Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Joy’

God Made A Dog

The other day my friend Linda sent this to me.  It is so good I just had to share it with all you dog lovers out there!

God Bless!

Say Once More

Love for Arts

Image via Wikipedia

Need a little love today?  This song is a great reminder.  As I creep closer and closer to my 30th wedding anniversary to Greg – I find myself hearing songs of love and closeness that remind me of our long love affair.  This Amy Grant song beautifully expresses love for another human being, our love for God  –  and His for us.

Dedicated to all you lovers out there!

Enjoy and God Bless!

Let me say once more that I love you,
Let me say one time, maybe two,
That I love the way that you love me,
And I wish I knew more of you.

Let me say once more that I love you,
Let me say one time, maybe two,
That I love the way that you love me,
And I wish I knew more of you.

Tell me that time can’t erase
This look of love on your face.

Let me say once more that I need you,
One more time or just maybe two.
Oh, my life will always be richer
For the time I’ve spent here with you.

Let me say once more that I love you,
Let me say one time, maybe two,
That I love the way that you love me,
And I wish I knew more of you.

Tell me that time won’t erase
The way that my heart sees your face.

I call your name,
You look my way,
It’s clear you trust each word I say.
When life is long and problems come,
You’ll always be my only one.
So now we’re standing face to face,
And with one look my eyes embrace me.
Squeeze away each haunting fear,
And say the words I long to hear.

Tell me that time won’t erase
This look of love.

Ohhhh….

Let me say once more.
I love you.
I do, I do, I do, I do, I do.

Let me say once more that I love you,
Let me say one time, maybe two,
That I love the way that you love me,
And I wish I knew more of you.

Let me say once more that I love you,
One more time or just maybe two,
That I love the way that you love me,
And I want to know more of you.

(I call your name,
You look my way, I love you.
It’s clear you trust each word I say. I do….
When life is long and problems come,
You’ll always be my only one.
So now we’re standing face to face, oh, I need you.
And with one look my eyes embrace me. I want you.
Squeeze away each haunting fear, more and more and more.
And say the words I long to hear.)

(I call your name, let me say once more
You look my way, that I love you,
It’s clear you trust each word I say. let me say one time, maybe two,
When life is long and problems come, that I love the way that you love me,
You’ll always be my only one. and I wish I knew more of you.
So now we’re standing face to face, let me say once more that I love you,
And with one look my eyes embrace me. let me say one time, maybe two,
Squeeze away each haunting fear, that I love the way that you love me,
And say the words I long to hear.) and I wish I knew more of you.

New Dream

dreams and wishes. 62/365

Image by nicole.pierce.photography ♥ via Flickr

I looked for someone

like searching in a fog

chasing after

an endless mist

straining for

that unattainable someone

or something

thinking that it would satisfy

what’s deep within

heart-sick and weary

all my efforts

came up empty

and my searching

and reaching

brought no relief

for I found

that in the searching

it was me that I found instead

alone and empty

sad and confused

“Is what I seek

my dream only?

never satisfied

why do

I continue to pursue?

Are my “dreams” just those I make up

bringing emptiness

and endless struggle

instead of fulfillment

and relief?”

And yet I searched for you

my unobtainable someone

and something

that threatened to destroy

and devour me

The one I craved

the things I craved

could be my undoing

and the searching

and dreaming for them

like a slow death

And at the end of the road

I was still there

running on empty

defeated and broken…

It was when I was at my weakest

and tired of running after

and insisting on my own way

that He came

and I heard

a still small voice

and in my confusion

and tears

which caused me to slow down

be still

and listen

that I heard Him

that voice changed me

as He reached in

and held the broken

and confused me

and finally I don’t need to know

all the reasons for before

I reluctantly surrender

and replace

all the running

and searching

for something unknown

instead of something

that does not satisfy

and begin a new path

with His dreams

and plans for me

and at the end of the road

there is no disappointment

and emptiness

or brokenness

and I have almost 

vanished from view

even though

my selfishness and pride

are still there

but they are covered

and kept in check

and it is He that is waiting

giving me

a new dream

which fulfills

and satisfies

instead of

all the things

I wanted

and thought I needed

He is giving me

much more

than I could ever dream

as He replaces my will

with new people

new things

and a new dream

 

What is your dream today?  Have you surrendered yours for His?

 

God Bless

 

 

Let Go – And DANCE – Anyway!!!

