Posts Tagged ‘love’

03
Feb

Time Is to Love As Wind Is to Fire…

explosion

In my teen years I had a walk-in closet in my room and I decided to put inspirational quotes on the back of the closet door to remind me who I wanted to be. Since this was pre-Google and pre-Internet and pre-app, I found the quotes in a variety of places. I literally tore the paper I wrote them on (no copy and paste function and I didn’t own a laptop or typewriter then!) to give the paper and quote a more creative twist.

99% of what I wrote on the back of my door I can no longer recall. But the one that actually permanently lodged itself in my long-term memory was this:

Time is to love

As wind is to fire–

It extinguishes the small

And kindles the great.

It is a modernization of a quote by Roger de Bussy-Rabutin. And it seems particularly appropriate for discussing how my Heartpaths group prayer meetings are structured.

13
Feb

Word of the Day: Love

Heart - Sky

Every February I get a little irritated. Why? As I read Facebook at this time of year, I will encounter at least one status statement from a single person who despise the celebration of Valentine’s Day.

I understand their feelings since the American version of this holiday tends to focus on romantic love. And if you’re not single by choice, then Valentine’s Day is proverbial salt in your wounds.

But, we Americans, single or otherwise, are missing the point of this love celebration. In a world where people are burned alive and beheaded while these horrific acts are being videotaped, we all could use a little more love.

Love isn’t just about romance. Love is also about caring when no one else cares. Love is about being kind when it’s easier to be unkind. Love is about patience when you’re running late. Love is about extending peace and joy to those you encounter each day.

12
Nov

Fast Five: No Con 2 John…

2 John

2 John

One could fairly argue that both Obadiah and Paul, the authors of the books of Obadiah and Philemon, are fiery in the way they write. Obadiah probably had a chip on his shoulder about Edom since they probably participated, either directly or indirectly, in the demise of Judah. Paul is well-known for his controversial writing and his inability to tolerate immaturity from some believers. Today we delve into a book authored by someone often referred to as “the disciple Jesus loved,” aka John. And John is the antithesis of Obadiah and Paul.

John writes like a poet and a “lover.” This is true of four of the books he authored in the New Testament: the gospel of John, 1st John, 2nd John, and 3rd John. His last authored book, The Revelation, is much more brazen, most likely because it’s the result of a prophetic vision he was given about the end of the world. Let’s be honest–the end of the world isn’t going to be pretty. Writing about it as if it is, is probably inappropriate.

20
Feb

“The Type” meets “Perfection”…

King Tut

You’re going to be here for a while today. War and Peace was shorter.  

At this time of year most couples rejoice in romantic love. Instead, I contend with one of the most persistent memories of my life…the day I ditched the LSH, which just happened to occur in February. What led to such a “lovely,”  “rational” decision?

Prior to meeting the LSH I had a “type” that I dated. They tended to be engineering majors and were tall, thin, and brainy. I would swoon when they deigned to spend time with me, instantly losing 10 lbs. because of a lack of interest in food. I would lose sleep fawning over them in my dreams. In other words I would be a nervous wreck.

Not so with the LSH. When he arrived in my life, I gained 10 lbs. and slept like a log. So, of course, in my feeble mind, I thought of him as just a passing interest until the next tall, thin wannabe engineer appeared. Seeing that he was getting serious, I felt I was being unfair to him. So, I broke up with him and felt very good about the decision. The LSH, on the other hand, reluctantly let go of his claim on me romantically and wound up deeply wounded. Let’s just say he got emotional and I’ve only seen that twice in 30 years.

Thankfully, God intervened. One should understand that when God intervenes in MaryAnn’s life, He has a rather sick sense of humor. Within 24 hours of this “good decision,” I came down with the worst case of hives ever seen. I was one massive, red, itchy welt from head to toe (I know what you’re thinking–great, attractive “package” to use to find the next engineer). I would eventually fall asleep after nonstop itching, only to find the welt even larger, because I had apparently been itching in my sleep. Unfortunately, the university clinic wasn’t open in the middle of the night and I knew I needed help right away. The closest ER was on the opposite side of town and I had no car on campus. Neither did a lot of my friends–parking was a nightmare at our university. The only person I could think of with a car? You guessed it…the LSH…the very guy I had ditched only a few days beforehand. I couldn’t possibly ask him to take me to the ER! But, I knew I had no choice.

