A Simple Thank You

 

Dear Reader:

So far today the weather here has seemed more like a long thunderstorm…just without the thunder or lightning.

The rain and winds are supposed to pick up, however,  a little more between 12 and 3 today (Monday) so I thought I would shoot this short little blog post off now in case we lose electricity later. Certain spots in Summerville have already lost it and the lights have blinked on and off here a few times this morning…so just wanted to get this one thought out in case we do lose power.

Gratitude…what I am feeling right now is gratitude more massive than Hurricane Irma herself. I am thankful for the down grade to a tropical storm and hopefully less destruction and/or lives lost. That has been my prayer today for one and all.

It reminded me of the book 365 Thank You’s which some of you might have read a few years back but it is still appropriate for each and every day.

If you don’t know about this book I will include a synopsis from it but basically it is about a man whose life was in turmoil, personally, professionally, and emotionally. He had reached the end of his rope when an epiphany came to him on a mountain hike. He needed to write a thank you note for each day of the year to people he knew and even some he didn’t… but who had indirectly helped him along his path or inadvertently showed him what path not to take. All kinds of people had made a difference in his own “track” changing it constantly…much like Hurricane Irma.

Here is the synopsis…if you haven’t read it…check it out…and see how gratitude (for what we have) can lead us to places we never could have imagined in our former lives.

So until tomorrow….No matter what befalls us now, this very minute…let us be thankful and grateful for all things leading up to this present moment.

365 THANK YOUS:
The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life

By John Kralik
Hyperion
Publication date: January 4, 2011
(gmcquade@goldbergmcduffie.com)

The art of the thank you note is sometimes seen as a dying custom. With e-mail, cell phones, and other means of instant communication at our fingertips, the thought of hand-writing and mailing a card seems outdated and inconvenient. And following two years of economic struggles, environmental disasters, and other worldwide worries, it’s hard to find anything to be thankful for. At the end of 2007, John Kralik would have agreed. His law firm was operating in the red. After a long separation, his divorce still wasn’t finalized and he was living in an apartment the size of a toaster oven. He was forty pounds overweight, and his girlfriend had just broken up with him. At the age of 52, it seemed as if he had nothing to be grateful for.

But a walk through the California hills on January 1, 2008 changed all that. Unhappy with his lot in life, Kralik realized that if he could somehow be thankful for the things he already had in life, then perhaps the things he wanted would follow. His plan: send 365 thank you notes in a year, one for each day. By the time he was finished he had lost weight, run a marathon, raised money for charities, turned his law firm around, reconnected with old friends and relatives, gotten back together with his girlfriend, and realized his dream of becoming a writer with his first book, 365 THANK YOUS.

Told with extreme honesty, Kralik’s story is at times heartwarming, at times heartbreaking, but always inspiring, and a great example of how even small acts of appreciation can truly go a long way.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*As the lights kept going on and off I started looking around for Christmas candle holders and battery operated tea candles…I found a beautiful little angel for a place to put a tea candle in her arms and left all the tea candles on. It was so comforting as the winds gusted and the rains came pouring down to look up and see the lights.

*** It is now 8:00 and finally the rains and wind are slowly subsiding…both picked up much more force than anticipated initially by the local weather channels. We thought Irma would move on out by afternoon (yesterday) but it stalled, unfortunately, and flooding became more than just a normal issue…but an on-going problem all over the lowcountry…especially the barrier islands, downtown area of Charleston and low areas throughout the local counties of Charleston, Dorchester  Berkeley and Colleton.

We have ended up getting more rainfall this time than we did with Hurricane Matthew about a year ago. This was not expected. California Dreaming, one of my favorite restaurants in Charleston, now looks like a fortress surrounded by a moat.

Here in Summerville, in my neighborhood, we have been spared most of the flooding but the combination of rain and wind has definitely made quite a mess of most yards…though easily cleaned up in comparison to other areas.

