Archive for February, 2014

“Up a Tree” and Vulnerable

Posted: February 10, 2014 in World On The Edge

raccoon_on_treeUp a tree.  Cornered, trapped, caught.

At another’s mercy, in another’s power.

The expression is said to come from coon hunting. Once a raccoon is treed by the hounds, he’s a gone coon.

Do you like to be up a tree, with someone else in charge? Do you like to put yourself in a vulnerable position? Generally, I don’t.

I don’t like the feeling of not being in control. I want to know how something’s going to turn out before I step into it. I like the safety of the ‘usual.’  So, taking a  risk is not a thing I’m likely to do easily–without a push, without a really good reason.

But there are some really good reasons for allowing ourselves to become vulnerable enough to take a risk. Another person’s life, for instance. We’d like to think that if someone was in danger, we’d step in to help, or even save his life, despite the risk to ourselves. We put another ahead of ourselves and this shows human love.

Love is a really good reason to make yourself vulnerable.

We cannot be truly in love with someone with out being vulnerable. We can’t walk around in armor; we have to take that off and let our true selves out in order to experience genuine love. Otherwise, it’s just a game of charade.

In love, we often have to back down, or give way.  We cannot force those we say we love to do much of anything–ok maybe a little child, but even then, it’s not a good idea.

When we become vulnerable and let go—make ourselves completely available to  the  other—the love between us  becomes stronger.  We allow the other the freedom to find for themselves his/her way forward, even if it involves mistakes.  Even if those mistakes affect us, too.

When we allow ourselves to be ‘treed…’

When we  loosen our grip on the wheel and let go of  every little thing…

When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable to someone we love, and they do likewise…

Then love becomes extremely powerful. Powerful enough to withstand any threat or risk.

This is selflessness— not selfishness.

This is when our hearts are open, and our very lives are on the line.

This is genuine love. And there is nothing else quite like it.

The Promise

Posted: February 7, 2014 in World On The Edge

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By now, most of us are tired of Winter’s mess.  We are hoping that very cold temperatures, the unexpected snow, the continuing rain and wind, will soon be a thing of the past. We look forward to the promise of Spring.

The coming of green grass and budding plants.  The sound of chirping birds making  their nests in trees that are no longer barren and bare, but places for new lives to be born.

Yesterday, I had lunch with a friend who, along with her family, has come through a lot of suffering–a period of Winter in her life. There were a few tears. But there was a joy within her, too. A sort of Spring.

How does this happen? How does one get through the winter of his/her life?

By trusting in God’s promise.

And what is God’s promise to us?

He does not promise that we will not have our winters. He does not promise that we will not suffer(we know what His own son went through.) But His promise is that He will give us peace of heart and mind in everything, no matter how tragic, when we ask Him to. And that there will be a Spring for us.

There is no one reading this who has not experienced some hard knocks in life. Our time here is often difficult. But here, is ‘where the rubber meets the road.’ Here, is where a simple chunk of coal can become a diamond. Here is where we love and lose–and yet, survive. And become new.

Think of the desperate situations in our own lives. Don’t we sometimes become extremely strong in those situations? Well, that’s God’s promise to us. A promise that we can be stronger than we ever thought we could, if we look to Him.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. ..Philippians 4:6-9

Guest Blog: Time Out

Posted: February 6, 2014 in World On The Edge

A member of Generation X sent me this post. It caught my attention, and I think it deserves yours, too.  Enjoy. And thank you, Mister Mom, for your keen insights!

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Life.

As simple as breathing in and out, eating and sleeping; Yet us grown-ups make it way more complicated than it needs to be.

Busy, Busy, Busy often worried about ourselves or things that won’t really have any bearing on our well-being. The trash we watch on TV consumes us. The latest gadgets phones and computers keep our heads down and eyes focused, but on what?

What did you really accomplish the one and half hours you snooped on Facebook reading everyone’s post, or played the latest game like candy crush for hours on end? There are only 2 things in life you can control. Your time, and how you spend it.
Meanwhile as we sit hunched over our gadgets, time goes on.

If you have children they yearn for your attention as you choose your gadgets over them. The birds chirp outside on a beautiful day as we waste our time preoccupied with everyone else but those that truly matter.

Case in point. A few months ago I went to a birthday party, everything was nice, yet when it was time to gather and open presents I couldn’t believe that just about everyone in the room was on their phone— no not taking pictures, consumed—- meanwhile this poor little boy, celebrating his birthday,  looks around, not to see everyone’s excitement for him (with the exception of a few) but to see the crown of everyone’s head as they inhaled whatever was  on  their phones. It really brought a tear to my eye. Even the little boy’s mother was absorbed like that!!!
We can learn a lot from Children. They are simple. They love the beauty God created outdoors, they find comfort in the simplest things. They are innocent and full of love and good intentions. The Great imitators. What kind of example will you set?

