Our experiences in life dictate the assumptions we hold about when something similar occurs to us. Some of these assumptions can protect us from something bad happening again. Some of these same assumptions can hinder us from taking new chances which may benefit us. Either way, assumptions are difficult to evade, even to the open minded. It is a part of reality you have to deal with and respect and understand when joining families or lives or in relationships with anyone. We all make assumptions intrinsically. Not pretty sometimes but there it is. The very best way to avoid the repercussions of an irrelevant-to-now assumption your mind built from your past negative experiences and keep it from harming a new relationship is to talk openly and honestly about it. This is also a bit scary because you open yourself up to be validated in the assumption which can change a lot of things. However, if the chance is not taken to open up that line of communication and correct the assumption into a workable reality, growth does not happen. Relationships do not strengthen sometimes because the communication is not there and then damage is done and the repercussion may be a lack of unity or just lack of growth in intimacy or at worst a decrease in the trust or relationship. It is a difficult thing either way, which is why sometimes second or third marriages are increasingly shorter in length. It is difficult to have a history of hardship and keeping that from forming close bonds is easy when patterns of miscommunication are repeated. It is my wish in life to remain open. This is a challenge but one that is easily overcome by knowing these things and both choosing to communicate openly and honestly with each other. Truth counters all lies and misconceptions based on assumptions are lies accepted as truths. So truth exposes the, well, the truth of the matter and allows relationships to grow and deepen in merit and last. If a pattern of truthful communication and openness continues, the relationship will continue and deepen and gain meaning and strength and new good assumptions will replace harmful ones. Assuming someone will love you no matter what and assuming the truth will be told to you is a pretty great habit for those in relationships to utilize. Communication brings hope. Hope brings renewed life and redeems your mind.
Many things have happened in my life and my response is generally optimistic and hopeful, figuring out what to do, getting things done, charging ahead, always full throttle. My pulse has slowed of late and there is a different drum beat to dance to. I have this new thing in my life called sadness. I am not sure if it is from my daddy’s downward spiral with dementia, fading away or family life and changes or something I ate or some new hormones taking over my body, but I am not liking this new talent I have to cry at the drop of a hat. Never been a cryer really. However of late, I am some sort of master at it. I am changed in this regard. It is foreign territory to me. I, who can always find the funny, search out the stupid, love the enjoyable, invent it good am now in the position where I see the hurt in people’s eyes. I see their pain they are hiding behind the laugh. I feel their sorrow in their encouragement. And I experience it with them. And it hurts. Of course, my eyes are very clean these days, which is a plus. They probably needed that. However, they are clean now so this can stop anytime. An additional side effect is a stronger desire to hold my children, hug them, laugh with them, really focus on them. So maybe even sadness can have its productive uses. Nonetheless, I am understanding more the crippling pain a lot of my friends contend with of depression. It would probably be very much like what I have been going through only stuck there longer term, emotions just doing their thing and you’re left to figure it all out or be a victim of it. I’ve no intention of being stuck here because I feel there would be this hopelessness that would seep in and steal away joy and peace. So, here is what I will try. And I will see it if helps. I will focus on the hope. The great hope of God and heaven and so on AND little hopes of happy days in the sun, cool drinks, warm friends and will drive, even if the terrain has changed. It is still my boat and I will own it and make use of it. Have to.
