Monday, March 13, 2017

Letters


It has been a while but this post is largely due to this book I got today, and have finished reading, called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It has been awhile since I have read a book to spark an idea to write something here. To be honest it has been a while since I have really read little alone finished a book. Not for lack of trying but I just couldn't read and I do love to read. Then I found this book today (and four others, I don't lie when I say I can't go to bookstores without someone willing to say that's enough books time to go!).

Onto the book, it was one of those just caught my attention not sure why books. I read the summary, flipped through the pages and discovered the whole book was letters. A book and the whole thing is written like letters to and from various characters. It was quickly settled that book was going home with me and not back on the shelf.

Bit of a background it's set in mid forties just after then end of World War II and Juliet is writing letters to her publisher and a few other people then gets a letter from a man in Guernsey who happens to mention a society he belongs to. This begins correspondence between Dawsey and several people from the society and the Island. Juliet is an author (only my dream career, that and photography) and is my age and has naturally curly hair ( I laughed at this line from the book - Naturally curly hair is a curse, and don't ever let anyone tell you different...I have days where I wholeheartedly agree with that!). It's probably a weird habit to have but when I see letters written in books I always check the date if it's included just to see if it happens to be on my birthday because I just think it's really neat when that happens. Alas, close but no letter written on my birthday in this book.

I love letters, I think there is just something about getting a letter or card from someone. It's like a gift in and of itself. The person took time to sit and write a note or if it's a card took time to find that just right card and then add their own little note to it. And in this fast paced world I am thankful for text messages and FB messenger because that helps me keep in contact with people I don't get to see in person very often so I am not knocking those ways to keep in touch. You know what I noticed in the letters written in the book, how it is with letters written in real life and even in conversations - we all have a story and are more alike in ways than people seem to grasp. In the book someone would mention something that happened growing up or get talking a lot about a subject only to apologize for going on to long on that only for the person to reply with a story of how they did something similar growing up and to appreciate the person's enthusiasm on the subject. I think I like writing letters or sending messages for a couple of reasons: it allows me to say what I want without being interrupted and I can say far more than I may get the chance or time to in person and with dare I say a bit more honesty. I have the time to think of how to say what I want sometimes in talking in person I don't get that chance before the subject is already changed. For you really do have to have a lot of patience and be ready to say what a lot when I do get to talk. With the exception of those rare people that if it's just them and me I could talk a lot or sit with them in silence and still say a lot. I think sometimes in talking or reading we sometimes miss those little moments of something really important people are telling about themselves. I was reading a devotional today and it actually talked about that and they called it a heart-drop. I love that and the writer of this went on to say A heart-drop is when a person, either directly or in a cryptic way, gives you a peek into their heart. It may be through actual words, or you might pick up on a feeling, perhaps sadness or loneliness...God uses people to hear the cries of other people and respond with sincere love and care, to reach out and hearten another soul. If we will only learn to pay attention, to live alert...Hearing a heart-drop is an art we must lovingly cultivate. It can lead to the most wonderful times of encouragement as we make it our habit to listen and to love. (- from devotion 'How To Hear A Heart-Drop' on Proverbs 31 Ministries). Sometimes in the hustle and bustle we miss those heart drops but maybe a letter or card can be used as a way for someone to let a heart-drop be known and sometimes we can use a letter or card (or email) to encourage them. The cool thing about the letters is how strangers became friends and how friends stayed in touch even living a distance away from each other. I loved in one letter Juliet writes to her publisher about the people of the society saying in part how she wants to be adopted by one of the women in the group and how she wants to adopt another. Which I also think is cool in real life how people just get placed in your life at the right time and all. Those people that just take you under their wings and help in more ways than I think they may ever realize and then those people that you just want to take under your wings and protect them and help them and just be around like those people you do want to just say will you adopt me?! I just love this story and the characters. I love how it reminded me how we can learn so much from people and how much we can mean to them by just taking the time to listen, remembering that little detail that we thought no one was paying attention to when we was talking (or writing) about. That moment of oh wow you listened and you just want to hug them because it just means that much. Lastly, does anyone know how to get to Guernsey?!

