Worry

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Ok, so here is my dilemma, and I know that I am not the only one out there that feels this way.  

I worry

And then, I remember that Scripture says,  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…….” (Matt 6 :25)

and so, I stop worrying and I trust

and then that little voice inside my head says, ‘if you don’t worry then you don’t care.  If you stop worrying and are happy and forget the problem, then it’s going to get worse and again, THEN YOU DON’T CARE!!!’

Do you know what I’m talking about?  How can I dismiss a real problem and not worry about it

But….

what does my worrying do for the problem other than make me sick and anxious?

What a vicious circle!

So, today I will take my worry and lift it up to my God and listen to the words of Jesus who says not to worry.

I will trust….

I will have faith…..

I will believe……

And, I will quiet that voice because I do CARE!  I care enough to give it to God and to trust him/her.

That’s caring – that’s really caring!

I had a visitor today

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I took my dog for a walk today and I noticed a woman at the top of my street.  I watched as she went to a neighbor’s door.  It was only a moment later that I saw her on the street again, headed for the next house.  Oh, I thought, it must be a Jehovah’s Witness visiting all the houses on my street.  How can I get back to my house without her seeing me so that I can hide when the doorbell rings?

And then, I had another thought……this woman is walking in the cold and ringing doorbells to spread the Good News.  How dare I be unkind to a child of God who believes so much that she is willing to spend her time on foot risking doors being slammed in her face. Just who do I think that I am?

Yes, my beliefs may be different, but that doesn’t really matter.  What is important is that we both love the Lord and so, we must love each other. 

I met her outside, halfway up my very long driveway, and we had a very pleasant chat.  She extended an invitation to a couple of meetings that they were having.  I politely took the literature and wished her a good day.  She seemed so happy to have someone treat her with kindness.

I walked back to my house with tears in my eyes.  How could I not be touched by such pure and simple faith?

I thank God for the people who pound the pavements, feed the poor, service the lonely, and care for the sick.  They are Jesus’ hands and feet in the world.  

Today I opened my door to one of His faithful servants, I opened the door to Him.

Please don’t limit my God

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God is so much more than the boxes that we put Him/Her in!  I grow so tired of those who try to define God.  After all, the Pharisees thought that they knew God, they certainly knew all the rules! And we see how Jesus blew them up.

God is bigger than our thoughts, definitions, explanations, descriptions and DOCTRINE

God is more…

more compassionate

more forgiving

more merciful

more loving

God is more than anything that we can know

but in the quiet moments

we can feel

 

A Surprise Gift

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I walked to my mailbox yesterday and saw a package in it.  I looked at the Amazon box and wondered what it could be.  I couldn’t remember ordering anything, but it was my name and address on the label….hmmmmm.

I took it inside and opened it.  There was no packing slip or note, just a beautiful journal.  The pages had gorgeous water-colored sketches, simple phrases and writing prompts.  I’ve never been very consistent with journaling, but this one looked quite inviting, and, it did come from an unknown giver……

I called Amazon to see if I could solve this mystery and, just as I expected – and hoped – it was from my daughter! Such a sweet surprise!

So, today I began.  My first ‘assignment?’ List 5 things that make me smile.

Without divulging my entire list, you can be sure that my daughter is on there!!!

A Blue Day

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Did you ever have a blue day? A day when a painful memory resurfaces and you start to slide down the slippery slope of self-pity?  Well, that was today!  Old feelings creep into the psyche and before you know it, you are sinking into deep waters…..and, no one is hurt by this wallowing but YOU!

And then, something really good happens, at least it did for me today.  I had a conversation with my daughter who echoed back to me so many words that I have shared with her over the years.  She reached out to me with such tenderness and concern that I was catapulted right out of the depths of the ego pool into the sea of gratitude where I can so comfortably keep afloat. 

So, thank you God for the gift of my daughter, her beauty, her wisdom, her love! And for her hand that reached out to me when I needed it!

Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

 

There’s something about snow

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Yes, it’s March and I’m not really thrilled about yet another snow storm in the northeast, but in spite of all the grumbling, there’s just something about snow……

Perhaps it is:

the childlike excitement we feel when we see the first flakes of winter

or maybe

it’s the purest white that falls from the heavens and rests so gently on all of creation

or maybe

it’s the way that it persuades us to spend the day inside under a blanket with tea and a good book

or maybe

it’s the way that it invites us to slow down.  Stop. Gaze out the window. Watch the snow fall. Be thankful for the warm home that you are blessed with, be thankful for God’s many gifts. Be thankful!

Sometimes a frog is just a frog (not a prince)

Sometimes life brings us wonderful surprises, like it did for the beautiful princess who kissed the frog who because a handsome prince!  But, sometimes we ‘kiss the frog,’ and the frog stays a frog.

We all try to help others, solve problems, spread love and peace, and sometimes our efforts make a real difference.  There are also, unfortunately, times when our attempts go unnoticed.  This can be so discouraging, and causes us to be tempted to give up on a person or a situation.  There is no transformation into a prince – the frog remains the frog!

But, here are two things to think about:

  1. We don’t always see the results of our efforts, and I don’t think that is always a bad thing.  
  2. It causes us to look inward, to our motivation.  We keep trying because that is who we are, and regardless of the outcome, our actions speak to our character.

There are many princes waiting to be transformed, but the world also needs frogs!

Going into the desert

I had a wonderful conversation with a dear friend a few days back.  I was telling her how I am struggling with a few things right now and she responded, “It’s as though you are in exile, like the Israelites and Jesus were.”

I haven’t been able to stop reflecting on this and what it means for me right now.  So, here is a bit of what I’m thinking about:

  • The Israelites spent 40 years in the desert, much longer than the trip should have been, but there was a reason.  I need to sit with God and open myself up to what He wants me to learn from my own wanderings right now.
  • Even though the Israelites felt lost and abandoned, they weren’t.  God was there, watching over them, feeding them and quenching their thirst.  God was there, and God is here now.
  • Jesus went into the desert to pray.  My desert can be an opportunity to pray without distractions.  Letting go and dis-attaching is so important to prayer. 
  • Jesus was tempted by earthly things.  There are temptations that we face each day.  We must not become so desensitized that we don’t see them for what they are.

We are all led to the desert at times in our lives.  May we be open to where Our Lord is leading us.   

 

Lent: what you do for lent vs. what lent does for you

There are some things that I believe in, always have, always hope to:

 I do believe in God.

I believe that this God has many names, love being the main one.

I believe that there is spiritual value in worshiping communities and rituals, but more so for the end result than the process.

 I believe that a relationship with God changes you, if you so desire to be changed. 

And it is these tenets that lead me to the this post.  

Lent is a season of repentance, and by that I mean stopping, examining and repenting, or changing the direction that I am going.  There are many things that may help with this process, fasting, prayer, all the practices that one associates with lent. But then the question must be, ‘where do I go after the 40 days?’  Did I stay true to my promises? Did I sacrifice, pray more, attend church services?  If so, that’s great! I did these things ‘for lent,’ but what did lent do for (or to) me?

As with any real spiritual ritual or practice, it’s not enough to ‘do it.’  There are no boxes to check and no trophies to be won.  At the end of lent, I should be able to ask the question, ‘what did this lent do for (or to) me?  Am I somehow different, was I transformed? 

This 40 day journey ends with the Resurrection.  This is what lent can do. We can be transformed and filled with new life. We can be different than we were when we started.

It’s not a question of what I can do for lent, the question is, what can lent do for me?