My scariest moment came when the local weather channels predicted a tornado with winds up to 60 miles per hour was heading in a path towards Summerville.

Suddenly my Iphone started making a funny beeping sound and it was the Emergency Alert Service letting me know I was in the path of a potential tornado and to find shelter immediately.

While the wild beeps continued I ran to the bathroom and stayed until past time for the ‘tornado’ to pass. All the neighbors were texting each other while sitting on top of comode seats in their own bathrooms wondering if the tornado was coming or not coming (actually quite laughable) …. but all saying basically the same thing later…”Whew! and Thank You…Amen!”

So Dear God…”Whew, thank you, and amen for seeing us safely through the day.” (I began and end the day in gratitude!)

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All is Calm…All is Cool…but it’s Coming…

Dear Reader:

It is 2:45 Sunday afternoon as I start this blog. We woke up to temps in the sixties. It is overcast and still calm. A few gusts of wind pick up now and then to scatter the pine straw around…but basically we are still enjoying the ‘calm before the storm

Predictions for our Lowcountry South Carolina area have continued to improve this morning with the latest forecast predicting that we might not get the high winds with the rain as earlier forecasted…the main concern seems to be flooding. In the lowcountry it doesn’t take much rain to cause problems which then start a domino effect.

Look who is missing off the white bench on the front porch? You know I couldn’t leave “Big Red,” my faithful 9-year-old geranium, outside. Just the thought of a crazy gust of wind getting to it or the rain slanting and coming in on the porch is too hard to even contemplate.

“Big Red” has been by my side since my first cancer surgery-a gift from an anonymous benefactor. It is my health o’meter and has guided me well over the past (almost) decade.

So I got Luke, my young neighbor across the street, to help me carry “Big Red” into the B&B side and place it on the dining room table. I think you can see from the spread size of “Big Red’ these days why I needed help.

One good thing about having to move “Big Red” and the rest of the paraphernalia off the front porch is that I got to clean, really clean, the white bench that holds “Big Red.” It had been re-painted two summers ago during my house renovations…but already it needed it again…I chloroxed it and then spray-painted over the stains. So when “Big Red” returns to its throne it will be shining brightly.

One of my weapons for fighting “little c” is to conjure up how the ‘enemy‘ looks in my imagination. Then before taking any medication or treatment I picture my ‘army’ striking smack dab in the center of my adversary’s stronghold and breaking it down little by little.

This is, also, the only way I can wrap my mind around Hurricane Irma because it is just so  massive. My trick is to humanize it in my imagination. If I don’t do this my mind conjures up something abstract… dark and forbidding like a childhood bogeyman.

So I visualize Hurricane Irma as the bossy, broad-sided old aunt that nobody wants to ask for dinner…but who somehow manages to invite herself anyway… quite rudely without permission.

This cartoonist thought along the same idea; but instead of dinner, simply sending it in another direction with false road signs.

I think everyone in the path of Hurricane Irma feels this way…any direction but mine. It is only when we pull back from our immediate fears and concerns…do we get a better understanding…of the feelings of everyone along Irma’s path. Everyone’s prayers for their family’s safety…

Wouldn’t it be wonderful…if all America could link arms and blow as hard as they could…like the Big Bad Wolf…and ‘huff and puff’ Hurricane Irma back out to sea where no one and no property is harmed or destroyed.

We can’t but we can ask God to be with everyone in the hurricane’s path…to sustain them and supply them with the faith they will need to keep on keeping on.

This morning I went and closed all the windows on the B&B side while opening them all on my side to the cool pleasant breezes. I have the window by my computer open right now as I type…and I had to stop a few minutes ago and get a sweat shirt to put on to finish the blog. Surprised by joy!

So until tomorrow…I am praying that even in the midst of certain disaster for those directly in the path of Hurricane Irma…people will find a light, a moment to laugh, a new longing for life, and be surprised by joy.