One last quote from the book:

That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you into a third book

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Wearing the correct glasses

In the book Wizard of Oz before Dorothy, The Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion or even Toto can enter into the Emerald City they have to put on these glasses that have green lenses. The gatekeeper tells them it is because the brightness and glry of the city would blind them if they didn't wear them. Everyone in the city has to wear them all the time. In fact, the glasses are locked on and only the gatekeeper has the key to unlock them. These glasses are like fears and lies of life. Sometimes in life we think that we have to act a certain way, wear a certain thing or we won't be allowed in to the city. Some people are carrying around fears of rejection, perfection, or the lie that they don't matter. Whatever the fear or lie may be because there are many they each are like those green colored glasses. If one isn't careful they get locked on and we can't take them off because we don't have the key. The enemy will say you have to wear or carry these fears - ironically he uses more fears and lies to make sure we keep the fears and lies to make sure we keep focused on and carry the fears and lies longer than we ever should. The people in the Emerald City had to wear these glasses from the time Oz ordered the city built. So that's all the people knew - it was their normal. They didn't even know they were in bondage to these glasses. They truly believed the city was so bright and glamorous they would be blinded if they took the glasses off. Our fears and lies are like that. Some we have carried so long we don't realize the hold they have on us, it has become our normal. See there was something the people in the city didn't know and there's something we to often forget.Later in the book Dorothy and the others discover that Oz is nothing more than a man from Omaha that has been using tricks to deceive people. When Dorothy asks him if everything really is green he replies no more green than any other place. However, many have worn the glasses so long that they really believed it was that green. The enemy will use fewrs, lies and things or people to deceive you and have you believing you have to carry these things even that you deserve to carry them and that there is no key or way to live without them. But God has the key and you most definitely don't deserve any fear or other lie. You deserve to see you for who and how you are. Fearfully and wonderfully made. Loved. Free. Now hopefully you have found that key and had the lock opened and chains broken. Sometimes you got to get new glasses. I keep an old pair in my car just in case something happens to my current pair I can use those as a backup so I will still be able to drive. Once I discovered for whatever reason I had two older pairs and had no room for the only pair I needed to keep. There are times we break free from fears but still hang on to just a little bit or get a hold of it just a little bit again. Those just in case moments, still need to protect myself moments or I don't quite completely trust you God with this moment. Old ways of thinking leave no room for truth to even be planted. And if you get it planted lies and fears or to big of a storm can overpower that seed of truth and prevent it from growing. Wearing an old prescription of glasses for to long can put a strain on your eyes and you just don't see like you should. That's the way old ways of thinking can be - it can even keep you stick in your comfort zone. If I hang on with everything I have in me to the old glasses or old thinking I'll keep building the walls back up. I'll be wearing glasses with green lenses. Some glasses have transition lenses and will change shade in different lighting. Walk outside on a sunny day and in just a but hello sunglasses. That transition I don't have to do anything but the glasses change based on the atmosphere, of where I am. In life you have transitions or growing. Some may be easy some may feel like they are going to end you. In all of them but especially those that are most difficult hold on to God and His truth and promises and that it's not meant for harm but God can and will use it for good. Genesis 50:20 States you meant evil against me but God meant it for good. Finally, with any current pair of glasses I have I can't be careless with them. I have to clean them and there is always that one little spot that just doesn't want to leave or looks so huge but nothing when you take your glasses off to clean it away. Such as that fear (or two or three), that lie (maybe that you should just give up) or trial that just seems like it will never leave. It keeps tripping you up. Never stop fighting. Cause if I never clean my glasses that spot for sure won't go away. Sometimes I am wearing a shirt I can't use to wipe my glasses off with or no cloth and I have to ask for help cleaning them. Same happens in life we have to ask for help. We aren't made to do these things alone but with God and with people he places in your life. With each attack of those lies fight back with the truth of who you are to and with God, how far you have made it not how you messed up or how far you have to go. At night I keep my glasses on a shelf next to me so I can reach them quickly. I need to do that in life, making  sure to take care of my thoughts, weeding out the lies and planting truth, surrounding myself with people that help me grow and are a positive influence. I got to make sure I am not holding on for dear life to the fears and lies or pushing people away. And always even when it seems pointless (just another lie) hold on to God. Because when I take my glasses off I still feel like I have them on. It's kind of like the presence of God when storms and trials knock our glasses off and we can't see sometimes you reach for God but it feels like He isn'tnear or listening but He is. If you can quiet the chaos and lies and remember even just one truth, like God will never nor forsake you, then soon you can remember where your hope is. That moment of I am okay God has me and will see me through this and I will grow with cleaner and even better lenses to see with. When I can't see even when I think I am seeing perfectly or fears, lies or trials that is closing in God will be there to lead, guide and direct my steps if I let Him. He will take off my green colored glasses and I will see and go places that I can't begin to imagine. I just got to wear the right pair of glasses and take care of them

