Enamored, a word not often used in day to day verbiage. Defined it means to be filled with a feeling of love, to be in love with, smitten by, or merely having a liking for something is to be enamored with something.
As a young woman I would have stated that I was infatuated with the love of my life, my spouse, and although that remains true I would not be here to love the man of my dreams without life. Life, a word with only four letters and such a large meaning. To have life, to breathe, to sustain a way of living is not a given. It is a day to day gifting.
Only yesterday a dear friend underwent an eight hour surgery. She is resting now and healing from the endeavor and she is alive. Alive to be with her family yet another day. Breathing and taking in air, enjoying a breakfast that only a hospital can make. 🙂 She has been given the opportunity as have all of us to reach out and touch people in a new way. As one who is fighting back at breast cancer she is a stronghold of the culture within we live. So many have fought the battle against cancer, so many have won the battle against death with accidents, illnesses, and on and on the list could go. I have survived a few things myself but today I choose to focus on the fact that I live for a purpose, a reason.
What is that reason? I live to serve. I live to serve God and his church. I live to serve those who long to know more about what it is like to live with a TBI. I live to love my friends and family. I am infatuated with life.
This morning as I rose from slumber I came right to my PC to go onto Facebook. I knew that a post would have been made concerning the well being of my dear friend. A photo of she and her daughter greeted me as I slid down the page of entries. In that moment I knew she was okay. Joy entered my heart as I knew I would be able to talk to her again soon. We would be able to come together and make handmade cards for those we love and speak of our lives. We would form more memories and explore our lives. I am thankful for that opportunity.
In a few hours I will venture out to celebrate a birthday with someone who was in the rollover accident with me. We will celebrate another year of life. I will look at her and recall those moments wherein we were not sure we would make it. She will look at me and do the same. Then we will embrace and know that we are blessed to be here. To celebrate yet another year, to be there with those we love, and to serve. To live, to celebrate life and to be enamored by all of its possibilities.
I am active on Facebook as many are. I state that as a preface to my blog today because I have found that my conservative posts are not always met in a dignified way. It seems as if others who are of a varied mindset seem to think that it is okay to correct me and to go on and on about how I see things wrongly. I would like to clear the air and state that I see things differently than they do but in my eyes that does not mean they are wrong.
With many things in life there used to be a clear cut wrong and right. But in today’s realm we do not always have such a clear cut difference. We have become muddled with our beliefs and it seems that everything needs to be politically correct. To offend someone is bad. To tell your side of the story is wrong if it does not agree with another’s way of thinking. I reflect back on my life and wonder when this line of thinking began. It has been within my lifetime. I know that.
I was raised to speak to my elders with respect and to call them by Mr. So and So and Mrs. So and So. First names were less formal. Respect was expected.
I was taught to let the adults speak and to listen when spoken to. It was in this manner that I learned many things and how the adults seemed to have a wisdom I had not yet acquired as a child.
So, that takes me back to my original question – when did it become okay to challenge those with lifelong wisdom? When did it become common place to toss aside someone’s opinion if it does not align with yours? When did it become okay to punish or even kill those that we disagree with? Don’t like what they believe? Do something about it. Let me tell of a happening in my life wherein that exact thing happened.
It was in the mid eighties when I lost someone I loved very dearly to cancer. I mourned her death more than any other I have ever experienced in my life. I went with her spouse to shop for the tombstone and agonized with him over the perfect one to represent her. It was bought and placed onto the site. I took care of the grave and visited from time to time to take flowers as loved ones do. But, one day I went to find that someone had spray painted that stone with scribbled gestures. No words, just a mess of white paint sprayed upon the grey granite we had chosen. I became angry that someone would do such a thing. Who would desecrate her grave and why? She had hurt no one. Looking around the cemetery I noted that her grave was the only one that had been damaged. In that moment I recalled how a family had been upset with me at the school where I worked. I had made their child do the work she had been asked to do. Her mother had attempted to hit me, and if not for the principal being nearby she would have succeeded. My mind wandered to thinking, wondering if they were so upset that they came here to hurt me in another way. Living in a small community it was quite possible.
I cleaned up the stone, painstakingly washing it down after getting all of the paint off with removers. I cried as I wondered it the remover would damage the finish. I never told a soul. But, inside I hurt as if she had died all over again. They had put me in my place. I would never forget that lesson.
By now that child is a parent herself. I have to wonder what she teaches her children. I wonder if they are a part of the minority out there desecrating the graves today and tearing down statues. Back then, I let what happened go. I did not tell anyone. I did not rise up and protect the grave of my dear one against another possible attack. But as for today I chose otherwise. I am going to speak up. Each of us has a voice that needs to be heard. Nobody has the right to tell us we are wrong or to eradicate our free speech. I have opinions that are just as worthy as anyone else. Please stop telling me that my opinions and the way I feel about things are wrong.