* I thought this pictures was too cute. A Floridian couple’s  new little puppy ran after a Beware of Dog sign that blew over from a neighbor’s house. He is doing his part to protect his beloved owners’ home too. I feel sure Irma will heed his warning!

So until tomorrow…For many… Hurricane Irma will remind us just how precious life is and just how ambiguous  our stay in it is. There is no more time to set our dreams aside…we must act on them today.

Last stanza from “A Morning Offering” by John O’Donohue

May I have the courage today

To live the life that I would love,

To postpone my dream no longer

But do at what I came here for

And waste my heart on fear no more.

……………………………

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

“If He can calm the stormy sea…He can calm the storm inside of me.”

Let us not forget this is the anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centers in 2001…even Hurricane Irma shouldn’t keep us from remembering the brave men and women who died on this fateful day.

A new memorial has just recently gone up honor the first responders, men and women, who have died since the initial attack due to illness and problems associated with the toxic fumes from the explosions. Several thousand people, involved in helping others September 11, 2001, have quietly passed away, largely forgotten until this memorial…erected just in time for this year’s 9/11 remembrance.

A Long Island beach where people gathered and watched in horror as the distant World Trade Center towers collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001 is the site of the latest memorial to victims of the terror attacks and among a growing number that honor people who died of illnesses years after participating in the rescue and recovery effort.*The cross is made of twisted steel from the World Trade Center.

Sleep my child and peace attend thee, all through the night.

 

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“It’s A Small, Small World”…

 

Dear Reader:

Each day I grow older I also grow deeper… in my thoughts about the world we live in. Yesterday was a case-in-point.

I slept later than I have in a long time. It was so refreshing! By the time I opened up my blog post for the day there were several comments waiting to be read.

Ambika’s comment was the first one and quite an interesting one at that….she was concerned about all her American internet friends and wanted to send an article by Max Lucado she had seen on Facebook.. I read the article and thought to myself…’Ambika finds this conversation on-line and forwards it to me to (pay it forward) to be a comfort for everyone in the path of Hurricane Irma.’

Here I am getting help from an internet friend I think of as family from Dubai about a storm affecting the United States. I never knew I would live long enough to see something like this transpire.

I am forwarding Ambika’s link to you….I will also summarize some key points that made me pause.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/09/08/max-lucado-hurricane-irma-is-coming-where-is-god.html

…………………….

Hurricane Irma is coming. Where is God?” Max Lucado

Max Lucado calls on all of us to “Stand up and lift up…lift up prayers, lift up hope and lift up our hearts. God is above the storm.

Using the analogy learned by the disciples (especially Peter) on the stormy Sea of Galilee, Lucado explains that Peter, as a veteran fisherman, knew better than anyone else what 10 ft. waves could do to small crowded boat…so he volunteers to leave the craft.

As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus he, too, rose above the waters, the wind, and the waves. It wasn’t until he lost eyes contact with Jesus and looked down at the wind and waves that he became afraid and started to sink.

While his eyes had been on Jesus…he did the “impossible.” It was only when he shifted his gaze from the face of Jesus to the force of the storm…that he sank.

If we are sinking…we are looking in the wrong direction.

“The storm is coming but God is with us. Look ahead and chart a path to safety. Look around and see who you can help. Look up to God who loves you. Trust in your future, and trust Him with your life.”

…………………………

In 2013 I went with John and Mandy to take Eva Cate to  Disney World for the first time. They wanted me to have the experience of seeing it through her little eyes. It was magical and brought back memories of going there with my own children when they were little.

My favorite ride…the water cruise through all the countries of the world (It’s a Small Small World) was made even more special watching Eva Cate’s eyes get wider and wider at all the costumes. *The best first time geography lesson for a child about the world in which he/she lives.