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Knocked Down but Not Knocked Out

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.... - Ecclesiastes 3:1

Kind of a fitting verse since we're less than two weeks away from spring to which I say, thank God, I am so ready to see the colors of the leaves back on the trees and the flowers and the pretty days to go walking in the woods lost in the sounds of the birds and animals. I like to think part of those sounds are them saying, 'Whoo! We made it through the winter. We survived.' No matter how mild or severe the weather may have been that winter. And I think that applies to the seasons we go through in life. I don't know about you but some seasons though I know it is mild and will pass I really have my moments of doubt that I will make it. That's just those sneaky lies and fears talking. In my visual way of thinking and understanding things it's like I am walking down this hallway and it could start out okay, no obstacles and then suddenly all the doors open and people come rushing out of the rooms and crowd the hallway so that I can't see where I was heading and I can't get them to move out of my way so I can get where I want to go, where I am supposed to be. Those people are the lies and fears and the baggage that has never been mine to carry. I am trying to keep pressing through but they are pushing back. Now here's where I struggle in a lot of areas one and the biggest is that I try to do it all by myself. I can't. I have to learn to trust and lean on and rely on God and that it's also okay to ask others for help and let them help carry the load or in this case help push some of those people out of the way. Cause those people in that hallway, they are armed and ready for battle, they ain't playing. There is another area I need to work on cause I don't always check my armor to make sure it's still in good shape, I don't always even wear it. Sometimes I forget it, sometimes I think oh it's not that bad I got it I don't need to wear my armor. You'd think by now I would learn that is wrong. I am getting there and I am at the point where I am getting my armor back on and fixing the holes and places where I have let it get wore out. Now let me tell on myself a little bit, so recently I very much found myself in the middle of this hallway and I had gotten pushed down. And I was trying to pray my way through but I did start out a little better than I usually do in that I tried to reach out to someone but when they was willing to help I stupidly reverted back to listening to those lies and fears that was surrounding me in the hallway and tried to push people away. Not gonna lie I thought at one point I really had succeeded in pushing them away. Which worried me cause I didn't want that to happen. So I had a moment where, one of those where you have found just enough fight because you know trying to walk through this hallway it can wear you out and sometimes wear you out quickly. But I found just enough to have my shut up, just shut up and it quieted the voices just enough so I didn't have my breakdown at that moment and that I could still try not to dig the hole deeper but try to get out. It was also at this point that I realized if I didn't succeed in pushing them away I needed to talk. I needed help cause I had gotten knocked down, and it was a pretty hard push and the lies and fears was crowding in not leaving me any room to let me be able to get back up. That's how it felt anyway. You know it's kind of like the buddy system, I've overheard groups of kids or people and they will ask the kids have you got your buddy. As I always say, I go to and rely on God first but to be honest there are times where I may feel like my prayers aren't getting through, or I just find myself in that hallway overwhelmed and honestly I forget to pray. Here's my problem when things happen I shut down and I shut people out. That's the honest to goodness truth. But thankfully I am learning I can't do it alone and thankfully God is always there and He has placed people in my life that have seriously amazing patience and won't let me push them away and stick around to help me get through the hallway. Cause I really don't want to go back in the cocoon, I really do want to fly. But I said all that to get to this which is that for everything there is a season and a purpose. Just like even right now you can see signs of leaves coming back flowers breaking through the ground, the song of the birds. I love spring (autumn is a very, very close second) because spring to me means hope and reminds me every year that though it got cold, it was gray and bleak looking, the season passed and the beauty and life came back to the flowers and trees and every year it seems more beautiful and worth the wait. So I don't know how long the season may last for what you are going through I don't know how long it will take for me to get through this hallway but we'll make it, eh? I may have to reach out a lot to those that are willing to lend a hand to help me and remind me that God is there and they are there to help too. Because we may get knocked down and what knocked us down may think they have won but we're not knocked out, may feel close but we'll get back up. May be staggering for a bit getting my footing back up but I'm getting back up. I got some flying to do. And I am going to soar!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Just a-thinking and a-writing

