Stages and Ages . . .

So often I have felt that I have come to understand a principle that previously eluded me only to find myself with a feeling of strangeness as if I have begun
a new course instead of simply taking another step.

Like the baby who thinks being able to walk is the answer to getting his hands on everything he wants, my understanding of my needs and
the answers is limited by my stage/age in life. Like the baby, I am right, but I am also wrong.

These feelings draw me back to a time in elementary school when I was in the sixth grade and coming up on the time to be “promoted” to the seventh grade.

Our teacher constantly reminded us during my
sixth grade term that everything we had learned up
to this point would be necessary for us to enter
and survive the “junior high and high school” years. 

 

 

 

 

As the sixth grade wound down all too quickly,
I found myself wanting to go forward and be
“grown up”, BUT NOT wanting to enter into the
unfamiliar situation and environment that would
encourage that growth. I knew that I had
probably NOT learned everything I was
supposed to in order to be able to function on
the next level.

I also realized that I would be
coming into contact with new people . . .
eighth and ninth graders . . .
who knew the ropes and the likelihood of
my making a fool of myself was great!

I do not remember the summer between
sixth and seventh grades –
I remember the FEAR!

I wasn’t sure how I would fit into this new situation;
the old one had become so comfortable.
I knew how to act, I knew what was expected of me,
I knew how I fit into the scene and
I was looked up to by 1st-5th graders.
All that would be wiped away when I . . .
entered the seventh grade.
Even now, the intensity of these emotions lingers.

I think these same feelings come
as the experiences of life “promote” us
from one stage to another.
When we move into new depths of understanding,
we find ourselves floundering –
not comfortable with our new way of thinking,
not knowing automatically the proper
response in light of our new understanding,
and feeling afraid of the people we will meet
and what they will think of us and our way of
thinking. Then, we seem to gradually begin to
see how our thoughts and understandings fit
into our lives and . . . you guessed it,
WE GET PROMOTED AGAIN!

We find ourselves faced with
new learning experiences and new understandings
and all of a sudden we are not comfortable
with our thoughts or with others.
And so it seems to go as we make our
way through the “stages of life”,
as God continues to guide us to new levels of
understanding, as He continues to help us
develop the skills needed to advance in our
walk toward intimacy with Him—
. . . the Stages . . .
. . . . . . . the Ages . . .

 

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Transitions of Life . . .

To begin a new chapter on our journey can be overwhelming.
All those emotions,
all those deep feelings of loss and
the confusion of not knowing what lies ahead can drag us into a dark pit          BUT . . .
if we choose to
look at the next chapter as the next step in an exciting adventure,
it will make it possible for us to go forward with anticipation!

This chapter means learning to let go of “things” and reviewing what is really important to me,
prioritizing what I have accumulated
over all the previous years
so the “stuff” doesn’t
push my important, heartfelt memories out of the way.

As the years add up, the stuff adds up
until all I can see are piles of stuff and
I am afraid I will lose something important –
that is what I am dealing with now . . .
fear that a part of me,
an important memory will be discarded and
I don’t even know exactly what that means or
what to do about it.

SO, I am going to start at the top and work down in my thoughts:

#1 transitions of life
I KNOW! There are always changes that have to take place in life, some internal and some external—that’s just a statement of fact, so I have to accept that: there have been and always will be changes in life and I have made it through some pretty rough ones in the past so I will make it through these!

#2 challenging steps
YES! leaving a place I am familiar with and going to a new place is SCARY!

It is NOT comfortable to think about being in a new place or being around others I don’t know and don’t have a
relationship with in a new place—

Making a transition when nothing is in the place it used to be in and those around me aren’t going through it with me because they are already used to the place . . . challenging!

BUT I have had to walk through some dark, unfamiliar places before and LOOK AT ME, I made it and gained a part of me each time I came back to the light so watch out world, I am exploring more of me in this new place!

#3 what I can’t control
OKAY! There are some things I cannot have any control over – some health
issues just seem to pop up without
warning and I have to depend on
qualified health care personnel to
help me through them (praise God
for some of those caring people that have helped me).

So, this is one place where I refuse to let fear overcome me. I am standing up (or sitting down, ha! ha!) and saying,
whatever heath issues I have will be treated as needed just like they have been in the past and I will choose to enjoy each day and each breath I take!

