Little Things

We were at a restaurant today, and while I was looking at the menu, our waitress approached and greeted us.  I recognized her voice.  We had been there several months ago, and I told her she had a nice rich voice, like a DJ. 

Here we are 6-7 months later in the same place.  She looks at us, and with a big smile on her face says, “I remember you”.  She remembered my comment, and she was flattered again. Just seeing us, and reliving the moment brought her joy. 

One of my friends told me that she had a muscle that had been Hurting.  I was able to get the muscle relaxed.  She sent me a note that it allowed her to accomplish many things today, and she offered some prayers for me.  I know I got the better end of the deal, right?

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When perusing plants at the garden center, I encountered an older man watering the herbs.  I asked him where the bay bushes were.  He asked what I wanted with a bay bush.  I answered that herbs were expensive, and I liked to use bay in my soup bases.  He congratulated me for cooking from scratch, and went on to tell me about all of his favorite recipes that his wife and mother made.  When he left, he had a big smile on his face.

It amazes me at what a difference it can make, when we truly engage with those we encounter.  When what seems a little thing, can impact another’s life.  A simple gesture, word, helpful hint…your time…your attentiveness…to stop your own agenda, and be present with the soul placed before you. 

Many good things in one day.  Being a Christian presence to a soul….Wow, that’s a rush!

 

Inspiring Thoughts

“In different passages of Sacred Scripture (especially in the Old Testament), we find comparisons that attribute to God ”masculine” or ”feminine” qualities. We find in these passages an indirect confirmation of the truth that both man and woman were created in the image of God. If there is a likeness between Creator and creatures, it is understandable that the Bible would refer to God using expressions that attribute to him both ”masculine” and ”feminine” qualities.”

St John Paul II, Pope

What’s the difference?

DSC_9237“I knew I could help you, because you’re not a feminist”. This is what my neighbor said to me, when he came over with a shovel, while I was moving a pile of dirt.  Hmmmm?

Feminism: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. (Webster’s Dictionary)

Wait a minute!  I think I am a feminist! I don’t  understand what that has to do with shoveling dirt. My neighbor was being kind, had bigger muscles, and knew rain was coming.  I appreciated his help. He was being funny, not really trying to label me.  It was his way of saying, I didn’t think you’d mind if I helped you. Yes, you can help me anytime!!!

I think, though that we have lost sight of, who we are as men and women.  God created us man and woman in His image.  We are similar, but not the same, and I am grateful for that.  We should be celebrating our differences, yet so often I think we try to negate them.  We as God’s creation are both male and female; this is purposeful.  Both sexes are created in God’s image, so when we degrade the tendencies of either, Who do we think we are insulting?  What we are together, is one in God. 

There are many ways I identify with God as female.  Our brains are wired to multi-task, our hormones incline us more to empathy and nurturing, our bodies are made to bring forth new life.  These are all good, and have purpose. There are times though that less distraction and more focus is helpful, or our empathy can overpower our reason, and our bodies are needed to be less soft and with greater muscle mass. I think we need to rejoice that God provides so well, instead of being threatened by our differences. 

I am so grateful that my neighbor felt free to “treat me like a woman.”  That’s what I am, and I like being a woman. Ok, I realize that there are muscled women out there and empathetic men, but there are also undeniable physical differences that are typical to both genders.  Jesus is man, obviously, but one of God’s greatest gifts to us is Mother Mary. She felt Life in her womb, held “all these things” in her heart, and noticed a need at the wedding feast at Cana, nudging her Son into public life.  I don’t think it a last minute thought that Jesus chose the crucifixion to give us woman… behold your mother. From the cross, He gave to us a wonderful gift, the sinless feminine.

