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Southern Snow

March 12th, 2017 by stephanie

As Bosco and I made our way to the kitchen for our morning ritual, I flipped the switch on the coffee pot and reached for the dog bowl in order to prepare his breakfast.

When I opened the cabinet to extract my coffee cup and looked out the window, it started. There it came…snow…in March. Big, fluffy, lovely snowflakes fell to the ground and began covering my deck and yard. It was just as my neighbor had predicted the night before.

As I stepped outside to take it all in, the birds began chirping at me as if to say, “Hey, lady, you’re going to need to feed us today. It’s snowing, you know.”

When you think of the South, the first thing that comes to mind is definitely not snow. It does, however, grace us, but not enough for the state to warrant purchasing, maintaining, and storing a fleet of equipment to manage the roads and more. With that, snow in the south is taken very seriously. At least, here in the Nashville area. One inch has been known to shut down certain areas of the city.

But snow in Spring is just not known to happen. So when it fell on the blooming tree outside my window, I decided to light the candles, grab my laptop, and settle in for a lovely, what we call here, “snow day.” Bosco seemed to agree with the idea.

And then, as quickly as it came—it left. By 2pm it had melted and the dreamy, grayish morning had morphed into a sunny afternoon.

It reminded me that life events are like that. Some good. Some not so good. “Things happen,” is a common saying these days. When they do, we can either shut down, get upset, or simply settle in and ride it out. The sun will eventually come out. It’s just a matter of time.

I experienced that exact situation on my snowy morning. The day I had planned was hijacked by a “moment.” I fretted and strained, only to realize later that afternoon it was working towards resolution due to the graciousness of a third party. Just like the snow that was melting on my deck, the problem at hand was slowly disappearing as well.

I wish I didn’t let “life” get to me like it does. I am old enough now that I should know better. However, human as I am, I find myself still working on the “basics.”

If you are stressing over something today, I hope this passage will encourage you.

By the way, I didn’t feed the birds. They’re out there now in full force, and they seem to be doing just fine.

Selah.

—Just my thoughts.

S.

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1st World Problems

March 22nd, 2015 by stephanie

Namaste

Cleansing Breath…

I was driving down the road when she called. Having blue tooth in the car is a blessing, and I touched the “answer” button in anticipation of what was coming next. She’s always so bubbly and energetic, her conversations fill my emotional and mental “tank” if you will, so they are always a welcome treat.

“Ok, I know I shouldn’t complain…this is such a 1st world problem….” I had to laugh…but those words struck me. She was so balanced. So aware that the things that most likely bother us on a daily basis might be mundane and inane. If you think about it…when people are being beheaded and tortured by modern-day, 3rd-world barbarians just a few thousand miles away? I think you know where I’m going with this…

But alas, this was “her world” and she was living it and needed to vent. I have to admit, it was still a bit delightful in how she did it. I have much to learn from her.

In all honesty, there are days when I simply need an image of the holocuast to flash by a screen…and it’s enough to remind me, “Now, what was I just upset or thinking about?” Those moments of reality jar me out of my minutia and cause the dust to settle once again around me.

If I am truthful, I have so little to complain about it. Do I have a roof over my head? Yes. Do I have a food? Yes? Do I have clothes? Yes. (Oh, my, word…you should see my closets…but back to topic…) It reminds me of the verse

If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.

1 Tim. 6:8

Think about it. Some people right now, somewhere, just want shelter, a clean bed and a hot meal. That slaps me with some quick perspective.

Now, do I mean to verbally beat up those of us living in a 1st world country? Nope, but it does help to adjust the panic or frustration of the moment. Sometimes, I just have to stop and say, “Cleansing breath…namaste.” It does, if even for a moment put a smile on my face.

Whatever is frustrating you today, I hope that this little blurb gave you a mental “breath” or “vacation” to just stop and think. It’s bad, yes. What you’re feeling is valid and yucky. But, maybe it’s survivable? I don’t know. It’s worth a shot.

🙂

Just my thoughts.

S.

Tough Stuff.

May 15th, 2014 by stephanie

Have you ever wondered what it was like for the Christians in Jerusalem when they first learned that the evil Saul had supposedly converted to their faith? Not only that, but he was now coming to town!? I wonder if any of the hidden conversations prior to his arrival went something like this…images

“But he killed my brother,” comes a voice from the back corner.

Another is seen shifting position amidst the shadowy circle of robed forms, before speaking, “He imprisoned my mother,”

“He beat my son,” whispers one from the front.

“But he has become a Christian,” the leader states in a solid tone that doesn’t ask for, but rather commands, respect. The dark room that rests beneath the streets falls silent. Only the light from the moon shines through the grid from the streets above.

This wasn’t how it’s supposed to go. This hated man who has stormed the country in hot pursuit of believers in The Way has had only one goal: Destroy any and all who have chosen this new religion. Why on earth would anyone now believe this horrid individual has truly experienced a change of heart? Or, truly become one of them? If the secrets in their hearts could be seen, some would rather see him dead, than “saved.”

“He is now one of us,” come the dreaded words one final time that shake them from their thoughts. The men slowly file out the door, knowing they will return again. Tomorrow. After they have had time to sleep on this shocking, perplexing news. A decision will be made. But not tonight.

As they toss and turn in their beds, these men, the respected leaders of the new faith, The Way, wrestle with yet another new dilemma. These are the men the people look to for direction and strength. The ones that will set the precedents for centuries of followers to come. The role models for the future generations of believers. What to do? What to do…

Dire Straights.

Obviously, the above is a fictionalized version (from my over-active imagination) of what might have transpired when the new leaders of the church in Jerusalem, the apostles themselves, were first informed that the hated killer of Christians, had become a believer. A follower of Jesus Christ.

Paul’s conversion is a wonderful study to be sure. (Acts chapter 9). But my thoughts for you today are these:

  • Is there someone in your life that has told you they have changed? Is it impossible for you to believe?
  • Do you have a big decision to make that involves someone you don’t trust?
  • Are you asked to go above and beyond in a situation that is out of your control and feels totally unfair?

You may very well have a difficult situation on your hands. Perhaps it’s a comfort to know, others have gone before you and felt or experienced the same. Men of great, and lesser, stature have been faced with weighty moments that hold a myriad of complications. Choices with consequences. Times that are not for the faint of heart.

May I suggest this: when the big shocks come that demand the “right” reaction from you, accept that you and I may not always make the best call, like the disciples inevitably did. However, let’s strive to not be controlled by emotions or fear, or led or swayed by our peers. May we, in the end, try to make the best decision, for not only now, but for the future. Then, may we move forward knowing that we gave it our all. We did our best and acted in the only healthy way we knew how for that moment. And the rest? We must leave in God’s hands.

– Stephanie

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