Let me address the weary wanderer, of which I fall into such category of late. Let me address those moments when the road does not fork or allow rest but simply ceases to be there, drops off entirely. Let me tell you that there are times, seasons such as this when the road becomes missing, either because grief is so great or unrest so great or confusion so great or so many great things as these. For some reason, the mind is overwhelmed, the heart if overfilled and the strength is oversapped. Immediately, while traveling down this road you look and the road has disappeared. It is a moment filled with gripping passions and intense feelings of loss and hopelessness. Sadness and despondency. Confusion and just really really deep pain. Does this make one believe in God less? Is faith at some low point? I say absolutely not. For God is a precious and perfect God of the journey and sometimes the road has to drop out for us to see something. Some thing is put in place of the road. It is not a road at all any longer. Instead, during this times of insecurity, what you need is a great big bear rug to wrap up in. And you look and don’t see a way to go, sometimes you can look again and before you is placed the coziest, warmest, most luxurious bear rug in the world to cuddle up in, warmed by the fire of God’s love and given as a gift to let you know that God’s got you in the midst of this owie, thie traumatic thing. Nothing is bigger than His security, perfect care and loving provision. And your job then is not to figure it out but wrap up in it and take a deep rest, drinking in deep and holding on tight. There is more to life than the road taking you somewhere. Sometimes you just need to be.
Rolling down pre-made winding, spiralling, going upside down tracks, big monster roller coasters are fun. Fun IF, and this is very important, IF you are properly secured. If you are not, you will see the roller coaster very differently. It will become a terror ride, a torment, a horrible thing that ends in some form of trauma of which you will never be the same. And life is very much like that. If we do not feel secure, do not feel adequately grounded, life’s ups and downs and loopty-loos will cause us enourmous amounts of pain or trauma or just plain old headaches. We need to know our security is sound, we are safe. It is difficult to know this in a seeminly very scary world we happen to reside in. There are always side cars pushing us, always unexpected objects thrown on the tracks and so on. It is imperitive that we place our security in that which is stronger and bigger than the roller coaster. Our security must be grounded in God, bigger than we are, bigger than any problem we face, no matter how big it is or how much it threatens to throw us around. In fact, if our security is not grounded in God, it is grounded on something lesser that can also be moved and shaken. Imagine being secured to the seats not by God’s strongest arms but by bungee cords. You would still be jostled so much that you’d at best end up with a sound concussion. Or you ask a child to secure you in your seat. They do not have the ability to help, no matter how much they might want to. So our security must come from someone greater and secure and sure and faithful. In a world of unfaithfulness, God is faithful. And I want faithfulness in my security. I don’t ever again want to feel secure one minute and not secure at all the next and then be back to secure and so forth. Such a strap on a ride which works half the time and then visits another person to secure them for a bit and come back is completely worthless as a security strap. Security must be reliable, faithful. This is vital. You cannot be secure in a boat that is solid one minute and turns into spaghetti the next and back and forth. You get it. So hop on in and enjoy the ride life brings you, but just make sure your security strap is right first.
This room has been my slumber center, my shut eye headquarters, and when Kathleen was newborn, my attempted sleep spot. My bedroom is my sanctuary, a child free zone (or so was the plan), a respite from noise and toys in the rest of the house. And it has served me well in this role. However, the medium dark antique green that adorned the walls felt as if the walls were starting to come in a bit and as pretty as the color was, change was desperately needed. So comes the choices, which color do you choose? I wanted peaceful, first and foremost, and cozy. I wanted that same feeling from the beach motel recently visited. But do you go sunny yellow or warm sand or water blue or even a soft orange? And for once in my life I did not tie in this room’s color with the rest of the house, in warm hues. I opted to refresh and change and sought a little welcomed advice and voila, Mystic Sea, a very light sea foam greenesque color with a hint of blue. Immediately, the room feels bigger, the ceiling higher, the peace and freshness of the beach is here. It is truly amazing what a change color makes. White or eggshell paint has no place in my home except maybe the trim. Love lives here, life, a story. I want to enjoyy my hhome,create a welcoming cozy atmosphere my kids and their kids will love coming home to. A home is colorful because we who live here are such as well and it should reflect us. So don’t be afraid to do something different. You can always repaint it, half the fun. 🙂 And a little paint is the best, easiest and most economical way to transform your home into an art piece. I am so glad for the change!