Lets get back to dignified responses only please. Ones that express how we feel without tearing the other person down. Responses that allow us to debate without hatred and malice toward those we do not agree with. Let us not have to feel like we are unworthy to speak. It is okay to disagree. But it is not okay to allow undignified mannerisms.
As days pass and the years go by I seem to see many things in a different light. Perhaps it is due to the fact that I have survived near death. Perhaps it is just a normal part of aging. Either way it is something that needs to be respected in our American culture (but seems to not be). With that said I wish to pay homage to the lessons my God has shown me. I hope that you glean something from this blog. It is why I write.
Lesson 1 – People who you think are your friends will use you for the sake of gossip. There I said it. I hated to tell you that one, but it is true. How do I know? I used to talk to someone almost every day. Our conversations could go on for an hour or more. But, I came to realize that as she spoke to me she slandered, or cut down, the people in her life that she called her friends. After years of hearing this I thought to myself, “I wonder if she does the same thing with what I tell her about my life?” If she were in fact talking to me to get information to tell them! I began cutting back on telling her things and grew more and more sure of the fact that she was. I hated that I had fallen for that. I was a part of a gossip roundup – gathering and spreading the herds of data – manure and all. Since that realization I have decided to keep my mouth shut more than I used to. I have given up gossiping and use words to edify more than I did back then. People will use you. You have to set boundaries. If you don’t you will have repercussions.
Lesson 2 – Private matters should be discussed with someone who is a counselor or trained to help you sort it all out. This is a follow up to number one. Confide in those who must keep your private matters private. I have gone to a counselor and not am ashamed to admit it. I know that they have taken an oath and will guide you. Friends and family on the other hand might think they know what is best and want to help but they are not always right. I lean on God and pray more than anything now to get my answers.
Lesson 3- Set boundaries with those who need it – I am not real good at this yet, but I am trying. I have people in my life who seem to think that they can tell me what to think even though what they think it completely opposite of who I am. I cannot do as they wish nor will I. To me, if I do as they tell me to do they become a sort of false God. Especially when they are telling me to do things that are not in agreement with the Bible. I set boundaries and will listen to the one true God, not anyone who is a wolf is sheep’s clothing.
Lesson 4- When You Change People Will Not See it and Think You Are Still the Old You – Change takes time. I have changed but most still see me as the old me. I let her go a while ago. I am a new me dedicated to God. It is okay that people do not see it. That is not what matters. What matters is that God sees the new me.
Lesson 5- People will judge you even though they have no right to – It is a natural thing – to judge others for whatever reason. Maybe your eyes are a different color or you are in a wheelchair. Maybe it is something not physical but spiritual as you are of a varied faith. The reason is not important. It is the action that is taking place. Judge not lest ye be judged. Speak words of love, not judgement. If you are offended by someone pray for them. But more than anything, if someone judges you do not let it bother you. By doing so you give them control over your feelings. Focus on what God knows to be true. That is the only thing that is important.
I used to give homage to so many things. Those were the things that I spent an enormous amount of time on. Now, I choose to give homage to God and what he asks me to do. Homage to God as his disciple is not always an easy path to choose. But I choose it.
A dear fried was explaining to me that she was going to have a mastectomy. Cancer had invaded her body and therefore removal of one breast and the reduction of the other had become something needing to be done. I listened as she explained the procedure including the part where a magnet would be placed into her breast during the surgery. At that point my TBI brain went aloof as to why a magnet was being placed in there. My brain was yet trying to understand all that she would have to endure.
We had not known each other long, less than a year, but this dear friend had become the one to drive me to most all of my appointments for therapy etc. When we had met her health was good, not great, and we talked of many things. Don’t get me wrong, our talks are wide in breadth but we do speak of our health issues with one another. It is as if God placed us together to help each of us deal with the hand we have been dealt. Anyway, back to the topic. As I sat listening to her it dawned on me that we each have storms in our lives. We have those mountains to climb and we have those times of pure joy. With some storms you can reach out to those who have had a similar experience and with others it is not so easy. So many have suffered cancer and its impact on their body and the soul. But, as for me, I have not met so many with a TBI. To be able to hear from those who are victims of a common thing might be comforting in some ways.
