Challenges

The week has been full of challenges.

I have had a very busy week at the 9-5.  We had a project to do on short notice.  The results showed I have made more progress than I imagined in a major audit that occurs next year.  Every three years we have an audit that requires annual documentation to be collected from dozens of areas. The information has to be compiled into folders.  I do a lot of the collecting and all of the compiling.  I have some co-workers who assist when they have time and I appreciate them like a glass of sweet tea in August.  The nice thing is that (Lord willing), the audit next year will be my fourth and last one.  I should be able to retire before it comes around again.

I also had a challenge to try to say the right things to a friend going through a major crisis.  She has a lot of difficult and heart rending things happening.  I reminded her that it will be okay, that she is strong, that she has a large support system.  I know He will take care of every need.

I am challenged with trying to write this post.  I am not feeling very inspired.  But, the exercise is to show up and type.  For one trying to develop a writing lifestyle, it is an important thing to just show up at the page.

He always encourages me to write.  I tease him that he just likes to read how wonderful he is and see me telling the world how wonderful he is to me.  He is my Valentine every day.  He has been for thirty four years.  He continues to amaze me with his ability to face the world with such bravado and touch the world with such compassion for others with less bold courage.  What a treasure is my True Love.

 

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Summer, again.

I miss some of the full experience of summer.  When I was growing up, we didn’t use air conditioning. We had a window unit, but it was only used to cool the living room in the evenings while we watched television after our baths.

This insulated world I inhabit does not allow the sights, sounds and smells of nature reach my senses. I don’t feel the thick tropical air of my Texas jungle home.  People today seem personally offended by the natural heat and humidity of a Southeast Texas summer.  I just take off my fogged up eyeglasses when I go outside to get in the car.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the air conditioning very much. Especially to sleep at night.  Still, I sometimes wish to open the windows in the darkness of twilight and hear the crickets and frogs sing to the stars.

When I was a child living in this very house, a pair of whippoorwills lived in the front yard near the cedar tree that is no more. I heard one a few nights ago when I happened to be outside at dusk. My heart was thrilled at the sound of music in the fading light.

Grape sodas, fudgesicles, bologna sandwiches all tasted wonderful when I was a kid. Water from the end of the water hose was the best thing in the world to drink.  I had to be careful to let all the scalding water run out before touching it.  There will never be a watermelon that tastes like the ones I ate before age twelve.  It all tasted better because my body was hot, thirsty and tired from physical exertion running and riding a bike and swimming.   Anyone who knows what it means to “smell the rain” understands the feeling of relief and sense of peace it brings.  Childhood was summer spent outside.

The world felt better because I was innocent.  I didn’t know about death and disease, war and hate, discrimination and intolerance.  I knew the clean facts of history presented in school classrooms, but never imagined all the horrors as an adult I have learned existed and still exist.

Innocence of childhood. Truth and honesty of living. I can only bare so much pain.  It is a fine balance point to remain compassionate and not become indifferent to others’ sufferings.  It requires retreating to the mind of a child.  Taking things as they come and responding with honesty and truth.  Tasting the fullness of living and not gorging on the horrors of life.

I must again express my gratitude for having a loving Father and a loving spouse. Both provide me with strength and protection from the horrors of life. When He allows or sends something into my life that is too difficult to bear alone, He and he are with me to get me through to the other side.  They help me remain compassionate and regain my balance.  I am eternally grateful for what I do not deserve.  The blessing of being able to smell the rain and hear the night creatures serenade the stars.  A Father’s Mercy and a husband’s love. I cannot regain innocence.  I can get up and live fully, engage with life to become thirsty and hungry and truly taste the fullness of living.

Christmas is Here!

Christmas is a time to remember Christ.  A time to remember our loved ones gone before us to meet Him.  A time to gather with our loved ones present and create bonds of love that strengthen throughout the trials the rest of the year brings.  A time to pause and see beauty of baubles on trees and lights on eaves.  A time to believe in goodness and magic and possibilities.  A time to give tokens of love and graciously receive tokens given to us.  A time to grow our compassion for an even greater year ahead.  Always looking upward to the Heavenly Star for guidance and comfort.

A Christmas colored picture to remind me.  Red for His shed blood gifted for me.  White for His perfect peace bestowed on the believer.  Green for His provision of everlasting life.  Merry Christmas to all and may His perfect peace and gift of everlasting life be yours.

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