I was reading a blog post from Billy Coffey the other day and there was a particular line that stuck out that essentially said that  life is just like every good story in that the beginning is important but the ending is everything. I really liked that cause I am not sure I really thought of it quite like that before. Putting it like that puts it in a whole new perspective. Sometimes, at least for my story, I let the beginning hinder a lot of my later chapters. Even knowing what I know now I wouldn't change any of the previous chapters even if it was possible. I am quickly approaching the end of my chapter 32 with roughly 57 days or pages left in this chapter. Now I don't know how many chapters are in my book or what is going to happen in any of those chapters. A couple or so years ago I read a post, ironically it was also from Billy Coffey and it was about this woman that was smiling at people as she walked down the street, adding money to a meter so someone wouldn't get a ticket, just a taking a minute to acknowledge those she passed. In that post he wrote about the impact she was making and essentially leaving on those people but she didn't had no clue because she didn't look back and see the smile that was still on the persons face or the look of bewilderment of wow someone I don't even know cared enough to say hello or no doubt the look of relief and possibly confusion from the person that thought for sure they was going to have a ticket from a meter that run out of time. And I still love that because apparently I have this weird fascination and amazement at how such simple things can make an impact on people and how that can help remind someone that they matter. I don't know why but that is such an important thing to me, that people know they matter. Earlier I wrote about the ending being everything and I think when you say that people automatically go to the ultimate ending where you take your last breath but there are also so many other endings, to seasons to chapters be it the ones where we grow another year older or a job or relationship, etc. Because even with those the beginnings are important but the ending to each of those is everything even when they may not end how we wanted because given enough time you can look back and see how those puzzle pieces worked to get to the piece you are on now or one you are on your way to. A bad chapter doesn't end a story or ruin it sometimes it leads to one of the best written chapters, one so amazingly amazing you would have never thought about writing it like that. And you know often times I think we meet people like that woman in passing that just says or smiles at us at the right time and sometimes, to steal a phrase that someone has told me, God knits people together. And I think both of those kinds of people are awesome. It's like God saying hey I see you are having a bad day let me put this stranger in your path to smile or say something to lift you up a bit and sometimes He sees you need a bit longer of a visit with people so he lets you meet and know people who become friends and so much more. Those people that even though I worry I talk way to much to and they get tired of me I am finally comfortable to talk to someone about stuff that I haven't ever really been able to talk to anyone about. Those people that remind you of things you forget, or put things in a perspective that you never would have seen, or just simply say I understand and I have my oh thank God finally someone gets it - no you should look at it like this or whatever just a simple I understand how you feel. Oftentimes my brain feels like it's going 100mph in a fog on a road that I'm not sure what kind of turn lies ahead. And ultimately it's up to me to get back up but sometimes it's needed and much appreciated to have those people that simply smile at you passing or sit with you or whatever the thing is that they may do but they take the time to do it or say it and help. Because there have been several times that in the beginning of my chapters and story in general I didn't think I was going to make it, sure didn't think I would make it this far, but here I am a few scars and a few, no a lot of stumbles along the way, but nonetheless here I am. You know I think chapter 32 may just be my favorite so far. Some may say why are you dating someone, get married, etc? Nope, none of those but I did finally start to find me, the me that has so long hid behind walls and behind lies of who I thought I was, who others say I am and what society said I should be. And I have some of the best people in my life who whether you know it or not have helped me in so many ways and helped me get up when I'm not even sure you knew I was down (well a couple of y'all know with your ninja skills and all even when I try to hide it). So as important as the beginning is to any story or chapter don't settle or think that's all there is because who knows what is on the next page or in the next chapter. The ending truly is everything and what is written in between the beginning and the end helps make sure that the ending is epic.

