Category Archives: spirituality
We face many obstacles everyday as we journey along through this life. Brick walls block our way forcing us to alter our direction and plans. We see no light at the end of our endless tunnel that seems to grow darker with each step. “Just Find Your Happy Thought Peter!”
Finding a happy thought can be difficult but not impossible. The smallest glimmer of hope can shed light on a virtual wasteland of defeat. We force ourselves to get up in the morning and trudge off to jobs or busy schedules with family and friends. There are many happy thoughts in that statement…we can get up and are breathing..we have a job…we have family and friends… Many people feel they don’t even have these luxuries in their life. They may not be able to get out of bed or may have experienced the death of a loved one. There is an emptiness than envelopes us during this time. It is temporary but does not feel like it at the time. “Just Find Your Happy Thought Peter!”
Tinkerbell tries to help Peter remember his happy thought so Peter can fly. Faith, trust, and Pixie Dust…that is all it takes! Unfortunately we don’t have a Pixie Dust distributor or fairies flying around sprinkling the transporting glitter over the heads of those in need. We all have needs in our lives and have to find ways to get past them and move one to the next challenge.
Faith is one way…faith in your beliefs and in those around you. Faith grows with each giant we face…even though we may not realize it at the time. We may not slay the giant but we will get past the giant. Situations bombard daily life in the decisions we make, people around us, finances, and health. We may not be able to see the road block until it is too late. What builds our faith is our reaction. The approach we take in resolving the situation could lead us down
various paths and we must follow through…step by step. The path may be steep and hard to maneuver. Trials and tragedies may come our way in many different varieties. We may find no solution is available to solve the problem and the only way around this road block is filled with treacherous, spirit defeating, landslide prone ground. We must have the faith to continue and trust in our progress. Faith goes hand in hand with Trust!
Bad things happen to good people…we trust that something good will come out of the situation. If our finances are dealing us fits and thrusting us into a life of uncertainty we can trust that we can find something good. (Happy Thought) Things are tight and we cannot do the things we used to do…but we can spend time together as a family or enjoy quality time with those dear to us. Making the most of what we have, at any given time, is the best use of time. The death of a loved one or friend affects many in different ways. Withdrawing from those closest to you will only lead you into a dark place. We must cling to those around us and hold each other close. Healing will take time! We must find our happy thought in the memories left behind. Those we lose want us to continue and not dwell on their passing. A smile or scent may bring us that happy thought needed to get through the days ahead. These complications are difficult and overwhelming…but as we move forward and glimpse the problems we faced behind us we can see they were just growing pains. “Those pains during childhood growth spurts, doctors call non-existent, that let us know we are changing.” We get through them and stand taller because of them. (OOO! Another Happy Thought!) We will get through these situations and do not need Pixie Dust! In our set backs and struggles we must hold on to our Faith and Trust, setting our eyes forward and take the next step. There are happy thoughts all around us…“Just Find Your Happy Thought Peter!”</em
Time again for the thought provoking words from friends this past week…
These are just a few I wanted to share with you! “I’m Just Saying!”
We ask Santa for those things near to our heart…but sometimes do not get what we asked for!
We all see those signs along the side of the road and laugh at the meaning behind the words or the pure stupidity…you know the ones!
We know that gas prices have increased…but I was not aware things were this bad!
I have a often wondered the same thing!
We all have hard days…it is nice to be reminded of the others who have had bad days…
Don’t forget to send me your favorites….I really love to read signs…after all if we can’t read the signs we will not know where we are going… Have a great day!
I remember the opening song and the process Mr. Rogers would routinely perform, as he went to the closet and hung up his jacket and put on the sweater and changed his shoes. “Won’t you be my neighbor?” What a concept! The idea that strangers would be friends and form a lasting friendship.
I have some wonderful friends who live about 3, or more, houses from my house. The houses directly around me, for the most part, are not even “Hi, How are you?” neighbors. This is the only home we have lived in that this type of situation has occurred. In their defense…we do keep to ourselves. They tend to their yards with a group mentality…every weekend there are 5-6 of the houses, directly around me, with the ritual maintenance of weed control and pruning. The leaves are collectively blown into the cul-de-sac where they will gather to bag the leaves from all the yards. The neighbors that we talk to live in the houses outside this circle of neighbors.
There are times we stand in the street, catching up or discussing the weeks events, moving to the sidewalk to avoid being hit by passing cars. We stop and roll down the windows to chat…waving those behind us to go around. “Won’t you be my neighbor?” My little circle of neighbors gather together 2-3 times a year, at a central location, at the end of the street. At Halloween a Pot-Luck is set up in the garage and a grouping of chairs fill the driveway. Activities for the kids and a fire pit fill the area. The adults visit and plan the next gatherings during the holiday season. We decorate cookies at Christmas and put on plays…the kids are the actors in these presentations.