 

 

*If I ever go back to Disney World and ride in the “It’s a Small Small World” cruise boat… I will definitely look for India and find a little girl puppet to name Ambika…smiling to myself that I know how life has turned out for this young woman…whose family converted to Christianity and who then left India for Dubai and sends messages of well-being to all her blog and Facebook friends who are about to experience stormy weather.

So until tomorrow…Our world is growing smaller and smaller which gives us an opportunity to meet people we never would have before in the history of communication…allowing us the opportunity to let our hearts grow bigger and bigger…embracing a world of ‘Mr. Rogers’ global neighborhoods.’

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

P.S. Obviously as I write this blog on a late Saturday afternoon there is still no way to know how much bad weather we will get or feel…one of the first things to go during tropical storms typically around here…is the electricity. So if for any reason over the next couple of days there is no post…just realize that we probably lost power temporarily.As long as we have “juice” I will keep you updated on what we experience the next few days.

Tonight Clemson plays Auburn…my son-in-law John went to Auburn and is a big fan while Tommy, Walsh, and I are big Clemson fans. When Mandy called to ask me to come over for the family get-together to watch the game at their house I thought to myself… ‘Now I can gear up for one storm…but not two. I think I will watch it at home and take one less enthusiastic Clemson fan away from John’s home…What a wonderful host to do this each year that the two colleges play. Good luck to all and that’s all I am going to say!

 

 

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There are Two Times of the Year…Autumn and Waiting for Autumn

Dear Reader:

While we have all been anxiously watching weather reports for the past few days on Hurricane Irma…Fall “snuck” into the Lowcountry.

(When I checked to see if “snuck’ was a real word I was assured that it was a ‘non-standard’ past tense of sneak acceptable only as part of the language pattern in North America. Do say! It seems all so very proper to me…but it concluded by saying “snuck” sneaked into the American vocabulary of colloquialisms.)

So once again…I re-iterate…Fall ‘snuck’ in while we were otherwise preoccupied with Irma.

*Update from the Charleston area here…as Irma turns more west…our situation is improving considerably…and while I actually slept the best sleep I have had in awhile (after Tommy texted me around 11:00 Thursday night)…I also have felt a type of “Pre-survivor’s guilt” (even before Irma hits)… because I realize that as I am becoming more cautiously optimistic I know others are looking on in apprehension at the shift.

Still Irma is fickle and certainly no one is ‘out of the woods’ until it arrives and leaves.

The humidity has lowered to the point where I can actually walk in the garden and not come back drenched in perspiration. In fact, amazingly enough, it was actually a little (dare I say it?) a tad chilly while walking in the garden yesterday morning around eight. The most delicious feeling! The first feel of the first hint of fall.

It still warms up in the day but the evenings and mornings are spectacular! I followed butterflies in the garden yesterday and then took time to take photos of some of our older historic homes in the neighborhoods not far from my teaching Alma Mater…Alston Middle School. I spent almost 30 years of my teaching career there and feel very blessed to have done so.

Yesterday I was plucking yellow leaves

off the morning glory vines and started

chuckling to myself when I remembered

one gardening book say ‘yellow leaves

are to plants and vines  like gray hairs

are to humans…keep plucking!’

The blue skies are such a brilliant blue now… as only autumn can produce after banishing the thick humidity obscuring the sapphire skies. The fictitious town of Three Pines might be famous for their tall White Pines…but Summerville (“Flowertown in the Pines”) has its tall pines too.

I live in one of the older subdivisions in town that have produced these “Hugo Survivor” Tall Tall Pines. (While beautiful…you can see how daunting they look during hurricane season…The thought of these pines falling on your house is disconcerting.) *See how tiny my garden looks below.

Autumn has always been my favorite season…not because so many of the family members share fall birthdays …but because of the temps and beauty of the season…and certainly those unique smells associated with it…”toasting s’mores, bonfires, leaves, pumpkin pies, baked turkey, costumes, jack o’lanterns, candy corn…the list goes on and on.

