Tag Archives: control

Hit the Brakes

Is it just me or the is it the world around me?

This week we have some major factors working against one another:

  • Time change – do NOT get me started on how ridiculous it is to continue this practice.
  • Files disappear and then reappear again
  • I gave up coffee – Patricia, you’d be proud of me.
  • The back castors fell off my mobile, stand-up work station – they simply fell off within 24 hours of one another. Enter now the 2nd week of dialogue with Houzz customer service reps.
  • Intermittently soggy socks now bring to our attention the fact that last summer’s repair work hasn’t entirely prevented melting snow from trickling across my kitchen and bathroom floors

And finally, with spring 8 (count them, eight) days away,

  • We have an ice storm, followed by even more snow.

Yes folks, Snowmaggedon 2019 Hoodies are selling like hotcakes at Amazon.

So, finally finished dealing with customer service reps while stepping around my desk, I realized I had skipped right over my quiet time with God – a huge faux pas. This practice reminds me I’m not God – we know this because for years I tried to be God, only to prove I suck at it. That valuable life lesson cost me some twenty years of my youth, so I’m shocked when I slip back there again.

So, late into this morning I was feeling a little frustrated, isolated and, I admit, slightly neglected when not one response to this morning’s post appeared anywhere.

I grabbed the only cell device that was not charging and saw I hadn’t received the notification advising me about my most recent scheduled post…

This, friends, is why paper calendars can be problematic. Our phone calendars simply do not mislead us. At that point I was shamefully near panic mode, sprinting around the cottage in search of a pair of good glasses. Passing a mirror I realized I really must stop.

Just stop.

“I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.*”

Yep. I’d scheduled today’s post for tomorrow. What would have been today’s post is now rescheduled. So now I’m going to go make a snow angel. Or maybe something else that doesn’t require keying or more puddles.

The entirely silly point to sharing all this:

My life is good. I can slow down or stop without fear of hurting or harming anyone. And the world will keep going. God has this, so I needn’t try to control it. My loved ones are all well, I have food, a warm home, a car… I’m breathing deeply.

Peace, my friends!

*Isaiah 41:9(b)-10 (NIV)

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Reason

I like to flow through my days thinking I control all the amazing things I do, that the astounding things happening in and around me are actually all about me. This fantasy is cheap entertainment, it rarely runs into overtime, and when it occasionally results in a rude thud into reality, it becomes blog fodder…

‘Fact is only God is that amazing. Were I indeed all that today, I wouldn’t be scary beyond all reason, especially to the livestock – hollering unprovoked – random bursts of upset – all day long. Today.

 

Genius that I am, in 2009, I nonchalantly lit a nice cigar. It was during an event, a rare occasion so I did’t think twice.

Weeks later my story was, smoking eased my pain better than the opiates my doctors prescribed and was cheaper than 75 year-old Oban. If I hadn’t grown up in rooms filled with Cuban cigar smoke (and sworn to secrecy), I’d still loathe cheap cigars. But in 2009 the embargo hadn’t been lifted yet, so that alone would keep me from forming a habit. “Yeah, that’ll work…”

But wait, there’s more: Thirty-two years ago I told my doctor, “I don’t have time to be sick…” Doctor replied very matter-of-factly, “Roo, you’ve had acute chronic bronchitis for ten months, been hospitalized twice. Now you can either keep smoking or keep breathing. Your call.” Quick as ever, a year later I finally stopped smoking.

In truth, if I were as amazing as I like to sometimes think, In 2009 I would never have toyed with lighting a cigar 25 years AFTER winning the battle of my life; stopping an 18 year, 3-pack/day smoking habit.

Yeah, that was me; sharp as a marble.

In a year I was smoking a pack of organic, sans additives cigarettes a week (because nicotine isn’t addictive). A few years later I was torching 12 – 14 packs a month.

Then I began vaping instead. “Seriously”, I told myself “this is best for everyone”, including my three new chain-smoking roommates (2 were siblings). Like most other bad habits, vaping began cheaply enough but grew to a roaring $76-plus a month habit – after purchasing the equipment – which breaks and wears out. Often. Seriously for real; that’s airfare and a nice hotel with the kids every year!

So, get it now! For the low-low price of only $8.17 per pack, you too can have it all. Start tarring your lungs and control that annoying nicotine addiction until it kills you. Meanwhile it will take every cent you were going to spend on that cruise with the kids next year.

Prices may vary and do not reflect the Sin Tax in The City or the costs of hiding the habit from the grand kids or your friends at church. Restrictions may apply and no one accepts any responsibility when you can no longer breathe on your own.

 

Reality Check:

The reason they call it a Sin Tax; we will pay for the indulgences we convince ourselves we need: tobacco/nicotine, alcohol, soda pop, gambling… ‘Fact is we actually live better without them.

This morning I stopped vaping. Once again my pillow and the treadmill are my best friends. As I become overwhelmed with confusion or disorientation, I scream into my pillow (so much better on the sweet, but lately very nervous chickens). If I come up for air soon, I then jog for a few minutes. Or I stay put and nap.

Hard as it seems in the present, this trauma actually only lasts for a few hours. Fine. A couple of days at worst. God has already brought me through far, far worse than this.

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (NLT)

And each time I fight I win.

 

“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12, 13 (NLT)

 

The Emperors New Groove video clip courtesy YouTube

The Mask video clip courtesy YouTube

Rachel Platten Fight Song (Official Video) Courtesy YouTube

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Filed under A Door Ajar

Reality

Shadow MLK

*

I’m not always the brightest bulb on the string. Sometimes I grope and grovel around to realize I must tighten my seat in the socket.

In the midst of all the global violence, something about my recent Throwdown experience bothered me. That’s putting it mildly. Days of praying, talking it out with wiser minds, reading, reflecting and praying some more led to some profound realizations.

I occasionally misjudge – especially myself. Okay, I do that a lot making myself fairly miserable. My problem du jour was fear – disguised as cowardice.  The latest shocker:

meekness, non-violence is frequently mistaken for weakness or cowardice. I confirmed this in my self-judgement.

Friends, yeah and my trained, professional counselor showed me the source of my fear; shame. Occasionally in my past I responded to bullies and abusers ferociously.

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.“*1 

Clearly I must continuously confront my potential for violence. Avoiding confrontations is a natural result from such fear. In my world trusting God helps me overcome that reality as I practice the way of the cross – strength through nonviolence.

I believe that’s partly why I feel the agony of these worldwide events so deeply. Seriously, I can’t stop thinking about them. It’s horrifying because I am as guilty of violence as the next guy. Like many of us are “one paycheck away from being homeless,” I could have been steps away from crossing the line into madness, committed one of those atrocities, made one of those deadly mistakes. I must choose.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” *2

That’s my reality today. More than ever before I thank God, the Source of strength I easily take for granted.

Gandhi strong

**

I can live with appearing cowardly. Being slower than many people I admire is okay. Sure, to be a great thinker of stuff like many of my friends would be wonderful. I’m not. But I’m not alone either. God uses flawed humans, our friends, our heroes to shine into our lives. So once in a while, I have bright moments too. We are continuously faced with choices. Today I choose to make friends with my fear.

 

lincoln enemy friend

 

*1 Romans 8:1 (NLT)

*2 Philippians 4:6,7 (NLT)

 

Images courtesy *FreeNeoWallpapers **Gandhi and Lincoln Images courtesy Pinterest

 

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Filed under Notes from the Apex