Life Outside is what you see, or is it?

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What do you see? A tree, water, a sailboat, some waves, some white caps. Can you feel the temperature? Or, the wind? Is life outside what we see or is it how we feel? Or, both?

I grew up hearing that things are often not as they appear. What does that mean? Maybe it means there is more of a 3 dimensional aspect to life than we know or allow. Often we block what we do not understand. We do not recognise vocabulary unless we are familiar with the words. If we are not, it is no different from experiencing a foreign language. It means nothing to us. If we are not aware of customs or cultural differences then we also dismiss the actions as trivial or of no value until we are made aware of the meaning behind the actions.

Unless we move outside our comfort zone we will not learn to our full potential. Our growth will be stunted. The wisdom of words from the bible frome Matthew 18:2-4

2Jesus called a little child to stand among them. 3“Truly I tell you, He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter thekingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.…”

The little children remain in a state of always learning and growing and sometimes frustrated by the constant changes taking place. Change humbles us. We lack control. Our adult minds want sameness, control, predictability. But, our spirit was meant to fly, to experience, to grow and learn and be frustrated by change. We may do it gracefully and humbleness of heart, or we can be brought to new experiences kicking and screaming. It is my personal experience when I practice a humble heart new experiences do not seem as daunting, but when I go kicking and screaming it may take much time, energy and resources to find a new normal. The “kicking and screaming” route is more of a norm for me. It is my true nature to resist that which will be better for me simply because it is different.

When and if we allow ourselves to trust what we see and feel at the same time we can become like little children. We can fully experience God’s care for us in dimensions we cannot easily describe. What richness, what flavor, what rest we can experience when we lean into his love and care. Like children in the arms of a parent or loved one, we can not only know and see, but feel loved. Our path will be made straight and our air purified and our food made to nourish our body and soul and mind.

Now, I am encouraged by the thought of these words but I hope tomorrow when I get to choir at church, and there are not enough music stands on the front row, I don’t freak out and head to the back row to hide. That is my nature, but most of the time I have friends and guardians that encourage me to be patient and stay engaged. But mostly, I hope I will rest in the knowledge that whether I’m in the front row or back I will be fine and sing my heart out with no care of being comfortable in my skin. For that, I think, is a place of misconception for those like me. Life outside is not always what you see. Or, is it?

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A Cold and Barren land? or Naw?

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Barren Land is defined as the following:
“incapable of producing offspring, seed, or fruit; sterile: a barren tree. 2. unable to support the growth of crops, etc; unproductive; bare: barren land. 3. lacking in stimulation or ideas; dull: a rather barren play.”

Barren | Define Barren at Dictionary.com

Isaiah 41:18

17“The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, And their tongue is parched with thirst; I, the LORD, will answer them Myself, As the God of Israel I will not forsake them. 18“I will open rivers on the bare heights And springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water And the dry land fountains of water.

This picture I took at the lake where I walk reminded me of this verse. The lake ebbs and flows with abundance and lack of water from season to season. The water level again is down but it will rally. There is hope. This is life for all of us. We arrive with nothing to offer but cries and demands and we often exit the same way. Some go peacefully, so go kicking and screaming, but we all…go. Just like the water, and the leaves, we will bear fruit for a season or perhaps many seasons. There is not a human alive who does not produce which is part of the ultimate plan. What will our focus be? Shall we focus on the measurement of productivity or the delight in the process?
I look at the picture and somehow find it remarkable that even when the land is bare there is a faint and distant nudge toward the thought that somehow, someway the water will one day again flow. The crops will be abundant. The children will all be fed. The parched will thirst no more. And to that horizon we look in awe of abundance we all may access. May all who thirst drink deep of life and know the God of Israel will not forsake us.

“Let the Good Times Roll”

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I love my bike. I ride it every chance I get! I recently had a flat and took it in to get fixed. My plans have been to pick it up very soon. You see, I could learn to fix the flat on the road bike, but if I did that I would not have the pleasure of being a patron to the greatest little bike shop ever! The gentleman in the bike shop has run this business I think all his life. He is a pleasure to talk to. Very patient and kindhearted. He loves his vintage bikes that he keeps in the store. There is a museum quality to this establishment. He has a “penny farthing” chained to the light pole out on the sidewalk during the day. That is the name of the large front wheeled bikes of long ago. So much to look at and experience when I walk in. Each bike has a story, a history. I find my mind wondering where each bike has been and where it will go if ever a real girl or boy will come and buy it.

One day a lady older than I came in and had the owner tweak  the brakes to her new three-wheeler. It was a dandy! All decked out with a basket even, and a great teal color with a long flag in back. Now, she was a talker. The store owner is not. You could tell they were friends though. He was patient and she was so proud to be the owner of her trike. I could not help but include myself in the conversation and make over her new wheels. I even went outside to see it up close. She went on her way, and I went back in to pay for my ‘old giant!’ as the store owner so kindly called my fixer upper. I paid a bit to get it repaired so when this son gets home in a few months from working abroad, we can ride. We bought it from this great gentleman a few years back as a bike this son could ride at college without fear of it being stolen. (Sidenote: Our family has had 4 bikes stolen from the same college.) This big old thing has made it through unscathed. It’s big. It’s ugly green. And it is heavy!

I’ve said all that to say this. Aren’t our lives like the bikes we ride. They have known many days in the garage patiently waiting. They have known days broken apart. They have known love and affection. They have known having the air knocked out of them. They have known and experienced struggle from going up hill. But, ultimately they have known the exhilaration of flying downhill and the freedom to roam. They have also experienced the patient, gentle experienced hands of the fix-it shop owner.

Get the bike out. Fix it up and ride. “Let the good times roll.”

It’s the best part of life!

The Switch

This happens to be my favorite movie, but for the purpose of this blog there has come a time to make “The Switch” to more blog posts. And more posts have to be about life. Novel idea don’t you think? I thought the blog phase would go by the wayside, but it is such a great tool. This is a time to encourage all people in their walk. What better way than to celebrate it with pictures and video and the written word. My words, the things that inspire me. Thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert for the inspirational pic for today. The sources I post here pick me up, and I hope they will do the same for you too. Happy St. Patty’s day! Are you wearing your green today? I am!

Up in the air!

It’s such a wonderful time ! Late at night flying home from Denver. The plane is not crowded. So much room. So much laughter! Everyone is relaxed as we head home! The crew has jokes and the atmosphere is light hearted! What a beautiful end to a wonderful trip!

I Walked and Talked with my extended family including nephews and my sister. We walked the dog and played a lot of “chuck-it!” We hiked and swam. Took a tour of Bass Pro Shop. 11 and 12 year olds who have never been before were bug eyed and so excited to see the wonder of the possibilities from outdoor equipment! And who knew Buffalo Wild Wings with world soccer playing on 30’something flat screens would have mini iPads on which to game as well!

We sewed up an OKC Kevin Durant Thunder T-shirt so the slender fellow could wear it! Hemmed pants and stitched up rips in the throw pillows. All the while talking about life! Important days these are! Passing along good tidings all the while feeling blessed to know contentment is just a thought away! Change our thinking and we change our life! Change our life and we encourage others to think positive. Find the good. Focus on what CAN be done. Serve others. Treat people as we want to be treated! Find humor in life and in ourselves. And live passionately and from creativity!

Now is as good a time as ever to Walk & Talk! Where ever we are! Whenever we can! At work, at home, on vacation, while traveling it is always a good idea. People are inspired and healing takes place!

I am coming down from being up in the air, but the time invested was a blessing for all!