Last year, however, was the first time I was ready to see fall go….While in the midst of getting my cataracts removed and new lenses put on at the end of August…I discovered one small spot on my breast bone that turned out not to be  scar tissue (like my surgeon initially thought) but my “little c” breast cancer returning. (After being in “stabilization” for almost four years.)

On the morning that tropical storm Hermine hit Charleston Mandy and Jackson were taking me to a 6:00 a.m. appointment for exploratory surgery. At first it looked promising…the margins came back clear…but only two weeks later the cancer appeared under my left arm where it started originally.

So that lead to the hormone/chemo oral medications that I am on now. It is definitely slowing things down somewhat but not eradicating it from the surface like the other drug did…still I am just thankful for the “pause” and pray it continues.

So until tomorrow… Right now I just want to enjoy every moment of this fall this year…making the most of every day of it…from fall decorations to planting mums to ‘Racing for the Cure’.  Autumn represents the best of times for me…so let’s all get out there and enjoy it. (especially after Irma gets out of here)

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

 

*Please keep Anne Peterson in your prayers…she got an insect bite a few days ago that later became infected, went to the doctor and got antibiotics…but as of yesterday it was still infected and did not look good at all…or obviously feel good either!

** She went to see a medic friend from church who specializes in wounds and got her foot cleaned up and out, and looking better. She still has to give it time to heal but no doubt your prayers will certainly assist in this stage. Thank you.

 

 

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Which is Worst? To be Locked In or Out?

Dear Reader:

When I read this phrase the other day “Which is the worst? To be locked in or out?” …it made me pause and think about the statement. (I re-read it again while trying to decide if one situation is preferable to another.)

As we go back down our childhood memory lane…don’t we all remember feeling (at one time or another) that we were “locked out” of the neighborhood gang, or classroom cliques, or sports teams, cheerleading, etc. (whatever it was that we wanted so desperately to be a part of…)

It is never fun being on the outside looking in is it?

Flip side…Haven’t we all had those days when we feel trapped, ‘locked in’ to a situation or circumstance that leaves us feeling isolated from the rest of life?

Perhaps it is a physical disability or ailment that has cropped up limiting our ability to do all the things we used to do prior to it’s appearance. We find ourselves, for the first time feeling ‘stuck’ in life, locked in …cast out from the mainstream of socialization and a sense of belonging.

Many of us who are in the path of Hurricane Irma are now waiting and wondering if we will need to leave or can we stay? The populace is always divided along these lines with every hurricane or tropical storm that comes our way. Last year it was Matthew…now Irma. Thank goodness with Matthew the lowcountry didn’t get the brunt of the storm so everyone made it through fine…on both sides. But every storm is different and even with all the modern technology…hurricanes still are unpredictable until they actually arrive.

The emotional side of making that decision is a toss-up too. Part of everyone wants to hunker down and be home to check on things and be ready to start repairs if needed…while the other side wants to lock it all up and leave it for whatever happens…coming home with fingers crossed and a knot in the stomach. It’s hard not knowing and then, later, it can be hard knowing.

*In the meantime…to put a slight spin  on this excerpted verse of scripture:(Matthew 24:6) “And ye shall hear of storms and rumors of storms; see that ye be not troubled…” These days everybody is a weatherman…you can’t go anywhere without hearing someone in line telling a complete stranger…”The National Weather Service says the hurricane will be downgraded to a 1 or 2 tropical storm by the time it gets to Charleston while another person farther back in line is telling a fellow wait-er….that he has heard we are now at a category 6 (now that’s a new one on me and the weather men I believe.) We must all keep a sense of humor.

So until tomorrow: Locked in or locked out?  Once again we must turn to faith in times like these for God to guide us through the storm until the sun returns. *I think I will fall back on that beautiful rainbow that smiled down on Walsh and Mollie’s (almost) new home last week…and pray that God’s covenant keeps us all safe from harm with as little damage as possible

.

