27 August, 2016

HE Summer Lessons

This is true.....in the last week, three different people in my life have asked me, told me, and questioned me about my writing.  "Why aren't you writing?  You need to write, it's part of your journey.  I'm so sorry I haven't seen your writing recently."  Now, it did get my attention when these three separate 'nudges' came my way for that is a very unusual incident in my world.  So....I considered myself nudged and begin to ponder what I might share.....but soon I came to realize I had no words to give.  Empty.  Distracted.

So yesterday, after a busy day of commitments I got home around 4:45 and noticed the weather had cooled to a breezy 91°!  So I decided to take my 2 mile walk...As I walked, I begin to think about summer ending, football games beginning, early school days and the newness and freshness fall offers.  Now I had to reeeaaaalllyyy stretch to feel fall yesterday and in fact couldn't get there.  But it was in those moments of looking forward to crisp fall mornings that I was reminded of important summer lessons.  Here are a few:

Lesson 1.  "I told you so"
This is a favorite, teasing comment of a friend of mine!  And I rejoice that there are people in my life who speak truth to me even when I'm not ready to hear it or accept it.  I'm thankful that there are those around me who dare to be 'truth-tellers' and not just those who tickle my ears with what I want to hear.  Truth-telling in love is quite a gift.  Aren't we all expected to give and welcome that type of truth?  Why are we afraid of truth?  Do I try to hide behind the cloak called perfection-success? I'm pretty sure there are no perfect people or perfect families.  Yet, we live cloaked lives in fear of letting others know of our pain.  We fear telling each our own truth.  It is time to acknowledge we all need truth and need to embrace the truth of our own failures and the truth of Joy available in that brokenness.  He would say: "I told you so" because I love you so.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.  Ephesians 4:15

Lesson 2.  Speaking less than 1000 words has advantages
When my son was in high school, he once asked his dad, "Dad, do you daily decide that you're only going to speak 1000 words?  And then, when you get home your count is at 999?"  This has become a funny family story as my husband is surrounded by three family members who can talk and talk and talk.  But this summer, I relearned the power and calm silence offers.  The constant barrage of talk distracts me and actually disrupts the spirit of God inside me.  For in the talk, in the electronics attached to my hand, the news, the radio, people talking, meetings, problem-solving, even sweet words and loving words...my world begins to tilt.  It's ONLY in the silence, the step, step, step of my walk or the stillness of merely sitting in silence...that is where I meet God.  And it's where I can actually hear my own soul breathing.  Not just 1000 words but no words.  We've got to be brave and turn off the words.  Force ourselves to just be...just be...no book, no music...just be...
...most times He uses no words but I can hear Him.  Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7

Lesson 3.  Be WITH the one you're with...
Rush, rush that seems to be my general gear.  Meeting to meeting to meeting but what about the ones I'm meeting with...who are they?  What are their concerns and needs as we sit and meet?  Do I see them or am I already to my next to-do item?  These precious minutes with the one right in front of you are like no other.  Minutes meant to impact, to teach, to care, to see one another.  Let's have eyes to see each other.  Surely my next appointment will take care of itself but in this current moment see the one you are with...He is always with us so attentive to our every word.  And not at all rushed to get to the next appointment.  “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world." John 17:24

Lesson 4.  I adore Willis Carrier.
Willis Carrier is my hero.  In my deep-south opinion, he is the greatest inventor of all!   He has changed my life, your life, the life of millions of people.  He is the inventor of air-conditioning!  These days he is my best, best friend.  Yes, it is so very hot in the final days of summer.  So that cool air feels so very good.  But...
But ironically the unconditioned air makes me feel alive.  It's those moments when after being indoors all day, perhaps with a light sweater to warm me in the ultra cool air, that I love the first few seconds of warm sun when I walk outdoors.  Somehow it is in those moments that life, blessing, and heartbeat show up.  That is when I know that I'm alive and filled with purpose.  That is when life seems grand and large and overwhelming and amazing.  It's the fresh air, alive with possibility.  Don't we all need to breathe deep and be reminded of the miracle found in a big lungful of breath?...Oh, and He created the air.  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26

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