Agree to disagree

Thursday night

The Prompt:  What is the most controversial thing you’ve ever written on your blog? What compelled you to write it?

One of my posts called Thursday Thoughts was written because I get tired of the double-standard in place in society about offenses, especially due to beliefs.  I am not controversial and don’t really even consider this particular post to be, but it’s the closet thing I have.

Daily Prompt: Regrets, I’ve had a few

Thursday night

What’s your biggest regret? How would your life have been different if you’d made another decision?

This prompt spoke to me in a big way this morning, causing me to reflect on my life thus far. I can’t say that I have one regret in particular and since I believe all things happen for a reason, I believe I am exactly where I am supposed to be today.

With that said, I have many regrets:

• The times I withheld forgiveness instead of forgiving freely and quickly and completely.
• The times I chose to clean house instead of making mud pies.
• Every minute I spent in the mirror criticizing my appearance, and especially the times in front of my girls.
• For the careless word spoken that wounded, sometimes deeply.
• The conversations I merely endured that should have been feasted upon.
• The years I spent running from God.
• The “I love you” left unspoken and the phone calls never made.
• Every hour wasted on hatred, jealousy, anger and strife.

And finally, the time I have spent dwelling on past regrets instead of choosing to leap past them, learn from them and strive to live out the remainder of this life with fewer of them.

This was a great writing prompt and it’s good to force yourself to think back sometimes and glean from past mistakes, to remember where you came from and who you have become. Of most importance though is to move forward and live this beautiful life out loud, with great expectations, faith and hope. May we all fully implement the lessons learned that they never influence our lives negatively again.

They hurt, so we love

Teardrop on Fire

Teardrop on Fire (Photo credit: tj.blackwell)

Why can’t we see that people are hurting?  Why do some people rush to spread bad news, but don’t bother to take the time to clear up a nasty rumor?

We are all touched by pain, turmoil and tragedy, are we not?  We all suffer so how do we forget what that feels like.  How do we forget what would have made us feel better and then not offer that instead of judgment and gossip?

Please know that I am searching my own heart as I share.  I hate gossip and try to stay far from it, but don’t we all get roped in sometimes?  Aren’t we also partakers even if we just listen?  Isn’t that just as bad?  And how does that help, what does it accomplish?

When I think on the times that I have felt ravished and torn by life’s trials and troubles, I quickly remember the friends who showed up, who covered me in prayer; the ones who stood up for me and my family.  I think of those who quickly discerned that it wasn’t a time for observation and speculation, but a time to show love and concern.  They realized that it was a time to love and hold and listen.

I have been studying the book of Job, and just like everything else God does, this was divine timing, because it has been helpful to apply some of what I have learned to hurting people.  It is teaching me to be a better friend.  One who understands that there is a big picture and I can’t figure it all out and I don’t have all the answers.  Sometimes the most helpful thing I can do is to pray for them and listen.  Notice I said “listen”, not always speaking, not always thinking I have all the answers.

Most of us, by the time we have reached my age, have experienced the death of a loved one, severe illness in ourselves or others, financial difficulty or even ruin, marital discord and sometimes divorce, problems with children and grandchildren, and the list goes on and on.

God help us to remember some of those times; the way we felt, the people who cared and the things that counted.  What made us feel better, what caused a smile to tug at the corners of our mouth and what made us feel loved and warm inside?  May we remember and pay it forward.

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Day in My Life

The challenge: What does your day look like? Here’s your chance to share with everyone a day in your life! Here are some suggestions to get started: snap a picture once an hour and share what your day was like, walk us through a typical day for you, or even just what happened today!

My Friday

My Friday

I work four tens and Friday is one of my days off.  My youngest daughter and I made plans to spend it together, since she didn’t have school today.

The first picture represents what I try to do first thing when I get up, my time of prayer and devotions; I don’t always succeed, but my day goes much better when I do.

Picture number two is of my daughter and I having a smoothie, called, “The Energizer”.  At the time, I had no idea how much I was going to need it!  The next picture is my daughter, Morgan as we entered the mall and began our quest for all things needed for Spring.

