through is nothing! Why are we waiting to realize how God wants us to live? Maybe we can’t stop sin completely but we can resist sin…and God will be there every step of the way. We can turn to our Father God. We can ask Him to teach us how to live from our spirit instead of our flesh. We can ask Him to help us live with loving and forgiving, transparent hearts. Admit our faults to one another. Be real, not instant. Be of love, not of greed.
I haven’t seen my last storm…you haven’t either. But of all of the storms I’ve ever been through in my life, I thank my friends who have always been there with me…to hold the umbrella, hand me a towel, or give me a big wet hug when I needed it. And above all, I thank God for never giving up on me.
Tears & Raindrops
What is it about the rain,
Every time it falls down?
How does it erase away my pain,
And free me from all I’m bound?
What drives this magical force?
Tell me, cause I want to know.
It sets me back on a straighter course,
Renews from the depth of my soul.
The rain somehow disguises,
How imperfectly I’m made.
Because there are no happy surprises,
After the fantasy begins to fade.
Tears and raindrops; no one can tell them apart.
One comes straight from heaven, the other straight from my heart.
Tears and raindrops; no one can tell them apart.
Pouring down on me like a melody, in perfect rhythm with my heart.
How it works I really don’t care,
Gotta let heaven do its’ thing.
And when it all gets too heavy to bear,
Gonna let it wash away, under the rain.
~ Angela Nichols
“Then Job answered the LORD : ‘I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer—twice, but I will say no more.’ Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm: ‘Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Would you discredit My justice? Would you condemn Me to justify yourself? Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like His?'” ~ Job 40:3-8
“As fire consumes the forest or a flame sets the mountains ablaze, so pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm. Cover their faces with shame so that men will seek your name, O LORD.” ~ Psalm 83:14-16
“Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” ~ Psalm 107:28-30
“When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.” ~ Proverbs 10:25
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. “O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will build you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones.” ~ Isaiah 54:10-12
“The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.” ~ Nahum 1:3
Jesus calms the storm – Matthew 8, Mark 4, Luke 8
“The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.” ~ Isaiah 58:11
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ~ John 8:32, NLT
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”” ~ Jeremiah 17:9-10
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” ~ James 1:2-8
“The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.
I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.
Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!” ~ Lamentations 3:19-24 NLT
Posted in Poem
Tagged admission, admit, advice, anger, breakup, broken hearted, challenge, change, clarity, confusion, counsel, decisions, depression, encouragement, Father, faults, flesh, forgiveness, free will, freedom, freewill, friends, God, greed, guilt, healing, healthy relationship, heartache, help, hope, hurt, inspiration, jesus, letting go, loss, lost love, love, love lost, opinion, pain, patience, patient, peace, prayer, rain, relationships, salvation, self realization, self reflection, sin, spirit, spiritual, storms, strength, teardrops, tears, transparent, will, worldly