Several years ago – my husband was reading a book by Charles Swindoll entitled, “Improving your serve” – at least we’re pretty sure.  We can’t come up with the book – or this next story – I actually had to look it up online and found that Charles Swindoll was actually quoting a story from Max Lucado’s book, “In the Eye of the Storm”

He came upon this story and started laughing – and just HAD to read it out loud to me – we were soon in FITS of laughter – wondering just HOW this could have happened – and then realized that it is from real life – where we get much of our humor.

Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming.  One second he was peacefully perched in his cage.  The next he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over.
The problems began when Chippie’s owner decided to clean Chippie’s cage with a vacuum cleaner.  She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage.  The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up.  She’d barely said “hello” when “sssopp!” Chippie got sucked in.
The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag.  There was Chippie — still alive, but stunned. Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water.  Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do … she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air.
Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.   A few days after the trauma, the reporter who’d initially written about the event contact Chippie’s owner to see how the bird was recovering. “Well,”  she replied,  “Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore — he just sits and stares.”

Ever feel like ‘Chippie’?  I think we all do.  Life just happens and all we want to do (after people have used us all up) – is STARE.

The following video features a dancing Cockatoo – I ‘borrowed’ this from my friend Carla Ives and I hope it will bring you much laughter – as we find the humor in the little things of life – the strange and the absurd – the ridiculous of things gone wrong – and nature’s way of reminding us that we all need to just LET GO  – and DANCE!!!

God Bless

Your Healing Touch

Last night I watched a movie about a terminally ill man.  The man was in his forties – was divorced and had a 16-year-old rebellious son.  In one scene he collapses and ends up in the hospital – talking with a young nurse on night duty about his regrets and his life.  He tells her about his son – his painful divorce and no one to love him.  She asks him what he would do if he knew he only had 4 months to live and he tells her, “I’d build a house”  She feels compassion for him and reaches out to touch him.  He pulls back and tells her that he’s uncomfortable with touch – because no one has touched him in a long time – in fact he couldn’t remember the last time someone in his life had done that.   A look of understanding comes across her face and she quietly closed the curtain that surrounded his bed and then sits down next to him and touches him. She lovingly strokes his head with her soft hands and lets him feel her warmth as she placed both her hands on his face – on his cheeks.  It was one of the most moving scenes I have ever seen in a movie – there was no sound from either of them – just simple, tender human touch.

I have known people like this in my life.  People who desperately needed to be loved and touched.  Those that for their own reasons – shrink back from people touching them – even though they really need it.    I can only imagine that they are ‘prickly’ and pull away because of fear – fear of rejection or of being hurt – or maybe because of a bad experience – an abusive parent or harsh teacher – an angry boyfriend or girlfriend – or maybe even a physically abusive spouse.  I even knew one male friend that barely escaped with his own life from an abusive and mentally disturbed spouse.  These events and more can make people feel ‘unloved’ and cause them to pull away from touch and love from those around them.  A hug might be no big deal to you and me – after all I give them everyday – to my husband and kids – my friends and students – but I always know the ones that have a hard time accepting my touch – my love – any physical form of connection – such as a hug or simple squeeze around the shoulders – or on the hand.  And yet – I know it is very important that they feel it.  And it is very important that I touch them – anyway.

Jesus touched people.  The unlovely.  The sick and diseased.  The ones that others would turn away from.  He reached out – and touched them.  And in that simple act of intimacy – people were healed – both emotionally and physically.  Jesus healed people from the inside out.  His touch was like a healing balm of oil poured on their heads and it released something sick and dying inside – all with a touch.

There is power in touch today.  Ever have a good massage?  That touch is healing and releases something tight and pent-up inside your muscles.  If done right – and deep enough into the tissue people have actually been known to cry – something is released and even deep memories of past can be brought out.  It is not unusual to have people become emotional during a massage – because sometimes it is just what that person needs.  The loving touch of someone.  Gently stroking those tired and sore muscles – going deep into the stress and fatigue of everyday living – of regret and heartache.  Bringing relief – bringing joy and release.

How much more important is it to touch those we love?  How important is a hug, a caress, a kiss?  It is HUGE.  We need to touch our kids – hug them lots and make sure we express something through our gently, loving and much-needed embrace.

The human touch.  The healing embrace.  The caress that says much more than mere words can.  The silent love language of touch. It is still needed as we grow and mature into adulthood.  Sometimes more so if you didn’t have it much as a child – or if you’ve been through something traumatic and painful.  The touch that says, “I see you.  I care.  You are valuable to me”

Don’t be afraid to reach out and touch someone.  It may be the only thing that someone understands.  It may be the only thing that someone is missing in their life.  You may be the only link they have to forming an opinion about a loving God.  Your touch and reaching out to them – may be the one thing that makes them want to know more about God and his loving embrace.  So hug them.  Your touch may be the only Jesus they can understand.

