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Here’s to All of You

Reposting from Becoming a Mimimalist – 3/30/2017

Here’s to All of You Trying to Make the Most of a Bad Situation

Our world loves to glorify beautiful people. But sometimes, those who deserve the most credit are overlooked by a society praising all the wrong measures of success.

I have a beautiful friend. She is the single-parent of two equally beautiful daughters. Her husband left when the second was born with special needs.

Coincedentally, my neighbor is a single father of two. His wife left him, choosing a life of drugs over a life of responsibility.

My guess is you will never hear the names of these two amazing individuals. You’ll probably never read their blogs or follow them on Facebook. And their faces will probably never be on the cover of a magazine. But I can tell you, without a doubt in my mind, they both work harder at life than I do.

This past Saturday, I got up early to do some work on a new book. In the early morning hours while the sun was still rising, I drove to a quiet location to write. Enroute, I passed a young man, significantly overweight, out jogging. He was sweating profusely. And I was inspired because of it.

His body-shape isn’t the type you’ll see on posters in the local fitness center. But here was a guy, up early on a Saturday morning, working hard to change his life while most of my neighbors were still sleeping.

One more story.

Last week, a colleague of mine led a funeral for a friend who had recently died of a drug overdose. The deceased was a young man who had been born addicted to heroin.

Through no fault of his own but because of the actions of his mother, he waged war against addiction every day of his life. Some days, he won. Some days, he lost. In the end, it took his life.

As my colleague shared his story, he summed it up this way:

Our lost friend will, unfortunately, be remembered by most as a drug addict. But that’s not the man I knew. Quite the opposite in fact. I will remember forever my friend as the man who fought endlessly against an addiction unfairly passed onto him. I will remember him as a man who worked hard to make the most of a bad situation.

Our world loves to glorify beautiful people. We look up to and praise those who have seemingly accomplished much in visible measures. We lift up as role models and examples those who excel in sports, write books, own the stage, or excel in business and politics. And I don’t want to look down on those accomplishments and those examples, there is much we can learn from them.

But let’s face it: Life can also be messy. And not everybody gets to live in the limelight as one of the beautiful people. Some people find themselves struggling to just tread water through very difficult circumstances.

Sometimes, the trials we face in life are a result of our own doing. Sometimes they are a result of a wrong committed against us. But there is little doubt we are surrounded by people facing unfair circumstances in every direction we look.

And many of them, those fighting to make the most of it, deserve our respect and our praise. But they are often overlooked by a society that often praises all the wrong measures of success.

So allow me today… in my own small little way… to recognize those of you who are working hard to make the best of a bad situation. We see you and we applaud you.

Here’s to those of you raising kids without the support of a responsible partner.

Here’s to those of you striving to overcome the cycle of poverty or addiction in your family.

Here’s to those of you working two jobs to provide your children with more opportunity than you had growing up.

Here’s to those of you working to change the unhealthy habits that have defined your life for too long.

Here’s to those of you who have been treated unfairly in the workplace and are working hard to start again.

Here’s to those of you battling a disease that seeks to destroy your body.

Here’s to those of you caring faithfully for a loved one who is nearing the end.

Here’s to those of you who have been knocked down by life, but are staggering to get back up.

We see you and we applaud you.

Not only that, we also thank you. Thank you for inspiring us. And thank you for working hard to make life better—not just for yourself, but for those closest to you. We need more people like you in our world.

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Words by Sue Cameron

0e5582366_1477946107_words-have-power

Is there anything more powerful?

To heal, to hurt,

to destroy?

Words in my mind-accusing me,

dragging me down

into guilt and helplessness.

Words from outside-attacking me,

tearing at the fragile image of who I am and hope to be.

I struggle under their heavy weight

and fear I’ll suffocate.

Not all words are true, but they feel true.

Some are lies wrought in the basement of hell,

sent to defeat those who march in the army of God.

My leader warned me of such warfare,

so subtle and hard to detect.

A sudden attack strips my defenses.

Wounded, bleeding,

I am left to die.

Now my fate depends on

to whom I choose to listen.

To the liar,

or to  my leader.

His Word consoles and strengthens me,

binding my pain and wrapping me in acceptance.

He does not condemn me in my weakness,

or require me to run on broken legs.

He asks only that I listen to him

and believe what he says.

His truth banishes falsehoods

and sets me free.

Living on the battlefield isn’t kind and gentle;

it is demanding and stretching.

I must often pause and ask myself,

To whose voice do I listen?