I'll never be a non-stumbler. I'll be a forgiven stumbler, but never a non-stumbler. - TobyMac

Monday, February 20, 2017

Carrying Each Others Burdens

Perhaps it's a personal conviction that I need to improve on helping others carry their burdens or perhaps it's a personal conviction that I need to let others help me carry my burdens. Perhaps it's both. Either way I cannot shake this thought of carrying each others burdens. I'm going to stick with the analogy I used in a recent status on my Facebook because it's just one that makes it all make a bit more sense to me. I don't watch a lot of TV but I do like nature shows which is a bit ironic I suppose because I will get teary-eyed just seeing a dog limping (true story) and yes I have cried watching Bambi, Fox and the Hound, Land Before Time, those commercials for St. Jude, seeing people I care about go through stuff etc. Not sure what label to put on it but it would seem I am emotional, tender hearted, sensitive, have a dysfunctional feeling setting (haha!) etc and/or all of the above. Now that I told that one on myself moving on to the fact that I was recently thinking about burdens and how heavy they can get. My brain being what it is (whatever that mess is) suddenly went to the thought of elephants...yes you read that correctly, elephants. My most favorite animal of the wild is a tiger but elephant is close. I have in particular had a fascination with the dynamics of how they work together. In particular for this thought when a predator is out to get a baby elephant.  The other elephants watch out for the baby elephant when the mom is eating or whatever and they are known as allomothers. Now if you have ever seen footage of the predator stalking a baby elephant, of course the predator knows that will be a fantastic meal and it in theory should be an easy meal to get. The baby elephant is defenseless for all purposes it doesn't even realize that there is a predator after it or the danger that it is in. It has a target on its back. But when the mother elephant and the allomothers realize what is going on they know the danger they know what is about to happen and they will do everything they can to protect that baby elephant. So they make themselves a barrier between the predator and the baby elephant. They do whatever is necessary to chase away the predator and protect the young elephant. It hit me when I was thinking about this, actually a few things came to mind, and sometimes we are the young elephant and sometimes we are the ones that make up the barrier to protect. We all have burdens at some point and to some degree. We all have a predator that tries its best to take us down and attacks for the kill when it gets us down. That predator can come in many different ways but however it comes at you its sole purpose is to destroy you. When we are carrying those heavy burdens and just spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally distracted and drained from these burdens the target on our back for the predator to see gets bigger and bigger. And here's why I think it is so very important for us to carry each others burdens because if you have those people then they become your allomtohers if you will and they can become that barrier. That barrier may be to pray for you, to listen, to simply say I understand I have been there, or a number of other ways. Shoot just a simple hug can make a world of difference. I apparently have a reputation of people thinking I don't like hugs it's false. There is even a couple of people that well just getting to see them makes it the best day ever but to get a hug just helps. Because you see I think at the core of all burdens is that tactic of the predator to make you feel fear and to feel alone, to isolate you from those allomothers and let the load get so heavy that you want to give up and you at the very least feel completely and utterly destroyed. As a Christian of course I know that I need to take my cares and such to God and I know that God is always there for me and He will bring me through. I also believe that God places people in your life to be those allomothers for you and He places people for you to be like the allomother. Now that is weird for me to write because I am single and have no children but I still always want to have empathy and also help them carry their burdens even if it is something that I haven't been through. Yes it is absolutely great when you can find someone that can say I understand I have been there here's what I did but at the same time you know not all of those elephants that are in that barrier to protect that baby elephant have had a baby of their own yet they still have that love, that want to protect and help carry the burden of what the momma elephant is going through and to be there for that baby elephant. I guess my point is you don't have to be a certain age, you don't have to have a certain label or a certain amount of labels to carry anothers burdens. You just have to be there. Simple as that. You know you may tell me something that you're going through and I may have never had to deal with that but I pray you never hear me say that I don't have time or that I don't care. Now you may hear me say I'm sorry you are having to go through this I can't even imagine but you have my prayers, you got my shoulder to cry on, my time to listen to you and such. We may not have the same burdens but I can understand that heaviness, that feeling of fear, despair, loneliness, discouragement, etc. And thankfully I can also say I can understand having those allomothers show up in my life and have the patience to stick around and help me by making those barriers of taking the time to I think its safe to say pray for me, listen to me, give me that simple hug and even just by doing things with me even if it is just sitting and talking. So as I put in the status a most sincere thank you to those that have been there to help be a barrier when the predator has tried its best to attack and utterly destroy me and I hope that in some way some how I have and will always be there to carry anothers burdens. I will end this with a couple of verses from Galatians that really hit me when I last read them...

