When Lemons Fly

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Just over a year ago my life was flipped on it’s head. As it turns out it was the best thing to happen to me in a long long time. Other people in my life would not agree. They like to point out, but this or that bad thing happened. Well, yes those things did happen. I chose to focus on the good things that happened and not the bad. There are at least as many good things as bad, maybe more. Besides, it’s my life not yours thank you very much. Maybe it is the whole if life hands you lemons thing or I should say, when lemons attack.

When life threw the first lemon in my direction, I ducked out of the way. I changed perspective. I did not think about what could happen in a week, a month, a year. I focused on the twenty four hours in front of me. I looked at each day as a brand new opportunity, a blank page. I got through that one and each morning I turned to the next page then the next and the next. Before long an entire year of pages had been written. Yes, there was a pretty big barrage of lemons at my feet. However, there was laughter, love, happiness and blessings written on the pages of my year. Pretty dang good year if you ask me.

It is up to you. You can live with the poor me, I had a terrible year attitude. You could focus on the all the bad things…Blah Blah Blah. Or you can do what I did, ignore the stupid lemons. Take a look back on the year and focus on the good stuff. Besides, you can always take those lemons and chunk them back. Take that life!

OK, enough with the cliches already. Go do the things and be happy.

…but I like my cheese where it is

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How many of you read that little book Who Moved My Cheese? I read it years ago and then again recently. (If you don’t have time to read it watch this short video.) The premise is easy, change is going to happen and you have to control how you react to it. If you stand firm and refuse to accept it you will get left in the wake of change. If you flow with it and adapt you will be better after the change levels off and status quo sets in again.

Most people do not want their cheesy goodness to move and do not want change. Change is scary and challenging. In the end I believe most people accept change and move along to the better cheese. Then there is me….

I have been a solid do not move, touch or even look at my cheese kind of person. I like my daily routines thank you very much. As long as I am in charge of the change and I am the creator of the change it is fine, but let someone else change something that affects me look out. I think it is the helpless feeling of not having control. What’s crazy is I haven’t had control in years until just recently. I have let life push me along. I did grab hold of control, went to school and changed my stressful job. Slowly I have taken control back. It is my cheese and I will do the moving..not you…me.

There’s old wisdom that advises that we can only lean against that which resists. This suggests that there might just be something good, or at least useful, about resisting change. Discovering what this resistance is and learning to work with it is key to understanding reluctance to change. That is all fine and dandy as long as I am in charge of the cheese…I mean change.

What throws me for a loop is when I am not in control of the change. That sends me in to flight mode. You know, fight or flight? I am a classic flight risk when I loose control. Either I fly or I bury my head in the sand and ignore the change. If I don’t see it, don’t acknowledge it, then it is not real…..there you go…denial.

Learning that change, even wanted change is stressful will make dealing with the cheese realignment easier. Taking the cheese knife in hand and carving the life you want is hard too. I have no answers here. You have to decide how you will deal with the fact of life that someone will move your cheese. It is just a matter of time.

 

Just Walk Away

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We have all heard the old saying , Not my circus not my monkeys. It is true that when we try to wrangle monkeys that are not ours that we risk the chance of getting hurt or used.

When you find yourself in a situation that is not yours some times our first instinct it to help. If we can and it is the right thing to do we should help. Other times it is just our desire to feel needed or useful and helping is not the right thing to do. Maybe there is someone who has better skills or resources to help. Let them. It isn’t always your place to calm the storms that other create. Often getting sucked in the storm will cause you pain or unnecessary heartache.  Listen to your gut and follow what is right. If it is right to act then act. If your gut tells you to stop, don’t get involved, pay attention.

Reserve your right to literately walk away from the chaos that is not yours. Leave the situation that you can not or should not try to calm.

Just who I am

I know I’m a paradox. I’m a Christian but I refuse to conform to a belief that other Christians tell me I have to agree with because it’s in the Bible”. I will not blindly follow your man-made version of God. I will not accept any premise on the logic that another Christian insists its true without investigation  or that goes against the teachings of Christ. Being a Christian is easy. Love everyone. Serve those who need it most and deserve it least. Forgive and ask for forgiveness. Seek peace.
Yes I cuss sometimes and have gay friends. Sometimes I drink a beer or two. Sometimes I am brutally honest. Am I less a Christian than one who doesn’t do those things?
If you can’t accept me for all the multifaceted things that is who I am ? That’s too bad. I will miss you

Trust God

All my life I had this image of who I would be when I became an adult. I am nothing like that image. I have not landed in the career I thought I would be working in and I have not landed in the city that I thought I would live. I am nothing like what I thought I would be. I am not any better or worse. I may not be affluent as I imagined I would be. I can attribute a lot of this to how I was raised. My parents, grandparents and other adults in my life said to me “You can be what you want to be.” While that is true in a sense we are also bound by our station in life. Where we are in society, how much money we have and how much determination we have, and our level of discipline play a part of where we go in life. There is also the factor of our faith.

