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Between life and death

I look back and I see that I haven’t posted in awhile. Makes sense, my life crazy busy, and yet sometimes sitting still.

I mourn my mother passing away almost a month ago and I find myself wishing to be in her homeland and not my own. Only recently trying to make sense of it all and then having to take stock of where I am and where I hope to go. So much I have learned about myself only to realize I don’t have much to show for it. My own mistakes looming large and back again to where I have been before.

Life’s regrets and failures loom large in the rear view mirror and life’s challenges staring at me in the face, like a large cinema screen, where do I stand or sit between life and death?

I’m uber sad about my mom. She loved me and I love her with all my heart, even with my many failures she loved me and I knew it. It’s difficult to place into words all those things that were important to talk about and suddenly those times now are silent.

I try to find ways to connect to the homeland and yet it’s so far, distant, difficult to get to. I yearn to live there.

I’m finding it hard to relate to being here and yet wanting to be somewhere else. To find the courage to press forward, to live with purpose and conviction. I know I want to be in the present, still so much to do, but my desires are changing.

Maybe the future is still bright but one of my stars has burned out.

Enjoy life with purpose

I’ve been really busy for the last several months and today I felt I actually had time for myself. I haven’t felt that way since February. I have usually been able to balance life and work pretty well but the external pressures that constantly surround me have been a persistent burden during the recent short term.

I have considered that this too will pass and I am usually a very positive person though I have found myself face to face with significant challenges both to me personally and professionally. I found someone that I felt I was compatible with only to learn they were not compatible with me, perhaps it was the brief discussion of taking the relationship to the next level, or the sacrifices I was willing to take or make. It was a crushing blow to learn that these kind of relationships still dissolve in an instant via text, and as I searched my soul for a reason, I realized it wasn’t about me, as much as I blamed myself, I stood firm that “I’m a great catch!” Of course that is a bias on my end.

These work obstacles continued to grow exponentially,and situations seemed out of my control, have you felt that way? I realized again today, with the unique birth of life, in the new fawns, that life is precious. That my future is bright, and there will be someone on my side, by my side and at some point the stars will align.

My work opportunities are still before me, and I’m glad for the brief respite that I have enjoyed today. It’s renewed my hope in myself and my future forward. I know my future is bright and there is much to accomplish.

The momentary focus on something other than my circumstances allowed me to refocus on what is important. I am grateful for the few moments today of new birth and life.

And how was your day? 🙂

Walk a mile in my shoes…

These aren’t my shoes but I came across them today while in a wilderness area. I was reminded about the phrase “walk a mile in my shoes”…. usually shared when talking about the troubles in one’s life. I think I’m fortunate though. My troubles relatively simple compared to other folks. 

These shoes made me wonder about the owner and thier life’s journey. Almost intriguing, I had to knock on the door to make sure I wasn’t disturbing  the owner. Where had these shoes traveled? Appearing almost taped up to survive the trail of life. That is what caught my attention. 

Having just witnessed an epic election in the USA, what is the trail that is before us? Honestly I don’t have any fear or hesitation. Why should I? If someone wants to know how I feel, they should “walk a mile in my shoes”.

Tranquillity…why we all need it. 

Like most people I find myself busy all the time. Busy for work, busy with friends, stuck in front of a computer or TV. Nothing beats sitting still in the outdoors. This location is not exactly nature but in a country of 100’s of thousands of lakes, it’s pretty close. 

My father often spoke of just walking in the woods thinking and contemplating life. I have heard that often from my relatives too. And so I sit, as I begin my second day in Finland, a beautiful country with a rich and proud heritage. 99 years old as a country. The clouds roll in as it will be overcast today but it doesn’t change the beauty. 

Being at peace is a beautiful thing and having a place where you can be at peace, all the better! I’m happy that I chose Finland again for vacation. This time to spend more time relaxing, enjoying the moments that are far from me. Dipping my toes in the water to just pause and rest, now that is peace. 

Why is it important though, why do we need it? I contend that it resets our core, that being busy is just an excuse to thinking you are productive. But isn’t this what we all say we want. Just a moment please, I need to rest, I need time for myself, I need you here with me.  

Already I miss those I love. I want them here with me but for now, I’ll take what I can get in this moment. The gentle breeze against my skin, the occasional pop of the water from a fish taking a breath, the song and chirp of a bird.

This is what I have been wanting, and my soul is receptive. Don’t you deserve that too? Is life so busy you don’t take time to smell the roses? Take the time now, before they are placed above you and you won’t be able to appreciate them. Balance in life and work is so important. I have neglected that for many years and it came at a huge price of loss. Loss of family. Loss of love. Loss of peace. Loss of tangible things but those are replaceable. Unfortunately the loss of time is not. 

Find your tranquillity, you will be glad that you did. 

The battle within

These stones were used for grinding grain into flour a hundred or more years ago in Scandinavia. I think of these wheels that keep on turning, ’round n’round…..

It’s those wheels, symbolic of what’s inside of me that keeps turning and churning and I wonder when it’s going to stop. The seeds of disappointment, the grains of “I’m not good enough”, how do I measure my worth?  Am I important to you? The self doubt that I don’t share with anyone because doing so, exposes my flaws and weaknesses. 

The battle within continues, it’s more difficult when there is someone within reach, worth reaching out to, only to have the battle in the way…. Maybe I am alone in this war of worth and self worth but my logic says I am not alone. 

My faith keeps me grounded, but I share this with you only to say that I am human, and I deal with these emotions often, that with faith I wonder how I would survive if I didn’t have it. 

How about you my long lost friend? Do you have a battle within that you struggle with? Is it love? Self worth? Addiction? 

I think I am on the cusp of something big, though the fog is keeping it all unclear….I’ll keep fighting because I don’t like or want the alternative, it is the only way I know. I’m just keeping it real with you. 

