Saturday, September 13, 2014

Finding a Flower in the Mud

This past month we have experienced the death of 2 very close people to our family, the loss of most of my hubby's clients (therefore finances), the loss of our home, betrayal of people in our lives, and most recently the loss of heath (I know it's just a cold, but on top of everything else, life just feels just down right muddy.)

I have always been a big advertiser of loving people, and on the best of days it's pretty easy.  When you are feeling the weight of life crushing your body & soul, are you still a joyful giver?

Luke 6:38... Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”

Deuteronomy 15:10-11...Give freely and spontaneously. Don’t have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God’s blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors.

Proverbs 11:24..The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.

Can the enemy muddy-up our lives enough to discourage us from being there for one another, or will we push past the crud and still foster community?  We are such a lonely society because when we hurt, we fold up, and try to "get through" on our own.  We know people around us have enough on their plate.  Life is BUSY.  We say, "I'll give____ when ____ calms down, or when ____ problem is fixed..." But can we push past the mud to give some flowers?

So one morning I prayed my pitiful "Lord help me put one foot in front of the other" prayer, and the thought that dropped in my heart was to buy some flowers for a very special friend.  Boy, that brought a smile to my face - it took my thoughts off the current crushed pieces that used to be my life (I mean, I can't put the shards back together anyways - so why stare at them?), and put my thoughts on how to bless my friend.

The flowers I purchases were not for me, but in a sense they were.  I was able to get past my feelings, and give when my heart still feels so hurt.  This act turned my day around more than I can describe.  When we take our minds off of our life, and put them on serving others, it just feels good.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Join us #1 - Sunshine In A Box

My amazing cousin said something very profound to me yesterday.  It's something I have always felt is the absolute truth - but I love how he put it.

"We are all on the blue marble together. With soo much negativity and fear, it is hard to make a difference, but necessary to try... if you are not part of a solution, then you are part of a problem"

This was said one day after our VERY loved, beautiful, and amazing Grandma passed away.  So during a time of life where it's easy to want to fold and say, "It's too hard", the message is to turn our energy into making a difference instead.

Life is full of grief & not just loosing people we love - I KNOW I don't even have to list what grieves people's lives...we ALL have a huge list of our own.  We COULD spend  ALL our hours, days and concentration processing and trudging through our own junk - but that will never end - because junk just somehow just keeps-on-a-comin' but instead:

Turn Grief into Blessing 
(a much better use of our time on this blue marble)

My hubbs & I started a group.  Call it what you will...a church?  A posse? A family? A community?  The goal is to make a small dent on this big blue marble; we're coming together as the body of Christ, making a difference - one beautiful life at a a time.

We all have much on our plates - loooong hours at work, kids to raise, school, families, meals to cook - so when someone says, "Take time to love one another" the question that gets slung back to me is "HOW?!?!"

One. Life. At. A. Time. Just like my laundry gets whittled down a load at a time; but there's always more to do. So I consciously, never-endingly chip away at we don't stink.
Our amazing group/posse/family has done many outstanding things this past month - and this latest project is way too beautiful not to share.

A dear cousin to one of our members is struggling with terminal cancer in her 30s.  Of course the feeling of helplessness is overwhelming to our amazing giving friend.  "What can we do?" she asked me.
I had each person from our group bring something YELLOW.  From sunglasses, to nail polish, her daughter made a pennant, juicy fruit gum, socks, a lady made a fleece blanket, even a box of mac & cheese...YOU NAME IT, IT CAME.  We made a card expressing our support & prayers - and to Texas the box went!  So simple, yet filled with such love.  Most of us didn't even know her - but we wanted to be an extension of her cousin's arms. 

We love you, Leslie!!!!!
All packed and ready to go!
This is a time in our world where we need one another more than we realize or want to admit.  I know we were raised to be independent, strong, and goal oriented - but the true gospel is to link arms & love people.  That's what Jesus came to teach.  To be there for each other.

These last few days while processing & grieving the passing of THE most important person in my life (besides hubbs, my girls, and bro) - my Oma - I'm OVERWHELMED by the support of people who have called, brought gifts & food, took me out, texted me, and just generally went out of their way to be my support & community.  It's what has got me through.  The love of people.  Remembering I'm not on this blue marble all alone. My arms were being lifted when I couldn't raise them myself.

So JOIN US!  Put a box of sunshine together for someone who needs a smile.  Remind them they are NOT alone in this world This blue marble DOES have loving people on it - let's be the reminder of that...not matter how small the act of love, it's love indeed.  

All we need is love - John Lennon