Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Wisdom’

How’s Your Garden?

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring
whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11

This is our garden in our new home.

Ever felt really dry?  I’m so glad to know this:  No matter how dry, sick, diseased, tired, hopeless and out of strength I may be today – He will water me and give me the strength, nourishment and life so that I will flourish.  When all others around me are dry and broken – I will be sustained by that living water to keep me going, bringing health to my bones – and hope for all others around me looking for that water.  It is a spring that never fails.

How’s your garden?  Need some water?

Praying for you today.

God Bless

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

 

 

Loosening My Firm Grip

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

I was out taking a walk around the neighborhood yesterday, in one of those rare sunny and fairly “warmish” days.  I had my iPhone/iPod tunes coming through my ear buds and I was humming a happy little tune.

I turned a corner and walked toward a nearby park when all of a sudden the thought struck me:  What if I lost all this great music on my iPhone?  What if my computer had a melt-down and my WHOLE music library was GONE!  In an instant!

Well,  while this and other great thoughts invaded my mind along my walk – I had to ask myself, “would it really be a big deal? – I mean, come on – it’s just music, right?”

I had to admit that it would not be a huge deal.  An inconvenience for sure – but not the end of the world (as in what’s supposed to happen this Saturday – but that’s ANOTHER story).  No – my life and my world would continue on – I would just turn on my Pandora Radio and slowly rebuild my music library again – or just listen to CD’s and the radio in the car until I gathered my music once again over time.

Now while this is a silly example – I thought about the “things” I hold on to.  Those things that I feel ownership over.  The things that are mine.  My personal belongings, my pictures, my books, my computer, my piano, my blog articles and so on and so forth.  What if something happened to them?  Would I be Okay?  Would I survive?  If EVERYTHING was taken away from me tomorrow – would I really be able to make it?  Is my identity defined by all those things?  Would I really be lost without them?

No.  I would be Okay.  I choose to keep a loose grasp on my material blessings.  I can move, sell, sort and get rid of extra junk when I need to – and have in the past done several BIG MOVES across the country and back – to know that I am not defined by things.  I’ve witnessed several households of furniture come and go in 30 years of marriage and have not been devastated when the time came to unload it – or lighten our load.

I believe there is a principle in this for not only the material “things” – but I believe we should be willing to let go of our firm grip when it comes to the people in our lives – even if we don’t want to.  I was determined when raising our two children, that I was NOT going to be one of those mom’s who couldn’t bear to let my kids grow up, change and become independent from me.  It is perfectly normal for them to need me less and less as they mature – and to someday be fully developed and have their own life – apart from me.

Our children are only on loan to us.  I don’t believe there are any accidents.  God knows what He is doing – and He gave me my children to love and raise.  I do not OWN them.  And when I have invested into them everything I can – (not always in the most perfect way – but with the best intentions),  I can release them, knowing that they are individuals who must answer to God for themselves – they are no longer my responsibility.

Many parents become unhappy when their grown-up children do not need them anymore – when it is very normal and natural that they should NOT need us anymore when they are mature.  Some are bewildered because they feel they lose their control over their children and even try forms of manipulation and even guilt to keep them young – while imposing their need and dreams of the “good old days”.  While this is natural because of the time investment spent in them – it should not be used as a method of control towards our children.  They are given to us – they really belong to God.  It is important to raise our children “in the way they should go”  and then let them go – loosen the grip – release them in love.  Even if we don’t always agree.  Pray for them – and then trust God.

And though I am far from perfect as a mom – I have always tried to let my own grown-up children lead their own lives.  I feel like Greg and I did everything we could do while they were living in our home – and we tried to set a godly example for them while growing up – through good and bad, happy and sad times.

The secret is to have a “loose grip” on the things and people that we don’t feel we can let go.  Have a firm grip on God – and teach your children to do the same.  He will make His plans known to them – and He is ultimately responsible for their journey – when they allow Him to guide their steps.  This is so freeing to me as a parent and I know it will be to you too.  This will lead to a happy life – full of deep joy with no regret.