#4 what I can control
YEAH! I can choose to look at things
that draw me to the light, things that
encourage my soul and fill me with hope. I can look for ways to let my creative side out and that always lifts my spirit. A pen or pencil, a pad of paper, a picture, a song, a kitty cat, a dog, or just looking at a tree going through the seasons . . .

I can choose to look at LIGHT and let it stir me to express my inner being, to spend time exploring what reveals me to me and maybe just snuggle into the fuzzy sweater or wrap up in that scarf that makes me feel pretty—

I can control where I stand each moment in my heart and in my mind!

#5 choices
NO! “No” is not always the right choice and I do have choices to make.

Like the two-year-old, I most often want to say “no” to others I feel are trying to make me go or do certain things BUT it
is always true that life needs me to say “yes” so I can move ahead on the path of life and explore the next chapter.

Fear—sure I feel some fear but that
can help me be cautious as I take the next steps.

Anxiety—you betcha, because there is much I cannot see from here and it
feels like there is so much I cannot
control but that can mean I need to
learn to trust my ultimate Guide to
provide those along the way to help
me move forward.

Overwhelmed—the word that comes to mind when I look around and try to figure out HOW to move forward but that can help me see the need to take “baby steps” in each part of the process and
to let others help me.

Perhaps the main choice I need to see is that the power of Universal Love (GOD) has been leading me on a path that would ultimately show me the choice to release myself to Love that trusts others are part of the plan in place from the beginning,

a Love that flows to and from others,
a Love that never fails,
never dies, and
always binds us all together
on a journey that never ends!

 

Transitions of Life
mean relaxing
into the Flow of Love . . .

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Intro to a story? just BEING

thoughts – Tuesday
April 30, 2019
7pm
————

do you see a “face” in the triangle?

storyline for a “Lost in Space” episode?

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HOW Did We Get Here?

I am up and awake . . .
feeling down and overwhelmed with despair
at the blindness of people who claim to be
God’s children,
followers of Jesus,
but do not seem to know Him—
so lacking in compassion and
so ready to sling mud and insults and
judge anyone
who does not agree with them.
(Jesus—Seeing the people, HE FELT COMPASSION
for them, because they were distressed and
dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.
Matthew 9:36)

DIVISIONS seem to be encouraged, pointed out
and promoted these days –
discussions,
respectful discussions do not seem possible.

Whether it is about
-a border wall to block people fleeing violence in
other countries
(some claiming it is to protect against immigrants
they perceive as a threat),
-social programs
(taking care of the poor and elderly with tax dollars), or
-tax cuts for the rich
(paid for by the middle income folks),
the hard lines and the labeling
come almost as soon as any exchange begins!

We “line up” as card-carrying members
defending divisions
we think make us better than “non-members” . . .
• religious groups – Christian (with its MANY divisions—
evangelical, mainline, Catholic, Mormon,Jehovah’s
Witness, etc.), Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist,
agnostic and on and on…
• political parties – republicans, democrats, independents,
socialists, green party and on and on . . .
• philosophies – liberal, conservative, moderate, ultra-liberal,
ultra-conservative, capitalism, socialism and on and on . . .
• ethnicity – race (white/non-white), religion (hundreds),
poor, rich, upper class, middle class, lower class, caste
and on and on . . .
• “fire” words – pro-life, pro-choice, sexual orientation,
gender preference and on and on . . .
• hate groups – white supremacists, fascists, nazis,
anti-Semitists, hate groups against Latinos, Hispanics,
Asians, and on and on . . .
• sports teams – competition of all sorts bring serious
confrontations, often deadly interactions and on and on . . .
(“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but
for those also who believe in Me through their word;
that they may all be one;
even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You…”
John 17:20)

HOW can we not see ourselves?
finding no Well of Life to draw from
finding no solace in a heart drained
finding no Hope in deepening darkness

SO . . . HOW have we reached this point?

I believe it is because we stopped listening to GOD
and
started listening to what others told us GOD meant—
a dangerous practice.

Right after Jesus affirmed His position as “Son of God,”
He said: ”… the sheep follow him because
they know his voice…”
(John 9:35-10:9)
and in verse 11 said “I am the good shepherd”

Do I know the voice of the Shepherd,
do I know GOD’s Word or
do I just repeat what others tell me GOD said
because it sounds good to my human reasoning?
(For the time will come when they will not
endure sound doctrine; but
wanting to have their ears tickled,
they will accumulate for themselves teachers
in accordance to their own desires, and
will turn away their ears from the truth and
will turn aside to myths
2 Timothy 4:3-4)

GOD . . . OPEN MY EARS TO YOUR WORD . . .
DRAW ME TO BE ONE WITH YOU . . .
HELP ME TO HEAR YOU . . .
help me to see how I got here!!!
=======
HOW have we reached this point?
disregard for human life, disrespect for anyone who disagrees, disgust for “them” (whoever that is), and general hatred and anger not defined, just there . . .