Honestly, I tell you that what you do, they suck it in, and it spreads like wildfire to their little friends (good and bad). They see the good in the world, and think the best of people. They don’t judge, they trust. What kind of trust will you fill them with? Oh how better the world would be if we could be such as these little angels.

We could also learn from our dogs. No matter how bad we treat or ignore them, they are always full of love, and happy to see you. Wouldn’t it be nice if our relationships were that way?

Nobody said it was going to be easy! But nobody said it has to be the way it is either! So today, open up the shades, windows, and doors turn off the gadgets, and let the sounds of God’s creation in. Listen to the sound of peace. Keep it simple, and so shall your life be.

If anyone else would like to send me a blog with their thoughts, I’ll be happy to read it and consider including it here.

Within This Time

Posted: February 5, 2014 in World On The Edge

mf734Each of our lives is a personal story, our own novel written about our specific time here.

Some of the pages speak of joy and happiness— in childhood, in falling in love, in marriage and children and grandchildren.  Some of them speak of pain and suffering—losing a child or a spouse or a parent, failing at a job, falling into addiction, and anger, and waste, and regret.

Some events  are controllable,  some are uncontrollable events,  and each of us  reacts to those events in our own unique way. And in doing so, we write a book about our life.

We write–through our actions—our own personalized record, a life story entitled, How I Am Spending my Life On Earth.

We write our book whether we intend to, or not. Within this time.

And we write the story of our life in chapters, with chapter headings  that are important to us. Some are written with deep convictions. Others are frittered away through self-indulgence. But one thing for certain–the chapters progress to the last page. Our book will one day be finished. Because Time flies by.

Year after year, my husband and I ask each other, “Where does the time go?”

All of us have  times we’d like to go back to, for one reason or another. And then, there are times we wouldn’t re-live for the world. Still, the Book of Our Time goes forward, fast as a train on its track, and we are its only engineer—it’s only author.

A good book always has some action; positive and negative. If we consider our life as a book, and  consider that we are authoring the chapters ourselves–would we pay more attention to the intent and the result of every action we take?

Of course, our Book of Life on Earth will end up in on a shelf,  somewhere in the Divine Plan Of Eternity. Shouldn’t we consider how each of our actions, each of our chapters, each of our finished books, will fit into that plan?

A Father Like Me?

Posted: February 4, 2014 in World On The Edge

file0001454030909There’s  a special bond between a father and daughter. Between a Daddy and his little girl. Lots of love, lots of loyalty, lots of protection against a dubious world……if you’re lucky.

If you’re lucky, maybe he’s the one who could always make you laugh. Maybe he’s the one who showered you with compliments and confidence when he said, “You’re beautiful!” Maybe he’s the one who tucked you into bed at night and told you stories about grizzly bears and princesses. And  I’m certain he’s the one into whose arms you sank when you took your first big jump into a swimming pool.

Fathers are extremely important to their daughter’s growth into a strong woman with convictions.  A little girl sees her own worth in her father’s eyes, and she never forgets it.  If she doesn’t see herself reflected as someone good, beautiful, smart, and someone he wants to be around–then look for problems. She will act out her lack in some way.  According to many studies, she may ‘look for love and attention in all the wrong places.,’ the love and attention she didn’t receive as a child.

A daughter will often marry a man with traits like her father’s. Good traits, or bad traits.

If you’re a father, ask yourself this question: Do I want my daughter to marry someone like Me?

If the answer is no. You may have some work to do.

Don’t Worry!

Posted: February 3, 2014 in World On The Edge

file6911264909789Am I doing it right? In  Life, I mean.

Most of us wonder about that. We don’t set out to do things wrong. But we often do.

We want to do the best for our families and ourselves.  But what is Best?

There’s really no certainty about what’s best for us.  We do know though, we’re to follow God’s Commandments. But exactly how to follow them in particular situations is sometimes hazy.

For example, in parenting children. What is the best way? What’s good for one child may not be good for another child.

And in marriage. We have two separate personalities involved, so we often have two very different ways of approaching problems.

In our job, or with friends, or with aging family members–is one way better than another?

What are we doing? Are we coming anywhere close to doing it right?

I’ve come to the conclusion that as long as we pray, try to  listen in our prayer to what God is telling us, and have a true desire to please Him–to do things right–then we shouldn’t worry.  We are doing our best.  And this is what is desired of us. That we sincerely, without excuses, TRY.

The really beautiful thing about trying is that even when we stumble, even when we fall, even when we fail, most of us get back up! This is due to the amazing human spirit given us by God.

I’ve posted this prayer of Thomas Merton before.  I love it.

It’s something I pray often.

Especially, when I’m not sure of the path I’m on.

Especially, when I’ve made mistakes and want to start over.

Especially, when I feel lost and need to be led.

Especially when I feel as if no one is able to advise me what to do.

For many years, it’s been a solace for my  own worries–indeed an answer TO my worrying.

Maybe you’ll become fond of it, too.

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.