Saturday, August 25, 2012

To everything, there is a season...part one.


Reflections in the seasons of life...

It can become a forgotten priority to allow ourselves the luxury of a deeply reflective and pensive time period within our busy personal worlds, when quiet time alone is often, and indeed, a rare thing.

Reflect though we must, allowing ourselves a serenity moment, to recall, and to reel in a precious or prayerful moment from a time passed, to either allow ourselves an inclusion into our present thanksgiving, or to simply move forward with our day to day everyday normal type of living.

Oftentimes, it tends to make us smile when a memory bursts wide open our hearts, carrying with it a sudden burning love for someone, or some single momentary thing that hits a deep chord, filling our hearts with a burning gratitude for having had experienced it. And at other times, it's more difficult because it just plain old hurts like heck to even bother going "there". 

Bother we must to tweak up an even better future outlook, to press on, to make a wrong a right, to offer our assistance to help heal the brokenhearted, or to allow daily moments of grace by offering a tenderly spoken salve healing word, so a few unintentional wounds may heal, rather than fester and grow to create gaping future scars. 

Bother we must to prevent growing emotional snowballs, preventing a situation from slowly creeping up, fueling additional anxiety over time.

We must have courage in dealing with the depth of presented emergent issues, so we are able to weakly stumble along with a good measure, for continued walking paths remaining ahead.

The unexpected, or the sudden forks in our daily walkways tend to keep showing up in our dirty personal roadways, when the joy of laughter is usually the much more preferred method of encouraging our weary souls forward, instead of weeping buckets of unabashed tears seen openly falling from a moment filled with more upsetting or tragic news.

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might, He increaseth strength.
~ Isaiah 40:29
Just a word is often all it takes, or an announcement in an email or text, that perhaps offers a strong and mighty blow so difficult, we careen completely out of emotional control with the changing of stormy blowing winds. Or, we can trust the root system grown by protected seeds of great faith, surviving the tides of strong and windy storms which come to call.

I'm sure most will agree then, that reflections can either offer happy heart melodies, or tremendous stress filled moments. It is in those times, we must lean on Him for understanding.

On our family's calendar, each of those little squares looks like just another upcoming ordinary day, where a few noted things are already jotted down. Sometimes they are celebrations to bring forth, geographical places to be, or as usual, perhaps there are noted multiple things to do with deadlines appearing in bright bold print. 

There are times when we have a spare second, and are finally able to tumble out of our dreamy stupor, suddenly staring at memories revisited from former months peeled backwards, notations scribbled upon the same calendar, pivotal anniversary milestone moments, when we can at last become brave enough to sit back and take a deep, deep breath, realizing (in the midst of our busyness of life) just what in the world has freshly, or historically occurred in our lives during this same rewind timing. Emotions over these past months, have often felt raw.

I save my calendars to use as reference points for scrapbooking, memory building, and family queries. Don't you? Yes, of course you do too. Or, I tend to jot down important highlights from past years down into other journals at the very least. You too right?

It's all there isn't it, all the good, the memorable, the challenges overcome, and the tough, from our days passed.

We called these "Memories" of days gone by.

...Reflections of times past can either became a cautioned fear filled emotional memory roadblock, a futile experience when our heart swelling measuring cup finds itself dry, feeling absolutely empty, or these can be comparatively loaded with thoughts of ridiculously, most wonderful, warm and furry fuzzy, or maybe even silly, dreamy thoughts. 

In an instant, those very same mind-drifting reflections can become catapults, realizations clearly springing forward for our thought patterns to process, when we know for sure how we can become action filled for offering further assistance to others, choose better tactics for important relationship building, or even in making hospitality and people more important than some of the much more shallow silly things of life.

Life is short! 

If we don't make people our priorities, someday, it just might be too late...

Thoughtful reflections of time or space in our lives can equally catapult our minds into negative thoughts, perhaps piercing our hearts for the millionth time when we thought we were over ''that", a time when we begin momentarily stooping over, rushes of anxiety visiting completely involuntarily, and suddenly our bodies telltale what our hearts and minds have either buried deeply, or silently continue to suffer from.

Sometimes, we must reflect on the fact that even Our Lady was inflicted with Seven Sorrows, so why should we not have dozens, or even hundreds and hundreds more than her? I know I do. Have dozens that is...

Sometimes, in order to heal life's wounds, we must train our minds to become incredibly brave, and then to begin softly speaking up, if only to share the depth of our wounded hearts, to keep them from bursting open wide at the seams, yet at the same time, not wishing to create any sort of additional anxieties when performing such an act.

Sometimes, it's the only thing we can do to begin healing...

Back to our family calendar for a bit again...

