Wednesday, January 17, 2018

THE EVOLUTION OF UNDERWEAR

There seems to be an evolution of my thoughts on underwear over time.  (My two male readers Bare with me) YES--PUN INTENDED!   



It ALL began with a simple white cotton number with one row of ruffles around the legs.  NO--I DO NOT monogram my underwear--NOT THEN--NOT NOW!  They were all white--folded neatly in a row in my drawer.  There was NEVER a question as to what underwear I should wear.  

With time came color and a change of material.  The older I got--the less material was required for coverage.  In fact coverage might be stretching it.  Even with stretching these did not cover much.


AND THEN came the day when I was concerned with what someone else might think of my underwear.  I certainly didn't want to look like a grandma--but then again didn't want to lean too far into the other camp either.  My mother's only advice was to not leave the house in holey underwear (NOT to be confused with Holy underwear).  BUT IF someone special happened to see my underwear, I needed to convey the right message about who I was by wearing the perfect underwear for the occasion.


Today it seems I am still concerned about what someone else might think of my underwear.  The someone else though has changed to the staff at the emergency room in case I need to be rushed to the hospital.  You can't be too careful!  The day when I might have a need for emergency care is getting closer.  I would not want anyone feeling sorry for the little old lady and the sad state of her underwear.

What's the big deal about underwear anyway?  We all can do a great job on the surface with our dress, but what's underneath says a lot about us as well.   Are we only concerned about the surface or are we well put together from the inside out?  If others could see beyond our surface, what would they think?

What's in your underwear drawer?


O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
Psalms 139!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

CAN WE BE HONEST

I'M A MESS

AND

SO ARE YOU










SO BRING YOUR BROKENNESS

AND I'LL BRING MINE

CAUSE LOVE CAN HEAL

WHAT HURT DIVIDES

AND MERCY IS WAITING

ON THE OTHER SIDE



BLESSED SABBATH,

DEAR FRIENDS!

Friday, January 12, 2018

LESSONS FROM HERO



Hero, the wonder dog, is certainly a wonder.  I wonder what in the world makes him act they way he does a great deal.  One of the things he does on a daily basis is bury his nose when he is sleeping.  He likes to burrow under the covers at night, but during the day, I will see him sleeping with his nose against the side of his bed or under a pillow on the couch.  Personally, I get a little claustrophobic with these actions.



NOW as a child, I slept with my heads under the covers every night.  Everyone knows the monsters can't get you when you are hidden under the covers.  There was nothing my brother and cousins liked better than scaring me at night--so WHY would I NOT think the monsters came out at night?  Those monsters definitely tortured me whenever they had the opportunity.  BUT I ALWAYS had my nose sticking out from under the cover---suffocation was almost as scary as the monsters.  So there is a part of me that understands Hero hiding his nose--it's self protection.


We all practice various forms of self protection.  Some stay on the offense and are in attack mode at all times.  They lash out before they even know if they are going to be attacked.  Their defense seldom gets a workout.  In fact, wars have been started by infamous historical figures with this very philosophy.  To allow another to create the need to go on the defense is not an option.  Attack-attack--and attack--beat them down with a verbal assault and never allow a word to be uttered by another.


Another form of self protection is withdrawal.  If a confrontation is never possible, then there is no need for a good defense.  By refusing to enter the fray, we remove the risk of injury.  With withdrawal though comes isolation and loneliness.  



Finally, there are the masks many of us wear in an effort to protect ourselves.  If we don't allow the world to see who we really are, then there is no possibility of injury.  We put the mask of the moment on to fit in with those we are surrounded by.  No one ever sees through the mask and knows who we really are.  If you were to ask different people from different groups in our lives, they would all describe us differently.  We have adapted to what we think is acceptable depending upon the time and circumstance.  We have become chameleons.

Hero's penchant for burying his nose is caused from years of environment and genetic tendencies.  Why do we humans--the top of the food chain feel the need for self protection?  Our experiences and living in a fallen world create a need to try and protect ourselves from injury and attack.  Sadly the Golden Rule seems to have been forgotten at best and purposefully discarded at the extreme worst.  We have forgotten how to treat others the way we desire to be treated.  