HOW did we get here?
rudeness, name calling, ridiculing, insults, mean-spirited loud tirades, and physical threats . . .

HOW are we so full and empty at the same time?
full of fear and empty of compassion, full of hate and empty of understanding,
full of darkness and empty of light . . .

HOW can we not see ourselves?

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7×7-Step Focus Plan – thoughts

Week One—SEEK GOD (I Surrender All)

what if as babies we are held in the heart of God, existing in His Presence and we know Him as our Father, our spirit is born of His Spirit so our spirit possesses attributes in common with God, a bonding that is not ever broken and plants a yearning for reconnection that eventually draws us back to God, back to who we are . . . then we are born and we forget who we are, where we came from, but the bond of our spirit with God’s Spirit never stops drawing us, creating a feeling that “something is missing” until we reconnect with “God who gave it.”

Week Two—CHOOSE DIET (Sweet Hour of Prayer)

“Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer! That calls me from a world of care, And bids me at my Father’s throne Make all my wants and wishes known. In seasons of distress and grief, My soul has often found relief, And oft escaped the tempter’s snare, By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!” (William W. Walford, 1845)

If we truly understood the temporary nature of our experiences, we would more carefully choose our diet to include that which feeds our spirit and leads us to trust more through those difficult times—we are what we eat, what we consume, what our hearts reflect in our actions. Listening is not hearing . . . unless it reaches our heart. Seeing is not seeing . . . unless it opens our heart. Our “diet” nourishes our inner self, the essence placed by God in His creation . . . and God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so that he became a living being.”

Week Three—FAITH

After 7 days of a focus on “faith,”
I am left only with questions I need to pursue much further . . .
WHAT do I believe?
WHY do I believe it?
HOW do my beliefs impact my life?
WHEN do I change my beliefs?
WHO do I believe,
WHO do I believe in,
WHO determines what I believe?

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UNITY . . . Where Do I Start? violence – belonging

NO OFFENSE INTENDED—JUST SHARING MY OPINION
With all that has happened lately, my heart has been heavy . . .
why is violence the answer to frustration . . .
how can anything make it right to take someone else’s life . . .
WHY can’t we instead join together in the areas of beliefs we share:
• we believe in ONE God,
• we trace our history to Abraham,
• we consider it important to observe God’s commands
to the best of our understanding & ability
• we want to preserve & protect our families & our way of life

We have common concerns:
• what is going on with our children
• what lifestyle is growing in our society
• how can I protect my family
• can I live according to what I believe

With such strong areas of common belief in groups,
even though all may have violence in their history,
they do not teach violence as the answer to life’s issues—
why can we not work together to find the answer
to give to those who are being drawn into groups
that offer violence as the answer.
If the answer is wrong,
maybe we are not asking the right questions . . .

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7×7-Step Focus Plan – 49 days

RESOLUTIONS & REVIEW 2018
This time of the year, it is hard to resist making “new year resolutions” or “reviewing the past”
with both offering pitfalls leading to unrealistic expectations or depressing regrets and impeding any long-term personal growth . . .
so today I am making a public commitment to a
7×7-Step Focus Plan
which uses one point of focus each week for seven weeks to examine
myself, my path, my beliefs, my core values and to dig into the why behind my choices and exploring what has led me to and through:

Week One – January 7, 2o19
Step One—SEEK GOD

Week Two – January 14, 2019
Step Two—CHOOSE DIET

Week Three – January 21, 2019
Step Three—FAITH

Week Four – January 28, 2019
Step Four—HOPE

Week Five – February 4, 2019
Step Five—LOVE

Week Six – February 11, 2019
Step Six—TRUST GOD

Week Seven – February 18, 2019
Step Seven—PEACE

Day 50: February 25, 2019

In Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism and Taoism,
a God or Spirit is regarded as being a Potent, Ultimate Reality—
perhaps that is a good place to begin my journey . . . the Ultimate Reality:  GOD

thoughts: Winter Solstice—December 21, 2018

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