On our family calendar, everything is boldly offered there for all to see the daily, weekly and monthly views at a glance, a place where continued doctor appointments fill our months' squares with scribbles and scrawls so we don't forget about them.

Perhaps, the appointment card is also taped there too, a secondary reminder, easily grabbed in a pinch when bolting out the door, offering further referencing on the day they are happening. 

I've made it a habit over the years to peruse the calendar every Sunday evening for the upcoming week, checking not once, but twice all those printed commitments, just so "my calendar brain" makes sense. 

I do my usual criss-cross referencing so everyone knows where, or when they are obliged to be somewhere, or do something, daily chores included and noted on it too. This summer, I've chosen to once again, color code everyone. Today, I see there is far too much 'blue' on there during July. That person may require a chat to review the month's worth of commitments to ensure they are all necessary or achievable. :)

There are so many additional "life moments" which spring up and we are suddenly emotionally unable to comprehend the landslide of more, which ever so slowly proves to clearly take their toll, our bodies seemingly showing signs of wear, tidal pools of erosion from deep emotion, sometimes feeling helpless at every turn, torrents of unwelcome anxiety visiting when least expected. These definitely aren't the easy times in life.

So how then are we able to feather our way through the thick and thin? 

How then are we to handle these rough patches, or plain old seriously rotten times?

Like the translucent layers of a yellow cooking onion, we need to peel the superficial stuff back to allow for a sun drenched and raw exposure. It is there where we are recommended to begin knitting any outstanding wounds closed again, to trust that God is our captain and knows exactly why all things happen for the greater good.
My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
~ Psalm 73:26
We reach meekly to find evidence and ensure ourselves that the human heart not stand frozen in time, rather begin to beat once more for our true passions in life, those things definitely worthy of our concentration; for our faith, family and friends who love and rejuvenate us, for those fleeting times when we find everything from the simple to complex to celebrate, to witness the colorful canvas which we have been blessed with, and so much more.

And celebrate we must!

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance...

Celebrate anything relevant, or even the simple and mundane. 

Celebrate everything with gusto.

Be exuberant for the very gift of life itself. Shake it all up, and blend the darkness with the glorious, always remembering bad things really do happen to good people.

 I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. 

~ Psalm 61:2-3

Dig deep to pour forth a sincere heart, always attempt to remember the importance of remaining in the state of grace, to wipe away the dark spots on our souls, and to cleanse our attitudes so our fruits shine forth - that others to may follow by our good example. And oh yes, for sure, let us always remember to offer humble gratitude when necessary! 

Do this daily!

There is always, always, always, something to be thankful for.... 

And, there isn't any strong guarantee we will be blessed with a "tomorrow" to keep celebrating here on this earth.

 Birthdays, Baptisms, Personal achievements, and yes, even sunshine;

As the world turns, the sands of time never stop falling. They continue to spill despite moments of wishing they wouldn't, for the very physics of the situation makes it impossible for that to occur.

 I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
~ Psalm 61:2-3
These microscopic represented moments of life are supposed to offer historical checks and balances for realizing a life well lived, to ensure the choices we've made will suffice all moral and integral values. They focus our eyes on the importance of keeping relationships intact;
  • to possess both a loving and serving heart
  • to practice the art of contentment right where we're at 
  • to ensure we cherish our full bounties of warm family and friendship memories
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing...

and most of all...

  • not to allow any expansion for possible gaping holes yet unforgiven, which have already somehow inflicted pain in a loved one's days. Never go to bed angry is a wise motto. Never wake up without something thankful as the very first thing on our lips. Checks and balances apply here too, not just merely on the family calendar.
Oh yes, there can be unexpected pain and suffering, a true guaranteed happening in life. It can and will make us grow in character and become a stronger person, make us more appreciative by day's end, if only we but always remember to lean on HIM for a peaceful understanding amidst the continuation of the circle of life for all the fresh, new tomorrows to come.

Our aim (among many things) should be to uphold the faithful, to unite our hearts with loved ones, in good times and even in the bad times, to rejoice in the blessings and comfort the sorrows, always offering love and understanding, and purposely creating prayer filled days aplenty.

So we do exactly that - 
  • aim to bless 
  • aim to offer grace
  • aim to comfort 
  • aim to help heal the brokenhearted 
  • aim to keep loved ones near in our family/friend life bubble folds
  • aim to ease suffering
  • aim to serve
  • aim to forgive
  • aim to think of others first before ourselves
  • aim to create a measure of joy
  • aim to continue to offer our love
  • aim to make a new memory
  • aim to live our lives right where we are at 
  • aim to have a grateful heart, and aim to offer thanksgiving at every turn 

NOTE: This post was quite lengthy, so I've broken it down into two parts. Part two coming right up...