Monday, February 28, 2011

Rambling Along

It puzzles me sometimes how I can have so much to do, yet sabotage any effort to get things done.  It would be nice to explain it away with some sort of medical diagnosis or the like, but I think it simply boils down to my being disorganized and a tad lazy.  And (sometimes) it’s a matter of finding the right music to work to.  ;-)

And sometimes it is hard to take the writing advice of sitting one’s butt in the chair and to just start writing.  At such times quotes and clich├ęs about writing and inspiration and the like don’t amount to much.  All you know is there is a blinking cursor in a blank document or a page full of scratched-out, half-erased words and the clock is ticking.  (No really, it is – I have to leave for my office job in an hour.) 

I’m glad God never looks at our lives as a blank document.  He knows exactly what is coming next.  He knows the ending from the beginning, the beginning from the end.  Every success, failure, mistake, right step and stumble – none of it comes as a shock to Him.  And that sort of boggles my mind on days where I grow frustrated and impatient with myself and even with those around me.  It also gives me hope.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Noisy Hope

 “Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.”
~George Iles

The writer of Ecclesiastes was spot-on when he wrote there is “. . .a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance . . .” (Ecc. 3:4, NKJ). To ask a person in the midst of mourning to dance a happy jig or someone in the midst of a painful situation to let loose with laughter would be insensitive or even cruel. Life is full of varying seasons, and not all of them are joy-filled ones.

And I won’t dare say it is possible to find a reason to laugh no matter what life brings. But if you are going through something and laughter is possible, then by all means – laugh, even if it’s just for a few seconds or a minute.

My husband and I, for example, found things to laugh at while he went through chemotherapy. When we found his hair was falling out two weeks after he began chemotherapy, we cracked a joke about blowing on his head like it was a giant dandelion and making a wish. It helped us shave his head without shedding tears. There were moments of laughter in the days after my grandma’s stroke and at her funeral a few weeks later over what ‘u.d.’ stands for on a packing list and Grandma’s infamous hot cross buns. But Jeff and I didn’t chuckle or even crack a grin on the days when he felt totally crappy. Nor was there much (if any) laughter to be heard in the days before Grandma died. Again, with so many things in life there is a balance to be found, seasons to be endured, and times to cry and times to laugh.

But I will say, at least for my husband and I, we do try to find the funny if possible and appropriate. This quote from comedian Bob Newhart sums up why: “Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and the move on.”

In the examples given above, laughter did serve to relieve some pressure, clear our heads, and to remind us the hard times do not last forever (even though it can certainly look like they will). Laughter, I think, is like noisy hope. And who wouldn’t take hope over despair?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gotta Laugh

It has been a busier-than-normal type of day.  I was home mainly so I could eat/change/tidy up/take a breath before going somewhere else.  So I’m taking the easy route out on a blog update today and going for the funny.  Well, I think it’s funny at any rate.  ;-)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Road Trip Music

It has been an up-and-down weekend to say the least.  Family dynamics blended seamlessly one moment and chafed the next.  Smiles were easy, natural, then felt forced, faked and out of place.  Granted it wasn’t a roller-coaster type of ‘up and down’, but as can happen in life, it seemed to ebb a little more than it flowed.

Recently I’ve also been hearing (and thinking) about roads and how they take us places, and how it’s not too late to change direction while you’re still above ground.  I’ve messed up a lot of things in 39 years, and I’ve wondered, at times, if I’ve done so irreparably.  I know God can restore and redeem that which seems forever lost and completely unsalvageable.  At least deep down I did.  But it had all been tucked away with a few too many “Yes, but what if . . .?” scenarios over the last little while.  So it was good to be reminded of the bigness of God the past few weeks.  Plus, a fellow traveler by the name of C.S. Lewis once wrote, “You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.”  And a Google search for quotes on roads travelled in life brought up another gem by Carl Bard (an author according to another quick Google search):  “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start now and make a brand new ending.”

And as many do, I also turned to a few song favourites as of late to reflect on, mellow out to, and be encouraged by – a bit of a soundtrack of sorts from the last month or so.  (After all, what’s a road trip without some music?)

1.     Stop This Train by John Mayer – a reflection on aging parents, an aging self, and the desire at times to stop time so we can maybe go back to when things were simpler.
2.     Meteor Shower by Owl City – a soft, lyrical song reminding me I’m not my own and how much I, too, need Jesus.
3.     Never Saw You Coming by Bebo Norman – sometimes when we’re looking at everything but God is when He comes with what we didn’t even really know we needed until it was there in front of us.  If that makes any sense.  :-p
4.     SMS (Shine) by David Crowder*Band – even if such a cool concept for the video had never been realized, the song alone speaks in many a situation to many a heart. 
5.     In Repair by John Mayer – I’m not a huge John Mayer fan, really.  We bought the CD because my husband liked what he had heard of his guitar work.  But this song resonated with me because I, too, “. . . am not together, but I’m getting there . . .”
6.     Rescue by Seabird – when I’m feeling frustrated or at the end of my rope or even pretty happy, this is a good song to sing along to.  The lyrics sound rather hopeless in parts, but then you hit the chorus and bam!  Rescue! 

What about you?  Are any songs resonating in one way or another with you as of late?  Feel free to share them in the comments section below.