Quote ~ from the movie Parenthood

Grandma: "You know, when I was 19, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster. Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride! I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick so excited and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out if it."

Friday, January 4, 2013

What do you love?

I have a daily meditation book in the bathroom. I can't even tell you how long it's been there. My mother gave it to me because it spoke to her. I've picked it up from time to time but nothing really jumped out at me and I felt guilty if I didn't do every one of the suggested activities at the bottom. So, the book sat, who knows for how long. This year I decided to give reading it a try, it touched my mom why shouldn't it touch me to?

The gist of January 3rd is that we are all born in grace, as we live, life clouds over this pure, unencumbered grace. Therefore, our whole life is spent learning to peel back the film that clouds the grace and find our way back, back to God.

The activities listed were to breathe deeply enter a calm, as a diver goes deep below the waves into the stillness of the water. I took a diving class and was certified a lifetime ago; however I will never forget the feeling of being at the bottom of the pool. I loved the quiet, stillness of sitting at the bottom of the deep end of the pool, being able to breathe yet still remain on the bottom.  It was a dreamy state of being; everything in the world seemed to disappear under the water. Such a peace filled me at the bottom of the pool. So, as the author used the diver analogy I understood completely and began the activity.

Step two as you breathe deeply think of two things you love to do, running, gardening, reading etc. Breathing, thinking, breathing some more, thinking some more. My mind was a blank as I sat breathing and thinking. What do I love to do? Good gravy! What do I love to do?! I like reading, but love it, not sure I would classify it in the LOVE category. Maybe if I'm reading a fabulous book that has me fully immersed in the story. I like scrapbooking, haven't done it in over seven years, so I can't say that I love it. I like writing but again it's not something that I jump out of bed and can't wait to do daily, so does that mean I love it?

As I pondered this question I asked the Director what you love to do. He replied pretty easily with a long list of things he LOVED to do. What is wrong with me why can't I come up with something that I love to do?! Is there a way to measure if you love doing something? The book said in task three to think of the wonderful feeling that is evoked while engaged in that activity. I can't say that any of the things I like doing evoke a wonderful feeling, I can take them or leave them.

A quick Google search yields hundreds of articles, blogs and web sites all claiming to help you figure out what you LOVE to do. Many started out with finding your passion. Think, ponder, breath, think some more. Great! Now not only do I not know what I love to do I can't even think about a passion that I have, except maybe for family and parenting. Could it be my lack of love and passion is leading to my discontentment in life? Maybe because I don't have any real hobbies that I LOVE to do I'm burnt out. I wonder, am I living my life’s purpose, my calling? I think I am, it's all I've ever dreamed of doing for as long as I can remember. Do you have to have hobbies that you love to have contentment?

I think of people throughout history that seemed to live a contented life, I don't recall them having hobbies. Maybe like George Baily,  and I know it's just a movie, but I think George encompasses a lot of us, I'm living the life spread before me. George's one wish, his dream, his desired hobby was to travel; he never once left Bedford Falls.  He ends up very unhappy and discontented, but given the chance to see how God has used him, how many lives he touched, what wonderful things he had done, George Baily sees how truly blessed he is.  He becomes grateful for the things he has and the people in his life.

So maybe I can’t think of something that I LOVE to do, and I can’t evoke a wonderful feeling from an activity.  Focusing on my blessings, being grateful for all I have and thinking of my loved ones conjures wonderful feelings of contentment.  And music, I can honestly say after writing this, listening to certain music is something that I LOVE to do!  Music stirs my soul!  So maybe I need to express a lot more gratitude, think happy thoughts about loved ones, and listen to more music that stirs my soul, as a way to peel back my film and find my way back to my pure, unencumbered grace and God!

What do you love?  Will it help you find your way back?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Are you poor?

You probably know by now that we are a family of serious movie watchers.  I especially love Christmas movies, particularly old ones.  One of my absolute favorite holiday movies is "It Happened  on Fifth Avenue".  If you're unfamiliar with it I highly recommend getting a copy and watching it, you won't be sorry.  IMDB lists the synopsis as "A homeless New Yorker moves into a mansion and along the way he gathers friends to live in the house with him. Before he knows it, he is living with the actual home owners."  The movie has all the charm of an old holiday movie, wit, drama, romance and the elements of surprise and hope.

One of my favorite quotes comes from this movie.  “For to be without friends is a serious form of poverty" - Aloysius TMcKeever, It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947)".  While this quote has always spoken to me, it especially means a lot to me this year.  A childhood school mate lost his 12 year old daughter to cancer earlier this week, not a good way to start a new year.  Knowing the end was near, but holding on to hope and waiting for a miracle still makes her passing very hard I'm sure.  I can not even begin to fathom the pain her family must be in, mourning her loss.  An acquaintance from church phoned me to give me the news, I immediately got onto facebook to see if my other classmates knew (the one really good thing about social media, connecting with old friends).  I was astonished to see all the wonderful posts, childhood friends reaching out to get info, asking how they could support the family.  Although I don't see many of these people often or even talk to them on a regular basis, it was wonderful to see the connection we made as kids, was still there.  There were so many posts sending prayers, offering help and just genuine concern.

As I read the posts and added my own I was reminded of  Aloysis T. McKeever's quote on friends.  I realized in that moment that I am a VERY rich woman indeed!  I have so many friends in my life, people I can count on, turn to and laugh with.  I am truly blessed!  My hope for you in this new year is that you will be rich beyond all means, blessed abundantly with family and friends!

(Please keep my friend and his family in prayer, this has to be a tremendously difficult time for them.  It is unnatural to me that a parent must bury a child.  However, I know that she is rejoicing in the arms of our savior!  Our mourning is for our own loss. As I have mentioned before I know that Christ is victorious over death  and we will be reunited with this special little girl one day, but for now it is a hard pill to swallow.)