Giving. It’s the new black.

This post is dedicated to Sevenly. I love Sevenly. I love what they do. I love the causes they support. I love what they stand for. I love that they are changing the world. I love that they let me (and you if you want) change the world with them.

Sevenly is all about giving. AND I love that. So give. Not for praise, adoration, recognition, or acceptance. Give because it’s right. Give because that is something that binds us together. Everyone can give. I give time a lot because it is more readily available. I don’t have much money to give, but I still give it too. Give love. Give hope. Give grace. Give peace. Give laughter. Just GIVE!!! You might just change the world.

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Craig Groeschel – The Strongest Link

“You are the most cause driven generation in history. You don’t just want a job. You want a calling.”

– Craig Groeschel

That quote is from the Global Leadership Summit happening today and tomorrow. I am the generation he’s talking about!! His section is so good that I’m copying it for you from Will Johnston here:

***

My assignment is to talk to you today about bridging the generational gap. There is very clearly a gap today not only in ministry but in the business world as well. I will speak mostly from the ministry perspective because I am a pastor, but I think you can make a jump pretty easily to the business world.

I would not be speaking to you today if it were not for those who had gone before me. I am here today because of the women and men who have gone before me and invested in me. Continue reading

The greatest of these is…

LOVE. That’s the answer. Love is the greatest.

Back in December of last year, I found out about Art Journaling. Basically, it’s taking a day, word, time of life, question, etc and making art from it. (If you want to see other people’s journal pictures/inspirations my Blogged and Paper boards on pinterest have links to them.) I used the word “love.” AND with my art journal, some paint, colored pencils, homemade modge podge, some oil pastels, and a couple of pages ripped from an old stinky book (no way I was gonna read a smell that bad. GROSS!) this is what happened :)

This page (and post) was inspired by Continue reading

Mirror, Mirror

“Mirror, mirror on the wall”
Now what’s up with that?
“Who’s the fairest of them all?”
That tells me where you’re at.

If you’re stuck in front of your mirror
You know it can’t be healthy
There is a way to see life a lot clearer
And it will not be so deadly
Mirrorism is a term
It has no definition
It will make you twitch and squirm
And alter your position Continue reading

Words

Get a grip
Over your lip
You don’t know what you’re saying
You don’t know with what you’re playing

Words can lie and words can cheat
Words can sweep you off your feet
Words can hurt and words can kill
Words can flirt and speak your will
Seems all the words you ever use
Are words that hurt and those do bruise

Get a grip
Over your lip
You don’t know what you’re saying
You don’t know with what you’re playing Continue reading

Dark Knight Rises

Image

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I have been waiting on this one since the other left off and there was no disappointment at all. It was fantastically amazing. Just when I had it figured out, the plot changed. Just when I thought it might be getting slow, the action jumped in and threw me. And just when I thought it was over, the possibilities exploded!!! Good grief it was good :) Sometimes we must be who is needed not who we want to be. Sometimes the good guy must take the fall, not to earn the glory or because someone forced him, but because the world needs grace. If the bad ones always got what they deserved, there would be no good left. At one time or another, the good ones got a second chance too. -sigh- I always leave Batman wanting to do something selfless and change the world. Maybe we should all hold on to that feeling.

Beauty from Horror

This past weekend I went on a family vacation to Savannah, GA. It was my brother’s 21st birthday and we wanted to do something fun to celebrate. On Friday we went to the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, which is all about WWII memories and history.

Most of the museum was filled with planes and stories of the people who flew, worked on, or planned the flights of those planes. But one section was devoted to a family that helped people escape Germany. They hid Jews and stranded Allies. All of this was interesting, but I’m not easily moved by history even if they are moving stories.

In the corner of the replicated living room, there was an exhibit of embroidery, which immediately piqued my interest. Me? Embroidery? I wonder why… It turned out that this embroidery was the last non-confiscated embroidery of a concentration camp. AND I took pictures.

I had no idea that such things went on. The stories…. oh how many stories have been untold? How many women made it through the war because of their little embroideries? Their little pieces of the old life and sanity. Continue reading