     Galatians 6:2-3: Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Priceless

This is one of those posts that I either am supposed to write or just keep in my own thoughts swimming around. I'm going to go for now that I need to write it, fair warning I am about to reference a lot of songs if this gets written like I think it may. Starting with Priceless by For King & Country....

Mirror, mirror. Mirror on the wall telling those lies, pointing out your flaws, that isn't who you are. That isn't who you are. It might be hard to hear, but let me tell you dear, if you could see what I can see I know you would believe that isn't who you are, there's more to who you are. So when it's late, you're wide awake, too much to take, don't you dare forget that in the pain, you can be brave, and safe.I see you dressed in white, every wrong made right, I see a rose in bloom, at the sight of you, oh so priceless, irreplaceable, unmistakable, incomparable...

First, love this song from the very first time I heard it. Second, if you don't know it inspired or was inspired by the movie of the same name (Priceless ---to save you a glance at the beginning of the post). The movie Priceless deals with human trafficking. Can I be honest? I think that is a very real and serious issue that does not get addressed or the attention that it very much should get. When I went to the theater to watch the movie and we was leaving my friend asked me if it made me uncomfortable and I said no but it does bother me that this is very much a real thing that happens more than I think people want to admit or think about. It's funny isn't it how we pick and choose what cause is worthy and who is worthy or not but I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. This song brings out a lot for me personally. Because you see I could be wrong but I think to many of us are currently or have had our houses (ourselves) built on the wrong foundation. Might not seem important but build on the wrong foundation and sooner or later what is a beautiful house (that'd be you) is lackluster, kind of hidden behind the grass and vines and stuff that have built up (the lies). I think all to often in ways that often times are of no fault of our own lies become our foundation and we believe those lies, sometimes can't those lies look so pretty wrapped up in what just has to be true. We build on societies lies that we have to be a certain size, wear certain clothes and in a certain way, think a certain way or you are wrong, have to be popular to be someone. Then to further add stability to the foundation of lies we're often told or over hear things about ourselves that just has to be true cause so and so said it. It all adds up to build a sturdy foundation that we was never meant to be standing on. Then our house gets full of mirrors that tell nothing but lies. Now I personally will avoid looking in a mirror, hate it, will not look at one if I can avoid it. But point is to many have heard and believed those lies now the amazing person that you are is hidden in this house that is built on nothing but lies and it's blocked all the windows, cracked and peeled the paint, and made the door to the truth seem impossible to open. Can I tell you something though, that is nothing but a mirage that the lies have built up and made you see, or made you think that is all there is. Because as the song says you are a rose in bloom. See your house is really built on the truth you just got to break a few mirrors and such to see it. The truth is you are priceless, irreplaceable, beautiful inside and out. To steal part of a quote from the movie The Help....You is important.

