Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Which Blessing Do You Need?


Blessed are the ____ for they shall ______

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Photo by Eduardo Braga on Pexels.com

The Beatitudes are a series of blessings
well-known by most Christians.

Usually when I read them, I think:
They are for others
… those folks long ago …
or “hurting” folks today.

But rarely do I see myself in them!

I’m not trapped…
I’m not hurting THAT much!

close up finger hurt pain

… or am I?

How are we hurting?
Each of us has an area of vulnerability.
Each of us has a past that haunts us when we give it permission to emerge.
Each of us has need for forgiveness.
None of us is immune
from identification with the Beatitudes.

Jesus preached
in the Sermon on the Mount (The Book of Matthew, chapter 5:1-12) blessing the:

  • poor in spirit,
  • those who mourn,
  • the meek,
  • hungry,
  • merciful,
  • pure in heart,
  • peacemakers,
  • those who are persecuted and insulted.

He told each of those how they would be blessed and invited each to “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven…”

The blessings included:

  • The Kingdom of Heaven
  • comfort
  • inheritance of the land
  • satisfaction
  • mercy
  • seeing God
  • rejoicing

In The Artist’s Rule,

the book I am reading/studying, by Christine Valters Paintner,
we were invited to write our own Beatitudes.
I invite you to try it, too. It was an enlightening exercise.

Let me share my results with you:

Blessed are the broken,
….. may they find the Glue of God.
Blessed are those in pain,
….. for their endurance is heartening.
Blessed are the parents who’ve lost children or spouses,
….. for their pain is unfathomable, but their love is endless.
Blessed are those who serve others,
….. may they also be served.
Blessed are the lonely,
….. may they feel the presence of God.
Blessed are the homeless,
….. may they know the Promise of their eternal home.
Blessed are the caregivers,
….. for their compassion is great.
Blessed are those who seek to know God,
….. for He is in them.
Blessed are we in our imperfection,
….. for we recognize the One who is Perfect.
Blessed are the lame,
….. for their perseverance strengthens us all.
Blessed are the weathered,
….. for they have dwelt in the sun.
Blessed are the scarred,
….. for they have fought the battle and won.
Blessed are the tarnished,
….. for they shall sparkle with the balm of forgiveness.

We all are tarnished.
… all in need of blessings.

Which blessing do you need most?

God bless you!

blessings signage mounted on wall

Photo by Bryan Schneider on Pexels.com

Few Words Wednesday


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I had all kinds of plans to give my time to a few people today.
I guess God had other ideas.

I was headed out, but my car is stuck in a snowdrift in our driveway. Doesn’t look so bad in the picture, but it won’t go forward or backward… just spins in place.

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TazE seems puzzled, huh?

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Compared to others, this is a small problem.

How did your day go?

Be Led, Not Driven


The Purpose Driven Life

I have an affection for Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life. It has so many words of wisdom – and it helped me as I was trying to define my purpose for living. I had recently suffered a burst appendix and had almost died. Prayer, God’s grace, a skillful ambulance driver, and a careful surgeon gave me back my life. I looked earnestly for clues about how I might live purposely for God to thank Him for my survival.

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This book of Daily Inspirations is a complement to The Purpose Driven Life. I used it as a devotional and as a journal, writing in the margins and at the top and bottom of the pages each day.


Soul Feast

But recently I read a quote by Marjorie J. Thompson in her book, Soul Feast.

Thompson wrote, “I admit I do not care for the language of ‘driven-ness’ in recently popular books and seminars…” She went on to explain “… it is significant that the Bible likens us to sheep, not cattle.”


My Haiku

Giving overtime thought to Marjorie J. Thompson’s  quote I wrote the following Haiku:

Live from a posture
Of profound trust and deep love
Be sheep, not cattle

 

Deep Conversation

My husband and I had a deep conversation about life and death, purpose and the difference between being led and being driven. When I am weary, Jesus leads me beside still waters. He refreshes my soul.

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Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Cowboys here in Montana drive their cattle to the next pasture and farmers in Switzerland drive their cows in the springtime up to fresh grass from the lower meadows where the beautiful animals have spent the winters.

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Photo by Krivec Ales on Pexels.com

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But Bob’s point as my hubby discussed the difference between being driven and led, was that cattlemen drive their cattle for the same reason shepherds lead their sheep. They have their best interests at heart. (Well, they may be driving them to market!)

