Every day we have the opportunity to begin again – to start over – to write a new chapter in our life story.
We can choose to find solutions instead of dwelling on the insolvability of problems.
We can focus on all our blessings instead of all the things we think we have to have.
We can focus on love instead of hate – laughter instead of crying. We choose our focus.
Love, Laughter and Grace
Every day we are graced with a new beginning. Within each day we can purposefully look for the grace of God in our pain, make a decision to laugh in the midst of our struggles and accept God’s gift of love and then apply it throughout the day.
He is risen
and our lives are forever changed!
It is a time of celebration and rejoicing – a time of excitement and joy.
What does Easter mean to you? How has it impacted your life? What are you personally able to take away from the cross of suffering, sacrifice and death?
As with all things scripturally, it is only when we apply it personally that we are given the greatest gift of peace and joy and assurance.
“And they came to the place which is called The Skull and they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
And he said, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
“Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!”
(for Don Anderson)
Every now and then
The phone would ring
And he would ask me simply
How is everything?
And though I seldom called him
His kinship kept its hue
He was true
The first time I met him
He was doodling
And again with phantom pen
As he lay fading
From the dawn of the Don
To the midnight gone
He was true
And sometimes we would wonder
What’s in store for him
Whether charcoal clouds would sully
The good lines in him
But even his demons and dragons
Had a wink in the way that he drew
He was true
“But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” Luke 6:27
Love them? Really? Pray for them?
In his book, “Forgive for Good”, Dr. Fred Luskin lists 11 definitions of what forgiveness is and 7 definitions of what forgiveness is not.
In her book, “Forgiving the Unforgivable”, Beverly Flanigan, MSSW, defines how betrayal of people we trust shatter our core beliefs and concept of right and wrong and create unforgivable injuries.
Dr. Klimes in his work on forgiveness has identified 5 steps for “Granting the Gift of Forgiveness.”
There is more and more research and researchers who have written about forgiveness as a necessary ingredient for emotional, physical and spiritual health.
Unforgiveness creates a destructive force in our lives. Within its tenets we find hatred, rage, and revenge – all corrosive and self-destructing emotional reactions to life.
Research studies show that “forgiveness leads to less stress” and fewer health problems. When we fail to forgive, that unforgiveness may be a greater risk factor for heart disease than hostility.
Every once in a while a door opens from our past and allows us to revisit friends and colleagues and experience once again good times from an earlier period in our life even if it is at an otherwise sad occasion.
One of my husband’s college band students had died and I went to Portland over the weekend to attend the memorial service. It was soon evident that this was more than just a memorial – it was a celebration of this talented young man’s life: by family, peers, and past teachers. CCC band Hawaii 002 001
Musicians have a camaraderie and bond shared in their love and expression of music. Mark was an excellent trumpet player, band teacher and administrator. In commemoration of Mark’s life in music, a group of 10-12 musicians played at the beginning and middle of the memorial service.
LeRoy’s band 001At the reception afterwards, 17 jazz musicians formed a band and played the music they loved: the big band sounds of the 40’s and 50’s. It was a celebration of the love they share as musicians. They played for the joy of it in the moment and in remembrance of those no longer with us.
In last week’s blog, “I want to do it all”, I mentioned 3 things to consider when picking and choosing between the things you want to do and are required to do. Becoming flexible allows you to handle additional but temporary responsibilities.Identifying and eliminating time wasters gives us the advantage of effectively scheduling our work week to include both rest and relaxation and projects that feed the soul.
A piece of driftwood will drift down a stream at the mercy of the current, wind and waves. We often live our lives like a piece of driftwood, at the mercy of the winds and currents of life, reacting to whatever is happening instead of proactively accomplishing objectives.
Much of the distress we experience in life comes not just from becoming overwhelmed with time pressure and unreasonable expectations; but feeling we have little control over anything, especially our time.
I want to do it all! I want to travel, sing and dance, write and give workshops, teach, have time for friends, read a book every day, entertain, have long conversations with good friends, etc, etc, etc.
However, I soon find myself at odds with time. There are only so many hours in a day after all and unless I can somehow come to terms with what I am able to do each day, I will soon become dis-stressed.
Since I had made the decision long ago to avoid harmful stress, the choices I make are important. While I can’t control events, I am the one who chooses to be in charge of my life. That includes how I choose to respond to events and circumstances.
So then – how do we choose between all the things we want to do?
We had just built and moved into our new home and were in various stages of unpacking and trying to find a place to put things.
A vertebra in my lower back had been gradually deteriorating putting pressure on a sciatic nerve. Without warning, it could trigger a spasm in my left leg, culminating in a leg cramp that locked my entire leg in a rigid position. Once locked, I was unable to move it until it had run its course.
However, if given enough warning, I could alter the outcome of the spasm. If caught early enough, I
I am a visual person and with the help of my wonderful webmaster, Laura Christianson from Blogging Bistro, I have a new website with an invitation to “Let’s Talk” to anyone who stops by.
It is by deliberate design that my new website features a table and two chairs, with a pot of tea (or coffee) – an invitation to sit and chat.
At the bottom of each page you can imagine yourself stepping out of the stream of life and into the small boat, floating lazily on its tether, to relax for a few minutes or hours, allowing the gentle rocking to take away all cares of the moment .
Life is full of unexpected joys and pleasures. It is also full of devastating events, tragedies and cruel misfortune that change our lives forever. The expectations we held have been shattered: that marriage we thought would last forever, the disloyal friend, the perfect family, or the accident that forever changed our ability to do things.