How’s your grip?  Do you feel it tightening around things you can’t bear to lose?  Can you just relax and trust?  How do you apply a “loose grip” to your own situations?

God Bless

Speed Bumps

Speed bump made of rubber

Image via Wikipedia

Every journey has them.  Every life encounters them.  They are speed bumps.

I’m keenly aware of the ones in my life.  Even long after they have happened.  It’s interesting that the speed bump appears just as I’ve hit my stride and I’m feeling great –  when sailing along at top speed – doing what I always do.

I don’t like speed bumps.  I never have.  I don’t like slowing down.  Sometimes I have not slowed down and made proper allowances for the speed bump – only to hear a very loud noise as my car plows over it – and it makes me cringe.  Speed bumps are put there for one purpose:  to MAKE us slow down.  Slow down – or ELSE.

There are events in my life that have also made me slow down.  Just when I thought I had it all together.  All the people important to me and my world in their proper place.  Something happens.  Causing my world to not only slow down – but come to a complete stop.  Oh I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t even want to slow down and call it a ‘speed bump’ – but in retrospect – that’s exactly what it was.  Something that shook me down to my foundation – made me take inventory and readjust.  I didn’t want to.  It hurt.

Ever feel like this?  Things happen that make you slow down and sometimes come to a complete stop?  Dead in your tracks?  You’re not alone.

I believe that God knows and understands this.  If I didn’t believe this – there would be no hope for me. He listens and understands without judgment – without condemnation.  He knows I am guilty – of so many things – of not slowing down and showing more caution  and much more. But He is in the restoring business – and He pursues me with a love like no other.  Lavish and full.  Complete in forgiveness and grace.  And I weep.  For no one understands my heart like He does.  No one loves me like this.  I weep for the loss.  I weep because I cannot fix things.  I weep because I am sad. And He knows and whispers to me that it’s only temporary – only a speed bump along my journey.

Those speed bumps have taught me something valuable that I can hang onto.  I am still me - and they don’t keep me from being who I am – but instead teach me an important lesson about slowing down – and recognizing danger – before I get there and plow recklessly into it.  And I have His promise that He will journey with me – no matter how bad the speed bump is in the future.

He is much more concerned with my heart than any external circumstances and I believe He will allow anything – even those speed bumps along the way in order for me to be more sensitive and bring me closer to understanding His heart.

I am praying for you

 

God Bless

Mercy

Two candles in love. The flame is inverted hea...

Image via Wikipedia

My heart is stirred today in much emotion – a heavy heart over events and situations that have lately affected my life and made it difficult to press on.  A difficult season of life – with many things out of my control – leaving deep sadness,  remorse – and resignation.

Our pastor, Stephen Collins, spoke on the subject of ‘Mercy’ today.  And although it is a subject that is not new to me – or any people of faith  – I believe  I heard newness in this simple message today – things that I will continue to ponder in the coming weeks.  I found myself very emotional.  This is a subject that is close to my heart and life.  And so with tears streaming down my face – I sat there and took it all in – and allowed the Lord to minister sweet words of comfort and blessing.  I was touched and moved beyond words.

I’ve noticed something about people who are merciful. – they are the first ones to forgive, love, embrace and welcome back,  those who are lost or fallen away.  They have no trouble accepting forgiveness or giving it.  They do not accuse and blame.  They have tender hearts – and they understand the value of mercy – because God has shown mercy to them.  They are also the happiest and most positive people in the world – with many friends.  Their friends trust them – and turn to them when they are in trouble – with no fear of judgment of alienation.  These are people who have been forgiven.

We’ve been watching ‘A Christmas Carol’  – I was noting how Scrooge shows no mercy at the beginning of the story – and then after being shown his life by the ‘spirits’ – he begins to see others and himself in a new light.  The Scrooge story is a story of mercy.  A story of second chances and a new lease on life – a valuable reminder to all of us to remember that when you show mercy to others – others will be merciful.  And it is interesting to note – that the nephew and employee of Scrooge have merciful hearts and embrace him without question – at the beginning of the story – when he is NOT merciful – and later as he is transformed at the end of the story.  No questions – no judgment – no criteria.  Just open arms of love and mercy.