What is the answer?  As we used to tell the two and three year old classes in Children's Church, Jesus is always the answer.  The world needs Jesus--plain and simple.  Jesus is our protector, our defender, our faithful provider.  Jesus--the Mighty Lion--our Fortress in a broken world.  Jesus.

1 How I love you, Lord! You are my defender. 
2 The Lord is my protector; he is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe. 
3 I call to the Lord, and he saves me from my enemies. Praise the Lord! 
Psalm 18:1-3




Thursday, January 11, 2018

PEACE

One of the reasons we all love "The Greatest Showman" so much is they live happily ever after.  Although PT has feet of clay, he redeems the situation and all affected ride into the sunset reconciled and redeemed.  Or so the world of movies would have us believe.  



Recently I had a very brief talk with a sweet friend concerning redemption.  She was reminding me of the impossibility of a life circumstance ever being reconciled due to the death of the one who created the situation.  I commented that I knew how difficult it was to know this would never be redeemed.  As I walked away, I had a nagging dissatisfaction with my comment.  Following a great deal of reflection and thought, I have had a change of heart.  There is redemption--always--with Jesus in our lives--there is redemption.




Life sometimes brings disappointments--and at times these disappointments are at the hand of our fellow man.  When there is no possibility of redemption or reconciliation, how do we find peace?  As I have thought this over, I was struck (we all know who does the striking) by the notion that we are only responsible for our side of the redemption of any situation.  When we have been wronged, our side is to forgive.  By God's example, we are to extend grace, and forgive those who have wronged us.




The prayer Jesus taught us, reminds us that we are to forgive those who have sinned against us--"Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us."  At the very center of it all, we only have control over our part of the equation.  There is peace to be found in doing our part without the completion of the steps needed for redemption.  

We live in a fallen world and in this world we will not always have the opportunity or means to reconcile and redeem all circumstances.  How do we live with these unresolved issues?  By doing our part of what is required and asking God to grant us the ability to accept those things which we have no control.  God has promised to give us peace---and God always fulfills His promises.


“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

WONDER AND HOPE

I went to see this movie recently.  One of the best movies I have seen in a LONG time!  A musical--it may not tickle the fancy of all of you--but I came away with new tunes playing in my head and toes that refuse to not tap.


I left the theater with several thoughts about the plot and subplots.  I especially enjoy movies which cause me to think.  WHY would I come away thinking, "I could watch that again?"  Probably because the main theme behind the movie is wonder and hope.  We all love to experience wonder in our lives.  And who doesn't look for the hope of a better tomorrow?  The movie capitalizes on these two and leaves us all with the warm fuzzies.  I LOVE to have a good case of the warm fuzzies!
  


I have traveled many a mile and hiked up steep trails to see the wonder of God's creation such as this picture.  When I hold a baby, I am always amazed by the wonder of new life.  I sit in wonder as I watch premier athletes perform.  All of us relish having our souls tickled by the thrill of experiencing wonders that boggle even our greatest imagination.


Without hope is there any reason for tomorrow?  Hope keeps us going--inspires us to reach for the brass ring--challenges us to look beyond today.  Hope is the recognition tomorrow can be a better day.  

A fantasy world to lose myself in for a couple of hours, the movie left me remembering why we all keep going.  Why we continue to put one foot in front of the other.  Hope is the reason and hope is a gift that allows us to believe what we have been promised--a future.

God is the author of hope and the wonder of it all is Jesus is the answer to why we should believe things will be better.  It is truly a wonder that Jesus gave His all so that we might have the assurance of a hope and a future.  So thankful for the wonder of having the blessing of hope ~ they give me good cause to get out of the bed every morning~in anticipation of the wonder that only hope can bring.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

RING AROUND THE ROSIE

I am attending an aerobics class at the local university Intramural Center.  There are several 7:00 and 8:00 AM classes scheduled at the same time as my class AND imagine this--the students demand parking spaces as well.  It leads to  the parking lot becoming a traffic jam.



It is a study in humanity to see how people treat the dilemma of trying to get a parking spot when many others are also in search of the coveted spot.  Here are a few of the personality types I have observed in a short span of time-



FRONT ROW JOE--this fellow seems to think he deserves a spot at the front door.  I find it amazing that you are going to the gym, but refuse to walk any farther than the closest parking spot.   These folks have a sense of entitlement that is mind blowing.  WHERE does that come from?  Who or what convinced you that you are special and deserving?  They will pass up an entire row of open spots and wait for their front row spot.  With no regard for who might be waiting behind them, they are willing to impatiently wait for Granny to get in her car, get situated, start the car, and slowly back out so they can park in the spot they feel they deserve.  They MIGHT try my patience!




