Today I spent more time doing less and accomplished more in the end…
Time spent in thoughtful reflection can bring you to a place that no amount of rushing and running around will ever do…being busy can be counter-productive.
This week has given me many opportunities for reflection. A dear sweet friend and co-worker passed from this life into the next on Sunday morning @ 8:00am. And at 8:00:01am she opened them in the presence of God. This is what I believe and it is not up for debate.
As I have gone through my week thinking of her at every turn, my days have been filled with smiles and laughter, a few tears but only because of the kind remembrances of her and the unselfish life she led.
She leaves behind a beautiful family with hearts filled with wonderful memories and wisdom only a woman of God can instill in the lives of her children.
I have reflected on how this woman born in the Ukraine came to be a part of God’s plan in my life. I am a city girl from the Southern United States and she a beautiful woman from a small farming village in Russia. Only God could have seen how we needed one another for this season of our lives.
I have heard it said that people come into our lives for a moment, a season or a lifetime. You would think that the person who comes into our life for a lifetime would make the biggest impact on us. But I do not believe that to always be the case.
There are those people who come into our lives and they make an impression. They can either make a good impression or a bad impression. But impressions are easily forgotten as time passes.
There are those individuals who come into our life and they make a mark. A mark sticks with you longer than an impression. When I think of a mark I think of a scar. Scars are made by cutting into our flesh, they hurt and make us bleed. Some marks are deeper than others but they heal, the pain goes away and eventually you are left with a faded mark. There are good scars and not so good scars…A good scar could be one left from a surgical procedure that saved your life or delivered your child into your loving arms. A bad scar…there are too many to mention…
Then there are those who come into our lives and leave a stain. They pour themselves out all over us and when they are no longer with us we see a reflection of them in our own lives. I realize there are good stains as well as bad stains…A bad stain that comes to mind is red wine spilled on white carpet…A good stain is the perfect walnut stain applied to a beautiful hand crafted wooden cabinet. To better illustrate my point here is the definition of how “staining” works;
“The primary method of stain formation is surface stains, where the staining substance is spilled out onto the surface or material and is trapped in the fibers, pores, indentations, or other capillary structures on the surface. The material that is trapped coats the underlying material, and the stain reflects back light according to its own color.”
My sweet beautiful friend was a “stainer”…she stained everyone she met with her color. She didn’t just spill a little of herself into your life, she poured herself into your life. It was subtle and sweet. Her intentions were always meant for good. Her grace and goodness had a way of making you stop and realize how blessed we were just to be standing up, walking around, able to work…my sweet beautiful friend seeped into my pours, she filled every indentation of my being with warmth and love.
This is one stain I will never try to remove or cover up…it is the stain of love.
Other Reflections of Love:
Today was a huge day in my 9-5 world. I am a volunteer organizer…today I received 77 new volunteer interest forms. This is a really big deal!
Volunteers are the life blood of our organization. It would be virtually impossible to accomplish the goal to meet and greet every person who walks onto our campus without volunteers.
Our church offers 5 services on the weekends. It takes approximately 150 volunteers to cover all of the needs of my ministry teams alone. Adding 77 volunteers to the team rosters seems like a lot of volunteers. That is until you break it down by service and team…the volunteers serve every other weekend, so that is 150 volunteers every weekend. After all the dust settles it equals out to approximately one new volunteer per team.
The original contact has been made…now the real work begins. I have to find a way to help these new volunteers stay excited about the commitment they have made.
What I did today will help someone make a difference in the life of someone else…Today was a huge day in my 9-5 world.
This past week was spent getting ready for a special weekend at church. Not that they aren’t all special in some way or another, because they are. But this weekend we were going to take communion as a church. We take communion corporately once each quarter, which is a time of reflection in itself. However, we were trying out a new setup in the auditorium and I was overseeing the project.
There were many hands and feet that worked together to make the communion experience special and memorable. Pastor Tim brought the message, the Worship songs were perfect for the moment, the volunteers served selflessly and the staff filled in the gaps. We were many parts but we were one body!
And at the end of the day on Saturday God painted a glorious sunset that said… “Well done my good and faithful servant” …lets do it again tomorrow and we did!
In the beginning one of us needed the other more…However, even to this day it is debatable who that was…
One day he needed me to feed him and tie his shoes and then he learned to do those things for himself and he needed me less.
One day he asked me to tuck him and sing him a song because he was afraid of the dark and then he overcame his fear and he needed me less.
One day he asked me to play his favorite movie for him and then he knew more about computers than me and he needed me less.
One day he asked me to read to him and then he read to me and he needed me less.
One day he needed me to help him ride his bike and then he was riding around the block and he needed me less.
One day he needed me to drive him to the mall so he could pick out a gift for a girl and then he was able to drive himself to the mall and he needed me less.
One day he asked me about sex and I changed the subject…
One day he asked me what was the meaning of life and we began a faith-based journey together and we fell in love with the LORD and then he needed me less.
One day he asked me for the keys to the car and I spent the night praying…
One day he asked me if he could go on vacation with his girlfriends family and I realized he needed me less.
One day he told me he was moving into his own apartment…and he asked me to make him a good-bye sandwich and I realized he needed me less than I needed him.
Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
I have been searching for balance in my life…without giving up the things I enjoy doing. I do not think I am alone…
Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.
The more I search for balance the more it seems my calendar is filling up with record speed…learning to say no to the good things so I can say yes to the better things is something I have not been able to grasp. I just want to do it all…
Balance – to arrange or adjust to have equal distribution…
A balanced life must include the proper amount of rest… Without proper rest your body begins to rebel…the lack of rest causes undo stress and the natural reaction is to retreat.
From time to time I worry…mostly I worry about my son when he is out and about. I sometimes worry about the outcome of a doctor’s appointment especially when I have to wait to hear test results. I also worry about getting a speeding ticket when I whiz past a police officer…I worry about my husband’s health…because of the level of stress that is involved in his job. I worry about disappointing my employer…I worry about dropping the ball on big projects or making the wrong decision.
The One thing all of my worries have in common is I have little if any control over them…Worrying does not make my son come home earlier or the test results come back quicker. Worrying does not keep me from getting a speeding ticket and it does not lessen the stress in my husbands day. Worry doesn’t keep my from dropping the ball or making the wrong decisions.
Then Why Worry? If I can change something i am worried about i should change it…If I am worrying about something I can’t change it is a waste of time and energy…
I should Let worry be a warning light that I need to pray…I should replace my worries with prayers..lift up my worries to God. Lay my worry at the feet of Jesus. Redirect my energy from time wasted worrying to trusting that God has a better plan.
Saying I am going to replace my worry with prayer is easier said than done. Worry is like a bad penny it seems to turn up at the most inopportune time…or is it the most opportune time. I guess that would depend on your point of view.
Remember worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere. I’m just sayin’…Why Worry?
Matthew 6:25″ Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.”
Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
There are times in our life and the lives of our loved ones when we just can’t explain why things happen. We often hear people ask…Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do children get cancer? Why does a bus load of kids going off to church camp crash?
The why’s are endless… I believe if we are willing to bear our souls, expose our heart and allow others to see that we have survived a heart wrenching time in our life, they will know there is hope even in the darkest moments.
This is my friend Monica. She is my Sister in Christ and my co-worker…this is her story. It may break your heart but it will also give you hope. I am sharing Lucy’s Light with you so you can share it with someone you know that needs to know there is light in the darkness.
Together…squash blossom and patty pan squash…the existence of one is totally dependent on the other.
Genesis 1: 11 ‑ 12
Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed‑bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
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