And in whose voice do I speak?

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I’m currently undergoing an education degree. Training to be a teacher. And throughout my first year, I learnt some of the qualities and disciplines required of a good teacher.

via Jesus: No Ordinary Teacher (Part 2) — Jonathan Camac

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A View From The Bird House

life-experiences-quotes

 

 

I am taking a cue from Jeff Goins on this post. His challenge to write something from a life experience got me to thinking of all the different life experiences this Grama has had, and there have been many.

 

Some life experiences were amazing and some frightening; some brought dreams to reality and some turned dreams to nightmares. But I have come to realize that every experience had its time and place in my life, each one brought with it life lessons and greater wisdom. Each one had a part in making me who I am today and none of them slipped in without my heavenly Father knowing it was coming. Many of them caught me by surprise but not my Father.

 

I am very much aware that people can have the same basic experience but have a very different view of what that experience holds for them, therefore some may react very differently than others do. But as I share my experience I will be sharing my own “View “From The Bird House” (also the name of my blog).

You see, my last name is Bird and has been since 1965 when I married the love of my life and so I have quite a collection of memories, both good and bad, that I could write about. Some of those memories of experiences were not appreciated as much when I was younger but with age I have begun to see God’s wisdom in bringing them and/or allowing them. Yes, for most wisdom, does come with age!

They brought wisdom for raising children, strengthening my marriage and so much more. Most of all they brought me to a closer relationship with my God!

But enough of the deep-thinking stuff. I would rather share my favorite experiences, the ones that just simply made me smile and even laugh out loud. Retelling those stories at family gatherings is one of our family’s favorite things to do. And when we do we all laugh like it just happened yesterday and some of these stories are over forty years old. They are those stories that bring on those deep-down-belly-laughing fits that bring tears to your eyes.

Love them!

Now as you all know there are experiences that we laugh hysterically about now but weren’t all that funny at the time they happened, but over the years we begin to see the humor in them (another advantage to ageing).

The one that stands out in my mind the most is and experience with our first-born grandson, who was three or four at the time. His mother, our daughter, had recently given birth to her second child, a little girl and they were all visiting at our home. Our daughter had gone to do something in another room and I was tending the kids.

I was holding the baby and began a conversation that I would soon regret and never forget. I asked my grandson how he liked his little sister and reminded him this is the little baby that was in mommy’s tummy. His response blew me away and it was my first lesson as a grama about being careful what you ask a toddler.

He got very serious and looked me in the eye with his eyes growing bigger and said “I know and I used to be in my mommy’s tummy too!” Not knowing enough to quit while I was ahead I continued this “cute” conversation and it went like this:

Me — I know, what do you think it was like in there?

Grandson – Getting more serious and raising both arms in the air making a big circle he said; “Grama, there was sperm everywhere and I was afraid, but they said” as he changed his voice to a gentler tone “Don’t worry little boy we won’t hurt you. We are going to help you get out of your egg. But then I got stuck in my mommy’s gina and they had to cut me out of her tummy but my sister didn’t get stuck so she came out of mommy’s gina.”

I was speechless! And that doesn’t happen often.

I immediately called for my daughter and shared this revelation that her son had shared with me. Her explanation was that she and her husband had been watching a program called Nova a few days before and it was showing microscopic films of sperm traveling to the ova, or egg, and how they penetrated the egg to release the embryo. Added to that; our grandson had been asking how his sister got out of mommy’s tummy and our daughter, believing you should use correct anatomical terms, explained in simple terms her birth. When he asked if he got here the same way they explained that he kind of got stuck so they had to make a cut in her tummy to get him out.

That grandson will be 29 this year and that story is still being told much to his chagrin. But he is a good sport because he has a little boy and knows he will soon have some stories of his own to tell.

Lesson Learned: Don’t underestimate the ability of a toddler to put one and one together and get two. And take note of what your watching on TV with your toddler there, they are much smarter than you know.

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Is Christianity Dead?

An amazing insight for every Christian!

BeautyBeyondBones

Well folks, another Christmas is in the books!

Christmas 2K16 is officially behind us. The eggnog has been consumed. Gifts gifted. Food coma endured. And for those brave souls who took on a real tree this year, its pine needles are officially all over the floor and will be mysteriously appearing in randomcrevicesfor the next 4 months.