God Bless

What Scares You?

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

I thought about this quote today and realize the importance of ‘stepping out’ of my own comfort zone to insure that I keep growing. How easy it is to stay where I’m comfortable – no pressure – no expectations – no work. But on the flip side – no lesson learned – no real positive change – no opportunity to influence others by being unafraid to face things head on.

Last week I was asked by friend, radio host and local pastor, Doug Bursch to be on his radio show – “Live from Seattle”. I hesitated. I made excuses. Finally I could see that none of my excuses (one of them was that I teach in the afternoon when the show airs) were going to be enough – especially when a time slot was found that could accommodate me. The subject he was going to interview me on: Blogging and what God was speaking to me. Now before you judge my hesitations – just remember that I am the girl that has no problem singing you a song – or playing the piano at a recital for my students – can teach music in a theater class – but usually I don’t have to ‘talk’ much. I’ve never considered myself a speaker and in fact have turned down speaking engagements when we were in ministry over the years – because I didn’t feel qualified – or had anything to say – and was just plain terrified! So when Doug asked me to do this – I was pretty nervous – and that’s the understatement!

But excuses aside – I did it anyway – knowing it was probably good for me to be forced out of my comfort zone of sitting behind my desk and typing – sharing things from my heart in written form only – and to be open to a new vehicle that God was gently nudging me in – with a little help from a friend. And I’m happy and relieved to tell you that it was not as bad as I thought – I actually could think on my feet and share what needed to be shared – was not ‘tongue tied’ or really dumb – and the nervous feeling left me almost as soon as the interview started. With a lot of help from Doug 🙂

I got to thinking – how many things scare us? Prevent us from a great blessing and possibility for growth – all because we’re terrified of stepping out? How many things have I missed out on – just because I refused to learn something new – and do something that really terrified me? Like…talking on the radio? Maybe talking to someone that could really use a friend? Doing something with children that I didn’t feel qualified for? Teaching a class? Volunteering my time to an organization? Giving of myself? Living by example? Being misunderstood?

As I thought of this – I am very aware in my own life – that I have been the reason – I’ve been the one that is afraid – afraid to tackle the strange unknown. Because of this I know that I have also held myself back from doing great things for people – for my family and friends and most of all – God’s kingdom – all because of fear. There are several ‘fear buttons’:

What if they don’t like me? They might not. Many that have known me through the years – don’t like me. I’ve managed to survive it and I’ve come to realize that not everyone will like me – and that has to be okay. But I won’t let that handicap me from being who I am – just because some don’t like me.

What if they reject me? Again – many have. Some of them that I considered good friends have rejected me – for whatever reasons of their own – walked away and have never spoken to me again. Rejection in the rawest form. But I’m still me – I’m still here – I didn’t die from the rejection. It hurt me – but I went on and found others who won’t play that game with me and don’t do that anymore. And I’m getting smarter – I’ve learned who they are – and those that are open to me and my influence are those that have won my friendship and trust.

What if I fail? Well – I’ve failed MANY times. I’m actually the ‘poster child’ for this. I can tell you how to do it and how to go down to that dark scary place – how to spiral out of control because of hurt, disappointed and frustration. But I also know that God is greater than any failure of mine – or any scrape I can get myself into – and that He is there – even in the deepest, darkest pit of self pity and pride. I know that it IS possible to dig yourself out – and begin again – because I have done it – not once – but many times. And what I find each time I fail is that His grace renews every morning – there’s enough to cover me and my mistakes. And the lessons learned from failing are invaluable and actually make me stronger and wiser. So failing doesn’t not scare me anymore. I can actually look failure in the face and say, ‘you don’t own me anymore’.

What if I can’t handle it? I’ve been there too. There are still days when I don’t feel as if I’m up to the task – and my daily schedule of teaching students can be a daunting task. There are days when I actually dread it. And I’ve had those bad teaching days where I don’t feel like I’ve connected with the student at all. I mean – a really bad day. The kind of day that makes me doubt my own education and experience – makes me want to give up entirely and ‘throw in the towel’. Then something will happen – an encouragement from a parent – an email and positive affirmation of some kind – and suddenly I remember why I do – what I do. And I know that I can handle it. And God has equipped me to handle it and to ‘bloom where I’m planted’.

