Archive for May, 2013

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I am so touched that I was  nominated for a Beautiful Blogger Award by the lovely Noor Gharbo at http://touchofinsanity.wordpress.com.  Her beautiful pictures and words prove that different is beautiful.  Indeed!  

With writing, we pour our heart and soul sometimes into our thoughts and it means the world knowing someone else appreciates your take on life or what you have to say!  I find it’s very easy to be both inspired and intimidated by all the amazing writers out there.  I hope  my readers and my amazing writer friends continue to write inspired by the gift that resides in you.

Not only am I thankful; I also wish to apologize to Noor for taking many months to publish this.

Two reasons:  First:   As bloggers/writers we all try to find avenues to self-promote and get readers and that is the part I hate and am laziest at.  But I realize cyberspace is a big space and sometimes you have to ask people, “Hey, check out my blog….if you have time……someday…..if you ever feel like it……and you’re not busy living LIFE.”  I get it.  It’s hard, it just is.

And second, I still don’t think I KNOW HOW TO EMBED this award in my blog, but I am going to try!  And return the favor to some of my favorite bloggers!

Now here are the rules for the Beautiful Blogger Award!

  1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you
  2. Post the award on your blog
  3. Share seven facts about yourself
  4. Nominate seven bloggers and tell them you nominated them

Seven facts about myself:

1.  I am grateful for so much:  Family, friends, pets, life, lessons, love and all those other cliche words that give our life meaning!

2.  I think adversity makes you stronger, but unfortunately I haven’t totally mastered not whining about it, but I’m trying.

3.  I possess all these qualities:  quirkiness, depth (too much sometimes!), lover of art, dance, music, and architecture, and a fine balance of pragmatism, passion, and rediculosity!

4.  I love photography as much as I love writing.  Above all I love the creative process.  It’s where my TRUE JOY is found!

5.  I am full of faith, but real enough to admit I wrestle with doubts.   I too often trip over daily trials on my journey of faith and great expectations!

6. I have a curse and a gift when it comes to intuition.

7.  I love people in general and have great hope for our big blue marble we inhabit, even though dismal news assaults us daily.  The question for all of us is really, what is my role in alleviating suffering or fixing things that  sadden me, anger me, or disturb me?  

8.  (OK, so 8 is not allowed, but I’m kind of a fan the music of U2, but you already knew that!)

I also write at:      http://lizlogic.wordpress.com    and            http://writersreflect.com

See beauty in what others miss.  Live inspired and become inspiration!   Remember u2areloved!

Seven Beautiful Bloggers that Liz Loves has nominated and you should definitely check out!

1.  http://philosophermouseofthehedge.wordpress.com(Simple observations, analysis, and common sense comments…oh and beautiful pictures too!)

2. http://thebeggarsbakery.net/  (Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread!  Recovery/motherhood/life)

3. http://lisanlyons.com/  Irish music, oceans, and God’s love.  (I love her voice, her beautiful pictures, and her Godly/Irish perspective!)

4.http://angloswisscat.wordpress.com/  (The cat Chronicles)

5. http://paws4udogs.wordpress.com/  (Helping People Enjoy Their Dogs)

6. http://beeseeker.wordpress.com/  (Beautiful poems and beautiful photos!)

7. http://musingsfromaworkaholic.com  (A mom, photographer, and writer who knows how to keep it real!)

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God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say thank you? ” — William Arthur Ward

 Photo by Liz Gray

I saw this caption in a travel magazine promoting  tourism of the country of Turkey.  I saw it and immediately thought:  I wish that was my original idea!

It’s not.  But the practice of the concept can be an original idea for you, for me, for all of us, starting now:   This very moment.

Stop multi-tasking for a second as you read this.  Think about this deeply.  Look around.  Are you inside or outside?  If you are inside, where are you?  At home?  At work?  On a mobile device in the great outdoors?   Take a panoramic mental snapshot of what’s around you:  Architecture, mementos, photographs, nature, security, landscapes, gifts, birds, business, people, stars, flowers, insects, sky, sunrise, clouds–signs of life abounds everywhere.   When you look at the world, what is it that you see?

Do you see beauty?  Do you see what God has created?  Even if it’s man made, did not God put the original idea, the skill set to craft, the desire to create, first in the mind of you or someone who thought I’m going to build this amazing bridge or paint this amazing portrait or mix compounds in a new way and create a cure.

We live in a distracted world.  For sure, we have inherited a problematic world that multiplies daily in terms of crisis and depth of despair.  The news sucks, people everywhere around us are sick and dying, we are overworked, underpaid, overstressed, and undernourished in every way—spiritually, physically, and emotionally.   We are slaves to too much technology.  We can’t keep up with our own self, much less anyone else.

How do you turn it off?  How do you silence all the chaos that surrounds you and ensuing drama in your head?  What is it that works for you?  Do you have something?

  • Supportive Friends
  • Faith
  • Prayers
  • Hope
  • Music
  • Art
  • Love of or for someone other than you

I hope you have one, two, or even all of the above!