“Today is (still) my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Wednesday night…two gorgeous blooms…one Moonflower and one Jamestown bloom…both beautiful in their own right.

Yesterday Fall arrived for us…perhaps a gift before the storm…but the humidity has disappeared and I can’t stay inside for the luxurious coolness awaiting me outside. But more on that tomorrow…Summerville has never been more beautiful!

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Be the Miracle

Dear Reader:

Lately one of the popular mantras used in marketing different products has been: Be the Change!

You have probably either seen it on television commercials or heard it from motivational speakers, educational and/or religious leaders. The expression finds itself in many graduation speeches…a rallying call to young people heading out in the world.

There is not a one of us who has not thought that a certain situation in their lives needed changing…but few have taken that extra step to become the change they want to see in the world…at least in their daily life world.

But what if we take it to another level: Be the Miracle

Our first reaction to that statement might run along the line of thinking…”Isn’t that being a little presumptuous of me….only Jesus, only God performs miracles?” 

But think again…Didn’t God use Jesus, in the form of man, as His vessel to perform miracles during Jesus’ ministry? So don’t you think we receive miracles from everyday people who show up at the right moment to deliver us from trouble or provide an ultimate surprise.

How many times have we seen or heard news reports or documentaries about a survivor saying something like, “If he hadn’t heard our last attempt to call out from the crevice…none of us would be here today…it was truly a miracle he ever heard us.”

In a recent Guidepost article (“Five Ways to Discover More Miracles Around You“- Ella Price) The author states:

  1. Stay connected to others…the wider the circle of friends and acquaintances in your life the higher possibility you will witness more daily miracles… from the clerk behind the coffee counter each morning to the new neighbor who just moved in.
  2. Forget about outcomes and concentrate on the process of getting there.
  3. Keep your eyes open to everything around you.
  4. Live in Gratitude
  5. Last, but not least, be someone’s miracle. Sometimes all it takes to brighten someone’s day is a smile or holding open the door. Spread a little cheer and wonder in the world, then wait and see the wonders that come back to you as a result.

Some of you who are recent blog readers might not know about my good friend, whom I have never met (but feel like I know as well as my own children and family) Ambika from Dubai. (Doc Ambika Murthy)

Several years ago…Ambika was going through a tough time in her life…searching for the right path to follow, when she couldn’t sleep one night and typed in Hope on her computer. Guess what popped up? Chapel of Hope Stories!

I remember picking up on the fact that I was getting comments suddenly on the blog post from this woman named Ambika… finally my curiosity got the best of me. I told her I loved her name…it was beautiful and wondered how she got it.

Ambika responded with the story behind her name…she is from India originally and how she came to find my blog. Since that time her life has changed dramatically…from a single girl to a wife to a mother with  an adorable little boy. All those years and Ambika still reads the blog and I am still here to write it. That in itself is a miracle.

Yesterday her comment on the blog just confirmed that there is still a connection between us and God is sending her God Winks through the post to remind her she is not alone. This is what she wrote:

Thanks for the blog Becky… BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD was an assurance I needed for today…

For the past few days, I’ve been having a real hard time at work with colleagues. Yesterday morning, while I was getting ready for work, I kept thinking about the tension I’m caught up with.

Just then, one of my friends messaged me a quote by Don Moen which says  “Don’t let the troubles🏻of this world bring you down, focus on God and His blessings. *God has a plan for your life*. Hold your head up high, and walk forward in HIS plan – Don Moen.

I felt like God was trying to make me still and trust Him fully. Then on the way to work on my bike, I passed  2 cars, which had 2 different Bible verses each pasted at their rear windscreen.

One car says, ” My Grace is sufficient for thee...” While the other car says, ” My Presence shall go with thee…” and now, your blog today. I’m glad that the Lord is increasing my faith through all these sources.. you definitely are one of them. Thank you so much… Really means a lot!!

……………………….