The houses in direct vicinity of my home, however, are unaware of these gatherings. I have been told, by those who have moved onto the street, that we are often described as not social people. “They hardly ever come out of their house”…”They are not very nice!”…”Oh..we don’t know much about them!” When I introduce myself people just laugh and we end up being friends. I have to tell them why we are seldom seen…”We stay busy with church activities and try and do something family oriented on my husband’s day off.” When we are outside in the yard…we must look like little green aliens and speak in a dialect unknown to them. This group of close-knit neighbors want nothing to do with us and have tried to get us to move. HeHe! We are still here…after almost ten years. “Won’t you be my neighbor?”
We have done nothing to be alienated…we just don’t fit into the same social circle. Based on these criteria I am okay with being an outsider. Whatever happened to the “cup of sugar” neighbor? I have to go 3 houses down to find this type of neighbor. “How far do you have to go?”. I just don’t understand the type of person who cannot be kind in passing. A wave or kind word just bounce right off of them as they turn and ignore our very presence. It must be all the bobbed-wire and signage, in the yard, that keep them at this distance. Maybe the invisibility cloak is working again! “That’s it…they just can’t see or hear us!” With friends like these… Well you know the old saying! Community is important but, perhaps the definition has been changed.
The concept of a strong community is no longer the area directly surrounding you…it has been expanded to include the part of our life that is not set at the house. We have to drive everywhere due to the location of work and activities we frequent. The small town feeling is a thing of the past! Many people work in different cities and spend long periods of time commuting. We have, out of necessity and growth, expanded the concept of community. I have a strong church community…we socialize outside church gatherings and talk daily. We see each other out shopping and spend way to much time together before completing our shopping. Today’s lifestyle does not cater to the old standard of enjoying coffee with a neighbor. It is the norm to go to the local brew haven to meet and have coffee. The front porch and kitchen table conversations are becoming a thing of the past…at least in this neighborhood. “How sad!”.
I had a wonderful friend, who lived across the street and up two houses, I shared coffee with these friends on a daily basis. Everyday after work…in her kitchen…unwind…good times! “They moved!” To a different country! We often reminisce and long for our little chats over coffee. We have not seen them in almost four years. Lifestyles keep us busy…the distance we have to travel, to and from, keeps us from home. When we do get home we choose to stay home. “Do you close out the world when you get home?”
Well it is almost time for my phone call “coffee break”! Try to be a good neighbor! Speak a kind word and wave as you go about your day! You never know….they may be asking the same question you are!
“Won’t you be my neighbor?”
This has been a very busy weekend and I have survived. The weekend started with a Prayer Conference, a planned activity I signed up for, at my church. It started Friday evening and then again on Saturday morning. On Sunday we had a special emphasis for the New Family Life Center Dedication with lots of music and Guest Speaker. Everything was fine and falling into place! Then the proverbial “Curve Ball” hit the fan. Let’s just say I have run the gambit of emotions this weekend. I am in a state of calm shakiness feeling peacefully distraught. I know you may think I am one of the craziest people you have ever known. “I would have to agree with you right now!”
I wish I could go into details! “Maybe another time.”
All I can say about this “Curve Ball” is that it is probably the best thing that could happen. Inconvenient and tragic but, all in all, a “silver lining”.
“Curve Balls“, when thrown at you, can put your life is such disarray. One moment the crowd is cheering and banners and signs are flying high and the next is a collective and silenced hush. You have two options..you can hold your head high with an “everything will turn out okay” spirit or you can throw your bat down and storm off crying. Let me just speak from experience for a moment and say that the latter of the two choices is sometimes the easier of the two options. We have to face the circumstances thrown at us on a daily basis and learn to make that darn lemonade. We have to listen to the inner commanding officer barking orders on the battlefield. “Get up soldier!” “But I have been shot sir!” “Where?” “My leg sir!” “Walk it off soldier..That’s and order!” “Yes sir!” We get up and start walking, as the pain increases our resolve increases, and we continue on with the path before us.
I had the special yesterday and it was a tough one…or was it? It was almost word for word Psalm 121. “I love singing the Psalms.” I was fearful, to say the least, about being able to sing this song on this very important day. Five people knew the situation that had occurred the day before and after the song was over the looks on their faces reflected the radiating warmth I had flowing through my body. I was told later it was incredible and outstanding…I can’t believe you could get through that song….I was praying for you! I think the look I got from the pastor said it all. He simply looked up and smiled before I started and bowed his head. As the song reached the huge, voice filled, end…the entire church was in a clapping frenzy and the pastor looked up again and caught my eye, and with the broadest and whitest grin, nodded. I don’t remember walking back to the choir after the song. The other special was just as powerful and held my heart in that one two…but I was with the Ensemble and there is strength in numbers. The congregation rose to new heights by the end of this song and the Guest Speaker rose to take his place.
Knowing where my help and strength come allows me to hold my head up and courageously walk off the field. I know that when the next “Curve Ball” is thrown I will face it with determination and strength. I may actually swing and connect with the ball causing a reverberating crack to echo throughout the stadium. I may also be the only one who knows I hit that “Curve Ball” out of the park…and that’s okay!