First on the second row, you can see the beautiful produce at one of the health food stores we visited; then the loot on her bedroom floor when we got home.

The last picture…..well, mama was tired, so I drove a couple of miles from home to a good spot to watch the sunset and contemplate this beautiful day and all that it represents and be refreshed.  The waves gently washing up on the shore, and the lovely sunset were just what I needed as a backdrop for a few moments of solitude.

Blessings on this Good Friday!

If I should die before I wake

SONY DSC

If I died tomorrow, what would people to say about me?

I think it’s helpful sometimes to think of your life this way.  My parents, my kids, my friends, those who don’t even know me well, the ones I meet at the grocery store, on the plane, at the sports event.  How would they remember me, what words would they use to describe me?   How was I perceived?  How did I treat people on a day to day basis?

If we look back even in the last week and consider this, it brings what our personal legacy will be into focus.

When people think about a legacy, they often think in terms of money, prestige or power.  None of that matters to me.  What matters is that people see me as a virtuous, compassionate person, someone who would listen to them, love them, offer advice, give second chances, encourage them and live the life I so highly recommend, the one with Christ at the center.

When I reflect on the past week of my life, I can already see glaring failures.  Opportunities missed.

I am challenging myself to think this way more often; to realize that the little, seemingly inconsequential things, really do matter.  We can merely look at someone in the wrong way, or not allow our look linger long enough to show our interest in them.  What about when we half-hardheartedly listen while conversing because our heart isn’t in it?  There are the times we are tired and grouchy and speak before we think.  We can be callous in our topics, not taking into consideration the entire audience and things some of them might have been through or we neglect people and make them feel left out.

On a positive note though, we can also seek out opportunities to smile, to tousle that little ones hair and tell them they’re awesome, to pat that elderly one on the back and ask about their health or their grandchildren.  We can tell that teenager that many have given up on that they can do it.  We can seek out that single parent and see if there is anything we can do to make the load a little lighter, let them know that we really do love them, that they’re in our prayers.

Think about your own life, about all the little things that gave you strength when you didn’t think you had any left.  Think about the people who spoke goodness into your life and gave you hope or a hand up from the mire.  Those are some of the sweetest memories.  Those are the people that you remember fondly.  Just a small amount of kindness might mean the world to someone.

I know I fail often, but by the grace of God, I will grow into a more considerate, loving and giving person.

Daily Prompt: Un/Faithful

feel my love

The Daily prompt was “Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life — or doesn’t.

I can say without a moments hesitation and with complete assurance that my faith is my everything!  It’s who I am, how I love and live and exist.

My life is based on and around what I believe about how God knew me while in my mother’s womb and how even then, there was a plan for my life.  There was already a purpose and it’s my desire to live that out to the fullest.  This purpose is what motivates me, compels me to move forward, and learn more about what that will of God is for me.  Each and every one of us is precious to God and He has a plan for all.

If not for my faith in God, in the belief that His Son, my Savior, died on a cross to redeem us all, I would not have the hope, joy, peace and love that resides within.  I’m deeply grateful for that love, that peace that surpasses my understanding.

Daily Prompt: Immortalized in Stone

sculptor-Robert Graham

Today’s challenge from “The Daily Post” reminds me of the scriptures in the bible about the potter and the clay.

The question was:  Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing or event from the last year of your life. What’s the statue of and what makes it so significant?

The sculptor in my life would be God and the carving would be me.  My hopes would be the following scenario.  My expression would be one of awe and reverence.  My position would be a yielded and submissive one.  My heart would be visible for all to see and somehow carved to show an openness, a place to give and receive love.

My hands would be shown as doing and my feet also in motion, on their way to help.  There would be stages shown in this carving as I change and grow.  There would always be room for improvement.  It would somehow express the spiritual side of me because the physical isn’t what is important.  If the carving were just to depict this past year, it would look the same as many prior years; there would be growth and change and failure and successes; all moving me towards the final me that God created me to be.

I am very thankful for this “prompt” today because it has caused me to think and reflect and meditate on this past year.  I’m grateful for the positive growth in my life and the wisdom that comes with age.

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