The Kind of Freedom that Chases Bitterness into Hell

I need to deviate from my spring cleaning blog-apades to talk about the saddest truth in the world.  I know – talk about jumping from the trivial to the life threatening, or should I say soul sickening?

I was reading a blog yesterday, someone said Jesus never promised us a wonderful life.  The writer’s point is only half-true.  Jesus asks we believers to pick up our cross and follow him.  Grant it, carrying a cross doesn’t necessarily sound “wonderful”.  But I can’t think of anything more hopeful and peaceful. What ever cross it turns out to be for you or for me, we don’t have to carry it alone.  And staring truth in the face makes our cross so much lighter.

At first I thought the saddest truth in the world was that everyone gets hurt.  But now I know the saddest truth in the world is that everyone at one time or another forgets Jesus hurt the most so we wouldn’t have to.

We get hurt and lose sight of everything except ourselves.  When Jesus hung on the cross he saw everyone and everything but himself.

If you’re hurting today and you’re tired of waiting around for cast to come off…

Think of the person who hurt you and do something that will make them feel better.  Run towards them like your life and their life depends on it.  Because it does.  And what ever you do, don’t second guess yourself.  Faith isn’t about second guessing.

Run towards that person and wrap your arms around them.  No buts, no justifications, no judging, no wriggling out of it, no high and mighty religious excuses.  Don’t think!

I can’t promise what they will do.  But I want to be around when I see you smile.  The kind of smile that changes the world, the kind of freedom that chases bitterness into hell.

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Spring Cleaning Responsibly – Recycle

When you’re cleaning off shelves, especially those in the basement, photo albums are not the only keepsakes that can take you back in time.  How about a plastic floppy disc container?  When was the last time you used a floppy disc?   I used them in the 80’s, when I worked at Extension Services at Olds College.

This floppy disc container looks official, grey, clean lines, with a lock – but no key.  I searched for it briefly, the proverbial needle in a haystack.  I tried the detective move, the one we’ve seen countless of times on television.  Sharp objects in both the key opening and the drawer jam at the same time.  Wiggle them around with a measure of umph!  No luck.  It now sits by my kitchen sink, freshly washed, waiting patiently for my daughter and husband to come home and break into it – hopefully.

There are floppy discs inside, I could tell when I shook it.  But my guess – they’re of no importance and could easily be shredded and recycled.  Besides, if they were important, would I not have done something with them by now?

VERY IMPORTANT:  do not throw your unwanted plastic household items in the garbage!  Plastic does not break down in a landfill, nor should we pass off the object onto someone else for them to deal with – two of my largest pet peeves.

In the meantime I went forward into the future to the internet, to Pinterest and other sites to explore ideas for recycling such a “thing”.

You may want to visit:  http://www.brit.co/diy-floppy-disk-planters/, to see how you can make colorful, industrial looking planters from floppy discs.

You may want to visit Pinterest.  Whether or  not you have a free account, you can still use the search browser with in Pinterest and type in “floppy disc containers, or boxes”.  There you will find similar planter ideas and may come up with some of your own.  For example, if my container didn’t have holes, I could turn it vertical and use it as a vase – it would make a great office vase.  The floppy discs inside could be made into containers as well, by following the directions on the above sites.  I could potentially end up with two containers that compliment each other.  Painting them is an option as well.

 

One site mentioned converting the container into a recipe card holder.  Great idea if it suits your decor.  Do not fill your home with recycled projects if they do not suit your decor.  You can always use these ideas as gifts for the more suitable scenarios.

We know that plastic does not break down and should not be in our land fills.  And on that note I found an interesting site to read up on such things:  http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/eij/article/breaking_down_bioplastics/

Have fun cleaning this spring and do it responsibly – recycle.

 

Life is so short….

Still cleaning off those shelves in the basement….

Another Album, but this time I knew what was in it.  Sometimes knowing and seeing is a whole other story.  Knowing my sister’s family photos were in there, was one thing.  Seeing them is another.  My sister and I were never close in High School.  Come to think of it, my brother nailed it.  Our family was never big on relationship, so we faked it.  You know when stuff is faked, because it eventually fizzles.  But it doesn’t have to.