December 2005

These two unfortunately go together and were written on the dates of title…

1 December 2005

A year and a half ago the pain began
Memorial Day made memorable
By a stroke to the sleeping.
The phone calls started,
Trips to the hospital too.
Over a few months the pain sparked anger.
Anger led to hatred and hatred had to be dealt with.
The hatred was calmed and replaced with
Dread.
Dread of the phone calls.
Dread of the never-ending hospital trips.
Dread of the pain that was constantly worse,
Is constantly worse.
A week ago the end was in sight.
Relief was within reach.
All dread, and the energy wasted on it,
Was transformed into
Hope.
Uncertain hope, but hope nonetheless.
Two days go the phone calls stopped.
Relief was close enough to taste.
The end of the never-ceasing pain was
Hours away.
Yesterday another trip to the hospital was made.
It lasted eight and a quarter hours.
The waiting was physically, emotionally,
And mentally draining.
Hope was clung to
And supernatural patience was felt.
Last night, at 5:15pm, hope and relief
Died.
The pain, dread, and anger came back;
Fueled by frustration, confusion, and disappointment.
The phone calls have started again.
The trips to the hospital are much more frequent.
Anger has faded,
But the pain and dread are stronger than ever.
The end is out of sight.
Today I wish:
That life was a dream and that I could wake up.
That pain and dread were nightmares
And never really felt.
That the phone would stop ringing,
And that hope would come back.
Today the pain isn’t over,
The dread isn’t gone.
The end is still out of sight.
But the end will come,
The pain will stop,
It has to.

15 December 2005

Two weeks ago the pain intensified
I thought things couldn’t get worse,
But they did.
Death to one unexpected
Threw me into confusion.
Pain and loneliness surrounded me
Ten days ago I walked into
A war zone.
Words of hatred flew back and forth in
That house of anger and sadness.
Comfort was desperately needed,
But I didn’t know how to express it!
Nine days ago was the funeral;
And the tension made it so hard
To breathe.
The pain was dealt with in opposite ways.
Some had uncontrollable weeping.
Others looked emotionless.
The feelings were bottled so tightly;
And true emotion was armored so carefully
That almost no comfort could be given.
I was allowed inside one person’s fortress.
The undertow of her grief was
Drowning me.
Exhausted,
Aching,
And drenched in my own endless tears,
All I could do was watch her cry for him,
Love him,
Talk to him,
And try desperately to rub some life back into him.
I couldn’t move; I was
Frozen.
I couldn’t help her.
All I could do was hurt, and watch her hurt.
It was a nauseating pain,
It still is.
Another person was allowed inside her fortress.
That person was able to do what I couldn’t.
That person held her,
Comforted her,
And told her that the one she lost was still alive in her heart.
That is was okay to cry for him,
Her brother,
Her best friend,
The one that she couldn’t wake up.
Three days ago we went our separate ways;
She went to school and I went home,
Supposedly to live normal lives again.
But I can’t get normal.
I can’t focus.
I can’t get rid of my aching pain.
Today I’m numb.
My mind is exhausted,
And when I close my eyes,
I see blood stains
On his bedroom floor.
The scars of suicide.
Constant reminders of that heart-wrenching pain
Felt throughout that war zone.
Today I’m tired.
Tired of hurting.
Tired of crying.
Tired of the pain that seems to only get
Worse.
Today I’m surviving.
I’ve made it through these last fourteen days.
I’ve lived through the pain,
Through the tears,
Through the heartache,
And through the clouds of depression that smother me every single day.
Today I can hope,
And today I can know that things will get better,
Because they have to.
I can’t imagine them getting worse.

Difficult People

You know those people that drive you crazy? The ones you appreciate more when they aren’t around? The ones that aggravate you to the nth-degree? (I’m sure at least one face has come to mind!)

Now I’m not talking about the normal irritating people that we come across every day. Those are easy to put up with. They come in, you move through, then they’re gone. I am referring to those in our lives that “bless” us with their presence on a regular basis.

I have one in my life right now. (And don’t you dare say “one? you only have one!” and go comparing how much worse your life is than mine. That is not conducive to a friendly reading atmosphere.) This person embodies some of the most irritating things:

  • listener, as in won’t do it
  • conversational, as in one-sided
  • friendly, as in personal space invader
  • leader, as in does it for you
  • helpful, as in won’t show you how

I don’t need to go on. These are five things that could be excellent qualities! Only they aren’t. The trouble with this person doesn’t actually reside in the person themselves. The trouble is me. I am these things too. I embody some of the most irritating things:

  • listener, as in won’t do it
  • conversational, as in one-sided
  • friendly, as in personal space invader
  • leader, as in does it for you
  • helpful, as in won’t show you how

I don’t need to go on. The reason I am so frustrated is because I am dealing with myself. The story changes when I admit that all of the things I despise in another person are the very things I despise in myself.

Today a person that I greatly admire gave me some blunt and useful advice. Well, he told me off first. “The reason you are frustrated is because you are exactly the same.” OUCH. “What you should be focusing on instead of yourself is the [task].” And a little later “Instead of counting and naming all of their failures, look at yourself. Could you have done better? Would you have done better? Is that frustration with something that needs to be fixed in your own life?”

Talk about slammed in the face. There was no behind the back happening in this place. In my face. But I needed to hear it. The question comes down to:

Will I let God change in me what I dislike in others? Will I let Him work His compassion in my heart so that those qualities don’t even exist in my eyes? Will I let Him change me?

So really those were questions, but still. Will I let God work His way?

What are your thoughts?