Do those things above scare me? You bet. Everyday. More than once a day. But I also know that God will give me what I need for that day to accomplish what I’m supposed to. I can’t do it in my own strength – nor does He expect me to. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is found in Proverbs 3:5,6:

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.

I want to challenge you today – do something that really scares you. It may be that very thing that propels you onto a new pathway of discovery and growth – a journey that embraces and influences others in ways you never dreamed of before. Do that one thing that has been holding you back – and keeping you from missing a blessing in your life. What is it? You are the only one that can answer that. Step out and do it – you won’t be alone – He will be by your side as your greatest source of strength and encouragement. Reach out and embrace that change in your life. That change may be the beginning of your finest hour. A scary step. The thing most feared – may be your biggest blessing.

God Bless

Laughter, Listening and Liking each other in Marriage

I posted something today on my facebook page about laughter and it got me thinking about marriage and laughter.  There are many reasons why a marriage fails – even those that start out with good intentions.  Oh sure, there are outside forces that hit you blindsided – we all know about those things – and finances (or lack of them) can also be a key contributor to failure.  But more than these I believe that at the very root of the issue is this:  Married couples forget to laugh. Now I’m not talking about the little chuckle you get from something funny one of your kids did today – or a funny email or status update on facebook from one of your friends – or even a great humorous story – I’m talking about laughing with each other – sharing a joke together – or a secret and poking fun at the other and finding it so funny!  When was the last time your spouse made you REALLY LAUGH? When was the last time – YOU were funny and not so serious?  Life is serious enough without adding to it – and sometimes you just need to take a ‘chill pill’ and just laugh.  Laugh at the absurd – laugh at the ridiculousness of your situation – laugh at the irony of life – enjoy your spouse and find something together to laugh at!  A healthy married couple smiles and laughs all the time.

Another reason marriages are in trouble is this: Married people forget how to listen. You’re so used to that person – after a while if they’re not saying anything worth listening to – we tune them out. It is an art form to learn how to listen well – but well worth it.  We were a marriage that had forgotten how to do this – I didn’t feel I had my husband’s full attention anymore – he had forgotten how to listen to me and meet my emotional needs.

Develop a healthy sense of humor with your spouse and listen to them – really listen. If you listen long enough – believe me – you will bond with them again – you’ll be able to share secrets and find that laughter too.  It will be there – decide that YOU will not wait for them – decide that you are going to turn your marriage around.  Get your ‘mischievousness’ on!  You will ignite something in your spouse – a passion that you forgot was ever there.

And finally – I think the reason that marriages are in trouble is this:  Somewhere along the way – you forgot to like your spouse. You say, “Oh – but you don’t understand – I wouldn’t ever think of leaving them” – You may even say that you ‘love’ them – in the traditional Christian way (of course) and if push comes to shove and they really tick you off and you’re at the end of your rope you might consider murder – but NOT divorce – NEVER!  You say, “Not me!   This would never happen to us!  But I don’t have to like them – I’m committed.” HOGWASH!!  You are setting yourself up for a failure with this attitude.  What if someone comes into your life that really likes you – admires you – and treats you like your spouse doesn’t? There’s a fine line between tolerance and indifference – don’t be foolish.  It happens all the time.

I like my husband.  I didn’t always feel this way.  Oh I suppose I got used to him – he is an excellent man in every way – good father – wonderful friend to many – but for me – I had forgotten to like him.  So like many of you out there – I had a choice to make.  Do I want to start over and learn how to like him again – find the laughter and the reason that I picked  him in the first place?  Can it be done?  We’re used to each other – but do I really like him?  It took many months of talking and really listening to each other to discover that we were solid as good friends – even if we hadn’t been married to each other.  We had to rediscover that again – we had to ‘date’ again to make that connection – and we DID!  And you can too.  I can honestly say now that I not only love Greg – and am committed – but I also like him.

I found this very cute and humorous video on marriage from the comedic and married team of Stiller and Meara – married over 50 years.  It’s adorable and has some great truths in it – they use laughter in their relationship and they have also found that they actually like one another after all the years together.

God Bless

Becoming Myself

‎”Now, with God’s help, I shall become myself” – Kierkegaard

Yesterday Greg and I were tossing around the above quote.  The simple and yet the profound.  The tangible and intangible truth of the above words – hard to fully process and difficult to wrap your mind around.