The “wrong guy” graciously, quietly, quickly picked me up and carted me to the ER. While at the ER, the doctors and nurses were bewildered as to how I had contracted hives, since I couldn’t provide any possible new allergen in my current life. Finally, they said, “Has anything unusual happened in your life recently?” And my mind instantly flashed to the “break-up.” Really, God? My mind wandered to the interesting “plagues” God gave the Egyptians when Moses and “crew” decided to leave town. I guess I “walk” like an Egyptian.

Then, the LSH graciously, quietly, and quickly brought me back to my dorm and stayed with me to make sure I was okay. In that moment, I saw him as a compassionate, loving man who only wanted the best for me. I thought, “I am an idiot to let him go!” and finally said the three words he so wanted to hear–“I love you.”

A few weeks later he proposed, much to my surprise. The sick, twisted lesson from God taught me something pretty important–I was letting my vision of perfection get in the way of His vision of perfection. And, His vision of perfection doesn’t have a “type.” In fact God often chooses those who appear to be the opposite of perfection to the world to become His vision of perfection. Indeed, I am a reflection of that plan (or at least on a good day)!

The LSH has been one mighty good partner in life, endlessly saving my rear end from one near disaster to the next, because it has taken me a very long time to figure out my health adventures and what I am meant to do in this world. And he has done so with patience, calmness, quietness and love each and every time. In fact, he’s been flawless in doing that–he’s been perfect. So much so that I’m tearing up just thinking about it. And despite my many flaws, he views me the same way. In fact his first quiet criticism of my blog? I pick on myself too much. 🙂 Yep, that would be my honey. His second? “Quit calling me the LSH. I don’t consider myself ‘long-suffering.'”

What are we missing out on because we fail to see that someone is perfect for us or for the situation? What are we missing out on by not seeing a potential or present job as “good enough”? What are we missing out on when we fail to realize that everyone is a “work in progress” that God has designed specifically to help us become His own eventual perfection? Are we asking too much of our children and demanding that they be perfect, when we should be admiring all of their strengths, talents and beauty? Are we missing a potential new best friend because someone has far different qualities and views than we do?

Now, the counselor part of me has one caution here! There are people in the world that need some help in becoming God’s eventual perfection. And part of the reason they need help is because they have been a victim of someone’s abuse at some point in their lives. Because they often know no other pattern, they too, can become abusers. I am NOT suggesting, for one nanosecond, that one should stay in an abusive relationship AT ALL. Relationships should not chronically bring someone physical, emotional or sexual abuse/pain! In those situations I hope the abused escape for good, find their own healing with the help of others, and that the abuser(s) find(s) help as well and change(s) PERMANENTLY. We must stop this pattern…all of us.

But if you are wondering if you’re meant to be where you currently are in life, I hope God does not intervene with one massive welt! (And that you don’t walk like an Egyptian, because honestly, their walking style is a little uncomfortable.) I hope you are smart and figure that out and enjoy God’s definition of perfection. So, since the hubby has told me he doesn’t consider himself long-suffering, forever after in my blog, he will simply be known as the PH (the Perfect Husband). This should appeal to his love of all things “science,” but I will probably hear about this one, too. 🙂

Point to Ponder Challenge # 1: Who, in your life are you underestimating? What could you do to show that person they are more than what they appear to be? 

Point to Ponder Challenge # 2: Looking for a new job? Not sure if the current job is right for you? What experiences could you pick up or are picking up by being in your present situation? What would change if YOU became the “perfect employee”? (Ouch!)

Point to Ponder Challenge # 3: Think you are being a little too tough on your children? What are their strengths and talents? Go find them and tell them that!