So until tomorrow: I see these signs for Ambika as God Winks…little daily miracles directed at her to direct her path and steady her walk.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Yesterday Honey joined our team “Legally Pink” and I am thrilled…what fun we will have walking this year with Doodle, Lassie, Carrie and the rest of the gang!

I got a few responses from you to know how to send a check as a donation instead of sending a donation electronically. Here is the info:

Make the check out to Komen Lowcountry. On the check memo line write the name of the participant or team you wish to donate to and mail it to:

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure S.C.

50 Folly Road Blvd.

Charleston, SC 29407

The electronic link is:

Link:

http://www.info-komen.org/site/TR/RacefortheCure/CHS_SouthCarolinaAffiliate?pg=entry&fr_id=6930

Thank you and Bless you. We are 44 days away from the race! It will go quickly like time itself.

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The “Uneasy” Feeling with “We Need to Talk”

Dear Reader:

Haven’t we all heard the words “We need to talk” and immediately we feel our stomachs start tightening into a knot?

The situation can vary from an electrician or plumber (after checking on a problem in our homes) to a construction problem to our banker talking to us about the results of a loan, to a doctor after an examination or appointment,  to a friend, or spouse approaching us with those dreaded words. Yet…why should they be dreaded?

Experience. Experience has taught us that too many “We need to talk” conversations end badly. And it really doesn’t matter who instigates the conversation…yourself or another…it is still probably not going to go well…at least to one party involved.

Truman Capote’s famous slant on the art of conversing is right on target.

 

The problem with the “We need to talk” conversations is that they are normally monologues. The conversational instigator wants to get the problem or bad news out as quickly as possible and then (usually) really doesn’t want to listen to a response…especially a long one…His/her job is done….they told you what they thought and now they just want you to deal with it, no matter how devastating it might be to the listener. Their job is done.

It is another case of us playing God. Nicole Johnson in her article “A Deeper Knowledge of God” makes this astute observation:

“My personal translation of the verse: “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) is-“I can be still and know that God is God, or I can stay busy and keep wondering if I am.”

When we begin running our own lives, making all the calls, and handling all the problems…we make ourselves the center of the universe…not God.

Johnson remembers this old joke that is still an “oldie but goodie”  worth sharing.

“What is the difference between you and God?”

“I don’t know, what is the difference?”

“God never gets confused and thinks He’s you.”

Stillness provides us the opportunity to keep the “Who is Whom?” question answered correctly.

There comes a certain point, in all our lives if we live long enough, when we realize we can’t play the role of God…not successfully over the long period of time called eternity. We realize we might want to be like God…but we do not want to be God.

Don’t we all know people (and at different stages in our lives might even have been one) that just can’t sit still? They have to be doing…just “being” is not good enough…not satisfying enough for them. They can’t seem to concentrate on anything long enough to complete it but like the butterflies seen in my garden today…these people flitter from one place to the next…never satisfied with being stationary.

If we are true to ourselves we see this ‘condition’ for what it is…’harried and hasseled’ is our excuse for not being silent, still, and seeking God . We are terrified of what we might discover if we actually talk and more importantly listen to what God wants us to hear.

As parents and grandparents we know the importance of stillness when we try to help our children or grandchildren with their ‘boo boo owies.’ We can’t put a band-aid on a scraped knee if the child doesn’t sit still…or put ice/antiseptic cream on a painful insect bite if the child keeps moving. God must feel the same way when He tries to have a conversation with us…but instead watches us grab the band-aid or piece of ice and stomp off to do it ourselves.

So until tomorrow…the next time we need to talk with God…let’s remember to take a deep breath, then take a moment, and then tell God where it hurts…remaining still, silent, and open to His healing and advice.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Honey Burrell and Susan Cadwell….”We need to talk”.…Thank you both from the bottom of my heart for being the first donors in the Race for the Cure. The warmth from your donations has me already “warmed up” for the race ahead. Bless you both!

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