There is a connotation to the word “driven” in our American culture. It seems to imply push-push-push, a relentless effort toward getting to the top.

 

Hope for the Flowers

I was reminded of a book for adults and others (including caterpillars who can read)  titled, Hope for the Flowers, by Trina Paulus. It was copyrighted in 1973, but it is as pertinent today as it was then (and it still is available on Amazon.com).

As I recall the story, the caterpillars in this clever little tale are climbing over the top of each other, creating a  “caterpillar pillar.” One little creeper is on the outside edge, getting tired of the climb, wondering if it’s worth it. She asks a fellow climber as she looks at the daunting distance to the top, “What’s up there, anyway?”

“Just other caterpillars pushing each other off so they can be on top,” her climbing companion explained as one of the fuzzy creatures came tumbling down and crashed to the ground.

(How sad, huh? I am fascinated by these wonderful creations and their metamorphosis.)

caterpillar close up hairy insect

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Right about then the disillusioned climber caught the eye of a beautiful butterfly cruising by. “Climb on down,” he encouraged. “Spin yourself a chrysalis, rest inside, and eventually you will emerge a butterfly like I did. Then you can join me.”

(Of course those quotes are from my memory, not the actual book. I loaned it out to someone…. don’t remember who… but I have ordered a new one. Hope for the Flowers is a terrific book to have on hand as a reminder of my journey!)

Moving Down the Administrative Ladder

I discovered this beautiful, child-like, but profound, paperback when I was working as a curriculum coordinator in the district office at a school district in central California. My office was waaay too far from the children. I had been an elementary teacher for over 20 years and the principal of a K-6 school with over a thousand students for nearly a decade. The “caterpillar pillar” (that ambitious climb to greater “success”) led me to the district office. I knew after only about three weeks that it was not where I belonged.

I stuck it out for two years. Did the best job I knew how. Wore at least a half a dozen hats (Federal Programs director, language arts and music coordinator, in-service leader for new teachers, mentor for new principals, etc.) I learned a lot, and am glad I did it,but generally, I was not happy. My love & my gift was teaching children and helping “my staff” grow to be their best selves. I loved the interaction with the students, the teachers, and the parents.

As I climbed back down the “pillar” and announced that I was going back UP to the classroom (as soon as I rested a year and earned my butterfly wings), I was told, “What are you doing? That’s the wrong direction!”

Some warned, “You can’t go back down! People will think you’ve been demoted!”

“Yes, I can,” I insisted. I slid into my chrysalis, listened to The Voice of Reason and Transformation, rested, and devoted more time to my family, myself and my God.

I emerged a happy butterfly and was led back UP to a group of first graders. At the end of that year I led them on to second grade. What joy! I still hear from some of those children twenty years later. Several of them are my Facebook friends!

Best move I ever made!!

antenna beautiful bloom blossom

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


The Voice

Contemplative time
Creates vessels of vision
Hear the “still small voice”

.
Let God fill you up
with new creativity
Receive fresh insight

.
I encourage you
To let contemplative time
Be a microphone

.
Let unstructured time
Be a transformative time
Listen to The Voice!


Take time to rest.
Build your chrysalis.
Listen to your heart.

Find your True Purpose!

You may want to consider getting Rick Warren’s, The Purpose Driven Life,
and the accompanying inspirational/journal:

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and look for Hope for the Flowers. It’s out there…

Be Led, Not Driven

Slow Down the Pace


body of water across forest

Photo by Manuela Adler on Pexels.com

Slow down the pace of
This busy and frenetic life
Float on the waters of grace
With time that is free from all strife
.
Practice the art of just ceasing
Give honor and value to time
Ponder the minutes and hours
Value moments to write and to rhyme
.
Writing is not akin to working
It’s not a task, not for me
I rest in sweet Otim Sanctum:
Holy Leisure and divine creativity
.
You can turn up the secular pace of
Negotium: those non-leisure hours
But let sacred rhythm enchant you
And drench you in replenishing showers

beautiful bloom blooming blur

Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on Pexels.com

Sharing Multiplies Joy – Haiku x7


Sharing special days

Like our anniversary

Makes them more special

Inviting good friends

To celebrate days with us

Increases friendship

Generously share

Days of sweet significance

Multiply your joy

Share a lovely meal

Happy Birthday, dear friend, at

Sacajawea!