I want to be one that shows mercy – even when I feel as though others have judged me and not understood me – or shown mercy to me.  I want to be the first to say, ‘I understand, I forgive, I love’.  And leave it at that.  No questions asked.  No hesitation.  No disbelief.  Just love and mercy.

Help me Lord to be that kind of person.  Help me to get over myself, my pride, my hurt and pain.  Help me to let go of others that have wronged me – those who have no understanding that their words and actions have wounded me more than they will ever know – and help me to forgive them and show mercy. For I am very aware that if I do not show mercy to others who have failed – or not done what I think they should, then you will not show mercy to me.  Help me to walk with a pure clean heart – free of agenda – free of revenge.  Help me to see others through your eyes.  Amen.

God Bless

The Remains Of The Day

“]Cover of "The Remains of the Day [Region ...

Last night I watched a brilliant story called ‘The remains of the day‘ with Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.

As I was watching it – and getting involved in the story and the characters – I was keenly aware of the passage of time and events in our lives that slip by too fast.  Things and people in our lives that are here one day and gone another – or those that we feel will always be there – and then they’re not.  Choices that we make and things that we don’t think too much about – until they are gone.

In this story a man who is a butler of a huge household in England – hires a woman to be the head housekeeper.  They work together for years and have a very tragic and unrequited love story – because he cannot risk his own heart.  And eventually – she leaves and marries someone else.

It is 20 years before they see each other again – and she talks about her regret and the lost years – and what might have been – but realizes that it is too late – and though she cries when leaving him at the end – you have the sense that she does not love him anymore and that she has chosen her husband and the life they built together.

It is brilliantly acted – and you can actually feel the remorse and regret from both of them in their later years – though no love between them is ever mentioned. All because his life is very structured and safe and he cannot allow himself to fall in love.  I wanted to say – all through the movie, ‘you KNOW you love her – tell her!!!’  But he would not.  And he is alone.

Loving someone – giving your heart away is always a risk.

C. S. Lewis addressed the issue of protecting the heart back in the 1950’s: “If you want to make sure of keeping (your heart) intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Love anything, and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to…the risk of a (broken heart) is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from the danger (of a broken heart) is Hell.”

No friend will break your heart in Hell. No loved ones will disappoint you there. Why? Because there are no friends in hell. There is only the love of the self in hell. Hell is the place where the idolatry of the self comes to its logical, final conclusion.

I can tell you how to guarantee your heart will never be broken. The price, however, is astronomical. It will create for you the closest thing I know of to a “hell on earth.” Never give your heart to anyone – a friend, a child, a brother/sister, a sweetheart. Never give your heart and you consign yourself to living out your life in self-imposed loneliness.

My counsel is “Give your heart,” but give it wisely. Give it only to those who are capable of appreciating and treasuring it. The Biblical way of expressing this caution is “Don’t throw your pearls before swine” (Matthew 7:6). But even if you are successful in only giving your heart to those who will treasure your gift, your heart will be broken.

When your heart is broken, and sooner or later it will be, seek its healing in the presence of others. When you have allowed others to help you with the healing process, you will affirm the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson to be true: “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

11 Things You Didn’t Learn In School

Cover of "Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why Amer...

Cover via Amazon

I just had to ‘borrow’ this list after seeing it today.  I think it works for everyone – and not just kids.

Enjoy!

11 THINGS YOU DIDN’T LEARN IN SCHOOL

from Dumbing Down Our Kids by Charles Sykes

Rule #1

Life is not fair – get used to it.

Rule #2

The world won’t care about your self-esteem.  The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule #3

You will NOT make $40,000 a year right out of high school.  You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone, until you earn both.

Rule #4

If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.  He doesn’t have tenure.

Rule #5

Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.  Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping – they called it Opportunity.

Rule #6

If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule #7

Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now.  They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are.  So, before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule #8

Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not.  In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer.  This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule #9

Life is not divided into semesters.  You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself.  Do that on your own time.

Rule #10

Television is NOT real life.  In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule #11

Be nice to nerds.  Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

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