It Happened Again

>> Monday, April 16, 2018

It happened again. This morning on the treadmill. A “life moment”.  

Saturday, I purchased a new iPhone 8. A friend who knows the tech language went with me to answer the gigabyte and pixel questions. He and his 12-year old grandson traveled home with me to make sure I was all set up. As he unpacked the accessories, he explained to his grandson what the short cord was for. 

“It’s for when you want to listen to music on your iPhone. You plug one end into the phone and the other end is where you plug your ear buds.” Since I don’t listen to music on my iPhone I paid no attention to his explanation.  

This morning I stepped up on the treadmill and placed my headphones on my head.  It is my routine to listen to podcasts as I walk. I reached for my phone to plug them in. My phone had no little hole for inserting the headphone cord. I turned that phone upside down and backwards looking for the hole. 

“This is a new phone. My old phone had a place for the headphones. Why on earth would the new one not?”  

And then my lightbulb came on.  That little cord. That’s what it’s for. Not just for music but for podcasts too.  

I walked in silence. 

Life is just like that. Many times, we don’t really pay attention because it doesn’t affect us. And then we discover it really does. Do you know how to be around an autistic child? Until I became friends with someone who has an autistic child, I paid no attention to the articles and books on their differences. Knowing I would be around them, I devoured information to help me understand not only the child but what the parent was experiencing. 

We just never know when a “life lesson” will occur. They are happening all around us.

“I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw.” Proverbs 24:32 (NIV)


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The Grass is Not Greener

>> Tuesday, March 13, 2018

I stood in line at the bank behind a short lady, about the same height as me. But in front of her was a very tall young man. I listened in on their conversation. 

“So, do you play basketball?”

“No, I’m an IT consultant.”

“But you probably played basketball when you were younger. Right?”

“No, I’ve never played basketball.”

“I wish I was tall. It is so difficult to be this short. I have to ask for help at the grocery store to get items off the top shelf. There are so many things around the house I can’t accomplish because I’m so short. It must be great to be that tall. How tall are you?

“6’ 10”.

“Oh my. That’s really tall.”

“Well it has a whole set of issues I will have to deal with the rest of my life. Most chairs don’t fit me.  I have to duck through every door. It’s hard to find clothes for me. And being this tall comes with back problems. I don’t know how long I can keep working. My back is too painful. I’m only 26 years old.”

It was his turn to be waited on, so the conversation ceased. But my spinning mind did not. How often we see others as having advantages over us. We do a lot of “if only” in our head. We have no idea what the other person is dealing with.

Grass is not always greener on the other side.


“…..but if you’re content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself.” Luke 18:14b (MSG)



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Pain

>> Thursday, March 8, 2018

I struggled to remove my shoe.  It was the slip on type and usually just came right off when I used my other foot to hold it down while I pulled my foot out. Standing in my closet, I reached down to tackle the issue with my hand.

Pain.  Excruciating pain…somewhere in the area between my hip and back. I was frozen in position.

Moments passed as I contemplated my next move. How long could I just stay bent over? When I could breathe again, I shuffled my way to the bench in the center of the closet. I yelled as I lowered myself. I have a high pain tolerance. When I say I yelled, I mean an instantaneous loud cry of pain…surprising me.

From that moment on I moved in slow motion.

I don’t like to take pills, but I began a regimen of Advil every four hours. I alternated between the heating pad and ice pack. The rest of my life came to a halt. Managing the pain was my focus.

I had already stripped my bed for the Saturday change of sheets. I stared at it. How in the world was I going to pull a fitted sheet over the mattress? No position was comfortable. Standing after being seated produced the aforementioned yell.  Sorry if I offend, but just going to the bathroom was a painful ordeal.

And the next day was Sunday.  No way could I shower, get dressed, drive and sit in church.

As I write this, I am on day six. Just the fact that I can produce words from my brain is an indication that I am improved. I’ve taken no Advil today. Life is coming back into focus. And so are my thoughts…about people I’ve heard say “my back went out” or “I’m having back trouble right now.” My response was always to extend sympathy and prayer.

I have a whole new understanding of what those words entail.

When I think back over the activities I have been unable to do this past week, my thoughts turn to the people who permanently cannot do those things. My empathy for them has been taken to a whole new level.

My heart is full of gratitude for the little things.


 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” 1 Peter 3:8 (NIV)



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My Rearview Mirror

>> Monday, February 26, 2018

I pulled out of my subdivision and headed west to meet a friend for coffee.  Glancing in my rearview mirror, I watched as a police car pulled out of a side street and lined up behind me. Instantly I was on the alert.  Was I going the correct speed? Where was my driver’s license and registration (it is a fairly new car)? There was a right turn ahead. Be sure and stay in your lane as you turn. 

Another glance. He was still there. I needed to change lanes.  Blinker on. Checked for traffic. Slowly edged over.  He did too.  But he turned left at the next intersection and I kept going straight.

Whew!

As I drove, I thought about my reaction. He wasn’t out to get me. Police officers are there to help…protect…keep the peace. I see several regularly when I meet my friends at Starbucks. They take their break there. If they get in line behind me I smile and buy their drink. I have police officers that attend my church.

They aren’t the bad guys. 

More thinking as I drove. In fact I was thinking so hard about it I missed my turn and ended up parking in a different spot than usual. A blog must be written. 

So here it is.

The first 30 years of my life I lived tense and on the alert because the God I had been told about was following me. He was watching my every move and ready to pounce if I made a slight error. He was always there and I was always questioning my thoughts and behavior.

Then I discovered a different God. 

My God loves me. If I stray into a different lane, He’s there to help. If I send out the wrong signal, He gently corrects me. I don’t have to be tense and afraid. He’s gentle and kind. Yes, he’s always there, but as a wonderful Friend who cares about me.

I’m free to travel without concern about who’s in my rearview mirror. 



 “This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed His life for us.” 1 John 3:16 (MSG) 


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