Why live music matters

I just enjoy listening to live music in person, is that you too?  I listen to the radio all the time, but live just brings music to another level. The unscripted, unplanned, impromptu jam sessions that often play out on professional and amateur stages just inspire me.  Like right at this moment I am witnessing a group of friends who have a band in New Jersey and it’s just been so refreshing sitting here listening to them play. Drums, guitars, bass, two vocals, flute and a variety of voices…..hey every band started in a room like this, retakes, re-do’s, stops, starts, and enjoying the moment and the memories. How is great is that? 


Historic but what now?

SCOTUS affirmed gay marriage in a landmark decision on June 26, 2015. It was historic but it was a 5-4 decision not completely overwhelming. It’s been a very volatile issue with many viewpoints and certainly a discussion amongst Christians. Max Lucado is a gifted speaker, teacher, mentor, man of God. This is what Max shared in his blog;

 Max Lucado’s blog June 26th……here is what he posted…

Prayer, Not Despair
June 26, 2015 Our society seemed to take a seismic shift today. The decision of the SCOTUS regarding same-sex marriage has the potential to leave many Christians anxious and troubled. While those of us who hold to traditional marriage have a right to be concerned, we have no need to despair. What we need is a good dose of this Scripture:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Ph. 4:6,7)

It may seem that the world is changing fast, but is it really? The headlines may announce a decision of the Supreme Court, but the actions of our Supreme God are unaltered.
He is still the Creator, blessed forever. (Rom. 1:25)
He is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Heb. 13:8)
His years will never end. (Ps. 102:27)
He needs no counselor; seeks no advice. He is equally everywhere. He never wearies, sleeps or struggles. He has never been confused, thwarted or contested. He reigns supreme over every detail of the universe. “He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’” (Dan. 4:35)
God is still God and His word is still sure. His sovereign grace never changes. Everything else may change. But He doesn’t.
So let’s replace our anxious thoughts with prayerful ones. “…in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known…” Now is the time for prayer and faith.
Something good will come out of this. Maybe now we can have this discussion where we need to have it. Face-to-face. In neighborhoods. Over dinner tables. Perhaps the hate-filled words will subside …
“Now is the time for prayer and faith”, don’t you love that? I understand the decision and this is about the law, not a moral decision. Justices are to make decisions based on laws. 

What I know is true, God doesn’t change. Everything else is relative. 

My Goliath

I didn’t know what to expect, it was my first deposition, and I spent the day before prepping for questions I may or may not get. To think of the best way to answer them and that Goliath would be in the room, “to cut my throat” “he wasn’t my friend” and he’s on a mission!

I was in foreign territory for all that I had experienced and I knew this day was coming, I just didn’t know that it would for sure. 4-5 before that dates were set and then canceled and with trepidation I asked “was this date still on, still taking place?”. I was assured that it was and my atty would be flying to Colorado and be here in person. 

I left the meeting overwhelmed having gone through 100’s of pages of material trying to understand the concepts and the new terminology I should be using rather than what I had been saying for most of my life. 

As I left, I was deflated, upset, tears welling up in my eyes, as I left my meeting with the atty. I was in a fog about what was before me. I had plans to see out of town relatives but the crazy traffic on I-25 only exacerbated how I was feeling. I called a few friends, asked for prayer, shared what I could, which wasn’t much. I looked for something to eat. 

I essentially went strait home, posted asking friends for prayers about a situation that I could not describe. I’m grateful to the many friend who responded to the request. What I love about my friends is that most are from varying faith backgrounds, but they believe in the power of prayer. 

I prayed that God would direct my steps, my thoughts, my actual words, that he would comfort me, I needed Him. One of my favorite verses is Prov. 3:5-7. I pray the concepts of this verse over and over again. 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭3‬:‭5-7‬ NLT)

I went to be around 8:30, overwhelmed in my spirit but confident God would help me. 

The next morning, the day that I would meet Goliath, I asked for more prayers from friends, posted a request, and actually felt quite calm, a 180 from the night before. I experienced peace from God’s presence, assurance that He was with me. I remembered the important principals for my responses. I entered the room and this is what I saw. 

Modern technology would become even more real today. To see other attorneys witnessing this event. Seeing them, hearing them, and they see me. I was in a suit and tie, I expected to be video tapped, I was responding as if the jury were in the room, and yet Goliath was there, in person. 

I have never been deposed before, and for a tall guy like me, 6’5″, I was completely out of my comfort zone and yet completely at peace. 

At the end of the day, which ended early, which had no blow up, which was relatively calm, which went a whole lot better than I expected, was finally done!! Praise God!

I thanked my friends for their prayers, posted my relief, even helped my atty return to the airport. All this to say, God has never left my side, has not forsaken me, and when you upon Him he will answer. He’ll answer through his word, through friends. Through prayer. I’m glad that day is over! I may face this Goliath again, and I know who’ll be with me. 

Celebrate Mom!

 I live 2000 miles away from my mom, but I celebrate her today, and every day really. I’m in touch with her frequently and she expresses how “I have made her day” and the truth is, she has made my day. My siblings sent her flowers through one of my brothers, and I bring them every time I visit. 

My father passed away last year in March and I am surprised and thankful at the same time to see how strong my mother is, to have made it through a devastating loss, but they had so much love for each other and life. 

I have made some great traveling plans this year and every time we speak about them, she encourages me to go, search and discover while I’m single. She knows the sacrifices of married life. She raised four children, successful in their own arenas in life. She raised us with a love for music and the arts. To embrace culture and our heritage. To do well in all we do, to enjoy cooking, it’s a way to bring people together. 

Today I celebrate my mother, thankful for all that she has done for me personally. I love you mom!