A moment of correction

pexels-photo-256395.jpeg

Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise.  Proverbs: 15:31

I remember many years back a moment in a college English class. I had written a paper on Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  On the day our papers were to be handed back to us, my instructor stood in front of the class and told this story…

“This past weekend I walked into a bar to meet some friends, and  I noticed sitting at the bar a beautiful woman.  She had beautiful skin, long silky hair, and a captivating smile.  I was mesmerized.  I had forgotten who I came in to meet and just watched her as she talked, smiled and laughed.  Then, as I was about to approach her and introduce myself,  she reached up, and picked her nose.” He then held up a paper and said: “This paper is a nose-picker!”

He placed the paper back into the stack and proceded to use the opportunity to explain the use of an apostrophe and its importance.  As he explained I felt my face grow hotter and hotter.  I knew the paper was mine.  All these years later, I don’t remember him handing the papers back or if the rest of the class knew it was me.  What I do remember is looking at that big fat “A”.  I made an “A”!  My paper was equated to a “beautiful woman”.  As I thumbed through the rest of my paper, the 11 (yes 11) red circles stood out, and I was once again embarrassed by the boogers in my paper.  However, other than those apostrophe issues there we no other marks.  I had a warm fuzzy moment and I smiled!  I made an “A”!

Today, I still struggle with those issues of apostrophes, commas, and my spelling leaves much to be desired.  But, I have had so many more moments that have encouraged me to keep writing, so I write.  Today, I thank my friend Bill for checking for the boogers in my writing.   But even more so, I thank all those who have encouraged me to put myself out there.

Getting past criticism can be difficult, but there is so much more to see.  Sister Mary Clarence in Sister Act 2 says “if you wake up every day and think about singing you are a singer.”  What do you wake up thinking about?  I encourage you to listen to criticism but more importantly follow your heart and your encouragers.

 

 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,  encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

A moment for enjoyment

pexels-photo-374073.jpeg

What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil. Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 (NRSV)

What if we operated at 80%?

We live in a world where we are taught to give it our all.  In the words of Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights   “If you are not first you are last.”   We have wonderful expressions like, “Hang in there,” “Be strong,” “Keep fighting,” and “Never give up.”  So, we press on and try to present an image of being tireless.  Yet we are all quite tired, aren’t we?  We have set our goals at the highest level.  “Reach for the moon, and you will fall among the stars.”  That all sounds great.  Except, I don’t have rocket boots.  And, I am tired.  As a result, the unattainable goal of the moon just makes me feel deflated and unmotivated.

But, if I am shooting for 80%?  Well, that is doable!  In school, 80% is a “B.”  “B” is above average.  That’s a good grade, right?  Quite possibly, at the end of an 80% day, I have successfully achieved what I set out to do.  I am calmer.  And, I have a little left over for someone who might need me.  The friend who called.  The spouse who had a rough day.  My kids who need a last minute hand with a project.  Or, even better, a slow, relaxed dinner with a great conversation about our 80% day.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. Ralph Waldo Emerson

A moment of favoritism

As my teenage daughter attends a classmate’s Celebration of Life service today, I am reminded of why I am working through my issues with computers and technology to send a message of God’s love out into the world.  I don’t have any idea where this will land, or if anyone will hear the message, but it is in my heart, and I don’t want to contain it.

My head is filled this morning with thoughts of teenagers and parenting and my own personal successes and failures.  I have found the only way to stop the spinning is to focus on God’s love for all of us.  A dear friend of mine always says, “I’m His favorite.”  My response to that is, “Me too!”  If I could say anything to the young man who is being wept for this very minute, it would be. “You are God’s favorite.”  It doesn’t matter what we have done in the past when we look into God’s eyes, our successes and our failures are enfolded into His loving embrace, and we, in that moment, are His favorite.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption to be his children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding…Ephesians 1:1-8 (NIV)

God created us, understands us and loves us in every moment of our lives here and beyond.

Peace,

Alana