Posts Tagged With: Friends

The Way

Have you seen the movie “The Way”?
It’s in theaters now, starring Martin Sheen.

What path does life lead you down? We have so many choices each day from the moment we awake. What to wear, what to eat, which road to travel to work, relationships to build, relationships to mend, relationships to let go. How we react to others says so much about our character. This movie is a beautiful tribute to the pilgrims that walk the path that St. James took to Camino de Santiago. This can be a 500 mile trek for some, a pilgrimage that can be life changing.

Witnessing the amazing countryside of Spain and the hospitality of villagers, the pilgrims walk in solitude or with strangers that become friends. Often they are working out struggles in their lives that the real world allows them to hide. But we can not hide from the rocks that God allows in our lives. But he also gives us the ability to smooth those rough edges away.

What are we hiding by not being our true selves?
What do we need time in solitude to pray about?

Are there people who have come into your life at moments when you are in need of a different perspective, a calm voice, a warm embrace. Martin Sheen resists sharing his life and his journey with anyone, but life has another route planned for him. To watch his growth through his long walk shows us the way of our own journey, or at least what we try to avoid and that which awaits us.

We can not escape life and all of the rocky paths that lie ahead.
But wait!
Around the corner is the smooth, gentle landscape that give us joy, hope and love!

Watch this inspirational story that has a father embarking on a historical pilgrimage to honor his son’s desire to finish the journey of The Way. What Tom doesn’t plan on is the profound impact the journey will have on him and the life he began comfortable with as a widow with a routine life.

You will see yourself in so many of the characters and grow as they develop throughout the movie. It’s so worth your time – Enjoy!!

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Our actions

This week I was driving along the interstate to my office, having quite the conversation with Jesus and approaching in the right hand lane was a large truck.

As this truck drove past me, I could not help but notice this load bouncing in the back of the flatbed.
Up and down as the netting and ropes held it down. It seemed as if the tree was trying to escape from the grips of the landscape company. I snapped a quick picture and thought of how it must feel to be chopped down for others pleasure. This is the season that we cut trees, so that we can allow them to die in our homes as we decorate for the holidays. I have always been an artificial tree person, and I guess seeing the image of that tree thrashing for survival made me glad I am.

I love the smell of a Christmas tree and am not being critical of anyone who chooses to purchase a live tree. I’m just saying I realized I sometimes can feel like that tree, thrashing for my life because of the situation I’m in.

Occasionally life throws at you someone who challenges your character.
Sometimes people walk through your life that do not even realize that the words they are saying hurt others.
Groups of friends gather against others for a common goal, but in the meantime others are offended and sadden.

Recently, I found myself on the peripheral of a situation between two groups of parents. Both feeling like victims, neither seeing how their lack of communication was splintering a community. As an outsider to the entanglement, I am blessed that I was able to step back and look objectively at the scenario. Although even when you can clearly see one side being unreasonable and unintentionally hurtful, it can be difficult to reason with those that are reacting with emotion. How do you tell someone they are so wrong without doing exactly what they are doing – being offensive!

People are reasonable as individuals, unreasonable when in a crowd mentality.

Sadly what I witnessed was a splintered community by playground bullies, digging in their heels until they got their way. The ripple effect that comes from that can be far-reaching. When adults thrash around thinking they have been cut down and wronged they can be unreasonable and spiteful in their reactions. I pray that these reactions are forgivable by the ones that are hurting. Someone asked me how do we start to help a community heal. My only response is through our actions, our kindness, our moving forward and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of all involved. We can not force others to heal, time and reflection will allow healing to happen. But the realization of how our actions affect others is profound.

How we react each day are reflected in the seeds we throw into the soil.
Do we throw seeds that are watered with love and acceptance?
Or do we throw seeds that are watered with resentment, anger and judgement?
I believe we will be measured by our faith, lived out through our actions.

May we never be cut down by unkind actions, like the trees that will come down this fall.
May we nurture the seeds we plant and trust the Spirit to allow them to grow.

Reflect on if your seeds produce trees tomorrow?

Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. Warren Buffett

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Bring me balance

The turbulence of life can plummet at us in an instance.
Our lives can be turned upside down without notice.
Normal today is not normal tomorrow, change is inevitable.
How do we balance all the pain, suffering, heartaches with all the joy, happiness and love through the transitions of life?

The past two weeks have been a roller coaster ride for my family. If ever there was a time that we are out of balance and flooded with uncertainty it’s now. Often when we feel most comfortable and content is when we are called to reach deep into our hearts and deal with the storms of life.

Last week started with my husband being called in Monday morning to cutbacks and his job eliminated. Devastating to any family, especially in this job market. We discovered by the end of the week the unemployment will not cover our losses – less than 20% of his income, since our children are not dependents the rate drops rapidly. Friday we left for Phoenix to move our daughter into her apartment where she is teaching with heavy hearts, the reality that she will no longer lives with us sinking into our consciousness. Our baby girl has grown up. As we returned home we discovered messages from the doctor wanting to see my husband for follow-up to his blood work. The dark thoughts began to seep in.

