Saturday, August 18, 2012

Trusting God's plan

I think there are many times in our lives when things unfold in a way that seems... unfair. Disastrous. Like, you wish you could be in control of the world and plan things differently. Or maybe, you just don't understand why your life is the way it is, and you wish it could be different. I have - that's generally why I write each of my blog posts. I am writing about something I am personally dealing with, and feel the need to write until I understand why it's happening. I find writing helps me find clarity.

Anyways, I was reading this beautiful book the other month, and this one passage keeps sticking with me. I want to share it with you:

"Every evening around six, Terry would set dinner on the table, and the family would sit down to eat. And every night, almost without fail, the kids would start to whine. Unless it was chicken nuggets and French fries, there were going to be problems at dinner. One evening, Cassy, who was quite good at lobbying the family for what she wanted, lay down on the kitchen floor and rolled over in frustration about having to eat whatever it was Terri had prepared. John stood at the corner of the island in the kitchen and watched her, trying not to laugh. She twisted and turned and moaned and complained, but John stood silently, not letting her manipulate him. Finally, Cassy belted out the now famous line: "Dad, how could you do this to me?" John and I covered over mouths and looked away in hysterics.

But here is what is so interesting about that scene. Cassy actually believed what she was saying had merit. The pain and frustration she felt about dinner that night was the same pain and frustration you and I probably feel about not getting the job we want, the car we want, or whatever. Looking back, it struck me how often I have wondered, sometimes out loud to God, "How could you do this to me?"

It's funny for me to think about how often this is true of me. How very often, I am unwilling to trust God's plan, and instead blurt out, "How could you do this to me?" We don't always like God's answers, but I do believe He knows best. I guess I just need some convincing sometimes.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and He will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5,6

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Chewing on a thought

Hello there:

My very brilliant friend said something the other day, and I like to keep tabs on brilliant quotes. So here it is.

"When people say, "Don't judge me," they really mean, "You're no better than me." And they're right. We're not."

The end. Very simple, but very wise. Brilliance recorded. Let's chew.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

If - By Rudyard Kipling

This poem is a worthy read, and life quest. My only quandary comes with the last line, which I would prefer to revise to something gender-neutral and inclusive to all who are seeking out a good life.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

--- To revise this last sentence, I believe that "Man" and "son" should be revised to implicate their full meaning - leadership through strength of heart, character, soul, actions, and words. To persevere through great difficulty in life is not an easy task. We are faced with temptation, anger, frustration, exhaustion, and are worn down on every side. It is easy to give up and succumb in times of trial. Yet - I believe that those who hold strong, who face mighty storms and sail on with a gentle strength, whose leadership is solidified through humble example, make the world a better place by just being in it. And if there is, in fact, 6 degrees of separation between us all, one individual of great character will make all the difference and give the world the hope it needs to pursue a higher road together.

Thoughts on Saying Goodbye (without your world ending)

I read a paper once by a very smart lady whose name currently escapes me. - A very unfortunate circumstance indeed, because I would love to give her the credit for spurring forward this thought - alas, my mind is not quite so sharp at the current moment. But perhaps, later on, I will revise this particular article and put her name in. For now, please excuse this diversion. - In her article, she put forward the idea that there is a "dependency-producing" condition in relationships that is as detrimental as addictions.

Let's simplify that statement. Here's some various song lyrics:

- "How do I live without you? I want to know. How do I breathe without you? If you ever go. How do I ever, ever survive? How do I?" - LeAnne Rimes, 'How Do I Live'

- "You're all that I want. You're all that I need. Can't you see how I feel? Can't you see my pain is so real?" - The Moffats, 'I miss you like crazy'

- "I'd catch a grenade for you (yeah, yeah, yeah), throw my hand on the blade for you (yeah, yeah, yeah), I'd jump in front of a train for ya" Bruno Mars, Grenade

If I based my life on this, I'd be dead already.

Here's the thing - we cannot DEPEND on relationships to satisfy us. We will never find ourselves, our identities, or anything about who we are in another person, even if they are really great. Like, really REALLY great. They could be superman, and they still won't make you YOU. Nor will they ever fully satisfy you - people change, situations change, feelings change, and we must look beyond the imperfections of humanity for true satisfaction.

