I have traveled extensively, more than most but not as much as others. I have traveled all through our great, diverse country as well as abroad (and yes, I have always been annoyed by that word). I also have moved a lot and lived in 6 states (MI, IN, TN, PA, FL, CA) and in many different apartments and houses within those states. I have moved, changing addresses 25 times. I have traveled through or spent vacation or missions time in 3 countries overseas and at least 19 US states (including Hawaii) and Canada. I hope I am finished with the moving now, though probably not with vacationing. I know college and jobs accounted for a lot of changes but I began to wonder why I have wandered around so much. I believe the answer is that I was not ever at peace. I was restless internally for various reasons and being an activist (I was taught to do something about it), I tried a new location, did something different, changed it up. And I was fierce and bold enough to do it. However, those of us who wear our I securities as well as our good and bad stuff so openly to the public are bound to fall prey to those who prey on the open. So, do not envy my lack of fear or reserve. It does not always serve me well. Back to the thoughts at hand. Sometimes people move around a lot, not because they are trying to “find themselves” but because they are trying to find true peace and security and belonging and love. And while we have these things in God and with Him, sometimes we keep that knowledge in our heads and not let it sink into our hearts that He is really the only One able to fill and heal all the parts of us and wants to. We search for an alternate resource that is tangible yet negate the fact that nothing is more tangible than our minds. Our perception guides our reality. One person walks out into a drizzle and complains about the dampness. Another rejoices that her flowers are being watered. It is the perception. Both are right but only one is better off for their perception. Gloominess lends itself to more gloominess. Positivity lends itself to additional positivity. It is how things work. Off of tangent two (sorry about that), I enjoy travel exceedingly but not moving at all anymore. And I have determined that the reason is that I am home now. Not because I have my family or this particular house because those things can be taken away. It is because with God I am always home. He fulfills me. He heals and satisfies. His goodness and blessings humble me. I am able to rest and have peace in Him. I am home.
Everyone understands loneliness. It is huge. I think it is a major tool of the devil to get us down. He uses it so much because it is so effective. We are social creatures. Sometimes the hustle and bustle of holidays actually make that loneliness much more pronounced and obvious. Friends and family are busy with their own plans, having fun, enjoying all that it brings. Others of us without family nearby or that are so busy with their own lives are left looking from inside a window and longing for that fun friendship, those arms around us, words that say we matter. It is easy to disregard those who were taught to always put a smiling face forward. So the moral to this happy story is that there are lonely people around us that do not look lonely but are suffering for want of human acknowledgement and affection. Please in your runnings here and there, do not forget to keep your eyes open. Opportunity to help and show love is everywhere. People need you. We need you. 🙂
When you can be yourself without fear of judgment or censure or criticism or reproof, the person you can be that way with should never be let go of. When a person makes you want to be better because they believe in you so much and genuinely care, that person needs desperately be honored in your life. When a person delights your heart with their presence and receives delight from you, that person needs to be respected and never taken for granted. That person is the best of friends and mutual love and connection take place. The best of friends communicate with you often without saying anything but with great feeling and depth. They get you. They see your flaws and imperfections and choose to see the greatness instead. They lift you up in prayer and in their hearts as if you really do matter in the world. These treasures are priceless. Nothing on the earth is more valuable than a best friend. Nothing is as valuable. There is no one you want to run to faster to talk or just hang with. A best friend knows and understands just the tone in your voice, regardless of your words. Friends like that are exquisite masterpieces and worth more than gold. They capture your heart for an eternity and never ever leave it. Years or miles or illness can not separate them. They are intertwined in experience, meshed in a supernatural placement of being in the same facility at the right time with the right state of mind. It is extraordinary when it happens. And it is very rare, priceless and precious. I cannot tell you the depth of love and appreciation I have for my best friends. I love a d appreciate you so very abundantly much. That will always be true. I know you and you know me. That is much more rare than we think. 🙂
One of the hardest things in the world to me is patience. I want to accomplish my goals right now. I want to do my job right now. I see no reason to delay. I see no point in procrastination. Now is when I can do it, so now is when I will do it. I do not want to wait. I am driven to perform, driven to accomplish, driven to serve, driven to play, driven to win. But. God doesn’t always see time the way we do. In fact, it is wonderful how often He aligns our timing with His not needing or being limited by time. So, when our timing and strong desire or need for now does not coincide with His plan for us, I should not feel so disappointed. I should not but I do. If I were this unemotional human robot, it would be easy to wait. I would just coldly reprogram my database for delay or snooze or whatever or even (gulp) cancel. But I have those emotion chips in me. And they are enormous. I have passions, drives, internal pushes. So how do you merge those two? How do you switch over to God’s perfect plan for your timing from what you think is the best plan for your timing? How do you contentedly wait for something to happen rather than follow your heart? I guess that is the big question. I guess if I had that answer, it would be easier to accept it. I guess it is one of those things where only one person gets their way and the other needs to bend. So, which one should win? My way/timing or God’s way/timing? If I choose God’s way/timing, then I am obeying Him and trusting in His perfect love to do what is best for me long term. If I trust my own way/timing, I am deciding to place myself before God, AKA idolatry and my not be driven the right way. So, it seems I know the right thing to do, which is wait for God to open the appropriate windows and doors for me to walk through rather than claim to understand more than God does. I just wish I could be a robot once in a while. I am seriously going to ask God about this powerful emotion chip when I see Him.