Point to Ponder Challenge # 4: Wondering if you’re in an abusive relationship? Here’s a telltale sign: If the abuser is isolating you from your family, friends, job, and educational opportunities, then it’s possible that you are in an abusive relationship. The statistics emphatically state that this will not change until the abused person leaves the situation for at least a very long time. Even in our small community, there are resources and organizations standing ready to help. Please don’t wait–get the assistance you need and leave! It’s often the first step in the abuser finding help and changing permanently. It’s actually the best thing you could do for everyone involved. Difficult to do? Absolutely. But, your life is at stake, my friend, and possibly the lives of others. I applaud YOU for your “20 seconds of courage.” Get going. And for the record, I care about you…a lot. 

Point to Ponder Challenge # 5: Think you might be abusive in your relationships? I applaud you–you recognize this and that’s an excellent, awesome beginning to becoming a much happier, healthier YOU! Again, even in our small community, there are resources and organizations standing ready to help you overcome this pattern and change it forever. Please get help immediately so that you no longer have to regret or worry about past and future abusive actions. Please get help immediately so that your family or significant others are no longer in harm’s way. It’s the only way to succeed at this. Seldom can one change this pattern without help. So, please do it today! Be the miracle by admitting you need help from a professional and seek that person out NOW. And for the record, I care about you…a lot. 

Tomorrow’s Post: The very first MIP “Slow Reader Thursday”…

 

 

14
Feb

Love Letter for my Readers…

love letter

Since today is all about passion and pursuing love, today I’d like to share about my passion for my readers. Here is the “gift” I hope to leave all of you:

  1. That you will pause to think. So much of our lives are “automated” now, whether that is because of technology or because we have so many routine things to do each day. While technology is a wonderful aid and the to-do list does need to get done, I fear that our society is failing to think because of these two “tyrannies” and think creatively. And if we fail to think, we fail to solve the pressing problems of our day and of our society. Honestly, I think that is a lot of why Congress can’t seem to get anything done these days.
  2. That you will find your passion. I have spent over 50 years denying myself the one thing that truly makes me happy. And while my circuitous route of denial has taught me a lot, the fact remains that I probably could have been a much more productive citizen had I decided to pursue writing in my early days. I hope you don’t make that mistake. But if you have, fear not! Even us old people can pursue many passions.
  3. That you will embrace your passion. I feel that all of us are here for a reason–a reason that no one else can achieve. When you embrace your passion and pursue it, great things happen. For you and everyone around you.
  4. That you will act. Too much of the world thinks great thoughts and then abandons them. There is much need and much soul poverty going on in our world and it often causes even more heartache for those who do try to act and give something to the world in a positive way. In doing that, you may find you gave something to yourself.
  5. That you will share. I know it’s scary to post things in an open web site, such as this, but you are my “teachers.” When you share your own experiences, it enriches mine and often enriches others.
  6. That you will become the best version of yourself. This, unfortunately, doesn’t happen overnight. Oh, how I wish it would. But, the honest truth is that sometimes we just aren’t ready for evolving into the next version of ourselves and have to be “pushed” into it. But, in so doing, I believe that we affect so many in a great way.
  7. That you will love others more than yourself. I am denying a huge part of myself right now to do this blog, honestly. But, I believe in doing my best to help you on your journey to your “best version.” When I am focused on that, I edge, ever so slightly, towards being my best version.
  8. That you will laugh. So far the blog is pretty serious. But, I am in the “learning curve” of this blog, so hang in there with me. When we laugh, it’s easier to learn and explore.
  9. That you will explore. Venture into a new area, one that intrigues you in a good way. Learning is the great age-defying secret of our world and there is plenty of it at our fingertips now. So, be curious. Investigate. Research. Learn….and perhaps, most importantly, “bookmark.”
  10. That you will face your fears and get honest. I put these two items together because our society is scared of honesty! Being honest is often a very unnerving activity. I am often accused of being “too honest.” But, I don’t believe in playing “mind games.” My experience is that honesty often invites others to be honest and leads to confronting our foibles and eventually leads to that better version I hope we all strive to achieve. Facing our fears often leads to the same outcome.

 

When we become the best version of ourselves (or approach it as closely as we can), it is liberating. It is a freedom our forefathers envisioned for our country. It is worth giving everything to see it to fruition. It is, for at least a brief glimpse, Heaven.

Tomorrow’s Post: Why Men (and Boys) Need Women…