Wednesday, November 29, 2017

What I Know

What I Know

This I know …

I am alive today, therefore I shall continue using all my skills in ways that reflect my values and my integrity. 

I continually learn and hone my core
strengths and skills, and I like what I am discovering.  That also means I am narrowing my band width of what I do less well.  I am great at encouraging and validating my fellow human beings.  I’ll spend less time on the things I am less skilled in.

Books take me places and teach me things of value.  I shall forever be a reader, and will probably die with a few books on my nightstand.  By my estimation, I need to live another 100 years in order to read more of the books on my current list. 

God loves me as I am, not as I should be.  I’ll never be a Billy Graham or a Mother Teresa, but I am ME and I want to be ALL ME.  And God likes me.

I am deeply loved by a few incredible people – family mostly, and a few close friends.  Carolyn heads the list – my, how she loves me.  I’m settling into her love and the esteem she offers. 

My brand of creativity suits me well.  I can’t reach the world with my style and I am okay with that.  Any more, I focus on those who like and read and listen to what I produce.  The critics need to go find someone else to dislike.

I have a God-connection that I have worked out down through my years of living.  It is fashioned by my reading, my understanding of the nature of God, but mostly how I perceive how God has worked in my life up to this moment.  I’m learning more about faith and grace as I grow older. 

Faith - trust in the unseen hand of God.  Success, safety, good health – these are not assured.  However, my faith comes in spite of all of that.  Even in moments of lack, I still trust the God of my understanding.  The only assurance I have is this … He will be with me in the middle of every moment of my life.

Grace - the profound flow of the goodness of a merciful God and it is not something I deserve.  That is why it is grace.

There is more that I know.  Perhaps I’ll revisit this topic again.

This is my morning reflection.

Words of Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Facing Life

Facing Life

I’m facing life.  In less than a month I will have quadruple heart bypass surgery. 

I’m scared – and optimistic.  I have a top-notch surgeon, I have a highly skilled cardio doctor, and a terrific primary care physician.  So, I’m surrounded with an A-team of physicians. 

And this is how I am currently facing life.  I
have all the confidence in my team.  My cardio doctor says he can give me another twenty years.  I want to face that.  I think I can make something of the next twenty years of my life.  I just have to get through surgery and recovery.

My Step-daughter, Paula, is a counselor/therapist.  She said something to me last week that I think about a lot.  She said, “What a gift you are being given in knowing your surgery is a month away and you have all this time to think about it, prepare for it, and explore your own heart and mind in preparation.”

My first thoughts are – I don’t like this gift very much.  I don’t want this kind of gift.  Can I exchange it for a new pair of shoes?

Yet I face it.  It is now a part of my life.  I can’t run, hide, ignore it, sleep through it or avoid it. 

And so, I face my life. 

I don’t have any solutions to offer to anyone, much less to myself.  I’m doing everything my doctor says.  I’m exercising in the ranges he wants, I take my meds on time every time, I’m eating the right amounts of food with a good balance of protein, fat grams, sodium, calories, sugar, etc.  I’m a “poster child”, as Carolyn calls me, for someone who is facing what I face.

I pray, I meditate, I have ample alone time, I send out a weekly email to our family as to what is going on and reports on doctor’s appointments, how I’m feeling, etc.  Carolyn and I have numerous conversations about this dilemma and how it is impacting both of our lives, for it affects her too.  And she allows for those moments when she needs space and time alone.

And so, we face life. 

Carolyn keeps saying how this experience will change and deepen my writing.  Perhaps she is right.  I doubt that I have even scratched the surface on processing all that.  And the future remains to be written. 

In the middle of my fears, I have to say I’m finding a center of calm.  It comes and goes, but it is there.  That is the God-part of my story.  I am trusting, I am living in His embrace, and taking everything as it comes along.  It is a daily experience.  I’m trying to live in each moment, seize each moment for what it brings. 

This is my morning reflection.

Words of Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Creativity Is Letting Go

I’ve been watching bits and pieces of the Lord of the Rings movies lately.  Those movies and  books are some of the finest examples of a creative person letting go that I have ever seen.  The characters Mr. Tolkien creates, the animals he imagines, are beyond belief, yet his books and the movie makers make them come to life.  They let their creativity get loose.  And we are the better for it.

I’m also reading The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and the same can be said of these stories and characters.  Who ever heard of a talking horse, or a wardrobe that magically leads to the land of promise and a lion named Aslan?

The closest I’ve possibly come to letting myself go was after reading the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.  She encourages her readers to sit in front of a mirror and then draw their face as they see it reflected in the mirror.  As surely as I sit and type I drew an exact replication of my own face.  I could not believe that, for I am a self-confessed non-art-drawing person.  My art lies in music and writing and such. 

As I reflect back on that experience, I
remember talking to myself and my sub-conscious self all during that exercise.  “Let go.  Draw what you see.  Note the shades, the light and the dark, note the texture of your hair”, etc.

I was letting myself go. 

I’ve done that a few times in my writing, and then there are times when I have been afraid of certain posts, certain subjects.  I feared what my siblings may say, or my close friends, even how Carolyn might interpret an idea.

Perhaps this begs the question – do we sometimes fear creativity?  Creativity, by its very nature spins off a nice list of some incredible words:


I’ve been resourceful before.  To me that means taking something that exists already and putting it to other uses.  I do that with words all the time.  I’ll give an idea three or four different treatments for the different blogs sites I have.  And it is creativity.

I’ve come to this conclusion as I write this piece.  Letting go is hard.  Letting go sometimes means losing control for a moment or two. 

It’s hard to let go.  Perhaps we sometimes fear it will become epidemic and that the rest of our lives will spiral sideways and fall off the proverbial cliff.

I know when I started my blog A Time for Rhyme, I feared that some would not get it.  I started out attempting to write like Shel Silverstein.  I adore his brand of creativity, and I wrote some pretty crazy stuff in the beginning. 

And then, magically perhaps, I evolved into a poem/prose style of short phrased poems that do not rhyme.  I feared ridicule from the Poem Cops, which thankfully never came.  I finally reached a comfortable spot with that and decided I liked what I was producing, and I was comfortable in my own skin.  Good enough.  Perhaps that was a form of letting go. 

I don’t know if any of this is helping you or not, but I sometimes think about this stuff, for I consider myself a creative type and I seek to explore the new, the different way of saying the tried and true.  I seek new insights, new avenues of expression. 

I hope you find some measure of creativity and letting go in your own life.  I hope you find the guts to launch whatever it is you need to launch – a new business, write and sing your own songs, write your own essays … and at the end of the day, I really hope your press “PUBLISH”.

That is where our creativity needs to go.  It needs to breathe the free air of expression.  We want to see your juicy moments of creativity.

This is my morning reflection.

Words of Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time