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Ever since I was of “appropriate age,” my family has always gone to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. It is one of my favorite memories and traditions. The caroling at 11pm. The candles. The trumpets. For the past, say, 15+ years, we have been going, and every year, we’d always get there right at 11:00, throwing elbows, and staking out our pew, as it is always standing room only. And don’t even bother coming at 11:15…because there will be no parking and you’re guaranteed to be standing – two deep – in the…

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A Surprise Blessing At Walmart

500 Word Challenge  1/6/2017

butterfly

A Surprise Blessing From Walmart

Now, when I go to Walmart I seldom think of it as an opportunity for a blessing, some bargains maybe, but not a blessing.

But I recently went to there in search of a day timer for the new year, which I didn’t find. However, a unique journal caught my eye. I do a lot of journaling and often will pick up a journal when I see them on sale so I always have a spare.

It was bright green with a cutout of a butterfly on the front cover. The page behind the cover revealed a beautiful purple butterfly. It was the purple butterfly that actually caught my eye.  My sister, Lois, who went to be with the Lord several years ago, always loved butterflies, any kind of butterfly. We often talked about the significant of the butterfly, not just about how beautiful and unique God created each one, but more about the picture of new life they represented to us as Christians. We saw them as the story of how God had given us new life through His Son, Jesus Christ.

We, like the caterpillar start out crawling along and not getting very far on our own. One day we find ourselves all wrapped up in this world much like the caterpillar when it is caught up in the cocoon. In this dark and dormant state our Creator is at work behind the scene with a plan to make us into something beautiful, both us and the butterfly.

The very cocoon we find ourselves in, the cocoon that makes us helpless to do anything for ourselves opens our eyes to see our total dependence on God.

We struggle to try to free ourselves from this helpless state. We want out of the discomfort, to be free of the struggle, we want out now, but if we come out to early we will miss out on God’s best but if we wait on God’s timing and trust Him in the struggles we will realize God can and wants to use the struggles to develop in us the strength and the faith we need. He can make us into something beautiful for our good and His glory. He wants us to soar and be a blessing to those who see His beauty in us and bring Him glory.

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven. (Ecc. 3:1 NKJ)

My lesson for today, blessings can be found anywhere, even in Walmart!

 

The Butterfly Story (A Bonus Attachment)

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were Life’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. Remember God needs no help. There are processes of life, things we all go through. The struggles are a part of our journey and are God can use them to prepare us for His awesome plan for us. He is preparing us to fly.

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You Never Have Nothing To Write

500 word challenge

1/5/17communications 1

“You Never Have Nothing To Write”

I once read a quote, though I can’t remember where, that said, “You never have nothing to write.” That made sense to me at the time because, after all, there is always something you can write about. There are flowers, animals, jobs, weather, opinions (oh how there are opinions), politics, love, sorrow and so much more.

However, on only the third day of this writing challenge I accepted where I have to write 500 words a day for 31 days I find myself at the keyboard and my mind is blank! I have nothing to write!

I was a up at 5:30 am and had so many thoughts on what I would write about and I even started hand writing what I decided on the material I had chosen. But alas, I had to go to work and by the time I got home and supper was over I went to start writing and I could not find my notes. I not only couldn’t find my notes but I couldn’t even remember what it was I was planning to write about, ugh!

I have come to realize that much of my inspiration comes early in the morning and even sometimes in the middle of the night. It is probably the only time God can get my attention.The ideas are all so clear at the time but if I don’t get up and write it down I often lose it. Therefore, I believe after today I will be doing as much of my writing as possible in the morning, before work. If I can’t do that I will at least put my ideas on the computer while they are fresh in my mind and put it together later.

Now the issue is what time to get up. I am an early riser by nature but in order to be on time to work I will need to get up by 5 am or earlier and do it consistently. In other words I need to be more disciplined in scheduling my time to make sure I have time set aside for writing.

I love to write and it brings me joy. I know writing is what I am suppose to be doing but I have had trouble seeing it as worthwhile use of my time. When I am sitting writing I often think of other things I feel I should be doing, even feel like I am being lazy.

The more I write though, the more I know it is worthwhile, if for no one else but the writer.  I believe there is value in sharing experiences both for the person sharing and those who can relate to the experiences we share.

Well I am close to my 500 words (so thankful for word count) so I will wind this exercise up by sharing my insight into all of this. It turns out that it is true, “You never have nothing to write” and if you don’t write an idea down you will lose it .

So I will write to practice the skill, write to share experiences, write to encourage others, write for the sheer joy of writing, but write because there is always something to write about!

Won’t you join me:-)

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