I am a follower of God, of Jesus Christ His Son, with the power of His Holy Spirit in me. I am sure of this. It is not up in the air. It is who I am. As such, I was just reminded by a pastor yesterday about what God’s Word says about curses and blessings. And in a nutshell, he reminded me that when God blesses someone, be it an individual or group or whatever, any blessing He gives is guaranteed. There is no question about that. If God promises, He is all powerful and all truth and in charge, and it will happen. You can bank on it all day, all night. For instance, God said He would give the Israellites the land of where who resides? Yes, the Israelites. That is why they are surrounded by enemies and yet they are still there. Why? Because God promised it to them, it is their blessing. God blessed them with that land. So no curse uttered against them (of which there are many) will ever have a single inch of power. Ever. Say next year Iran decides to fire a nuclear weapon at Israel, it will not work. Won’t detinate, will be stopped in time, will not work. Ever. Why? Because God blessed Israel with that land. It is theirs. What God has blessed, no one can curse. Why? Because God is bigger than anyone else, large and in charge. And a blessing or a curse has one thing in common. The person yielding either has to be strong enough to deliver. Someone cannot utter a blessing if they have nothing to give. A parent blesses a child with an inheritance. You have to own it in order to give it. A child cannot bless a parent, they can make them happy, impress them. The only blessing a child can bestow that is his to give a parent is obedience. Same with us. We can only bless God with obedience. He blesses us in every way because He owns everything and rules it all. Someone who curses someone says he/she is powerful enough to cause something bad to happen to you. Who have power greater than God? No one. Balam was hired by Israel’s enemies to curse them. He liked money, so he tried to curse them and praise came out. Tried again and praise came out. Third time, same thing. You cannot curse who God has blessed. You can trick people out of their blessing by luring them into a screwup that separates them from the relationship with God to honor the blessing. But people have to choose to be tricked and decide that in order for it to have any bearing on the blessing. As the relationship stands in tact, there is nothing anyone anywhere can do about cursing what God has blessed. It is a nonissue. May as well blow bubbles at them. Is not going to happen. Do not be afraid if someone curses you and you are in relationship with Him and covered by His blessing of salvation. That blessing protects you from such nonsense. That is all it is at that point. Someone duped by the enemy may choose harm for you but you can discard their powerless rhetoric and go about your day in peace and joy. Knowing is powerful. Do not be fooled. No one stands when God decides something. No one can stand against Him. All bow. Everyone.
Okay, so I freely admit that I like Forest Gump’s analogy (or rather his momma’s) that life is like a box of chocolates and you never know which one you’ll get. However, after this past year and its crazy, I realize that is certainly the optimistic view and not the realistic one. It implies that it might be that horrible orange filled chocolate at worst but it is still sweet and yields energy and still has chocolate in whichever one you end up with. That is so not true. I know like 5 people with perfect lives and honey, they are sorely deluded. I see it rather that we start on one path that unexpectly all of a sudden branches off in 10 directions, each one being a cliff you have to jump off of. Only one of these cliffs has a false bottom where there is safety and peace and calm after jumping. The rest plummet you to insanity for a while, into survival mode and grasping for meaning and understanding, feeling more like a reign of terror than a testing ground or learning zone it really is. That one safe way is still only accessed by jumping off a cliff. There are signs and instructions along the road but most people are too distracted to see them so try to double back, only to quickly learn the path behind them has already disintegrated and no longer exists. No, you must move forward. And there is no standing still either. There is a pace one must maintain on the way, it is dictated. So, you pick a cliff, maybe the prettiest, maybe the one that seems less high, the one that looks fun, the one that seems manageable, whatever criteria you choose. And the instructions, were you to have read them, would say that you go to the cliff straight ahead and just walk off and the arms of God would honor your faith in Him and carried you to safety. But so many distractions keep us from seeing those instructions and we count on our intelligence or feelings or information from others. So, maybe we need to pay a little more attention along the way to the instruction manual. A lot is riding on the decision to do so. And we face our cliff options alone, or seem to, until we read in the manual that God is right there all the time wherever we go. And then maybe we don’t feel so alone. And if He is kind enough to send someone alone to keep us company, all the better. We can jump off the right cliff together. 🙂