How will you react when you get throw a “Curve Ball”?
In the drawing to the left, the excess pressure goes to flare. It burns off, kind of like we do when we exercise, or watch TV, or knit, or write a blog. This drawing also has a handy dandy pressure control valve that can activate if pressure gets too high, letting the excess off neatly, kind of like when we yell and scream, or go for a really long run that we will regret later, or even when we drink or eat too much.
The valve I learned about today has a diaphragm feature made of breakable material. If the piping to the flare gets to be too much, an automatic valve switches the flow to the this valve (actually I don’t think it’s a valve – bear with me if you are an engineer). The material breaks and the excess pressure is released into the atmosphere.
This is not ideal because the stuff is not good for the environment, but it is better than an explosion withing the huge red vessel. Ideally, this safety feature wouldn’t be used. I think sometimes it’s necessary to break, though, as people. I have had a very hard week. Today, I just cried in the car when I got home. Didn’t even come in. Just cried. That’s God’s pressure control valve.
I’ve seen the explosion that happens if the valve isn’t working. It’s ugly. No one wants that. But even if all the equipment is reduced to nothingness, God can redeem the explosion.
My valve broke today, but it’s currently being repaired. I’m going to work on getting more pressure to the flare where it can burn off and hurt no one, not even me. Heck, it could even heat something and be productive. Hopefully it will heat the fat off of my blooming arse! (Which btw is down 2.5 pounds.)
I am going to use God’s controls. Both of them. I will not reject tears as negative. They are God’s design. I will now sleep. I think that is a good way to relieve pressure. As my boss would say, “Am I right, or am I right?”
I’m nervous. There were parts of today where I felt like I was trusting my body. Trusting that God made it just right to send me the right signals, but now there is going to be Chinese. Ooooey, gooey mounds of gleaming meat doing the backstroke in mysterious sauces.
I know it’s fattening. So fattening.
But I’m supposed to trust my body. Don’t worry about what I know to be true. My body will let me know what it wants to eat. It will let me know when it is full.
Yet, my body has betrayed me time and again.
Like I said, I did well today. Well, I did well MOST of today. After work I went to Costco to get some contacts. While there, I got hungry. Just a little bit hungry, though. Just a tad. But I am afraid of hunger – that it will lead me to destruction. I realized that I was two hours from getting that Chinese. Could I make it two hours without making myself actually BECOME the Mongolian Beef later? In the car, I opened the banana from my lunch (which I forwent earlier). In my defense I only ate half.
Then I got home, let the dog out, and became obsessed with the thought of the grits and greens casserole I made yesterday. Mmmmm. My first try at grits and greens. It’s a keeper of a recipe. So yummy. I glanced at the clock. Easily an hour and a half before dinner. Would a bit hurt?
Come on, now!!! Nothing in Weigh Down says to eat casseroles cold out of the fridge with no ceremony!! Nothing says eat those bites quickly before my roomie gets home and catches me! What does that even matter? God knows. I know. I ate three bites (large bites), and then sort of came to my senses.
On the way upstairs to write this, I ate a square of Ghiradelli chocolate – the last one. I was not hungry. I did not need it. Now, guess what? Food will probably arrive on my table in one hour, and I am not hungry. I will (HOPEFULLY) contain myself and split the check with two ladies who will actually eat. My loss financially.
Then I will come home and try to get through the night without messing up more. I think I will once again pray for forgiveness and for strength, asking God to redeem the stuff I break, even if this time the only think I broke was my own resolve.
I said I would never diet again. Not after the weight fell off with no effort. No starving. No over-doing anything. All I did was leave crazy house, and the weight fell off. Look at Funny Girl: she left crazy house (to go to school) and instead of finding the freshman 15, she lost it. No, I said I would never diet again.
Then comes the weight. Where did it come from? I have analyzed and analyzed. I’ve read and researched ways to go about doing this again. But my heart isn’t in it. Deep down, I don’t believe it is a math problem like I did before (which of course it is: calories in – calories out = weight). But in my heart, I believe it is bigger than that.
I think about half the weight came from changing jobs. Seems like teaching uses more calories than you would think. But where it came from doesn’t matter.
I need a heart overhaul, and right now I believe more than anything that God is getting my attention through my body. Long time ago, I did the Weigh Down Workshop. It was beautiful. I felt that I was on the brink of something much bigger than weight loss, but then my husband came home from sea, and I needed to dwell on the earth rather than in the heavens. I’m not sure why that derailed the adventure – no, that’s not true, I do know. He had a tendency to think I was a religious kook every time I said anything too spiritual.
Anyway, I was nearly in HIS hands. The body was there, but the heart had almost followed. That’s what I want.
I bought a couple of related prayer books and watched some old videos. I want to trust God with this. I am afraid of hunger, but I want to trust HIM with that pain just as I trusted the chiropractor with my neck. Relax, he says right before I know he is going to cause me some fear and pain. But then I feel better. Am I willing to trust God as much as I trust a man? I hope so.