This morning as my dear friend and I chatted on Facebook I watched a news story about a local race for the cure. Cancer was the cause of this race and the people were helping raise funds for research etc. My TBI mind began to wander. It began to ask itself if there are races etc for the cause of those with a TBI. I would hope so. Looking online I find a bowling for the cause idea and that the Veterans get help as well. That was a good start! In the end I realized that I have an opportunity to attempt to be a spokesperson for the cause of those with a TBI and their loved ones. There are so many of us. It is not to say that the other causes are not good, it is not that at all. I am now connected to this cause. My dear friend is connected to her cause. It is what we know. It is what we live.
Tomorrow my friend will have a magnet placed into her body and it will be a part of her forever. In addition, she has the means to be a magnetic personality for the cause of cancer. She will be able to help those in need of assistance if she so chooses. As for me, I am going to choose to do the same for the cause of those with a TBI. I am going to choose to begin to seek ways to help with the cause and help others understand the ramifications of a TBI. There are so many who have not a clue about what we endure with this injury as a part of who we are. They cannot see it, so we must be fine. My friend and her circumstances has inspired me to reach out to others. To be like a magnet in the sea of people wanting to learn and to help. I am so thankful for her in many ways.
God, I ask that you be with my friend as she undergoes her surgery tomorrow. I ask that you guide us in the days to come. Thank you for helping me to be able to serve you and to be a magnet for those in need. I thank you that my life did not end in that accident. I am beginning to see why. Help me as I go forth. Amen.
Immersion has more than one definition. One definition is to involve oneself deeply in a particular activity or interest. Another is to dip or submerge in a liquid. Odd how in faith we may have done both.
Baptism is an example of immersion in some faiths. I have been lucky enough to have been submerged by a man of God at the River Jordan as others witnessed my cleansing. That was something that took but a few minutes yet meant so much to my walk of faith. But, I dare say, that was the easy part of immersion in my walk with faith. The other definition, the one that involves going deeply into an interest is much harder.
Immersion, that daily walk with my faith is something I do okay at some days and not so well on other days. The ability to walk with Christ daily seems to be a challenge as there are other things that seem to get in the way. Our modern world offers up so many things that entertain us and keep us busy. Television and radio are two of them. Having heard sermon after sermon on how we spend more time with both of these things than with God I began to realize that I had what some may call false Gods in my life. So, I began to change how I viewed media. I began to seek ways to shift from the cultural influences on both to the spiritual ones. I now watch and listen to Christian channels more than I ever had. I have even discovered a Jewish channel and have found programs out of Israel that show places I had visited while there as well as new locations. I am now able to immerse myself in things of faith daily. It is not a perfect answer but it is a start.
Immersing myself into a prayerful life is another area wherein I have found small ways to make a difference in my daily walk. I now pray while in the car, while I sew, or when I walk out to get the mail. I have found that my mind is becoming better at flipping into prayer in my mind than it had before. Immersing myself in prayer helps me to obtain the goal of praying unceasingly. I may never master this, but I am making an effort and am seeing progress. I know God sees it as well.
Immersion has more than one definition and if you attempt to follow it faithfully it has more than one challenge in your life. Look for the little things that you can change in order to walk with him more closely. Immerse yourself in his word and listen when he speaks to you. He will help you. HUGZ. God bless.
Years ago pictures like the one above were quite popular. Most folks could look at the image, the pattern, and a new picture would emerge from amongst the lines. At that moment you would hear the viewer announce to the world what they saw. But, I never could figure those things out. I would stare, follow tips of those who could master the task, and do all I could think of but I could never see anything more than the pattern in front of my face. I never could see the essence of the picture, its soul. But for all who could see the essence of the picture they always announced the same found item. It was never argued, never debated, there was one answer. Each pattern held one hidden image. Some could see it. Some could not.
There are other things like those patterns on our world. We look at them and one can see the soul of the meaning hidden in the image or the words but others cannot. But the difference is that with most other things we do not ever agree on what is hidden in the pattern if we can see it. Take for instance, this BLOG. Not one person will totally agree with another person who reads this why I wrote it or what the essence of the article is. This is because we have varied backgrounds that help us filter things we find in our lives. It is not as simple as those magic pictures.
Take a look at this image. What do you see? Is there anything hidden that pops out at you? Are there things that remind you of patterns in the world or in your life?
Looking at people can be dissected in the same way as looking at those magic images. When we look at a person some people see the brilliance in them pop out like it is magic before their eyes. Others see the good, or the bad, or judge them by how they look or dress. What did you surmise about this young person from the times of the depression? How would you react to them if you saw someone like them on the streets of today? Would you see the same as everyone else who saw the same image?
My challenge to you today is to see in all you experience the magic. Look for the good in all that God has created. Find the good in people you meet. It is there. I pray that the good in all may pop out at you and may you see all through the eyes of God. Patterns in our world and in our lives can shift. Shift your daily patterns toward seeing magic in all.
God bless. HUGZ