Monday, March 22, 2010

The Good Things About Being 52 I turn 52 tomorrow so I decided instead of dwelling on the negative, I would list some of the GOOD things about being 52.

1. You're not 53.
2. You don't have to invest money in fishnet stockings...your varicose veins do the trick.
3. Boy scouts help you across the street.
4. You're only 7 in dog years.
5. You now qualify as a cougar.
6. You don't need a bed in order to fall asleep.
7. You don't have to go to school. Oh, wait....never mind.
8. Maalox has calcium.
9. You don't have to worry about finding a date to the prom.
10. You can eat ice cream for breakfast if you want to.
11. You can't hear people talking about you.
12. The other options aren't very good.
13. You still have 8 years to hit 60.
14. Grandchildren
15. Your humor increases...hey, you might as well laugh.

Actually, it's not so bad. Happy 52nd me!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Letting Go

It's never easy letting go of something you love.
I've been thinking about this quite a bit this last month. After looking up the definition for love in the dictionary, I found that although it had numerous definitions, none really defined the word. Maybe that is because love is sort of undefinable. Listed below are a few definitions from the good old Merriam dictionary.
1. strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.
2. affection based on admiration, benevolence or common interests
3. an attraction based on sexual desire
4. warm attachment, enthusiasm or devotion or an object of attachment,
devotion, or admiration.
5. an unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another

Pretty shallow definitions for an emotion that makes your heart ache with such longing and the pit of your stomach feel sick when you are separated from that special someone. This longing that is so strong that it creates a constant desire to hold on to the object of your affection so tightly that you never have to be separated from it.
We humans have the tendency to cling on to the people and things we love. We are quite selfish by we hold on tightly, fearing and dreading their loss because, in truth, it is painful to love. It is my experience that love will eventually lead you down the path of hurt, pain, loss or a broken and wounded heart. I'm speaking now in terms of the physical realm. People move, die, or no longer have attachment, devotion or enthusiasm for us anymore.
And so we cling or worse yet, we refuse to open up and love in order to protect ourselves. We will withhold love to avoid being hurt. It seems we fear the risk of that hurt..or maybe it is too emotionally draining or damaging to our own heart.
As I researched bible verses, I discovered that God's definition of love is a little more revealing and worth some exploration.
In 1 John 4:16 I learned that God IS love.
"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God is in him."
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment." 1 John 4:18
As I pondered the idea of God BEING love, it struck me that being created in God's image, His heart must also feel some of the hurt and pain at the rejection of affection He receives from all of us. He chooses to love us without a return. There is no guarantee that He will get anything back from us for His love for us. Still, He chooses to love strings...nothing in it for Him....His undeserved gift to us with no expectations on us..a gift He provided for both receivers and rejectors alike. He loved us...then let us go.
But there is a key to God's love that we in turn need to discover. Letting go. His love has no fear of letting go of us. He doesn't cling to us...He doesn't withhold His love for us or from us. He just IS. Even though loving us has the potential to hurt Him...and even though He desires to have us with Him forever....And even though it sometimes hurts His heart and He longs to be with us....He sets us free. He doesn't try to coerce us into loving Him...He doesn't try to manipulate us...His love is free to us,
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."~Romans 5:8.
Love is an amazing thing, but I believe that to experience love the way it was meant to involves opening up and loving for all your worth with no promise of return and the potential of rejection and pain. You shouldn't enter a love relationship with the thought of what is in it for me. Love is NEVER wasted.
I guess that is what I mean by letting go. I guess in actuality it is about letting go of self. "love is not self-seeking.."~I Corinthians 13:5.
Learning to let go is scary. It involves sacrifice on our part. It's not always getting what we want. It's risky. But if we really want to experience the kind of love that God is...the only clinging we should be doing is clinging to the cross of Christ.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." ~ Romans 8:38
Are you clinging to things you love too tightly? Are you afraid to love because you don't want to get hurt?
Let go of self...let go of your fears....let go of your past....let go of everything except the One thing.
"Jesus....lover of my soul.....Jesus I'll NEVER let you go."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Only the Innocence of a Child

My daughter recently posted a blog about the funny things her children had said and it sparked a couple of memories of my own.

When Gina and Jordan were about seven and four, we were playing a child's trivia game together. I drew a card and asked Gina the question on the card. "Where is Pearl Harbor?" Gina paused a moment and answered, "Hawaii??" I then remarked, "That was great, Gina. I didn't think you'd know that." Four year old Jordan, wanting to add his own words of encouragement to his older sister stated excitedly, "Yeah, good job, Gina. I don't even know who she is."

It seemed that quite often, it was Jordan who drew the laughs from his comments. On one particular day, Grandpa Raben and Uncle Paul decided to take the kids fishing down at our dam. Again, Jordan was about four years old and tagged along behind. After a while, they returned to grandma's house with a large white bucket containing the fish they had caught. Jordan entered Grandma's house ahead of the rest of the men and Grandma Veda asked him, "What do you have in that bucket of yours?" She could detect a little disappointment as he looked up into her face and answered her question in his little four year old voice, "Well....they said there was a bull head in there....but when I was just a fish!"

My mom always tells the story of the time she was grating cheese for tacos. Jill had been standing there watching for quite awhile when she finally spoke up, "Grandma...can you give me a piece of that cheese before you erase it all?"

Raised in a church home, we had several opportunities to talk to our children about God, the stories in the bible and even the devil. This particular day Gregg and I were discussing Revelation and in particular...the devil and the Mark of the Beast. We had been in a pretty deep discussion and hadn't really noticed that Jordan's little ears had been intently taking in everything we had been discussing. When we got to the part about the Devil and his number being 666, Jordan's little hand tugged at my arm interrupting, and asked, "But what happens if you call it????"

Speaking of church, we were a family that attended church every week rain or over the years the kids heard a lot of hymns and songs sung. Again, little ears didn't always hear the right words that were sung. For instance...Jill would sing loudly, "Amazing Grace how sweet is paste."

I can't attend an Easter service without laughing every time I hear the song, "He Arose", It went like this..."Up from the grave He arose...with a mighty triumph o're His foes." But when our little man sang that song loudly Easter Sunday, it came out, "Up from the grave He arose....with a mighty trumpet for His nose." I bet even Jesus laughed at that one.

And last, but definitely not least....our Jill story. There was a children's Sunday School song that was quite popular at the time. "Behold, Behold...I stand at the door and knock, knock, knock." Jordan was probably nine and Jill was three or four at the time. Jordan was on the sofa singing the song at the top of his voice over and over again. Pretty soon Jill ran in, the ever innocent tattletale. "Mom....Mom...Jordan's cussing." "Why? What is he saying, I asked? Mimicking the song in a sing song voice she replied, "He's singing B-Hole, B-Hole."

And now, one that makes Jill still ME! I was singing one day "I'm your Venus...I'm Your Fire...Georgie Sire!" Jill was rolling on the floor making fun of me. When I asked her what was so funny...she replied..."It's not Georgie's "Your desire!!! Good Grief, Mom!!!!"

I guess now I know where they got it!!!