PARKING SPOT THIEF-we all know the rules of common decency.  Common decency says if someone has their blinker on and is waiting for a spot, you let them have it.  This is my favorite scene from "Fried Green Tomatoes" and speaks volumes.  Be VERY careful who you steal a spot out from under.  Some of us are best not pushed over the edge of reason!




RING AROUND THE ROSIE-then there are those who are willing to drive round and round looking for their spot.  ENDLESS patience!  If we have too  many of these, we end up with a parking lot jammed with vehicles and no one is moving---much less is there any room to back out if you happen to be leaving.  Perhaps they are thinking--I need to park in the lot by the building I am entering.  Not certain of their reasoning, but in awe of their patience.




LOOKING BEYOND THE OBVIOUS--this tends to be my style.  One trip around the parking lot and I am on to the next available lot.  There is a dorm next door, sorority houses and high school across the street and the alumni house next door.  If I don't find a spot in the adjacent parking lot, I will walk a few more steps.

If I waited around long enough for the perfect spot, I might miss the entire class.  Certainly I would prefer to park near the class I attend, but I had rather walk some additional steps than miss the class entirely.

So it is with life, often we are guilty of  waiting around for the right position, the right time, the right people to dive into some great opportunities.  I will become a volunteer when I can find a perfect fit for my talents.  I will start visiting my friends in assisted living and nursing homes, when the flu season is over.  I have a million excuses for putting off the countless things I plan to do as soon as the perfect spot opens up.  I love the expression~

  
I might add--seize the day while you still can or you might miss your chance.  Opportunity might pass me by if I don't grab the first one available.  Invariably with slipping into the first available spot, nothing is lost--and much is gained and so what if I walked a few extra steps.  Would I rather be frozen in a traffic jam or walking toward the door?  No answer needed--we all want to be moving toward the door!


Forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead.
Philippians 3:13

Monday, January 8, 2018

WHAT TO DO WITH THE ELEPHANT

All of us~at one time or another~ have had to deal with at least one elephant in the room.


Some thought, idea, occurrence, subject which we are so uncomfortable with that we declare it taboo.  We do not know what in the world to do with the elephant.  My ideas on the subject of elephants are not 100% right each and every time, but as a rule of thumb~they are not all bad.

1.  Ignoring it will not make the elephant go away.


You know it--everyone else knows it--but no one mentions there is an elephant here.  Refusing to speak of the elephant will not make the elephant disappear.

2.  Acknowledge the elephant up front.


With practice it becomes easier.  Say the words, " I miss _____ tonight, sure wish they were here."  Speak the taboo subject and set everyone at ease.  Others will pick up on the signal that you are okay with talking about the elephant and the tension will be broken.

3.  After introducing the elephant, allow the conversation to move forward.

The elephant has been acknowledged, so listen to the conversation concerning the elephant.  Discussing the elephant will diminish the unease with what was thought to be an emotionally charged or awkward subject.  Listening gives affirmation to the emotions of others and acknowledges our respect for their feelings.

4.  Don't allow the elephant to take up all the air and space in the room.

Once the elephant has been acknowledged and discussed, move on.  The elephant will suck the air from the room, if we are not willing to allow the subject to change.  People run from uneasy subjects, and if we are unwilling to talk of nothing else, we will find ourselves being avoided.   Yes, there is an elephant in the room, but the elephant should never be the center of attention for the entire time.  Acknowledge the elephant, address the elephant and then move on --let Old Peanut Breath have a rest.

Elephants come when life throws us curve balls or we fall off the cliff of despair.  At times our friends and families are unwilling to discuss the occurrences for fear of upsetting us.  They do not know how to help and are uncomfortable with our pain.  We need to acknowledge the presence of the elephant with them and allow them to hear our thoughts.  The dynamic duo of talking and time will help us to deal with our circumstance, but first we have to be willing to introduce the elephant in the middle of the room.  

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen
James 1:19