It all depends on whether we pay attention to the spiritual realm.  The earthly realm has us all fooled.  Most families go along as if everything is normal when everything is really one big competition.  Everybody has to one-up everybody else?  Who said?  But that’s the thing – it isn’t a competition – not in the spiritual realm.  Jesus intends for all of us to run the race of faith together – towards the goal, with joy!  If someone falls down you pick them up, not stand there and wonder if they’re worthy.

In the earthly realm we look like a bunch of barbaric vikings, jumping at each other, running ahead, or trailing behind or beating each other with sticks, or worse yet – axes.  No grace.

I looked at the photos – there was one picture I took of her and my new brother-n-law at the airport.  Lloyd and I had gone to see them off for their honeymoon.  I was convinced they needed our support because they were so darn young, they just might have trouble finding the right plane.  Ya right.  Now I have to giggle, of course they didn’t need us to see them off, but it was a nice gesture all the same.  I kept wondering if they’d know how to book a hotel, or ……silly me.

Another photo of their first baby and I, with my God forsaken perm.  So much for following the trends.  They said Desiree had a hair issue when she was born, I think it was me!

I close the album – enough for one night.  I plan to scan the photos and maybe make a memory book on heritage makers.  I’m also praying that some of the photos will make a great anniversary present for them when June comes along.  Maybe I can find some photos to use for their daughter Rochelle’s and son-n-law to be – Clay’s wedding?

If not, one day I intend to sit somewhere on a porch in a rocking chair right beside my sister, and look at the photos with her and laugh,  and really talk for the first time.  What is it about age?  Most people don’t really talk until they’re 70, because there’s nothing left to lose.  There is no chance of mis-communicating, unless your false teeth jump out, or you forgot your hearing aids.  No idle chit-chat about regrets or tardy apologies, or empty accusations, but about gratitude and eternity, and that we’ll be there together as sisters in God’s family.

Life is so short….

 

 

 

 

The Point of Purging

The point of purging is to actually get rid of things.  Nike shoe box – next.

Inside……not shoes, but layers of upholstery swatches.  I went through them like a heart reminiscing her first love.  Textures through my fingers, colors for my soul.  Wait!  Snap out of it!  They’re swatches!  What on earth was I going to do with them?  I threw the box on the stairs until I had finished loading another pile of laundry in the washing machine.

Once upon a time I had a fabric sale to raise money to purchase sewing machines for  the community at the Seed of Hope home in Bekulwandle in South Africa.  This small offering of swatch “things” wouldn’t raise enough pennies to buy a door knob, but I couldn’t just throw them out – could I?

I could use them in my framing? Perhaps sew a quilt? Wait!  Doesn’t that mean the shoebox gets moved off the shelf downstairs to yet another shelf in my shop?  How long did it sit downstairs unattended and neglected?  How long will it sit out there gathering dust? That’s it – the swatches are going.

And I’m making a list to help me determine what stays and what goes, from here on in!

1.  Is it useful for consumption?  No.  Hmm – new foodie fabric salad?

2.  Is it useful for financial gain?  No.  If fabric swatches were equal to gold bars maybe.

3.  Is it useful at all?  Yes, but someone else can figure that out.

If the answer is no for two out of these three questions – you must immediately take what ever the “thing” is and put it into the back of your car.  As soon as you run errands up town, you must take it to the nearest thrift shop quickly – in fact – run.  Then go out and celebrate!  But what ever you do, make sure it’s in a disposable container!  Bring no-thing home with you.

Some fun quotes:

Have a place for everything and keep the thing somewhere else; this is not a piece of advice, it is merely a custom. —Mark Twain

If your house is really a mess and a stranger comes to the door, greet him with, “Who could have done this? We have no enemies.” —Phyllis Diller

The Great Masquerade

The purging continues….One black hardcover folder with one very special graduation picture.  Four friends standing side by side.

graduation of four friends, picture

I’ve always told my children that the friends you make during High School may not be the friends you actually share most of your life with.  After all, what factors determine the friends we choose, when we barely know who we are?

For the first time I am looking at this portrait as an outsider.  I am not the same person I was then, and my guess is – neither are they.  But let us dissect the picture and our personalities by the clothes we chose for graduation.