Now kind of back to that thought that it's funny how often we pick and choose what cause is worthy and even who is worthy. Don't get me wrong I think we all have a particular cause or person that resonates with maybe something we went through and have an area that we are better prepared and meant to help in. That's not what I'm trying to say, I'm hopefully getting across that it seems that to often people will say this group of people brought this on themselves they deserve to be where they are they could help themselves if they wanted to. To be honest I feel like we get so focused on arguing about what cause or who is more worth fighting for that we all lose. We lose focus on what really does matter, we let fear and hate further divide us, we start to lose hope and no one wins. But that's not where it should be or where it should end. Song reference #2 is Speak Life by TobyMac particularly this part of the song: Look into the eyes of the broken hearted. Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope, you speak love, you speak, you speak life...Lift your head a little higher, spread the love like fire. Hope will fall like rain when you speak life with the words you say. Raise your thoughts a little higher, use your words to inspire. Joy will fall like rain when you speak life with the things you say.....See we somehow think, or I think, that one has to have a lot of money, speak eloquently, have influence and such to make a difference. Not true. You know the words we use can be weapons of destruction or help build and lift up others. That is even true with the words we use and hear concerning our house. We can easily rip someone to shreds or help them up just by the words we use alone. In a world that seems more than ready to tear you down, well it really may not make a difference to a lot of people, but I'm going to choose to speak life, speak hope, and speak love. Don't let fear, hate and division keep you so focused on the wrong thing that you end up I don't know discouraged and hopeless because there's always hope. Tiniest bit of shred sometimes, or it feels that way, but there is always hope. Obviously you should do what you feel you need to do. For me that is to not tear anyone down because everyone is a story and everyone's story deserves to be heard and their story matters and they deserve help. My help may be nothing more than trying to be an encourager, to help them up when they have fallen, etc. To often we'll see the the person that is on drugs on the streets or the homeless veteran, the prostitute on the street and say they don't deserve help they could help themselves but they do, they very much deserve help, they deserve to have their story heard.

I am one that always wonders if I am doing all that I can, am I making a difference, what is my purpose to do with the time that I am here type thing. Song reference #3 is a song I stumbled across called In The Time You Gave Me (I've heard it sung by Bradley Walker featuring Joey from Joey + Rory). In the time that you gave me Did I give all I could give? Did I love all I could love? Did I live all I could live? Was my faith in your grace strong enough to save me? Did I do all I could do in the time that you gave me? In the time that you gave me Did I face the devil down? Did I make him turn away every time I stood my ground? If today is the day you should decide to take me Did I do all I could do in the time that you gave?...I'm going to go with I could always improve on how and what I do with the time that I am given in how I help others and such. I realize I get stuck in my comfort zone a lot but I don't ever want to become complacent with anything I may accomplish but I also don't want to get so comfortable that I don't think I ever have room for improvement or could do better. Because I'm not perfect but I want to strive continuously to be not only a good person but to treat people the way they should be and to do all that I can to better me but to help those that I will be around in the time that I am given. This part really I guess has nothing to do with the song or anything but I got thinking about a butterfly today. I have always loved butterflies and have always been amazed by their transformation. I think a lot of people are like butterflies. They go through this world seemingly unnoticed, some think they are a nuisance (or they themselves think they are and that they are a bother and such). Some go through things that about destroys them, often times they believe it will destroy them. Time comes they build the cocoon (I daresay some build the cocoon and hide in it before they are supposed to and stay in it longer than they should). Cocoon starts to break (sometimes we need help in breaking the cocoon or realizing that it is okay to come out) and would you look at what emerges! It always amazes me that the butterfly never sees or knows just how amazingly beautiful it is. People are like that. Some don't see the wings they have, they don't see the beauty that is them - not just in their looks or what they have- but the beauty that is them that makes the designs on their wings one of a kind and this world is a little - no a lot better because they are in it. Sometimes we need help seeing our wings and getting out of the cocoon and well this world is difficult we just need to know we aren't alone and got someone with us in our corner and we'll be in their corner. Thank God for those people that help like that. I don't know but maybe it is time for me to fly. 

Last song quote and to end this post is A Little Closer by Group 1 Crew - 

 If you opened my heart you'd see I don't have it all together. If you took me apart you'd see the worst of me wants to get better but You're changing me, piece by piece into who You're really callin me to be. There's a beauty and beast inside of me who I am fighting who I wanna be but through the rise and falls the roller coaster I get a little closer.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Thank you for being a friend

Sometimes I have what I like to refer to as my song for the day/moment. Ever have that happen, just a line from a song just pop in your head and you sing it throughout the day whether you want to or not, or you just have to find the song to listen to the whole thing on repeat throughout the day? Today's song and this particular post is brought to you in part by Dottie Rambo and her song Tears Will Never Stain the Streets of That City. Additional points will also be brought to you thanks to the movie War Room and Jason Crabb and his song Home and shall we continue reading to find out who else! You know the disclaimer I've probably wrote about this in some way before but I'll write it again.