Attached to every thought and every emotion, there is a corresponding pulse, a rhythm of the heart which quickens or slows, races or crawls through life on its journey. The rhythm sways with the current of love, sometimes swaying in the wind in a carefree moment or rushing through the sky in pounding sweeps. But rhythm drives us, passion drives us. If done right, the passion merges with the rhythm and love is given flight and accessibility. Love always finds expression in the rhythm. And the rhythm is always seeking the fulfillment of love. It drives, it quenches, it plays its game, it rests only when the untame meets its natural order to complete the dance. The love dance is the key and the mode will always best be expressed in the rhythm. Not in the lyrics, for words are often deceptive. Not in the melody, for you can dance without the melody. Not in the accompaniment for the same reason. But the culmination of the dance love will be born into must have the rhythm, they must meet. They must merge into one expression. They will.
There is peace in my heart. I have it. Many want it. The world has little peace right now. It is a mess, actually and it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to see that. Give a little eye to the news and you see crazy. Look around at the mall and strange is there. There is still the firm presence of peace in my heart though and I want you to know why. Peace is not the absence of war or co flict or even sincere torture or neglect or unfairness. Peace is not a stillness when everything else around is quiet and calm. Peace is not only found after a fresh snowfall or at a tropical beach or in the standing of a grandiose mountain. No. Peace, in its pure and true form is calm and stillness and unmovable certainty amidst calamity and struggle and calm and chaos and goodness. Peace is stronger than the environment you are in, stronger than the wholeness of any human’s being. The greatest on earth are poor for lack of it and the poorest can be the richest for possession of it. Peace is that great, that fierce in its presence. Peace can humble the most powerful of kings and warriors. It can and may be possessed by the tiniest of people. Peace is not something that may be purchased or earned or acquired through inheritance and yet is received by enormous sacrifice, though not your own. And here I give you the secret of peace for free. To have peace within you, you have to accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and God provides you peace immediately. When you place your trust and cares and problems and sins into God’s ha ds in this way, the moment you are saved, He releases you from the cares and worries of this world into a higher version of yourself, one where nothing bothers you because you know God is in control and He loves you and is with You. Knowing Him better produces trusting Him more. Then whatever happens, nothing can come across your path that He has not allowed for some reason and you can rest in that. Things may have turbulence but you are still flying high.
My favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving. Of course Christmas and Easter are right up there, but there is something extraordinary to love about a holiday where no gifts are exchanged and people are thankful for what they actually have. It is a beautiful and peaceful experience to have an entire day with family that you love (or some you love to watch and try to figure out) and do nothing but appreciate the moment, have a thankful spirit to God, watch a football game together, play games and of course eat really good food all day long. 🙂 It is a family day. And if you aren’t close to family anymore, it is a great day to extend your family and firm up some good friendships. The spirit of the day is appreciation and generosity and time. The best of the day is being in the moment. It is magical to not think or worry or contemplate anything but that day of thanks with friends and family. We have a myriad of distractions around us all the time, many of which are less than worthy of our thought. Thanksgiving is simplicity and peace amidst this chaos. It is taking time out of distractions to focus on all the blessings God has given and spend time with some of them. Of course it is also historical, in that we are honoring our spirit and endurance of our forefathers who survived here with help from our Indian brothers so we could enjoy freedom today. So there is also that grandiose tradition of America that we continue to celebrate and honor. And what better way to honor our distant past perseverance and neighbor’s generosity than to eat like there’s no tomorrow. 🙂 When I lived and grew up in Michigan, I had family on my mom’s side of the family and my dad’s side of the family, so we were blessed with two celebrations. And quite often, we had snow and were quite cosy together in the house. And my family can seriously cook! Now that I am far from my family, I miss that so much but have realized something. The spirit of appreciation is the same, though there is only my tiny family eating together and spending time together. We can still enjoy the moment and appreciate God’s blessing. And quieter is more peaceful. 🙂 I hope you have a beautiful Thanksgiving Day with tasty delights and meaningful moments free of distraction. I am thankful for you.