Monday, November 15, 2010

A stitch in time saves my life

Today I was thinking ...

I was surfing on the internet and as usual, made my monthly stop at Mom's caring bridge site....I find that I love to visit each month on the anniversary of her death. It seems to reconnect me with her in a special way as I read the posts I had written while she was ill. Today has been 10 months since I have seen, hugged, held the hand or heard the voice of that beautiful person that poured all the energy she had into making me into the person that I am today.

It really got me thinking about where I am in life. What does she see when she looks down on me from her two seater cloud in heaven that she and Daddy share? Does she still see the hot tempered, stubborn little girl that she would be so frustrated with or does she see the woman that she prayed I would become?

Words began to jump all around in my brain. Words came to my mind quickly that made me think of Mom. Her life was such a perfect mix of words that sometimes seemed to be opposite, but speak so positive to her personality. She was strong yet gentle...fiery tempered yet kind worded...simple yet passionate beyond words. She had the physical strength of an ox when she worked at a task, but her touch was as gentle as a feather. She had a temper that matched that red hair of hers when she was angered by an injustice, but her words always spoke kindness to anyone in need. She was a simple person, finding joy in her yard, her family and her friends...but even in the simplicity of her life she lived it with great passion!

I started thinking about words or phrases I would use to describe myself. Here are a few...

quick tempered

and the list goes on and on!

Then I began to wonder what words others would use to describe me. That's when I really got scared. Would they choose the same words as those on my list? Would they give me a second glance if the first thing they saw are the traits I saw when I looked at myself?

I thought about what God said in Ephesians 4:24. We are supposed to be putting on a new self...created to be like God in righteousness and holiness. I love the translation from The Message "And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you." Boy that hit home with me. I looked again at the list of words I had written about myself. Are those words speaking of "a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside?" I think NOT!!!!!

Upon this self examination, I have seen lots of areas that need work. I have realized for sure I have been spending a lot more time living a "Cris-fashioned" life. It really hit me how self gets in the way. By allowing myself to be shaped by me, I have certainly become a mess. It's only when I let God take over every area of my life that I will truly be "renewed from the inside" and then God can produce His character in me making me righteous and holy.

Please make plans to attend my fashion show in the near God-fashioned one. Hopefully, you will see me wearing clothes that have been designed from the "inside" and sewn with the threads of...


And hopefully the list will go on and on!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Black sunflower seed

Today I was thinking...

Since I put the new feeders out, I have seen the most beautiful cardinal come back every day to feed. He hops between the two feeders and samples from each one...I have noticed he does prefer the black sunflower seeds to the regular seed though. There's something special about sitting and watching as he explores, makes his decision, and begins his meal for the moment...he never eats much at a time...but returns again and again until he has had his fill.

I began to think about how our lives are like that. We hop from activity to activity...but how often do we really stay long enough to explore what's really happening. In everything we do, there is purpose...whether it's preparing a meal for our family or struggling to meet a deadline at work. The purpose may not always be physical such as showing our love and affection for our family by choosing a meal that they really like...the purpose might be for an emotional help us see how we react in a situation or more importantly it might be the window for others to see how we react.

Who we are is shaped so much by what we experience in life. Are we hopping from one thing to another, never really slowing down to glean all that each experience has to offer? Or are we trying to find that purpose in everything we do? I believe if we take the time to explore, we will find the things in life that give our lives purpose and keep our hearts filled to overflowing.

Here's hoping you find the black sunflower seed for your life and keep returning to it over and over!

Later ~

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Paying attention

Today, I was thinking...

I put out some new feeders for my mom to enjoy. She has been living with me since her diagnosis of brain cancer in June, 2009. My mother LOVES birds. Over the years, she was always one of the easiest people to buy for...just get her something related to birds and she was happy. When she came to live with me this past summer, she realized that I had nothing out for her beloved friends. So off we went to the local store and loaded up on feeders and seed and then proceeded to place them outside of our kitchen window and began our wait. I mentioned to mom that I was a little frustrated that the birds had not discovered the feeders yet...and her comment to me was "the birds will come." And guess what? They did come. It just took a few days for them to discover the bountiful array of seeds we had put out for them.

Well, that was 6 months ago, and now mom is confined to a hospital bed. She isn't able to come to the front of the house and sit at the kitchen table to enjoy the this explains why I was out in the frigid cold today putting up more feeders. I placed them outside of her bedroom window, hoping she would be able to enjoy her precious friends once more. Mom had a friend come to visit her from her hometown today. He asked her if she was enjoying her feeders. I told him that we had just put them out this morning and that the birds had not found them yet. Once again, mom's words in response were "the birds will come."

I began to ponder over these words today and was enlightened by them. Mom is faithful in taking care of her birds...she always places the food there and then waits and waits until they come...and they do come! She is ALWAYS paying attention....and because of her faithfulness to keeping seed in the feeders along with her patient, watchful spirit, she always receives a blessing when the birds flock to her feeders.

The words "pay attention" kept coming to my mind for hours and hours. I thought how I live my life in such a hurry that I most often fail to see what's right there for me to see. I just don't "pay attention." I thought about how mom's illness has helped me to slow down some, but there are so many times that I still keep missing the little things.

I am not one for making resolutions...I think that's usually a sure fire way to fail...but I did think about what I wanted for my life in this upcoming year. I want to PAY ATTENTION! I want to be that faithful person, patient and that I do not miss the blessings! They say hindsight is 20/20. I want to have foresight that's close to 20/ that is watching for all there is in the day to see and that is mindful of all those around me so that I can possibly be a part of the blessing that someone else receives...and most of all ALWAYS paying attention. Every minute we live has a purpose! Pay attention and don't miss yours.

Later ~