More preparation than I thought

The weather has been unusually cold here for this time of year. It seemed like a good time to make soup. I found a wonderful recipe in my computer cooking program and it sounded wonderful. I decided to give it a try.

The thing I didn’t notice before I started was the amount of things that had to be chopped to get ready. I have made lots of recipes with many ingredients but this one was demanding. I chopped chicken breasts, carrots, celery, shallots, sage, spinach, mushrooms, rosemary garlic,parsley,  grated a lemon for zest and parmesan. It was rather time consuming. The cooking took little time. Next time I will chop everything the day before and just make the soup.

over prepared

I realized that life can be something like this. There are many things that we have to spend a great deal of time preparing and then they are done in a flash. Just think about the Christmas Holidays. So much preparation goes into a day that (especially if you have children) can be destroyed in an hour.

I guess we have to decide which things are worth the effort put into preparing. For me, Christmas is and I think I will make that soup again….it was wonderful!

Love is infinite

I have been thinking about love. I’m not talking about romantic love but a more expansive love. Love, if nurtured, does not decrease…..it grows. Not just for one person but there is always more to share with others. Our ability to love can be endless if we encourage it.

love-is-infinite

Christ called us to love our neighbors as ourselves. This statement reminds us that it is important for our love to both reach out to others but also inward to ourselves. Both are necessary.

Most of the major religions consider love to be crucial. It is unfortunate that mankind has skewed the original tenets and intentions of them so much. “Religion” has encouraged divisiveness and exclusivity. Each “sect” is touting its “truth” and denigrating all others. So many splits and divisions have occurred that I am not sure we could name them all.

We have lost the call to love. Love our world, our earth itself with all its plants, animals, and beings with a fierceness that forces us to consider the good of it all. How far we have strayed.

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We have to speak out with love. We may only reach one person but each one is one that is changed and with hope that they will pass it on.

Memories and emotions

Where families are involved life can treacherous. Sometimes the most innocent remark can be twisted into a major conflict. I suspect this is because there is history and much emotion involved. Often the negative reaction has nothing to do with what is going on at the moment. It is rooted somewhere in the past where the emotions are stuck.

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I have never forgotten that our emotions are tied to so many things. A piece of music from our past can have us experiencing the emotions we felt at the time. These past connections can emerge at the worst moments and skew our perception of the current experience.

Many of us have been taken straight back to our past feelings by a song, a scent, a person, or a scene. We don’t realize what is happening and our responses are not appropriate to the moment. This is doubly true for those we spent a lot of time with growing up. We are creations of our environment as well as our genes.

family breakup

It takes real strength to look inside and connect with the past so that we can disconnect ourselves from it. Most of us don’t want to relive the negative things that formed out emotional responses. It make take talking with a counselor to root out those emotions and at least understand them. Hopefully doing so will allow us to reconnect with those we have turned away from. Maybe not. Some we may not want to but there can be some that can heal connections that will change our hearts.

Speak up, share your experience!

Today another Word Press blogger wrote about the state of our country. This is a great article from https://earthwalkingworld.wordpress.com/2019/10/24/unworthy-america/

speak up

The article and some comments started me thinking about how we should live our later years. I am of the opinion that we should not sit down and let everything pass us by. We have much to give and we have to speak out. This country and the world need to hear our voices and see that there are other ways. This whole thought process reminded me of this poem. It is my mantra!

Dylan Thomas – 1914-1953

Do no go gentle into that good night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Looking at acceptance

Acceptance. A mighty word. Merriman Webster says:

1: the quality or state of being accepted or acceptableHis theories have gained widespread acceptance.
2: the act of accepting something or someone : the fact of being accepted : APPROVAL

The two perspectives listed here show two sides of this word. One is the act of us being accepted by someone else. The other is from our perspective. Our acceptance of someone else or something else. Both of these are important.

How many times have we wanted to be accepted by other people. How many times have we wanted to belong to a group, join a club, or some other organization? We worry about ourselves. Will we meet the standards they want? Are we good enough? We may experience a feeling of angst while waiting for an answer. Sometimes we are too concerned with what others think. We don’t think well enough of ourselves. It can cause us to be afraid to try things. We may not think that we are good enough. We can have the sense of being an outcast or that we don’t belong.

change accept

The other thing is having the courage and wisdom to accept the things that happen to us in life. Acceptance can bring us to a place of peace and calm. Knowing that there are some things we cannot change is an important fact of life.