.

First picture up there

Was seven short years ago

Here’s fifty-seven!

Wonderful wedding

Beautiful cake and event

My how the time flies!!

Have we changed a lot?

Inside we are still the same

Keeping love alive!

.

Tell me about some sharing you’ve done that multiplied your joy!

Change is Challenging


Change is inevitable
Change is challenging
Resist or embrace?

May as well embrace
To resist change is futile
Change is inevitable

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This is my grandson, Chris. I told you I would write more about him. He has been the center of life for Bob and our family since he arrived in the USA from Switzerland last Thanksgiving. When you first met him (if you have been following my blog), this is what he looked like:

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See the change?

And when you first met that pup he has under the blanket in his lap up there, this is what TazE looked like:

HappyTazE

Well, he is so covered up in that first picture up there, you can’t really see the gray in his face and the change in his body, can you? But, trust me… now at age 8 1/2, he has changed from that frisky guy you see there. Here’s a current one that shows you what I’m talking about:

TazE in bed

Yes, change is inevitable! And it can be scary. And it can be very exciting. But it does not do any good to resist it. Much of change is healthy and invigorating. It’ll happen whether you bid it or not. May as well plan for it!

When our grandson came last year, he knew he was in for a year of changes. He had the courage to fly into a new life here – with new opportunities – different in countless ways from his life in Sierre, Switzerland.

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Today we are driving in Montana snow (really came down yesterday… and more is expected today) from Ennis to Anaconda. It’s about a two hour drive. We will stay overnight there, hoping to find a place that will allow pets. TazE will go with us.

We are taking Chris to the Job Corps in Anaconda. He will check in at 8:00 AM tomorrow morning. He has qualified (US citizen between the age of 16-24 with a clean record who is interested in training in one of 7 manual labor areas that are deemed understaffed by the Federal Government) and has been accepted into the program.

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We took a tour there in December and we were wonderfully impressed with the site, the program, the facilities, the instructors, the equipment, the ambience, and the students. About 200 young people are there. More than 75% of them are from out-of-state. Chris will be the first who was born and raised in another country. (Our daughter is his mom… and as such, Chris has dual USA-Swiss citizenship).

There are 4 dorms, 3 for men and 1 for women (that’s the ratio of the students). Not surprising since the trades they are learning include:

  • Heavy equipment Operating
  • Heavy equipment Mechanics
  • Welding
  • Painting (buildings inside and out – not oils, acrylics, watercolor, etc.)
  • Carpentry
  • Culinary Arts
  • Brick-laying

Chris will have a month to explore the various options and then he will select the one he wishes to concentrate on. Each student is self-paced. The training could take as little as three months and as much as a year, depending on prior experience, work ethic, skill, etc.

Stay tuned. I am sure our grandson is in for changes he cannot even imagine at this time.

We are excited for him.

Aren’t you glad to know our Federal Government is supporting this kind of internship/apprenticeship program for young people?

 

Sunrise Beginnings; Sunset Endings


Just as sun rises,
Each day is new beginnings.
Rise to occasions.

sunrise

Just as the sun sets
Extraordinarily,
Ends bring beginnings.

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Allow the endings
In order to make room for
The new beginnings.

 

Our daughter’s youngest, our 23-year-old grandson, Chris, arrived from Switzerland to stay for awhile with our son in California – and to stay for a month with us here in Montana. Life here is very different for him. In the Montana month, he met our friends, went to church and shopping with us, helped us around the house a lot (like decorating for Christmas and then taking down and putting away all the decorations), received his driver’s license, toured the Job Corp campus in Anaconda, MT, filled out his application, and was accepted into the program. He has USA citizenship and is between the ages of 16 and 24; he wants to learn manual skills and may move on to find a job in a field such as carpentry, welding, or heavy equipment mechanics, and he has a “clean record”, so he qualifies for the program.

He will begin this new experience next week. Chris had to allow for a lot of endings in order to make room for these new beginnings. We are excited for him. We are impressed by his courage, spirit of adventure, and willingness to step out and learn new skills. Only the Good Lord knows what the next year will hold for him, but we know he is in God’s hands, and so we will send him off with great anticipation, faith, and confidence.

Stay tuned!!
I’m sure I will write
more about Chris
as the year progresses.
Maybe his experiences
will encourage
some 16-to-24-year-old
you know and love.

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