The Fragility of Life and What To Do About It!

Didn’t I say that we often save the best and dearest memories and kind words for a funeral?? Don’t do that. Go tell those who are closest to you just how much you believe in them and love them.now; today. Don’t wait until their funeral because they won’t be there to hear your compliments.

These past two months, two of my spouse’s boyhood friends had life-threatening heart attacks…and they survived. Just a huge reminder that none of us are going to live forever, that life can change in a moment, and another reminder to spend your time with all of those in your life’s circle making GREAT memories with them. SKIP the anger, bitterness, scorn, gossip and shunning…what a waste of time!!! Life is short. Love others (everyone) to your fullest effort….and never, ever forget it!!

In my lifetime, I have had this fragility of life reinforced time and time again. The first time is when my kind best friend died at age 30 of lung cancer (she was not a smoker); the second time was when my 40 y/o brother in law died of cancer; the third time was when my 19 y/o niece died suddenly/unexpectedly; the fourth time is when my stepkids’ mom recently died of cancer and the last time was when my own mom fell down her basement stairs striking her head on the concrete never to wake up again. I have learned how important it is to love and be loved…to love others freely…to forgive others when they do indescribably bad things to us… and to never, ever see love as something to be looked down upon or shunned or ignored or as something twisted. I do tell others when they are significant to me—it has only backfired once and I’ll never forget that story. ever

PS  Don’t miss this YouTube video    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrtzF6MqyuI

WHAT DID YOU SAY??

Any relationship…casual or otherwise, won’t get far if only our mouth is engaged… Nothing replaces an ear which is carefully listening. Connecting with another mandates that we listen and engage our ears more than our mouths.There is no communication without a ‘good ear’..
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Photo: Any relationship...casual or otherwise, won't get far if only our mouth is engaged... Nothing replaces an ear which is carefully listening. Connecting with another mandates that we listen and try to see things from THEIR perspective. </p>
<p>There is no communication without a 'good ear'.. What did you say??  What were you trying to tell me?  What was your name?<br />
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Where’s The Love??

Just think what could become of this world (our church, our family, our communities, our groups, our not-so-favorite people, our life circle) if everyone took the first step toward truly loving one another…lift each other up instead of tearing others down, offer grace to each other, start a conversation with the lonely, stop gossip/rejection/shunning/scorn, become another’s cheerleader, share our resources, reach out to someone else and begin to look at each other in a new and more generous way. ( I’ve had enough of the everyday, hurtful CRAP, haven’t you???)

This world could be an awesome place!!! Just imagine it! Then, forget it. I can’t see it happening here on earth. “”There is no peace on earth”, I said. “For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, goodwill to men.”” (If it cannot happen in a church, a church choir or a family, how can it happen anywhere else??)

“In despair, I bowed my head! ”
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The Blessings of Tears

I enjoy watching the surprise reunion videos of returning soldiers… In our lifetimes, some of us cry for many reasons…overwhelming joy or sadness or frustration. Some of us would like to cry but because of the unwritten mandate of having to be a tough kid, we were taught to hold it in and never cry. As a female in our society, it is somewhat more acceptable to cry under many circumstances.

Here is a poem I wrote in 2006 after I lost my mother suddenly due to a fall. Writing helped me release some of my emotions at that challenging time in my life.

Many in my immediate and extended family have lost loved ones this past year. They would understand these words about tears.

Tears 2006

Tears flowing down like rain
Washing the hopelessness of it all away.

Tears flowing down like rain
With sighs too loud for words.

Tears flowing down like rain
Leaking from unbridled joy.

Tears flowing down like rain
Frustration reigns and words can’t fix it.

Tears flowing down like rain
Strong emotions bring strong reactions.

Tears flowing down like rain
Expressing hope, relief, sadness, joy and frustration.

Tears flowing down like rain
Thank God for wet favors

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The UK Hat Style

A week or two ago, I went shopping with our daughter for a fascinator. Yes, a fascinator….one of those smart little hats that the Brits are so famous for wearing. We found several fascinators at Dillard’s… They were fun to try on!.

Back in the 50’s and 60’s, my mom had a total of nearly 20 hats. She wouldn’t be caught dead in public without a hat. I remember she kept several of them in hat boxes on the top shelf in the closet. Nearly everyone went to church in those days and every woman had lots of hats. I even got a new hat for me every Easter. Hats (and even gloves) were considered to be a social necessity.

This social norm has pretty much faded from the USA. Hats are sold in some stores, but I’d bet that most women have very few hats. However, watching the Royal weddings and other formal occasions in Great Britain, it appears that formal wear and hats are still in vogue there.

When our daughter bought the fascinator for a wedding she will attend this spring, I tried on a few myself. Some were so cute. I thought about buying one….but, no, decided I’d prefer the status quo, hatless !!
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See “Them” as “Us”

You have three choices about interacting with people whom you think are not like yourself. 

1. You can ignore them.
2. You can begin to get to know them and talk to them. 
3. You can send money, goods, services their way via charities, if that is needed or something you would like to do. 

What do you FEAR the most about talking with people whom you see as different than you are???…the homeless, different economic status, unique behavior, different ages, outside your social circle, etc

Until we begin to see ‘them’ as ‘us’, there will never be any hope for a meaningful peace in our homes, our communities, our states, our country or the world
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Pressure

This year’s campaign to raise funds for a new sanctuary and other buildings and remodeling of the current church
is unprecedented in its scope and breadth. Pastor’s sermon series, targeted and specific devotional distributed after church, invitations to smaller group discussions, commitments for large contributions from the wealthiest members of the congregation up front, talk at the annual meeting, repeated implications that God’s work will not be done or will be limited unless this massive building project is complete (whaaaaat?), different devotions created just for members of one specific campus in the daily devotional…I have personally contributed funds for years to help the previous two building campaigns, but this year’s push is of unprecedented proportions and saturation and palpable pressure!

HOPE

HOPE reignites forward thinking…Yesterday and today are left behind where there is hope.

HOPE embodies dreams, wishes, goals and imagination. HOPE does not dwell in the past and present but looks toward the future.

HOPE imagines a path to somewhere and hope helps you arrive at your destination. Hope must have fuel, a plan and the imagination and resources’ potentials to get there.

Without HOPE, dreams die. Keep hope alive for it is the path to innovation, new experiences and something brighter.
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