Monday, February 17, 2014

SNOW



The new fallen snow. A white covering of all things. Landscapes that yesterday we thought horrible are now pristine and beautiful. The broken down Big Wheel, the swing collapsed on the ground, the garbage strewn along the side of the house. All of the things that we just do. We are too busy to pick it up. We are too lazy to fix this or that. We grow complacent. This is my lot. This is the best I can do. But when that first snow falls everything changes. All of a sudden, that house looks as good as all the houses on the block.  No one has garbage cans tipped over, or anything out of place. It all looks white. It all looks new. It all looks right. The bad things are covered; temporarily out of sight. For a time, we take a sigh of relief and get a sense of well- being.  For a time, it looks like we have done what we are supposed to have done.  We are upright citizens. We have a sense of confidence. “This old place really isn’t so bad”, we tell ourselves. But at some point, the snow will melt. The fading fa├žade will reveal the real truth. Maybe we don’t really have it all together. Maybe we feel as bad as the yard looks. Maybe all this beautiful snow is covering up more than just the physical mess, but also the mess inside. Maybe the messy yard is indicative of the inner mess. Maybe I’m just a mess.


Everyone has stuff going on. The thing is, what we do with it. Some will sit and ponder their mess. They will mull over past events, decisions. They will wallow over regrets and opportunities they have let slip through their fingers. These are not the folks who have a regret or two, but rather the ones that put a high importance on each one and place it on a pedestal. Their regrets are so consuming that their physical surroundings begin to morph out of their emotional selves. Their white snowy blanket is just a fleeting reprieve from the cell they have created for themselves. To catch a breath before going back into the torment of living a life of what if’s.


Others will try and keep their snowy camouflage as long as possible. They will take the innocent snow and add sparkle and decorations. They will dress it up so no one will see the emptiness which is their true self. Their need for love, acceptance, belonging. These are such monumental and blaring feelings that they must keep adding bling to try and silence them. These are the ones who we suspect the least of having to hide anything. The ones who look so beautiful yet hurt so badly, and the last ones to ask for help.


And then there is the house on the street that is still trying, but has seen better days. The blanket of snow signifies loss. Memories of earlier days when little ones decorated the snow with polka dots and angels. The snow reminds of us what we had. We have a life now, but it is not as it was; and it makes us sad. We know the drill. The snow will come, and the snow will go. But now the peaks and valley are much smaller. We trudge along day by day forcing ourselves to keep moving. The alternative is to stop and become stagnant. A statue if you will. Watching the world around us go by but being overwhelmed by it. We believe there is a future for us but are fumbling in the dark trying to forge a new path.


But all are grateful for that first snow of winter. All realize its affects are translucent yet still remarkably calming. For a moment we are all the same. We all look great, feel completed, and are optimistic for what will happen when the snow finally melts. 


Written by my friend Holly Flowers

Sunday, February 2, 2014

In the Middle







I find myself in the middle of a battlefield.  Everywhere I look there is sabre and sword.  For a moment my mind wonders to, how did I get here? Who signed me up for this?  I certainly don’t remember doing it.  I fight and claw my way, focusing on trying to stay alive.  At times I wonder why not just lay down and die- get it over with.  What is the use anyhow?  Who will even care?  Why continue to fight?  My eyes are fastened on the enemy swarming around me.  Where are my friends?  Do I even have any?  Who can rescue me?  I am tired…. too tired to fight anymore.  I think it would be easier to just give up; then it would be over!  At that moment my ear picks up a whisper of music.  I stop in my tracks; arms limp at my side.  Where in the world could the music be coming from- this is a battle field, for pity sakes!?  I turn my head not caring if the enemy plunges my heart any more. There it is again.  It sounds like, no it cannot be, but it sounds like a trumpet... like some sort of battle call.  Slowly I raise my eyes upward, searching.  But it is getting louder as I lift my eyes, off the enemy.  Then there, in the middle of the fray, I see it.  It is a banner of sorts waving high above the enemy troops.  For a mire moment the battle fades and I read what it says as I squint my eyes.  LOVE it says.  Love?  Love?  What does that mean?  My eyes fall at bit and then I see Him, sitting on a white horse coming my way.  Can it be?  Can it really be someone coming to rescue me?  Not a chance! But He keeps coming with that LOVE banner waving over the enemy.  Wow!  I think I am about to be rescued, taken out of this mess.  WOOHOO!  Then He is beside me, wielding a sword on my behalf.  I hear Him say, how I am not sure because I am suddenly aware of the battle noise again, but I hear His voice say, “I am here to help you fight.  This battle is not yours alone.  I died for YOUR victory but you must stand firm and fight.  Yes you must fight BUT I am beside you, fighting to give YOU the victory”.  Suddenly my lonely, despairing heart is strengthened.  With every flash of His sword, life returns to my spirit. With every utterance of His Truth, courage rises up within me. He holds out His nail scarred hand to me...a lifeline of love. I take
it and am gently encouraged to stand and to re-engage in the battle for my life. I stand in the strength that I have and with Him it is more than enough. I sense His good pleasure and overwhelming compassion. I know He will bear the brunt of
this battle. I hold my head up under the banner of LOVE, as the enemy’s taunts are swallowed up by the marvelous light of His presence and the sounds of His mighty army, my brothers and sisters. My strength returns. He is all I see. I am somehow on higher ground, being moved forward by a great mass of warriors. We are as one and we are taking back the land together. I am not alone! I was not left behind on the battlefield! He came for me! I re-enter the fray in praise and with the victorious words of Life! The enemy will be defeated!


A song that goes right along with this post is OVERCOMER by Mandisa
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z29olPjFbqg

written with my friend, Kim Dent.... you can find her at http://www.dandelionwinds.com/blog.html