Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's none of your business

How am I doing?
A canned answer for a canned question.

I don't want to reveal what's really going on
I don't want to tip my hand
Only to show I've been dealt some crappy cards lately
Because, really, it's none of your business.

I keep it from you
Because I don't quite comprehend it myself
I don't feel "fine" sharing what I don't understand
So I keep it none of your business.

I need to process this trauma
But not with someone who will try to fix me
I'm still assessing the brokenness.
Fixing will come in time
Until then, it's none of your business.

Help me to keep from looking at the floor
To see there is still beauty in my life
To see the value of myself, my surroundings
To see that life is more than a series of transactions
And at the end of the day I am worth more
Than a dollar value assigned by someone else

Then maybe, just maybe,
I'll let it become your business.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I Wondered

Christmas. It's the time of year that traditionally inspires joy more than any other time of year. In fact, I believe I experienced joy more in December, 2009, than I had in many Christmas seasons in recent memory.

Why so much joy?

Was my life all warm and fuzzy, full of the ear-to-ear-grin Kodak moments with loved ones? Hardly. Our combined income was 23% less in 2009 than in 2008. Hardly a financial bonanza. Not only that, my marriage crumbled as my husband and I came to the painful decision just two weeks before Christmas to separate our lives due to a long-festering issue that neither of us were willing to compromise on. The “D” word that I had once vowed never to speak was now becoming a part of my vocabulary, part of my life. So much for being “nestled all snug in our bed...”

In the midst of the trauma, how could I feel joy?

I wondered.

That's right. I Wondered.

That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep. All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord, and the brightness of the Lord's glory flashed around them. The shepherds were frightened. But the angel said, "Don't be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. - Luke 2:8-10

I wondered what it would have been like, to have been a witness to the multitude of angels breaching the veil that thinly separated heaven and earth, God from humanity. I wondered if the shepherds' quaking in their sandals was calmed at all when they were told, “Do not be afraid ...”

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. - Luke 2:6

I wondered at two weary travelers who took whatever lodging was available. I wondered if, when they set out on their trek, they had any clue that a stable would be the best of what's left, and would have to do for the birthplace of the Prince of Peace.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. - Isaiah 9:6

I wondered at the baby, who later grew up to become a man. I wondered what the Wonderful Counselor would say to me, to give comfort to me in the midst of my tears. How did he know exactly what I needed to hear, exactly what would give me the courage to move forward?

I wondered.

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. - Matthew 1:23

I wondered at the name Emmanuel – God with us. I wondered why a holy, unblemished God would want to dwell among people who turn their backs to him. I wondered what he thought he would try to prove by doing so.
God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them! - John 3:16-17

I wondered what my life would be like if I did not believe in God's saving grace. And I shuddered. I cannot imagine life without joy.

Joy ought not be restricted to one brief season of the year. It should be a way of life. Somehow joy loses its fullness when it is unaccompanied by wonder.

Do you also wonder?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

How do you ...

This week I'm taking time away from my day-job and taking some time for myself.  It's called "relaxing."  It fits in with this week's Topical Blogger topic:  "How do you relax?"  Along with the topic, the TB group has a twist of using a "magic word" in the post.  This week's word is "iridescent".  Since I don't want to work so much this week, I decided to let other people write part of my blog post for me.   How did convince others to do the heavy work?  I posted the question on Facebook.

The answers were as varied as the people giving them.   A mother/son team, acting independently, seemed to thing that I should have been clearer about the magic word.  The son would feel more relaxed if he knew the meaning of "iridescent"; the mom thought it was "indecent."  So I googled "indecent iridescence" and found a picture by Amy Booton that was ... neither.  At least the model for the picture appeared to be in a somewhat relaxed pose...

We can now put the magic word issue to rest.  It is now time to relax.  However, once again, before we can get to the "how" I am asked by Facebook friend Terry "what" ... as in "Relax?  What's that?"  Simply stated, relaxation is a positive pastime that helps you to rejuvenate your body and your mind.  And look at that - a two-for-one deal!  In defining the "what" of relaxing, I also defined the "why"! 

As of this writing, I am still getting a few more answers to my original questions on Facebook.  If I were to rank the answers in a relaxed method, meaning in no particular order, the list would go something like:
go to the spa.
sit in the mineral baths.
hang out with friends/family.
go to a quiet place of beauty.
bang repeatedly on my drum set.
listen to music.
get a massage.
play a game on the computer.
read a book.
enjoy a soothing cup of tea.
lay in the hammock.
take a walk.
go away for the weekend.
have a beer.
go to the gym.
engage in a hobby i enjoy, such as gardening or scrapbooking.
go on a scenic drive.
gaze at the ocean.
Of course, there were some hard-core multi-taskers in the response pool.  One guy sips his hot tea while talking with friends on the computer.  For Kristi, just the hammock is not enough - she needs the book as well.  And the over-achiever award in relaxation goes to Nancy.  Just for kicks and giggles, she'll sometimes listen to music while she reads a book does some scrapbooking, all while taking a drive!

Wow ... just thinking about some of these things helps relax me.  If it is true that relaxing rejuvenates the body and the mind, and we all did these things that we enjoy on a regular basis,  we could all reap the benefits of a healthier, more fulfilling life!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Seriosityness and Red Vines

The Topical Bloggers.  The group, albeit small at this time, that weekly write on what is presented as a singular subject. I suppose if you want a glimpse into how a person's mind really works, their written thoughts are the window to the soul, especially since the Topical Bloggers give that glimpse in written form.

Not a very profound statement, if you ask me.  And that's what this week's topic is all about:  Our Recent Most Profound Insights.  And here is mine:

I've been dealing with some serious stuff lately (who hasn't?).  But the stuff isn't life - it's just part of life.  Life is meant to be full of family, friends, love, laughter, spa days, new shoes, and Red Vines!  The serious stuff makes what makes what life is meant to be so much sweeter.

It's a lot of hard work, dealing with the seriosityness of life.  Oh, and in case you're wondering, "seriosityness" is in fact a word.  If you google it, you'll see it has been used by other people in their own writings.  Anyway, back on topic.  If kept to ourselves, seriosityness leads to a whole host of health issues, including stress, stomach ulcers, insomnia, headaches, irritability, and people just not wanting to be around us.  No, seriosityness is meant to be shared with one another.  Notice I said "shared" and not "dumped on."  Just as my serious stuff is my serious stuff, yours is yours.  Just like our toys, what is mine is mine, but when I am willing to share I know I'll get it back.

Sharing ... that was the word I was given on my Epiphany Star at the beginning of 2010.  (For more on the Epiphany Star tradition click here.)  Think about it ... if you have a group of people sharing their seriosityness issues, you might think that the serious stuff would multiply, no?  But it's just the opposite.  The more you and I share our seriosityness, the easier it becomes to bear.  Because we made the decision to share, it is no longer just you or just me carrying the load; you and I now have my friends and family helping us, whether through sharing similar experiences, advice, helping each other see just a bit of silliness in the seriosityness, or just praying to find Jesus' unforced rhythms of grace.  The issue is still returns to its rightful owner, but sharing brings the joy of bonding with friends and family, and with that come spa days, new shoes and Red Vines.  Well, maybe not so many spa days and new shoes.

But there are always Red Vines!

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." - Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)