The most significant factor on what we can accomplish in life is our faith. Our faith in ourselves and faith that we made the right choice are vital to success. If we lack faith in just one of these areas we can fail, but if we lose our faith in God we are certain to fail. Will we trust God enough to provide for what we need? Will we allow him to lead us to our future? What if what we want is in stark contrast to what God wants for us? We have to trust that God is in control even when we feel He is not. We have to believe that He is there at work even if we can’t see any results yet. This is difficult and we often give up.

We can break those bounds and be more than what we think, more than society says we can be. We must not give up. We must keep trusting God. We can not allow the alternative to be an option. We can’t trust feelings or emotions or even what we see around us. We must trust God is keeping His promise to protect and keep us. When the road of our life is darkest  God is working for us for the benefit not of us but for His kingdom of which we are a part. We must hold on until the light shines on us again.

 

Where is God?

I have to wonder why people don’t believe in God. I can’t imagine not believing in God. How can a person look at this world and think nope, no God? It all just appeared from some big bang. (Not to be confused with the Big Bang Theory TV show that I love. Bazinga)

To me each possibility is sort of the same. Believing that a being that we never see created this place we call home and really cares about what happens with us is just as hard to wrap your head around as some of the scientific theory that  a cosmic accident created us.

The big question is where is God? In this world of war, devastating weather and evil people, where is God? Why is God, if He exists, not stopping some of this bad stuff that is happening all around us? I have one answer, free will.

We all have free will. We have the free will to call on God or not. We have the free will to talk to God or not. Are you praying? Are you asking God to come help intervene? No? Oh that’s right! You don’t’ believe He exists. So, why would you expect Him to come in to this life of yours and fix things for you if you do not believe in Him? He is not going to act in your life until you get on your knees and ask Him to be present.

All I can tell you is, I have seen God act in the lives of believers, me included. The catch is you have to ask. You have to make the move to accept God. That’s how it works. Simple act of faith. If you can believe that this world came from nothing how much more of a reach is it to think a God created it? Maybe He caused the big bang in the first place?  It isn’t that far a stretch. It’s all simple really.

Matt 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

Not Here

I was looking at the books that are coming out over the next month and it struck me that a lot of the fiction books are either mystery, the who done it kind or fantasy. Why is it that as a society we are trying, the only way we know how to escape and check out of reality? It isn’t just books its movies, television and social media too.

We do not want to live in our reality. We focus on the shiny little box in our hand. We read books that are about imaginary lives and we watch movies about fantastical creatures and places. We do all that we can to escape our lives. We do what we must but then we fade out to some place else. We spend less time face to face with life and more time focusing on the what if. What is the draw that keeps us going back to that sort of thing? What makes us want to live through the characters of a good fantasy book or movie? What causes us to pick up our phone and read the fabricated lives of people who say they are our friends on social media?

I think the answer is a simple one, it is who we are. It is hard-wired into our brains that we come from better. That our source of life force is not of this reality. We long for that other place. The place that will fill us with the feeling of home. We struggle day by day to create that atmosphere of adventure. We filling that empty longing with fantasy that only satisfies for a minute then we are on to the next thing to satisfy that curiosity of looking for our home, where we belong, our place that makes sense. We justify it as participating in the norm of life.  This is the thing to do. We may try to abstain for a bit, but find that the pull is too hard to fight. We have to pick up the phone to see who posted what, we have to watch that popular movie or show and we must read that next best-selling fantasy novel.

We want what we do not have on earth, we want to be in the presence of something  grand, exciting, adventurous. We need to fill that desire for the other world out there. We need to live that fantastical life through that character, whether it be in a book, movie or someone who appears to be living the perfect life on the social surface.

Jesus said, ““My kingdom is not from this world.” (John 18:36). As children of God, we can’t feel satisfied here. We will not feel that complete rightness of place until we are home in the presence of God. Each of us have to live our journey to that place. We can’t dictate the path of others, but travel along with them to reach home. We can’t help longing for what we do not have, looking for adventure around the next corner, or wishing it was us who had that great life. We want to be home. We are aliens from a strange land and we want to go be with Him. We want God to save us from this and take us to where He is. We miss home.

We can search and search but we will not find it here. It isn’t here.