Thank-you!

I just want to take a moment to thank all of the good people who make my world and yours a more peaceful and hopeful place.

From the healthcare worker who takes an extra minute to calm anxious nerves to the girl on Instagram who posts motivational quotes to brighten up strangers’ days.

You are a powerful counter-balance to the self-indulgent craziness that seems to have gripped so many.

And while you may not get the attention you deserve,

attention isn’t what drives you anyway.

You are the warmth of the sun breaking through a cloudy sky.

Thank-you.

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Love notes..

Not sure why, but I was scrolling through CNN.com last night looking for something to read. Way at the bottom, past the minefield of Trump-bashing articles, was a sweet story about a woman who bought a self-help book and found five dollars and an encouraging note from a stranger inside.

She was so touched, she decided to do one, anonymous, pay-it-forward, good deed like that every week.

I love that!

I need to follow this woman’s lead because I can tell I’m getting a bit sharp around the edges:

Exhibit A-

Our waitress the other day was.. let’s just say.. inattentive. By the time she (literally) tossed the bag on the table for our styrofoam left-over containers I had had my fill.

Now maybe this woman has rent she can’t pay, maybe she’s in the middle of a divorce..maybe she spent the last two days cleaning dog poop off every carpet in her house..I dunno. But instead of considering those things, or choosing to bless her in some way, I pulled up my calculator app and made sure I gave her the most meager, but still acceptable, tip I could..down to the penny..no rounding up.

Eww.. yeah, I did that.

I went out of my way to send her a message which was that I didn’t appreciate her treating us so dismissively. I could have sent her a totally different message had I followed the gracious example of the anonymous person above or the merciful example of God whom I love.

What a missed opportunity!

😢

So.. In an effort to stamp out the dark side 👹 in me, I am going to create a few cards with encouraging words inside and a $5 gift card to Duncan Donuts. In the future, this will allow me to be prepared for moments when my path intersects with someone having an exceptionally bad day or someone who could use a boost or a thank-you.

It will help them..

and it will help me because let me tell ya, the last thing I want to do is to be responsible for tossing red meat at the ever growing beast of bleakness, anger and resentment- inside me or inside anyone else.

(And if you aren’t quite sure what feeding that beast looks like.. go to CNN.com.)

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The yachts are blocking my sunset..🤨

There’s a restaurant in town that we like to frequent.  The food doesn’t pretend to be gourmet, but it’s the ambiance that keeps drawing us back. There’s usually live music, cocktails are great, the feel is always “vacation-y” and if you time it right, the sunset can be spectacular. (See photo above)

I looked the place up online the other day to see if they served brunch.  I saw that there were some reviews posted so I scrolled though a few.  Most were 5 stars with a few 4s and then there was a 1.

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I clicked on the one star review to read about what had been so terrible; the comment was short and to the point.

“My burger wasn’t rare like I ordered. We came for the sunset but the yachts blocked our view.”

 

I don’t know who wrote that one star review, but I feel like I know people like him or her..don’t you?  You know the type.. those one star, yachts are “blocking” my sunset whiners who complain about absolutely everything and seem determined never to be satisfied.

This critical soul needs to focus on removing whatever is blocking his ability to be content and happy.  Clue #1- It’s not a boat.

 

Touching Base

DriveThruPrayer

Had I seen a man holding a sign like that on our way home from Lowe’s this past Saturday, I would have probably run over his toes trying to speed to the “window.” I would have ordered up a NUMBER ONE, TWO and THREE of whatever was on the prayer menu. To say I needed a Happy Meal from heaven is a major understatement.

And yet, even though I was overwhelmed and wracked with negativity all week-end long, I couldn’t seem to get my rear-end to church on Sunday…We got “busy” with stupid stuff around the house and before you knew it, well..

As I read my devotional last night, the author discussed being in “constant communion” with God. Of course she doesn’t mean that we should literally be running up the aisle every second for actual communion, but that we should be in a ‘communion state of mind’ intimately connected to God in prayer and always being “fed” by His life changing word.

When my eldest daughter was a little girl, we would take her to a beautiful park near our San Diego home. She was a shy little thing, so every five minutes or so..no matter what she was doing..she’d run back to where we were sitting and “touch base.” Just connecting with us and feeling the reassurance of our presence gave her the courage she needed to head back out to explore and play. This is the idea of constant communion.

Some may think the concept of “drive-thru” prayer is heresy but I actually think it’s great!  It’s simply one more way to touch base with God and another opportunity to tap into His love, grace and wisdom… for those who might never go to a service,  or then again, those simply too busy  with dumb, stupid stuff to get there. 😕

Relationships of any kind are made of both big and little moments..staying close to God is too.

draw

 

photocredit:youthpatchministries.weebly.com

 

 

 

The Science Project of Fear

Mindy Grossman is the CEO of the Home Shopping Network. In a recent article, she talked about her education, her life’s ambitions and the way she balances work and family. The one section of the interview that really stood out to me was the part where she discussed the career risk she took when she left a secure job in Oregon to take the helm of HSN,  the then faltering shopping channel, headquartered in Florida. While she admitted that the move  was bold, Mrs. Grossman said that “a lot of people, especially women, turn things into science projects of fear.” She did not want to undermine her own efforts in pursuing the goal she chose for herself by being consumed with worry.

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photo credit: cullodenacademychemistry.weebly.com

Science projects of fear..

…what an interesting visual that is, don’t you think?  If you remember back to High School science class, the chemistry experiments were all about gathering up the burners and petri dishes, the chemicals and the stirrers, hypothesizing about potential outcomes..then carefully measuring and mixing the brew together and noting the results.

There was a lot of exacting work that went into every part of those projects.

Living in fear requires a lot of work as well…we need beakers bubbling with negativity and potential excuses, an assumption of the worst outcome, a healthy dose of self doubt, the white hot heat generated by major anxiety and a clearly marked route to the EXIT door.

By describing this state of being as a science project of fear, Mrs. Grossman clearly implies that we play a pivotal role in our own discouragement and obsession with failure. We aren’t just spectators here, we are the mad scientists!

While (once again) it is plain to see that we are the source of so much of our own inner chaos, the good news is we are the cure for a hefty chunk of it as well!

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to leave that lousy laboratory once and for all.

Psalm 51:10

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.