BALANCE – TRUST – GRACE – GIFT – PRAYER

People get pulled into darkness and despair and believe me, I could see the black hole spiraling next to us.
But we looked upward and saw the light.
This world can be seen through a negative lens if you choose to.

What do you choose?
I choose GOODNESS,  I choose LIGHT,  I choose LIFE,  I choose FAITH!!

But we are so blessed with a loving family, supportive friends and a faithful Father that will never leave us.

“He will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you.
So do not fear or be dismayed” Deut 31:8

GOD IS GOOD!!
The doctor’s visit was fine, some improvements in his counts…good news
Friends and colleagues writing letters of recommendations and getting the word out for open positions…grace
Learning that although unemployment is over 9% now, in the technology job market, it’s only 3%…hope
Seeing our daughter in a safe, secure, lovely apartment; meeting her students and seeing how she is living her dream…delight

BLESSINGS in the storms…GOD’S GRACE in time of trouble…

After experiencing this initial period of storms and understanding there are most likely more still to come, I can understand how people can fall into despair and depression. It’s an effort every day to see the goodness and love that is in front of you.

We have a choice to balance our lows with our highs…or we can sink into loneliness and fear.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I found myself sinking with the onset of so much evil so quickly sent our way. But I sank to my knees in prayer.

I looked to someone who could actually do something to help me. And I find peace in my moments of doubt in His love.

Years ago, we decided to close our retail shop and although we both had jobs waiting for us it was still a transition. A loss. A change.
I was constantly drawn to Proverbs 3:5 through out that period

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
on your own intelligence do not rely;
In all your ways be mindful of him,
and he will make straight your path.

We survived that transition and we will survive this too.

I have always prayed for those unemployed and under-employed, but now I pray in unison with them.

The mantra I am drawn to find balance and peace with today is in knowing that: “Jesus I trust in You!”

Can I get an AMEN!!

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Peace is possible

On June 22, 2004 an angel on earth was called home.
Mattie Stepanek peacefully left us with poems and thoughts on life and faith.
Mattie was able to balance his life and his faith like no one else.
He wanted to be remembered as a poet, a peacemaker and a philosopher who played.

What a wonderful way to be remembered. No matter how important we get in our jobs, lives and families – we need to play.

We need to jump into the pool cannonball style – run without inhibitions in every direction – grab a friend and do the unexpected.

Did you watch Friends, I loved that emsemble of characters!
My favorite character was Phoebe.
I know, I know, they all had their quirkyness that make them loveable personalities. And there pieces of each personality that I love, but Phoebe was always true to herself, not needing to pretend to be something she was not. She was smart, kind, compassionate and forgiving – and totally Phoebe!
One of my favorite Phoebe scenes is when she runs with Rachel in Central Park. Phoebe run like a wild person and Rachel is embarrased. Phoebe doesn’t understand why anyone would run so uptight – she runs like a child, as fast as she can, arms flying all around her – but with pure joy.

Let’s take a lesson of pure joy from what mattered most to Mattie – “Praying and playing, and celebrating life every day in some way.”
Playing and running uninhibited.
With pure joy, not worried about what others think. 

The Dust of God

A long time ago, I was a leaf on a tree…
I was hanging on my tree and
it was during spring so it rained a lot,
and that was good because I was thirsty.
Then it turned into summer
and it was so hot, but I felt good when I saw
the beautiful flowers down below.
Then fall came.
I was green, but then I turned red
and fell down to the ground.
When winter came it was cold,
and I began to disappear and turn back into the dust that I was made from.
Then spring came again…
I was not a tree anymore, but buried into the ground.
But I was still a part of  the flowers and of the trees and of
all the life around the world…
because I was the dust that God made,
and that is the dust that God used
to make the whole world, and the animals
and the plants and the people
I am the dust and I am the life and
I am so happy…
Hanging on my tree,
Floating to the ground and
being the dust of God in the earth.
June 22,1995 ~ Mattie Stepanek

Categories: Balance, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Friend…

A Friend…
Accepts you as you are; Belives in you; Calls you just to say “hi”;
Doesn’t give up on you; Envisions the whole of you;
Forgives your mistakes; Gives unconditionally; Helps you;
Invites you over; Just spends time with you;
Keeps you close at heart; Loves you for who you are;
Makes a difference in your life; Never judges; Offers support;
Picks you up; Quiets your fears; Raises your spirit;
Says nice things about you;
Tells you the truth when you need to hear it;
Understands; Values you; Walks besides you;
X-plains things when you don’t understand;
Yells at you when you need it; and Zaps you back to reality
 

Today we visit with family and friends; laughing and reminiscing, sharing stories and catching up with our busy lives. These family moments for some only happen a few times a year. We spend so much time at work, in front of a computer or alone in our homes. We need the connections of friends. We seek to connect to others through so many forms of communications. Hugs at Easter and family events are welcomed with open arms and hearts. We need human connection. Friends can fill this void for us.

True friendships make our lives burst with love and joy!
Thank goodness for our friends!!
Embrace and Thank those around you today!

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