Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Getting Older

I recently celebrated a birthday. Someone in conversation, commented that "I'm getting older" and "I'm not as young as I used to be." My response was "I'm not as young as I used to be, but I'm not as dumb as I used to be either." It was one of those statements that just flew out my mouth. The truth of it hit me after I said it. Nope! I'm not as dumb as I used to be. Thank God! Trust me, that's cause for celebration. When I think about some of the decisions I've made, some of the "problems" I brought to myself, and some of the ways I wasted my time, it's embarrassing. The person I am today is much stronger, and wiser than I've ever been. I wouldn't trade one day of the power I have in my life now, for the ignorance of my youth. If I could back, it would be only to give my youthful self some much needed counsel. I'd tell her:
  1. A minute with God is worth a multitude of friends. 
  2. You are not only worth it, you are worth more.
  3. You have nothing to fear.
  4. You have nothing to prove.
  5. Your time is your greatest asset.
  6. Live humbly. 
  7. Love boldly.
  8. Speak wisely.          
There is a lot more I could tell her, but the younger me had a short attention span. She probably wouldn't listen beyond this point :) 
God  gave me daughters. I get to teach them everything I wished I had understood. With His mercy I'll have many more years of lessons with/for them, and many more years of learning myself. 

I'm not afraid of aging. I find ignorance more disturbing. When I celebrated my birthday, I wasn't just celebrating seeing another year. That's only part of it. I was celebrating every year that has brought me where I am today, also that I'm NOT where I was yesterday. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Keep Talking I'm Listening

I remember hearing that it is OK to talk to yourself, as long as you are careful not to answer. I believe there is a word for people who answer themselves. Crazy. That is precisely the reason I've discouraged my daughter from the practice. What can I say? She was an only child for ten years. Let's just say she has a developed imagination. There have been times I'd follow the noise to another room. It seemed the people in that room were having such a good time. Time an time again I'd get to the room and find she was alone just talking and laughing with herself. I've accused her of being an odd bird for it. Still, the habit continues. Over the past few weeks though, the topic of talking, and listening to oneself keeps coming up. I've heard it at church. I've heard it from various speakers, and sources. It won't go away. Over the weekend I wasn't shocked to hear it yet again. Our pastor taught on exercising power over one's feelings, via fact and, talking to oneself. His message wasn't unlike the others I've heard recently, but he took it a step further. Without laying it all out, the gist of it was, far to many of us are feelings driven. We ignore the facts. We ignore faith. We follow and act on/out what we feel be it true or not.  He proposed that instead of listening exclusively to what we feel, we start talking to ourselves and tell our minds and hearts how to feel in light of faith and  facts.
Like I said this lesson is a reoccurring one so he had my full attention. Thing is, I've never considered myself a feelings driven kinda girl, but I'm female. I suppose it happens naturally. Our pastor has been about the forth person I've heard suggest talking to yourself. My mental response to him was, "yes, but that is the full picture of crazy right there." I've seen mirror mantra people and they scare me. Hey, if it's your thing, it's your thing. Something in this case is better than nothing. It's just that I don't think I'd be able to take myself seriously doing it. However, I'm beginning to see that there is truth in what I'm hearing...repeatedly. Far better than listening to yourself is talking to yourself. Far better than following a feeling, is telling yourself how you should feel based on faith and facts. Plus, I'm thrilled that I basically have a license to look, and act crazier than I currently do. I won't tell you I'm going around speaking out loud to myself, but conversations have begun. Looks like my kiddo, and the mirror mantra people were on to something all along.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

"The Truth Shall Set You Free"

What do you do when somebody lies to your face? I mean just a blatant, straight and boldface lie! This has been a reoccurring scenario in my life over the past few months. Really, I'd just like to nail the all liars to the wall with the truth, then watch them dangle an squirm for a spell. Thing is, I've been trying to extend the kind of grace I've been given, so that idea is in the opposite direction of where I want to go. Problem is, the whole grace thing appears to come slowly. Or maybe I'm just learning it slowly. Either way it's a life long lesson.

In some ways I feel a little hypocritical. I mean it's not like I've never told an untruth. I've been guilty of both white lie and whopper! It's not my practice, but it has happened. In fact, when I was a kid, wow! I could tell a story! I guess I hoped we all outgrew that, like baby teeth or something. Not so. The temptation to react dishonestly is apparently always near. Lately, I've watched as one lie has led to another. Each adding another layer of devastation. If I'm not careful I'll get angry at the talebearer. If I'm honest, I have to acknowledge that I've been there too. It doesn't mean I agree or condone, but I can relate to the pressure to lie.

On the flip side, and most importantly, I understand the power of the truth.  It is absolute. It is eternal. A lie is a temporary fix. Truth is a cure. A lie hides. Truth illuminates. A lie distorts, and breaks down. Truth corrects, and builds up. A lie halts progress and change. The truth opens the door to revolution. A lie keeps you in bondage to it.  We've all heard this one "the truth shall set you free." I could on. No need to. I'd like to think we all know instinctively that a lie is of no real benefit to us. We violate our conscience, and harm ourselves in the long run.

So what do I do when someone lies to my face? I'd like to tell you have it all figured out. I don't. I'm learning my way around this one. It has been my latest life lesson. Actually, choosing a wise response despite being wronged, appears to be the current lesson. I won't tell you that I haven't reacted in anger to a few of these lessons. I have, but I will tell you that anger, and hurt has not been my only response. For the first time in my life I'm beginning to I feel genuine compassion where anger once dominated. It's freeing. I thought I'd tell you because frankly compassion in this area is kinda new to me. I like it. I'll see where it takes me. Especially since thus far, no one has nailed to the wall.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Well We're Off to a Great Start... Over

According to my twelve old "Mondays are evil, and they are out to get us all! She believes that an Apocalyptic type event is most likely to occur on a Monday." Spoken like a kid who wants to linger in the weekend and avoid school work as long as possible. Honestly, today I can't say that I blame her. Mostly I'll take any day of the week that we are all healthy, but I gotta admit today (Monday) came with an extra side of blah.  It was in that spirit that I decided to take a nap and start over. Actually, everyone in my household went back to bed around one o'clock, even the 12 year old. It didn't last long . The phone woke most of us, but it seems a power nap was all that was needed to reset the day. I think I need to take those more often. I would be totally in favor of America introducing the tradition of siesta. And now on to the rest of this day...