The longer I live – the more I am convinced that our lives are in process of ‘becoming’ who we are.  We are born – we have a certain ‘bent’ in our personality – those we genetically inherit and those we accumulate from our environment.  We develop in that environment – have friends in school to measure ourselves against – and if we’re really lucky – have good parents, a healthy church and many people we look up to – like teachers, coaches and mentors.  All of these help in the process of us ‘becoming’ who we are – but that in itself is not enough.

It takes many years of growing – getting through adolescence and young adulthood – to even begin to see our own unique gifts and personality.  We make shifts and adjust our likes and dislikes – to get married and have children.  For years we are lost in our lives – raising children – working outside the home – or in my case – in the home (being self-employed) and little by little – the years go by until you wake up one morning and your children – (that took over your life) – are all grown up and gone.  You get ‘judged’ or criticized for ‘just being yourself’ along the journey and little by little you make the adjustment and ‘pull yourself in’ so that you won’t stick out – be different – be wrong. After years and years we forget what it really was that made us unique – and made us ‘who we are’.

So the question is this:  Were we being our full and true self when we were younger?  Before anyone criticized us for being that? – Were we ‘ourselves’ when we were busy raising children – or going about our daily routine?  Or does becoming ourselves mean that we are on a journey – learning things from each of our experiences and taking it into the next step of our journey?  Does it also mean that I can be ‘real’ and ‘authentic’ – not hiding behind a facade of who people really think I am?   Because it’s easier?  Because it’s safer?  What if people don’t accept me for me – or even like me anymore if they find out who I am?

When you’ve spent most of your life in ministry situations like I have – you find many types of people out there.  Many that present a ‘face’ to others because it’s easier and ‘safer’ to just go along than to risk being different.  It was easier for me too.  Hiding behind a ‘title’ and a facade is much easier than risking rejection because we are who we are.

I believe the ‘with God’s help’ part comes in to play when I first acknowledge Him as the Lord of my life – allowing Him to refine and change me – my attitudes and my ‘old nature’ to become more like Him everyday.  But I also believe that God – through that process allows me to become who I am – and takes into account my personality – my strengths and weaknesses and surrounds me with people in my life that will help me and encourage me the most.  If we live lives that are dedicated to Him – and truly pray for His guidance and blessings on our daily activities and the people that we come in contact with – and those we will come in contact with – then we need not fear becoming – and being ourselves.  There is no fear – it is ‘safe’ to be me. We don’t need the ‘approval’ of man any more.

Whenever people tell me about their lives – troubles times and circumstances that brought them to this point  – they are discouraged (as we all are from time to time) and wish life could have been different – wish they could go back and make different choices. I am always quick to remind them that God used those trouble times of pain and frustration in their life – to help them become who they are today.  It is because of those circumstances – no matter what they are – that they are standing and talking about it today and they would not be who they are without them. Those very things helped to shape them into becoming themselves.

My prayer for you today is this:  That you would allow Jesus to lead you and guide your life – talk to Him about navigating through those rough patches (we all have them) and submit to the process of ‘becoming who you truly are‘ as those circumstances happen to you.  Be able to look clearly back over your shoulder at your past and say, ‘I can see now how God used that disappointment and hard time to make me stronger and set me on a different path’ or ‘I can look back and see His hand on my life during my journey.   See His hand in your life as He allowed different people in your life to help and encourage you –  and be convinced of the fact that He has been there every step of the way – in your past – here beside you today – and will continue on that road with you until you have learned everything there is to know about your journey.  That you would feel ‘safe‘ being yourself.  Let that be our prayer – all of us, to allow God to help us – as He gently leads us into the great unknown of becoming who we are.

God Bless

Living An Intentional Life

Yesterday we met up with good friends Ron and Kelly in Leavenworth, Washington.  This trip had to be  carefully planned – as they live in the Tri-Cities  and we live in Seattle area.  Schedules had to be carefully looked at and the date changed a couple of times – just so we would be able to ALL FOUR OF US take off on a weekday!

This had me thinking.  We live lives of the routine and sometimes the mundane.  Our schedules, children, careers – set us on a perpetual motion – and unending circle of daily ritual and expectations – either induced by ourselves – or those that depend on us.  I’ve heard it said, “if you want change – you can’t keep doing what you’re doing and expect anything different from your life”  or something similar to this.  This is very true in relation to friendships in our lives.  The way to make and keep friends is to have an on purpose and intentional relationship with them.  Being in each others lives on a daily basis and making time for them in your already busy and loaded down schedule.  This means planning – this means arranging schedules because it is important – and if it’s important enough – you always can find time to do it.