Such is the complexity of balance - we must be independent beings living in mutual dependence. We must be ourselves while finding joy in discovering others. We must love another while simultaneously loving ourselves - this is perhaps the hardest balance of them all. And we must also recognize that our identity is never found in who we are WITH, what we DO, who we are RELATED to, where we LIVE, or what we LOVE. All these things change over time. Instead, we must look for the one thing that never changes. And for me, this is my identity as a child of God. God claims that He will never leave me, nor forsake me. That he loves me as his child, and as his bride. And in this, I can find my ultimate identity - the one thing that will never change about me.

All this being the prelude to the title of this article. Saying goodbye without your world ending.

We all have to say goodbye to people we really and truly care about. To friends, to family, to partners. And they mean a lot to you. And you care about them deeply. And a part of you doesn't want to see them go. And that's okay.

In fact, it's normal. You should feel that way. Be upset. Be sad. Cry if you like. There is a time to mourn. But, as Clare Pinkola Estes said so beautifully, don't keep a seat at your table for this emotion. Don't foster it, feed it, and give it a room. For God has a purpose for all things, and He has great things in store for you, as well as the other person. If He calls them home early, then perhaps the story they've left behind will bring others to discover their own identity as God's loved children. If he sends them away to another country, He has greater purposes. And He may very well want to spur on your own growth away from that individual, even if it may not seem that way at the moment.

And who really knows what the future brings anyway? Perhaps your souls reunite, and you find each other once again. Perhaps you write letters and keep in touch via skype dates, letters, and e-mails. Or maybe you say "see you never," and never talk again.

All this to say that every 'end' is also a new beginning. There is a new adventure awaiting you on the horizon. Mourn the end of the old, celebrate the coming of a new beginning.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Life and Blog Update

I've decided that this blog needed some updates and changes, just as I have changed in my own life too. I've thought about this - and I think the title now more appropriately reflects this blogs contents. I'm saying this just in case one of my three followers is devastated by the title change. I'd prefer to avoid any nasty e-mails or upset comments.

Anywho, I've decided that to continue with the changes to this blog, I want to start writing down the funny stories that happen to me in my life. Which seem to come about quite frequently, whether it be that I simply notice these things and find them hilarious, or that I have a magnetic attraction for awkward and/or clumsy moments that get me into strange yet memorable situations.

I'm starting a separate blog for such stories, which I am hoping, after some polishing and revisions, may one day constitute a book. Hopefully with a mix of philosophical understanding, poetry, and humour, I will become the next Donald Miller. Only in female form.

If you are interested in such a fantastical blog, then visit this site: I'm still working on coming up with the best title, but I think this one works for now. We'll see how things progress.

Cheerio friends!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

"Seeing" Race

I'm reading a beautiful book called The Truth About Stories by Thomas King. I highly recommend it. In one section of the book, King discusses the conception of "race" - how we think we see it, how we want to see it, how if it's not there, then we comment on how very un-[insert race here] it is. It's a brilliant wake up call to look beyond the skin we're in, and recognize the flexibility and constant change of culture and of people across time and space. Just as our 'white' North American culture is constantly changing, so are the cultures of every other across the globe. We must be sensitive not to 'characterize', 'stereotype', or create 'race', but to embrace people and let them come as they are.

Here's a quick segment from his book:

"All of this... are reminders of how hard it is to break free from the parochial and paradoxical consideration of identity and authenticity. Owens, in a particularly wry moment, notes that "few looking at [these] photos of mixedbloods would be likely to say, 'But they don't look like Irishmen,' but everyone seems obliged to offer an opinion regarding the degree of Indianness represented.

In Curtis' magnum opus, Portraits from North American Indian Life, we don't see a collection of photographs of Indian people. We see race. Never mind that race is a construction and an illusion. Never mind that it does not exist in either biology or theology, though both have, from time to time, been enlisted in the cause of racism. Never mind that we can't hear it or smell it or taste it or feel it. The important thing is that we believe we can see it."