So, I am grateful that my neighbor brought his muscle mass to my backyard, and my burden was lightened.  I am thanking God today that in His infinite wisdom, He created us male and female.  I’m praying that we can rejoice in God for our differences, rather than tear each other apart for them

Twists and Turned

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I drove a few hours to visit my daughter, and support her in an event she was involved in.  I missed a turn, and thought, “I should just turn around, but instead I followed the car’s GPS, still thinking this will lead me back to the highway.  After a few minutes, as I started to wind around hills, and the roads became narrower, I realized my GPS had chosen an alternate, shall I say more “scenic”, route.  As sights like cow pastures, farm equipment, small towns became the view, I abandoned hope of a highway. My previous “fifteen minutes early” arrival time was now slowly inching toward ten minutes late.  I thought, you have two choices here.  You can be frustrated and angered, by your loss of time, for thinking about things weighing heavily on your mind that a leisurely highway trip would have facilitated, or you can relent, and see what this “road less traveled” can teach you.” 

Knowing the “right” decision, I relented.  That’s not to say that frustrated and angry didn’t make an appearance from time to time, and I was still pining for the possible highway at the next turn.

My first epiphany was that a deep red car was truly not for me.  My new car color was the correct one.  Hey, I know that this was not a life changing realization, but after following four  slooooooow red vehicles for half an hour, then having three more in a row come, from an opposite direction, in the middle of nowhere; I concluded that I personally would have tired of that color.  Ha, this is good, we were getting somewhere, progress.

It was a cloudy, sometimes rainy trip, but I did begin to appreciate the green landscape, farms and even the old half fallen barns, as I imagined exploring them as a kid.  It made me remember my dream of country life, as a young adult…the house we once built in a rural area, and how life has its twists and turns.  Small towns and sprawling countryside had me appreciating their simplicity, and made me long for that life I had dreamed of………an hour later….

Oh look, a highway, hooray!  I can make up some of this “lost” time.  Lost, really?, I had to rethink that.  Now what was that pressing burden, I wanted to ponder…  the burden that I just set down on that long and winding road  Oh, I’ll think about that on the way home. Look at the countryside.

God likes those twists and turns, for me at least.  Maybe the simple life isn’t a place, but a mindset, a choice.  I can make a whole lot of things complicated. I do have to address my burden, but maybe a caveat to simplicity will give me some clarity. 

On the way home…

“Yes highway all the way!…  why is the GPS taking me this way?… I think this is the wrong way… I should be on a highway soon…maybe that next turn… awe, what a nice farm…”squirrel”! ……..

Thank you Lord

Inspiring Thoughts

For our military, each fold of the American Flag has meaning. 

  1. The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
  2. The second fold signifies our belief in eternal life.
  3. The third fold is made in honor and tribute of the veteran departing our ranks, and who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of our country to attain peace.
  4. The fourth fold exemplifies our weaker nature as citizens trusting in God; it is to Him we turn for His divine guidance.
  5. The fifth fold is an acknowledgment to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right, but it is still our country, right or wrong.”
  6. The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
  7. shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.
  8. The ninth fold is an honor to womanhood, for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty, and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
  9. The 10th fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first-born.
  10. The 11th fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  11. The 12th fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.
  12. The last fold, when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”
  13. The seventh fold is a tribute to our armed forces, for it is through the armed forces that we protect our country and our flag against all enemies.
  14. The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the

Memorial Day

Graduation St Francis de Sales 2015 - 0244 - Version 4This day we honor those who have died to protect us.  It will be full of American standards: cook outs, family gatherings, and hopefully thoughts of gratitude.  War is such a disturbing thing.  

My father fought in WWII.  He went in an 18 year old boy determined to do his part.  He came home a man forever changed by what he experienced. He wouldn’t talk about it much, but he lost part of himself there. He witnessed men dying beside him, but still had to keep his post.  He watched a massacre on a beach, then had to go up that beach himself.  He walked through the streets of Paris to the sounds of boos. His body was a host to parasites, physical strain and absolute fatigue. 

My father came home with his life, but a part of himself was left there.  Today, I mourn those losses too.  I pray for those, who made the ultimate sacrifice, for their families, for their legacy.  I pray that we may never lose sight of what these young men and women are prepared to do, to keep us safe, and that they are safe themselves.  I am grateful for these fallen heroes, who gave their lives that I might have mine.

I wish you all a Memorial Day of gratitude, appreciation and humility…that we may celebrate these heroes with the honor their ultimate sacrifice merits.