It’s so easy to say, “I’m fine – I don’t need anything else or anyone else – my family is enough for me” and continue doing what you’re doing.  Your results in 5 or 10 years will be about where you are now – so beware!  Good friendships don’t just happen – you have to go about them in an intentional way.

I want to finish my journey with much laughter and good friends by my side, don’t you?  Invest in your friendships today – and reap a rich harvest of understanding and love that you never knew existed.  Be very intentional and offer support and understanding to those on a similar path to yours.  It is in those friendships – that you will grow the most and be ever challenged to keep going – finding that happiness and joy come from within – in sharing of our true selves and allowing others to share themselves with us.  It is in allowing our friends to become close to us that we reap their strength and support when life gets too serious and depressing for us to continue.

I want to be that kind of friend.  I want to invest and live an intentional life – full of what God has for me – and what He has to teach me through others.  I have only just begun to reap the benefits of investing in others and plan to do much more of this.  We need each other – plain and simple – in order to look beyond ourselves – discover that life is NOT just about us – but it’s in the joy of investing in other people.

Here’s wishing you an intentional life full of God’s grace and blessing in your life.

God Bless

Chasing the Sun

Yesterday Greg and I took advantage of having no Sunday obligations.  It’s been years since we could do this – in fact – we never could because of church staff positions all of our married life – and even going back to childhood.  I don’t mean that we never got Sunday’s off – but they were seldom – usually limited to two a year.  Now we take off whenever we want.  Much of this is because with Greg’s job he is ‘on call’ 24/7 for emergency funeral services and even last-minute weddings – and when you’re self-employed – you keep your cell phone ON and don’t turn away any work.  This has been our life now for the past year and a half – and we wouldn’t have it any other way.  So when we get a day that I’m not teaching – we often jump in the car and just GO!

Because our weather has been unusually cold this year (we’re even having to turn our heat on in July) we longed to ‘chase the sun’ and find out where summer had gone.  Everyone told us – “go over the pass and you’ll find it there” – so we jumped in the car and headed out to find summer.

Going over the mountain pass is a higher elevation and the weather soon dropped down into the 50’s – not too much different from Seattle – but that 5 or 10 degrees can make a big difference – especially because we dressed for ‘summer’ and had high hopes.

After an hour or so and now out of the mountain pass – we discovered that the temperature was only in the upper 60’s – not too much different from Seattle.  These little towns were usually HOT this time of year!  What in the world is going on??? – we thought.  Good Grief.  And to top it off – it’s REALLY WINDY in Ellensburg – which added to the chill in the air.  Well – we didn’t want to drive another hour to Yakima – where the weather ‘promised’ to be a balmy 75 degrees or so – so we had lunch – in the wind – and drove back stopping at a fruit stand to buy some cherries.

As we headed back over the pass to Seattle – it started raining – perfect for the 4th of July – nothing like a little cold and rain when watching those fireworks.  Our searching brought us nothing – and we came back exhausted from the ‘chase’ and wondered why we even went at all.

I got to thinking about this.  We sometimes ‘chase’ things in our lives – opportunities, family connections, approval and wealth – only to realize that once we are done with the chase – we are often left with disappointment and even resentment at the things ‘lost’ – things that we could not claim.   There are things we can’t ‘chase’ after – and sometimes we spend a lifetime discovering that.  And sometimes – the things we were ‘chasing’ after – don’t really exist at all.  What is real and permanent in our lives – and what will last – and what is important – are the things closest to us.  Not the ‘great unknown’ that we often look for and try to find.  All the ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’ can play around in our head if we’re not careful – and our fantasy life can become very real to us – causing us to lose sight of what is right in front of us – all along.

I believe we do need to go after our dreams and dream BIG – but I also believe that there are some things we cannot chase after in this life – and there are roads we should not go down to find them.  Take a look around you and find the ‘secret’ of being content that the Bible talks about and your eyes will open up to discover wonderful things that are right in front of you.  It is only when we are ‘content’ not to ‘chase’ other pathways – that we begin to find the secret of being truly happy and fulfilled.

Oh –  and that cold and rainy weather for the 4th?  It stopped raining but it was chilly enough that the men in our family built a fire – and we sat around it down at the lake to watch fireworks with family that live here – and out-of-town.  It was cozy and warm and fun – and we  made smores and laughed together.  We would not have had that opportunity if it had been hot.

Some things we ‘chase’ are not worth ‘chasing’ – no matter how cold and raining it may seem.  There is always a blessing – even in the storm.

God Bless

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