Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Reason, Season or Lifetime

Someone once said…People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. I believe that. And if I ever questioned it before, after last night I don’t any longer. God has a way of putting unforeseen things in your life when you need it most. A simple conversation did it for me. The gracious words of a young lady whose abiding love for God and her unselfish journey to find her place in this world gave me some new found strength and desire to keep on keeping on in the way God wants me to. And it came at a time when I was feeling that life was sucking me dry.

Those who come in for a Reason

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it may be they have come through mutual friends or family, projects, or work. However it happened, there was a connection of some sort. They may have provided you with guidance, supported you physically, emotionally, or spiritually during a difficult time or challenged you to grow in patience, forgiveness, or understanding by being difficult. Negative and challenging people may test your strength, commitment, willpower, and determination. Then one day, seemingly without any reason, the relationship may come to an end. This may happen over time as you drift apart, or it can be all of a sudden. It may be through a positive experience such as someone getting married or moving to another city to take a job offer. Or, the relationship may end through negative circumstances that force you to take a stand on an issue. Just like that they are gone. But what we must realize is that a need has been met – for you and for them. Perhaps it was an unknown need, or maybe it was an answer to a prayer. If the relationship has ended, then reflect, be thankful, consider what you learned, forgive if needed, pray the best for that person, and then move on in your journey.

Those who come in for a Season

Some people come into your life for a SEASON , an extended period of time such a high school, college, work, mutual hobbies or common interest. The timing is just right and you are in a place where you are prepared to learn, grow, or produce and they have something positive to offer you and you, them. This person may bring you an experience of great peace, joy, or happiness. They may empower you to do something you have never done before. With them you feel a connection, camaraderie, and a sense of belonging. This person helps assure you and strengthen your self-confidence. It is important to accept this and embrace it because it is real. This relationship often rejuvenates our spirituality, helps us to refocus and maybe take some personal inventory. Yet, they are with us only for a season. However, even when the person has left, the experiences, knowledge and growth we have gathered from them are ours forever.

Those who come in for a Lifetime

Some people are in your life for a LIFETIME. These people are, perhaps, the greatest blessing because they stick with you through the Reasons, Seasons, and through your entire life. Lifetime relationships teach you essential lessons such as loyalty, commitment and love. These are often qualities, skills, and aspects of your character you must build upon in order to have a solid foundation for yourself and in service to others. Although, there are ups and downs, highs and lows, happy and sad times in these relationships, both of you know it is a forever bond. And even when the relationship experiences physical changes, such a distance, marriage or conflicting social environments, the connection remains. This is a Godsend, and a lifelong journey. Therefore, we must always take the time to acknowledge, value, be thankful for, and love the people who are in your life that started out for a reason, stayed on for a season and ended up being a lifetime.

…….Thanks Sunshine

Monday, June 7, 2010

Kicking the Bucket List

As I sit at my desk unmotivated and preoccupied, the hot pink headlines on the corner of a magazine catch my eye. There in bold print reads the question “Have you written your bucket list?”

I think about it for a few minutes then conclude that my first bucket list has already come and gone. I am now embarking on forty five years of life. I had my true love, given birth to two children, and garnered a successful career. I have been lucky to travel to places near and far, experiencing the beauty and majesty of the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, the Atlantic and Pacific coast among other things. I have been snow skiing, water skiing, deep sea fishing, parasailing and whale watching through the course my bucket full of life events. I did these things in my youth, at a time when my body was lighter and brain way less crowded.

Today, It is much harder to create a bucket list. Maybe because I am older, much wiser and immensely aware that God has blessed me with all I will ever need. A family whom I adore, friends to share my life with and my own drum to march to my own beat with. Does anything else matter? I have no attachment to material things, with the exception of those things passed on to me that hold some sentimental value. Most who know me would say I am easy going, I don’t dress fancy, I don’t like expensive jewelry and I am satisfied with cereal for supper most of the time.

So, if today, I found out that I have one week to live, it would not be a tragedy by any Shakespearian accounts. Regrets, would I have? Well, yes, doesn’t everybody. But I am a smart enough cookie to know that I cannot change the past, I can only hope I have learned from it and I have been forgiven. And in my relationship with God, I think he has pardoned my failures and knew that everyday I tried and sometimes faltered to live by the simple religion of kindness. Cause in the end, above all else, that’s what people will remember anyway.

But if there is such a thing as a second bucket list, here goes:

Visit the Museu Picasso in Barcelona Spain
Vacation in the Seychelles Islands
A crabbing trip where I fill every ice chest I bring
Take my mother to NYC
Road trip along the entire east coast
Living long enough to see my children have children
Volunteer a summer for Habitat for Humanity
Write a novel
Spend a week alone in a yurt on the Big Sur coast
Fly fishing in the Yellowstone River in Montana
Horseback riding on Cannon beach in Oregon

Monday, May 24, 2010

Reflections in the Mirror

Some things happen in life that force us to reflect. It might not always be a conscious decision to do so, we just find ourselves looking back. We think what might we have done different? What significant incident changed the course of our path? What do we wish might of happened in exchange for what did? I sincerely believe that a lot of things play into our lifestory…for example I think God determines most of it. But I also believe that we as humans use other tools such as experience, values, moral compass and emotion to detail our god given journey. I don’t know how much I could of changed the course of my voyage, but when I reflect back, there are some things that if I knew then what I know now, I definitely would of done differently.

I would have chosen a different career path. Although I truly believe that I have done some good as a social worker with the families that I have come into contact with over the years, doing this work for this long has stripped me of every fiber of my innocence and my overall belief that everyone given the chance will do good. Looking back, that was too high of a price to pay.

I would not have taught my two children to be so independent. Now that they are grown and turned out exactly what I pushed them so hard to be, I now want them to need me some and depend on me every now and then. I taught that based on my own fears and experiences and I went too far.

I would not have wasted so much time on things that did not matter. Forty four years down and I know one thing for certain when all is said and the end you ALWAYS go back to people who were there for you in the beginning. Unfortunately, time passes that we can never get back, people are taken from us that are never coming back and things are said or unsaid that we can never take back. I miss those people who are no longer with me and would give anything for one more minute together.

In hindsight there are also many things that I would not change either. But that I will save for a different day. Right now I’ll just float around in my melancholy. After all tomorrow is a new day!