      We can’t always change our circumstance in life.  That means there is only one thing we can change:

Our Perspective

      I don’t know about you, but when I look at the world, this is what I see:

Flowers, character lines on old faces, color, deliciousness, babies, painting, design, patterns, solutions, craft work, words, kindness, goodness, feats of wonder,  sculptures, melody, truth, beauty…….

On and on it goes.

Sometimes I complain, believe me I do!  But with faith and daily prayers, good friends who hold me accountable to truth I can live by, the symphony of music, and an attitude that is growing a little more each day in gratitude, I am discovering that God’s love for me is bigger than any problem or emotion.  I still don’t measure up to my ideal version of myself, but knowing God loves me despite my flaws (many) and forgives me despite my guilt (much) frees me from self-condemnation while at the same time humbles me that He still has even more blessing in store for me.

Faith as a belief is an essential partnership with God which allows you to focus less on you, more on God, less on circumstance, and more on acceptance of what is.  We can ride the wave, go with the flow, and bend like a willow tree.   Faith as a practice is not about appearing or trying to be perfect or fit a stereotype, but to be the real you as God intended in order to be at peace.   Quirky, funny, emotional, deep, driven, ridiculous…..whatever it is, just be YOU so you can get past all that and start tending to the needs of others.

May you step out today in courage and stop fighting that which you can’t control, start changing anything about yourself that you can and know you should, and may you have enough heart to look around and see beauty…..everywhere.  This is the confirmation that God sets in each of our hearts that whispers you too are loved. 

Ready?  One, two, three…..breathe in!  INHALE LOVE.  EXHALE.  GRATITUDE

MORE THOUGHTS ON FAITH AND GRATITUDE:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”   Epicurus

“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”  Elizabeth Gilbert “Eat, Pray, Love”

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”  A.A. Milne – “Winnie the Pooh”

 (Quotes from GoodReads)

Not a Hopeless Case

Posted: May 16, 2013 in Hope, Loss, Love
Tags: , ,

Love EnoughHave you ever known someone in the pit?  Someone other people need to take a break from?  You know–someone with issues? 

How could they just screw up their life like that?  What a colossal failure.  Why didn’t they just decide better?  Some people need to just get in gear and pull themselves together.

Yeah sure they should.  If they could just be more put together like you.  Like me.  NOT!

See the problem is when you’re in the pit, you don’t need someone to come along side you and condemn you for being in the pit, even if it is a disaster of your own making.  No, what people need is a friend.  A friend who is honest and understands bad choices lead to bad consequences but they love you anyway.  A pit-dweller needs someone who will climb down and sit beside them and stay awhile.    Not an enabler, but a disarmer of that which entangles you is what is called for.

Judgment is reserved for those who hear our trials and determine the consequences. But mercy?  Well that’s a higher way.  Mercy is dispensed liberally from those who have a compassionate heart and realize that forgiveness can lead a person living in shame out of darkness quicker than condemning them.

Next time you see the so-called bum on the corner, realize maybe they aren’t just another bum, but a hurting heart that took a series of wrong turns coupled with some circumstances beyond their control.  Maybe the teenager who is always wasted hates himself more than the people who pass him by totally unaware, except for a momentary case of disdain.  Maybe the person you know who is behaving stupidly needs to be reminded that you care enough to let them know you cannot stand idly by and watch them destroy their life and the lives of those around them.  Confront them.  In love.  In truth.   Maybe they’ll lash out.  Or perhaps they’ll break.  Maybe they’ll just deny.  Or avoid you.   Be courageous and persist.  The truth takes a stab at our dark hearts until hopefully some of the light will seep back in.

We all need someone who loves enough to hold us accountable, but we especially need it when we’re being gripped by that which can destroy us whether it’s outward behaviors or inward attitudes.  We need someone who won’t let us blame others for our mistakes and someone brave enough to not let us be a perpetual victim.  A real no-nonsense, no-excuses type friend is someone who lets you be you without trying to change you, but draws the line when you cross over into narcissism just because you’re down and out.  A true friend will build your self-esteem with encouragement but will call you out at the first seeds of arrogance.   A friend for life is the one who will sit beside you in the pit and never let you go back to the place that helped you get here.  They know your dirt but love you enough to not pass it around for others to inspect.

No man (or woman) is an island.  It’s true; sometimes you can’t make it on your own.  You can’t save everyone you ever encounter but if there is someone in your life whose story is stirring up unrest in your soul, all I can say is this.  Help them.  Go get them.  Don’t ignore your instincts.  Be the life-preserver that allows rescue to happen.   Above all, pray for them.  Be courageous enough to say something.   You may not be able to save them or change them, but God can.   When they are ready to choose change, you can be their biggest cheerleader to encourage them to hang in there and take steps in a different direction.

       Don’t abandon the hurting or injured.  Don’t pass by the down and outers.    Don’t hold back your love from those who need it most.  None of us are a hopeless case.  And in case you feel forgotten or neglected or abandoned, rest assured if you are still here, even if people have forgotten you, God has not.

Never forget that!    Hold on.  You may not feel it yet.   You may not believe it.  But you too are loved.

“Touch me.  Take me to that other place.   Reach me.   I know I’m not a hopeless case…..”  More than a song, perhaps it’s a prayer of someone you know.  Who will you reach out to and love today?