April 26, 2010

It's Your Life


Invite Your Friends Carefully

Observe the relationships areound you. Pay close attention.

Which ones lift, and which ones lean?

Which ones encourage, and which ones discourage?

Which ones are on a path of growth uphill, and which ones are going downhill?

When you leave certain people, do you feel better or worse?

Which ones have drama, or don't really know, understand, or appreciate you?

The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you...the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the Front, and who should be moved to the Balcony of Your Life.

If you cannot change the people around you, CHANGE the people you are around.

Remember that the people we hang with will have an impact on both our lives, and our incomes...so we must choose the people we hang out with, as well as the information with which we feed our minds.

We must not share our dreams with negative people, nor feed our dreams with negative thoughts.

It's your choice, and your life...it is up to you, who and what you let in it.

~Author Unknown~

I have my own thoughts about this, having experienced some rather toxic relationships in my own life.

Sometimes, the people around us are not the ones that we have chosen, but are just part of the package of life, so to speak. We don't get to pick and choose our relatives, certainly, and then when we marry, we get the relatives that our spouses didn't get to choose, either, which makes for an even more complicated set of circumstances at times.

Sometimes, it seems that some of our worst enemies are our own relatives, and when that's not the case, it is an added blessing...however, it doesn't always work out that way, as I'm sure you are aware.

Yes, we can choose our friends, and when they don't work out, we are free to go our own separate ways, but what to do about our own relatives? Well, my husband and I have discussed this many times, and prayed about it, just as much...especially when we were having a very difficult time with one of my relatives, who was giving us a lot of grief over the care of my invalid mother....which resulted in banning her from our home, for awhile. He said that we should love our relatives, but we don't have to subject ourselves to their toxic behavior...and that's true.

One day as I was praying, I asked the Lord why my aunt seemed to hate me so much, and tried to find fault with everything that I tried to do in the care of my mother, and suddenly, it came like a bolt out of the blue. It wasn't that she hated me so much, but that she loved my mother, her sister, so much! After that, I began to view it in that light, and it seemed that a complete change came over my aunt, and our relationship was restored, and after a few years, she told me how very sorry she was that she had acted the way that she had, and asked my forgiveness.

Now, we are closer than ever, and she thinks there is no one else in the world who knows as much about taking care of an invalid, or anyone who needs any kind of care. She now calls me her daughter, and asks my advice about everything. LOL...yes, I have to laugh out loud, when I think of the goodness of God, and how He is able to work all things together for good, if we will only allow Him. If we ask, He will give us guidance and direction as to whom we should allow a front row seat in our lives!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths."
~Proverbs 3:5-6~

April 13, 2010

A Day In The Springtime

The following story is, actually, a re post of a re post. Obviously, it is not the first day of Spring, and a lot has transpired in our world since the last re post, and current events are still depressing, and distressing...but it is a beautiful Spring day, and days like this remind me of the day in my story, and of the fact, that in spite of all of the ugliness around us, there is still beauty in the world, and hope, which gives us a reason for rejoicing in what we still have. Where there is hope, there is the feeling that all will be well, whatever the circumstances.

This being the first day of spring, I thought it would be a good time to depart from the more depressing current events, and re post one of my more uplifting stories.

To this very day, I can recall the particular day mentioned here, in detail.

I opened my eyes, and stretched, kicking the sheets off my suntanned legs with quick, little scissor kicks. It was early in the morning, but already it was hot, and muggy, causing the sheet to feel clingy, and uncomfortable. I just lay there, savoring the smell of bacon and coffee, the aroma hanging thick in the humid air. I could hear Mama in the kitchen, taking the heavy, iron skillet filled with biscuits, out of the oven and setting it down with a dull thud on top of the stove. Outside of the open window, I could hear birds singing. I felt like singing, too. I was fifteen years old, and it was springtime. It felt good, just being alive!

After breakfast, and after dishes, I put on my black Capri pants, and pink turtleneck top. I wished I didn't stick out so far in front. Being so tiny in the waist made me look twice as big at the top--and I didn't like the way the boys stared at me. It seemed to me that they never did get around to looking at me at eye-level--but worse than that were the snide remarks some of the girls at school made. If I heard, "Where'd you get those--Sears Catalogue?" one more time, I thought I'd scream.

Oh well, there could be worse things wrong with me than that--like being too skinny, like my best friend, Jean. She envied me, my bustline, but I sure didn't envy her, her skinny legs. I giggled at the thought of her with my bustline and her skinny legs!

Speak of the devil, I thought, as I heard her calling me from her front porch, across the road and three houses up. I ran outside, slamming the flimsy screen door behind me. I ran down the steps, and up the unpaved road to her house.

She was sitting on the steps, combing her hair which she had just washed. Maybe her legs were too skinny, but she sure did have beautiful hair. It was down to her waist, and looked like fluffy gold.

"Gosh, Jean, your hair looks absolutely beautiful," I said. I felt good. She got into her best movie star pose, and said, "I know--I wish I could say the same about yours."

"Well, why don't you tell a lie--like I just did?" I said, feeling gorgeous as the morning!

Mama was calling me home to go to the store for washing powder. I got the money, and ran across the road to the trail that ran down the hill through the little patch of woods, and was a shortcut between our house and the store. Just at the top of the hill was a large, flat rock from which you could see far away over the tree tops.

I jumped up on the rock, taking deep breaths of fresh, clean air. The sweetness of spring flowers filled my nostrils. The beautiful profusion of color, and the potpourri of fragrance was intoxicating! I wanted to sprout wings, and soar through the air! I felt like crying. It felt so good just to be alive on a day like this!

I took some more deep breaths, and stretched my arms in embrace of the beauty all around me. I looked up at the sky, and said, "When I die, let it be exactly like now, and let it be on a day in the springtime!" Tears slid down my face for some strange reason that I didn't understand. I felt clean, and pure, and gorgeous--yes, gorgeous as the morning!

April 04, 2010

Because He Lives...

We associate Lent, Passion Week, Ash Wednesday, and Good Friday, with the days leading up to the Celebration of Easter, but it is the event that occurred that we, as Christians, celebrate.

It is not about colored eggs, jelly beans, or Easter bunnies, but about the empty tomb, and what it represents to us.

Our Christian faith is anchored in the fact that Jesus Christ was crucified, resurrected, and glorified, and the belief that He is the Son of God.

His word can be trusted. His sacrifice for our sin allows us complete forgiveness, which assures us that when we believe in Him, we too, can conquer death, so we turn to Him for mercy, guidance, and direction.

Death could not hold Him!

The tomb was empty! He is risen! He is alive! And because He lives, we shall live, also!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 kjv