Are You a Resounding Gong or Clanging Cymbal?

Isn’t life about learning how to love yourself, others and the Creator of the Universe?

Canva - Love Pendant NecklaceIt grieves me that people I dearly love are missing the purpose of life. If that’s not what we’re called to do as human beings on this minute planet that exists in a vast and infinite universe, then what is our purpose? To see how much wealth we can accumulate? To see how many times we can win an argument? To become famous? To trend on the internet? To see how many likes we can garner on social media? To rule the world? To isolate the people we deem inferior because of the color of their skin, sexual preferences, or political stance, so we can look superior? To see how many people we can bully, insult and abuse each week? Continue reading “Are You a Resounding Gong or Clanging Cymbal?”

Worship Instead of Worry

I wish I would have waited better.

worryHad I known what my LORD was doing behind the scenes, how He was lining things up, how He was causing all things to work together for my good, even as I grieved, wept and worried, I would have honored Him better by being still and unfettered by anxiety and despair.

But as long as I can remember, I’ve been saddled with worry. The nuns at the Catholic school I attended from first- through eighth-grade coined me the Worry Wart. I worried over some of the most ridiculous things: grades, friends, my body, my health, my home life. Continue reading “Worship Instead of Worry”

Going Silver

In a world that tries its best to pressure me to conform, I’m going to make an attempt to buck society’s ideals about what constitutes beauty and aging gracefully.

A box of Clairol, a lift here and a tuck there might help shed years off my appearance and give me a more youthful look, but who can afford to maintain it for years on end? I, for one, am tired of shelling out dough to curtail the natural aging process, and that includes buying hair dye or visiting the hair salon every month to cover up the gray. Instead, I’m going to try to allow my beautiful, shimmering silver strands to win the race as they quickly outpace my rich dark chocolate-brown hair.

going gray

The early stages of transitioning to silver!

You heard me right; I’ve decided to try to embrace the real me by going al natural. Some of my friends have called me coo-coo, but that’s OK by me. Call me crazy if you will but this is a change I’m going to permit to progress at its own pace. That’s right. I’m going to let nature take its course–or attempt to–even when I start to look like a member of the skunk family.

What possessed me to give this going-gray a whirl? Well, I am feeling very blessed to be able to walk into this season of my life. Growing old just doesn’t scare me anymore. I look at those younger than me who’ve lost their lives battling cancer, stroke, heart disease, or in accidents or natural disasters. They would have loved the opportunity to grow old. I myself have uttered, “Getting old sucks!” But honestly, getting old is an honor that too many never get to see to fruition. Continue reading “Going Silver”

Wooed by a Whisper

Could someone please turn down the volume? 

noiseNoise pollution is wreaking havoc on my spiritual well-being. The whoosh of traffic streaming by my home and office windows. A TV or radio spewing news of racial intolerance, political upheaval and unrest around the world. A voice-activated countertop device that pumps music into the room on demand and a handheld tool that connects to voices, videos, music and mayhem with just the touch of a finger. Noise! It surrounds us on every side and it is making it ever so difficult to listen for the one who longs to have our ear. Maybe it’s time to put it all to hibernate.  Continue reading “Wooed by a Whisper”

New Year’s Resolution: Live Loud in 2019

I could resolve to lose 10 pounds and exercise more, or eat healthier, or spend less money and save more in 2019. If I made any of those my New Year’s resolutions, I’d be in good company. Those good intentions are the most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2019, according to YouGov.

New Year's Resolutions Word On Blackboard With Easel On Marble T

But what if I instead challenged myself to do something far more meaningful? What if the path I ventured to take is not something I do for myself but for someone else instead? Most people who make resolutions don’t stick to them anyway. So why not try shifting my focus.

I had considered resolving this year to not give any unrequested advice and vow to be a better listener. And I may decide to do that anyway because it makes good sense. Seems these days people are way too quick to give unsolicited advice or to opine loudly when they’d do better to remain silent. Speaking loudly might get you noticed, but will it make you a better person and have a positive impact on someone else at the same time? New Year’s resolutions should be about fresh starts, a new you and striving to make the world a better place. Continue reading “New Year’s Resolution: Live Loud in 2019”

Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs

If I’ve learned anything from the pain and heartache of a fractured marriage, it’s that true love can endure, does not fade nor falter, and hurts like mad.

When you choose to love, you run the risk of being hurt. But in knowing that, forgiveness must also share a space with love in your heart.

tearLove does hurt. Sometimes. Oftentimes. Because sometimes and oftentimes we hurt the people we love the most. And because hurt people hurt people. So, when you stand for a relationship and for another imperfect human being, you must accept that love can and does hurt, but having a spirit of forgiveness can help with healing.

I’m not advocating that you live life in love as a doormat. I’m only suggesting that some love stories are worth fighting for and that even when lovers hurt each other, marriages can be resurrected if there is room in your heart for forgiveness and second chances. Continue reading “Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs”

Hugs When There are No Words

It’s not often that we must comfort our children in the still of a brisk, cool night and admit we are powerless to rescue a dying animal.deer

In a moment like this, we can only offer them a hug and a prayer, and reassure them that our presence as the dying animal breathes its last breath is more than anyone could ask of us.

So there we were, my daughter and I, crumpled on the side of the highway, weeping over a dying deer. My daughter had witnessed a young doe get struck by the car in front of her as the deer attempted to cross over with several others in its herd. The car kept going, but my daughter with a soft spot for all animals immediately swerved to avoid hitting other deer and stopped to check on the unfortunate one who had been struck.  Continue reading “Hugs When There are No Words”

Blissful Childhood Memories

(Guest blogger, Mary Gaston, shares vignettes from her childhood.)

By Mary Gaston 

I swung on the swing set, my feet kissing the baby blue sky. Toes painted a pastel pink, reminding me of cotton candy. swing

I dipped the stale dough ball into the water, creating a moldable piece of bait. I slid it onto the copper rusty hook and tossed it into the murky water. Within moments, the ball of dough found itself in the mouth of a bass.  Continue reading “Blissful Childhood Memories”

From Behind the Mask

(Guest blogger, Mary Gaston, shares a glimpse of what depression looks like in the mind of a teen-ager. She wrote this piece four years ago.)

By Mary Gaston

The grotesque, false face bears a forced smile, disguising the perpetual façade of sadness that lies beneath. A permanent crease rests between my brows and tears threaten to spill and stain my face. I tighten the mask.mask

“I’m fine.” Those two words hold such falsity. My voice is deprived of sound. I sit in silence and tighten the mask.

Night time is such a cunning villain. I am unable to silence the thoughts that flood my fatigued mind. I so desperately desire to find tranquility, but darkness tightens its grip like spindly fingers around my body. I tighten the mask. Continue reading “From Behind the Mask”