There's a video on YouTube of Dottie Rambo and Gerald Crabb singing the song Tears Will Never Stain... and I love what Dottie says before she starts singing just as much as the song itself. I got a couple of direct quotes from that video of what Dottie said that I want to share. First one she tells Gerald, 'Everybody that God ever did use in a great way the devil slapped in a great way.' Then she tells him, 'If you ever have a rough day you know how to get a hold of Dottie Rambo and we'll fight the fight out together. If I have a bad day I'll call you. Will that be alright?'  I love that one because as you watch that you can tell that she honest to goodness means that with every ounce of her being. Anyone can say they'll be there for you but to not only genuinely see it in their eyes that they mean it but for them to also genuinely show it. To me that means more than anything in this world. If you believe in God then you know God has got your back and He is in your corner. But if I can be honest with you sometimes circumstances happen and the noise of the lies and stuff can get so loud it can drown that truth out. Sometimes as weird as it may be and sound there are just sounds and even the volume of how loud people may be talking and it literally hurts me to hear. I'm fairly certain I have unintentionally cringed cause it is causing me pain. It's dumb I know. But in the same aspect so often in life the doubts, fears and lies have gotten so loud I forgot the truth and just sometimes in life I just need to talk. Of course I pray and talk to God but again some days it's just difficult to get that prayer out or you just need the assurance that yup God is still there and He's got your back and you know what so do I. Do you have those kind of people in your life? I hope you do, at least one person like that. I know a lot of people say and/or think I don't like to talk or talk a lot and stuff but contrary to that there are times that I can and do want to talk about all kinds of stuff but there are also moments where I just need to talk to someone and let them help me fight the fight that I may be going through. And I hope and try my best to be there to help anyone to fight the fight they may be going through.

There's also a video on YouTube of Jason Crabb singing a song called Home which is about someone passing away and going to heaven, or going home. And in a particular video he is talking, because the song is about his grandma who passed away, and he was talking about he was just having one of those days where you have maybe that one person that you just need to hear their voice. So he called his grandma and she said Jace is that you and he said yeah I just needed to hear your voice and she asked him what was wrong. Do you also have those kinds of people in your life? Again I hope you do. But those people that some how just hearing their voice, going to visit them if that's an option or in my case so often sending them a message on Facebook will calm you down and/or just say the truth that you have been repeating to yourself but it just is not sinking in but they say it and it like breaks the wall. I also have those people that see through the I'm fine and somehow know that I'm not entirely fine and so often in the simplest of ways just help me. I remember one time I was having a I am most definitely not fine moment but will try to act like I am and a friend called me. I was trying to hide and she calls me. But you know that phone call helped me so very much cause it got my mind off what was going on and helped me not focus on the lies and where I would so easily get lost in my head.

Lastly, I think, I don't know if you have ever seen the movie War Room or not but I absolutely adore the character Miss Clara. Seriously just watch the movie for her if you haven't seen it. Everyone needs a Miss Clara or two in their life. You know the motherly type figure that is there to help keep and get you back in line if need be but is also there to help guide you too when you need it. Who they may also threaten to use the mom card on you if you don't listen to them (I may or may not have had that happen). A few days ago I was texting a friend and the subject of hiding came up, in particular me trying to hide. And I went on to send a text that said to be honest I don't think (insert three particular people's names here) would let me get by with that. She sent a text back that said no and be glad we love you enough to care. To which I replied back with believe me I am forever grateful and appreciative of that. And I am. Perhaps more than they will ever know.

Sometimes maybe in the rush of this ride called life we maybe find ourselves taking for granted the people God has placed in our lives that are just there for us. That is that calming voice of reason that helps us remember the truth or that will just help us fight the fight. Or perhaps is that motherly (or fatherly) figure in your life. May we all know such people and appreciate them and may we all be that kind of person to someone.

To those people in my life I most sincerely appreciate and thank you for all you have done and do for me and helping me fight the fight.