Friday, November 27, 2015

Concentrating on the Hurt

When I was young, I hated shots. What kid didn’t? I hated knee scrapes of which I had a TON. Still have so many scars on my knees to attest to my tomboy nature. I hated the hydrogen peroxide that followed the knee scrapes, it hurt worse than the bloody knee!

Basically I hated anything to do with pain. 

As I got to be a teen, I still whined a lot about things that hurt. Then one day when I was deep in my own whining, my mom whisked me out of the room where all my younger siblings were playing and took me into our laundry room.

That room was always quite sound proof—with the laundry of ten people lining the walls and the constantly running machines. Seriously, lots of dirty smelly clothes, but sound proof. So much so that one of my younger brothers used to go in there and nap, probably dozing to the soft hum of droning machines. 

But now? My mom’s look was stern, her body language like a lioness about to pounce. When she closed the door, I knew I was in for it. 

If you knew my mom, she rarely got angry. After growing up with three older brothers on a ranch, she was pretty much immune to everything. So when the lioness appeared you knew you were about to be handed your lunch. 

She simply said, “If you focus on the hurt, that’s all you’ll see!”

She swung the door open and left me there listening to the purr of the dryer. 

Of course, my teenage brain thought her advice quite trivial. You can’t see hurt, you feel it. What does she know anyway? I shrugged it off, but didn’t whine in front of her for quite a while after that. 
Now, so many years later, I get it. Life has a way of beating us down sometimes. We are constantly bombarded by the stress, by others who are stressed, by the demands of this life.

There is no doubt we begin to carry all of that stress on ourselves. There are times when we begin to think the world is against us. The thought occurs to us that people are just simply oblivious to our needs. The next step is to think that possibly they are doing things intentionally because how could they possibly not see our hurt? And lastly we begin to believe our own drama far outweighs anyone else’s.

I’ve been totally guilty of this before and was recently smacked in the face with my mom’s lesson yet again.

I’ve been carrying too much hurt. I’ve let others’ words and my own degraded perception of myself drag me down. Just what the devil wants. 

Well, kiss my you know what. 

My husband says, the first thing to do to get out of hole is to stop digging. 

Why won’t that annoying Disney song, “Let It Go,” stop droning in my head? 

Letting go of the hurt, climbing out of the hole and taking my mom’s other advice:

“It’s okay to be sad, but if you’re sad all the time, you’re not doing enough for others.”

Is it possible to feel my mom’s pounce from heaven? ‘Cause I think I just did.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tweet Him

Right now there are clashes on just about everything in our world. Religion, racism, politics, economics, and the world’s current migrant crisis all compete for the headlines.

Everyone wants to be heard. Students are upset because the tragic loss of life in Paris “stole their media focus.” Never mind the people that lost their lives by those who are trying to impose their value system.

Politicians here struggle to be on top, to be heard. Most try bashing each other to get the spotlight, thereby getting their “numbers” up. Government officials tout togetherness, then thwart that with comments or actions of their own divisiveness.  

Posts on social media have ramped up with cries of racism, religious bashing, civil unrest, and in general just an outcry of people who feel slighted. 

We all want our moment. We all want to be heard. 

But are we using the right words? Are we even talking to the right person?

We’ve become a “me” society. Everything we do is based on self. And by golly, that’s just the way the enemy likes it. We are so busy fighting ourselves and others we are no longer focused on the bigger picture. Because let’s face it, we’ve taken so many selfies we’ve forgotten that anyone else is even in the picture.
We are afraid, lonely, longing, and hurt. We allow the ugly side of words and actions to exploit and seep deep into our being. We demand fulfillment and forgiveness immediately. No longer to we look objectively at any situation, nor do we see the circumstances of others. We simply see us. And when all we see is us, there is no room for others. And then fear drives our response. 

But what are we afraid of? Are we afraid of not being heard? 

What happens when no one hears us? Do we become irrelevant? Is that what we are worried about? Do we so badly want the security of being known that we’ve given up our unique God given identities? 

When I look at the flowers in my garden, I don’t see them competing to the best. They each play their part in a bigger picture. They each, individually, create a myriad of colors and presentations that excite the mind.

We are all flowers on Earth’s garden. And we ALL have gifts make a difference. Some have bigger jobs, but we ALL make a difference to someone and something. 

But only if we try. 

Do you know what your gift is? Have you ever thought about it? Are you afraid to consider what that gift might be? Are you afraid to put the positive side of you out there for fear of rejection?

Again, that’s just the way evil likes it. Numb us down til we think we don’t matter. 

But that’s a lie. And we need to stop living it. Stop living fear.

Some say that “when things settle down” we can focus on the things that matter.

Security does not alleviate fear, peace does. And you can’t wait for any government or military force to experience real peace.

Peace comes from prayer and prayerful action and it comes from within.

So who are you tweeting? Who are you desperately trying to get your message to? 

Is it God, or is it other humans? And who do you think has more ability to give you that peace?

We try to push God off, saying He doesn’t exist, He doesn’t care, or He has bigger things to worry about.

Don’t believe those lies either. 

He created every fiber of your being. And He’s patiently waiting for you. Tweet him. Facebook him. Send Him a love note. 

But you don’t need to Snapchat Him, He knows your face. He made you.