The other side of the coin is our acceptance of others. How many of us have been in a group that rejected other people. My youngest child while in high school was asked to join a prestigious club. She discovered that her best friend was not also asked to join. I was so proud of her when she turned down that invitation. Her concern was for her friend and the judgment of others meant nothing.

admirableIt is so easy for us to reject others without any knowledge about them. We too often take outward appearances and don’t look deep enough. We may find that someone who we deemed unacceptable is actually one of the best people we know. It is so easy to pass by the homeless person on the street. We make assumptions about their life, their intelligence and their perspective. When I worked for the church there was a man who was homeless. After having several conversations with him I discovered that he was quite brilliant and homelessness was not the norm for him. It helped to show me that judgment is not always based on reality.

When we think about the word acceptance we have to look at both sides. We have to remember the times that we were not accepted and also the times that we rejected someone else. Be careful with the choices that you make about other people and understand the mistakes others can make about you.

When is it discrimination?

This morning in church the sermon focused on two pieces of Scripture one from second Kings and the other from Luke. Both pieces of Scripture were talking about someone with leprosy. In the Old Testament of the Bible lepers were considered unclean. Unclean meant that they could not participate in any regular community. They were outcasts. In other parts of the Old Testament specifically the Torah there are laws written concerning people with leprosy and other diseases. The law prohibited these people from being part of the community. I am sure that they were initially formed to prevent contagion and exposure to those who might pass on illness.

In Luke Jesus heals 10 lepers. According to the laws of that time those lepers must go to the priests and be properly assessed and determined that they were no longer unclean. Only the priests could make that decision. Jesus, however, asserted that they were now clean and sent them to be looked at. Jesus essentially sidestepped the law.

critical thinking

This exclusion of people from society still exists today. Laws have been written to prevent people from being excluded from life in the community. Job discrimination is not tolerated on many levels. However, often the wording of laws is somewhat ambiguous. When a law is written it is usually written in a certain period of time and to address specific concerns of that era.

Now we have cases before the United States Supreme Court questioning discrimination laws concerning sex. The laws were written in a time when Blacks and women were being discriminated against in the workplace. Now there are questions about that law. The questions really are concerning issues that we face today that we didn’t face in the 60s. So a determination is having to be made about the real meaning of the law. There are people on both sides.

think for yourselfThere has been a lot of discussion on media for both sides. “Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as amended, protects employees and job applicants from employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.”

The law itself is not in question. It’s the interpretation of the law that is the problem. Whenever these issues come up it is always a good idea to go and read the original law in order to understand the discussion. Listening to the talking heads does not give you an accurate picture. Sometimes looking up the Constitution or other documents will give you a clearer picture. Don’t take someone else’s word for something. Read it for yourself and make your own decision.

 

Without a sense of humor I don’t think I would have lived as long as I have. When as many things fall apart as have around here recently laughing is the only option. It really reaches the ridiculous. Today the water went nuts and decided to gasp out of the faucets and produce brown water. Fortunately I have a husband who can see beyond the ridiculous and solve problems. So we are temporarily able to shower and have water to drink. Further solutions will come in time.

sense-of-humour

I think if asked what is the most important trait needed for survival and sanity I would have to say sense of humor.

Do we appreciate our freedom?

In this country we take our freedoms for granted. Most of us are unaware of what it is like to live where there are few personal freedoms. We have never experienced it. Maybe we need to spend some time in North Korea or another country where the decision are not ours to make. As a people we are so naive.

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Be grateful for the freedoms we have. We have to guard them carefully and speak out when we see them being eroded .

Balance is the key

SurpriseToday was filled with surprises. Routine Dr visit where I learned that something that hasn’t meant much over the years may be causing some of the issues I have had lately. Will get that checked, resolved and maybe get some bonus benefits. Yea!

Again life is full of interesting things. Maybe this is the start of some things getting done. The bathroom may be finished by next week and then it’s moving everything back and enjoying. Thank goodness!

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We definitely have to take one day at a time. Each day has been so different lately. One day up and the next down. Rolling with the flow is my wish but I don’t always do that well. We have to keep seeing that another day is coming with its own gifts and challenges and let the past day go. It is the only way to maintain balance.

Powerful help

sleepy dogToday I hit the wall. I am so sleepy that I could just drop off writing this. I think the things I have been doing have finally relaxed some of the tension and I am wiped out. It is a wonderful feeling except I have things I have to do so I’ll just keep going until bedtime. Sure hope I don’t end up wide eyed awake then.

Ironically there are still storms floating around in the Atlantic but so far it seems they are little threat. I hope it stays that way. I guess with climate change happening we will have to cope with this or move.

Yesterday was another Community Conference. Again I saw the power of this program as it saved another youth from being caught up in the court system. It is a powerful feeling to think that I was able to help. I hope this child now understands the chance that has been given and it able to move forward with a positive attitude toward a productive life. I think, in this case, that will happen. It also help an adult to see that not all youth should be written off without knowing more than the surface information.

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I am blessed to be able to help with this program.