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Apr. 27th, 2017 09:54 pm Contentment

Worry is a fog that limits the visual distance of your concerns.

Allow peace to dissipate the blanket of self-absorption like the warming of the dawn

And others soon come into the focus of your thoughts.

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Feb. 23rd, 2017 02:17 am

I collect a lot of things from my life that gather dust.  What I think I am going to do is pare it down to a small little thing that I am going to call my "tiny box of happiness".  A little box that is my go-to for putting a smile on my face.  Just a few words from a card from a loved one are great for doing that.

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Feb. 23rd, 2017 01:28 am

The hard part about life is that when you think you've got a goal and think things are going the way you want, life deals you a big blow.  If you stand back and look at it from an outside perspective, in reality, there really isn't much of an effect physically.  The job is still the same job, the family is still the same family, the house hasn't changed.  It's the emotional upheaval that gets to you.  You lose a sense of purpose, a sense of security.  I've been trying to let things go, but somehow, no matter how many times I attempt or try, I haven't found that clicking, constant behavior that lets emotion wash over me like a cleasing rainshower where I can dry off and move on.  Things change, and it still feels like a punch in the gut that leaves me worried and demotivated.  How do I let go so that I can be a true contributor and not just another person in need of security and a shoulder to cry on?

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Dec. 20th, 2016 05:55 am

I've been waiting too long to write this entry, but it is time to put it down.  We put a lot of emphasis in the US on being "safe".  We want to be safe from terrorist attacks, we want to be safe from immigrants, we want our schools to be safe for our children.  The problem with being "safe" is that we put up walls to protect ourselves.  Instead of giving love and showing care to those who need it most, we lock them out of our schools, our homes, our countries.  As we lose connections with those who need it most, they become more marginalized and violent - the cycle gets worse.

God doesn't ask us to lock ourselves away from each other so we can be safe.  Our bodies aren't made to be constantly protected -- they have amazing healing powers and are more healthy when exposed to a little dirt, germs and grime.  We were meant to reach out to others, to show love to those who aren't the perfect, well-behaved citizens.  Will we get hurt?  Absolutely.  Does it matter?  Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.  But the closer we are to a community with others, the more we can help those who need it before something major happens.

When things go horribly wrong for someone in this world, I mourn.  Not just for the victims, but for the perpetrator.  Where did we go wrong that they thought that was their only way out?  Sometimes all it takes is stepping out of our safe zone and offering a welcoming hand.  I know, not just from reading about would-be school shooter "Trunk", but I've been there.  On the brink of depression, looking for a way "out" because I didn't fit in.  I am lucky - I have a wonderful husband who loves and welcomes me and holds me when I need it most.

The more we express and teach unconditional love, the more it will grow within the world.  So let's stop trying to make our world safe, and let's make it welcoming.

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Dec. 20th, 2016 05:29 am

It is amazing how the little things in life make our heart swell with happiness the most.  My son Andrew has autism, and I know he struggles a lot with the concept of God and prayer.  When he is at Sunday School, he tends to mock the concept and create contrary examples to questions about what God wants.  I don't think he necessarily does it out of spite - I think deep inside he is struggling with the concept of an unseen being who has control in our lives.  Today, after packing meals at Feed My Starving Children, the lead invited anyone to pray over the boxes.  Amid the silence, the small voice of Andrew said he would.  He was very, very quiet, but standing next to him, I could hear the words just barely: "Dear God, please make sure the food gets safely to where it is going."  To see your child pipe up and show his care for others and to ask God for help is one of the best feelings in the world.

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Oct. 27th, 2016 08:32 pm

The funny thing about trying to change is that it is so easy to notice when we slip back into our old habits.  Interestingly enough, even though we still feel like we are still the same person inside, I think we still squeak in subtle changes, that over time, make us a different and better person.  Others notice, but we don't since we are so entrenched in who we are.  Given a few years distant, I think only then do we see ourselves in a different light and can recognize the change.

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Oct. 27th, 2016 08:28 pm

Being flexible doesn't necessarily mean compromising your values or who you are.  It also doesn't mean molding yourself into someone else's desires.  Take a look at a tree in the wind -- see how the top branches are designed to sway easily?  Now turn your gaze to the trunk - it remains steady in the ground, not bending, not breaking.  Just like that tree, we want to roll with the minor misfortunes of life, whether they be unfortunate incidents or unjust criticisms, so that our inner roots can remain strong and grounded.

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Oct. 23rd, 2016 06:05 pm

Here I am, the last rays of the day filtering into the office.  A cup of pumpkin spice tea steaming by my side.  The rattle of buttons in the dryer and the clanging of dinner don't bother me in my closed door office.  It isn't late, I'm not tired, and I am not forcing every word just to type something in.  I am also not lying in my bed, letting those thoughts swirl in my mind, too tired to get up and put them down on this digital paper.  Nothing has really changed around me.  The house has toys still scattered on every surface; there are digital CDs stacked up next to me; the curtains are still torn.  There's more than enough at work for me to put in 60+ hours if I really chose to.  The family is still the same - husband stressing about finances and wanting a job, the kids still addicted to Roblox and Minecraft, and Andrew still struggling with his autism.

The only thing that has changed is me.  Not on the outside, but on the inside.  I've read all the self-help books about gratitude and how just pretending to be happy will make you happy.  There are truth in their words, but the rote nature always made these attempts hollow for me.  I just could never really "feel" it.  At least not until someone told me that I had complete responsibility for my response to life.  That I am truly free if I let myself be free.  It became more than a trite saying to me when I looked deep into my soul and recognized the truth of these words.  Only then, when it rang true in my heart, could I act on it and free myself.  No one else was making me worry but me.  No one else was making me stress out about work but me.  No one else was preventing me from writing when I wanted to but me.

I never understood the words to the song (and scripture): "My yolk is easy and my burden light" until now.  God doesn't ask us to burden ourselves with worry, to carry the weight of judgement on others or ourselves - we personally take that on.  If we truly free ourselves from the negative thoughts we conjure like God so asks us to do, our lives do become easier and our burdens lighter.  Suddenly, it isn't too difficult to sweep the floor while trying to get laundry done.  It doesn't seem like a burden to assist with the meal when you are ready to sit down and have some alone time.  Even better, you can still find plenty of quiet and solitude to still get that writing done as you have so longed to do.

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Oct. 10th, 2016 09:41 pm

As I've watched the awards get handed out for two weeks in a row at my training class, I realize that people are a mystery.  The ones that have been chosen personally did not register within my top 3 or 4 for befitting the award.  It makes me wonder how varied the votes were and makes me want to go to each person and ask who they voted for and why.  Not because I want to see how many votes or how close it was, but what resonates with people, what drives their choices, what sticks with people.  What sticks with me is not what sticks with others.  This alone has taught me that I can't ever assume anyone is on the same page as me or agrees with me.  They have their own thoughts and opinions and things that drive them and I must always be cognizant of the fact that I may never know where their ideas are coming from, but I can always ask and seek to understand. 

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Sep. 22nd, 2016 09:09 am

Uncertainty is easy to manage when you have vision.

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