My tallest friend on the far left, who will remain nameless for privacy purposes – wore yellow satin covered in an overlay of yellow lace.  The color suited her darker skin tone and brunette hair, however the sunny choice did not mirror her brooding disposition.  Not that it was her fault.  I learned early on in our friendship that she too came from complications.  The kind that met us every night at the door when we went home.  School served as our great escape.  And I must mention she was beautiful, then and now.  Although I haven’t been able to reach her for over ten years.  My summary of her look in this photo: Cautious and Classic.

Just in from the far left, a dear friend who will also remain nameless – wearing white.  An unusual choice I thought – for Grad.  One usually saves white for their wedding.  But it was tasteful, a gown with straps and a sheer complimentary jacket, trimmed in lace.  I have to giggle – because her conservative choice said nothing of her feisty personality, but perhaps was a spot-on foreshadowing of who she really wanted to be.  A good girl.  She was and will always be that, even if our High School years found us causing our parent’s grief.  We were always out looking for the next big thrill even if it meant heartache.  My summary of her look; Shy and Baptismal.

The friend standing next to me was probably the one I knew the least.  Dressed in a peasant style dress, white patterned, scalloped sleeves, flower in her hair.  She was a flower child, come to think of it.  A free spirit.  Did as she pleased, broke hearts, too many.  I introduced her to her first husband.  Recently I had the privilege of meeting her current husband and they seem happy.  If I was out looking for a thrill, then she was out looking for another planet as long as it had plenty of alcohol.  Most of what we reach for in High School isn’t what we need. And then there’s hormones.  My summary of her look; sweet and virtuous.

And finally, me at the end of the row of four, dressed in a bright pink ruffled dress, off the shoulder.  Did I mention, all our dresses were floor length?  I had worked on a tan, but my hair – who decided to put it in those curls?  I digress.  My choice of dresses certainly showed my love for fashion and the color choice did speak loudly of my extrovert personality.   I talked and smiled all the time.  I enjoyed people, I thought I cared.  For the most part – they pegged me as a princess.  In reality – I was just plain scared.  Everything around me wasn’t really what it seemed.  And no one seemed to want to be real.  High School was nothing but a big game of hide-n-seek.  Our graduation probably would have been more real if we all wore masks.  Come to think of it….Graduation should be called; the Great Masquerade.   Summary of my look: innocent – but not so much.  Oh yes and short.

“It was only high school after all, definitely one of the most bizarre periods in a person’s life.  How anyone can come through that time well-adjusted on any level is an absolute miracle” E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

The Fairy Tale – or The Real Deal?

People are looking for love…we turn on the television and we see some semblance of it – but that’s not love at all

People are looking for meaning, we right away think “money”, we see the suits and the office towers – but that’s not meaning

We feel driven to see and experience all we can even if it means missing the truth in front of us, because deep down inside our whole being is not engaged in the truth, we’re not sure we really believe all of it?  Do we really want to look like freaks?

And we miss the profound, the children, the moon, the sun, life, breathing…..need I go on?  We miss it!

I found myself thinking of the crowd on Palm Sunday.  They missed it!  Are we any different from they were?  We rally around our heroes, and for what?  For ourselves, as long as there is something in it for us. So sure we know, but we mostly live on the surface of life, not deep down inside.  There’s plenty of spirituality to go around, but no one really wants to know about Jesus.

They thought they were getting an earthly King, the kind that would put an end to Roman rule and really put their nation on the map!  They sang their hosannahs but their tune quickly changed from adoration to accusation.  Doesn’t that sound like us?

I wrote a song this morning, may it bring us all to a new revelation of how not to miss the King, not today, not tomorrow.  Let us be present, with our eyes open to the spiritual truth, the layer just above the one that hypnotizes us to sleep.  Let us shake off these earthly distractions and look into the eyes of our eternal Savior and King.  Then we can sing Hosannah.

“Hosannah” by Cindy Palin ©March 6, 2014

Everybody wants the Ferris Wheel,

it’s all about the thrill,

Nothing much has changed since we sang – Hosannah

We wanted a King, a vindication

A conqueror strong to rule our nation

So ready to spill our enemies blood

We couldn’t see the Son of God

Everybody craves the fairy tale,

the power and the crown.

The roar of the parade, the charade – Hosannah

He gave us a King, a soul salvation

Heaven came down with invitation

and we took his life, we spilled his blood

we still cannot see the Son of God

Unless we bow, unless we woe

Then we can sing – Ho ….sannah

Hosannah

Hosannah

Amen