Category Archives: Inspiration

March On!


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bands-silhouette.jpg

Perhaps Mother Teresa’s poem Anyway says it best when she graciously reminded us to rise above people’s comments and opinions. She wrote, If are you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.”

Unfortunately, many people are entertained by petty gossip and hearsay. It is never a safe pastime, but it easily fills the voids in many people’s personal lives. Every day, we hear something about what someone said or did, but the sources are often neither tangible nor reliable. It is merely inexpensive entertainment for the bored.

If we ever find ourselves caught up in the word flow, it behooves us to try to rise above it. We simply lift ourselves and float above the contentious fray. We know within ourselves what we have and have not done, and we know what is in our own hearts. However, accusatory people tend to think that others think like them and can do what they themselves would do. How erroneous!

We may even find ourselves amid some firestorm and not have clarity about the details. We feel the rustling movement and hear the fluttering of angst wings, but we are too busy taking care of our own affairs and do not give it much credence. We seem to be in the dark but maybe it is for the best. We give a brief pause, shake our heads, and think of Shakespeare’s title, ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’

After we forgive the immature babblers, we step over the Lilliputians or the little people as a dear friend advised me to do. Og Mandino wrote, “I will make allowances for his anger and irritation of today for he knows not the secret of controlling his mind (From: The Greatest Salesman in the World).

We brush off the debris left by wagging tongues and continue to plant our new gardens. We prune the weeds and unwanted growth and enjoy the fruits of our focused labor and march on!


“March on. Do not tarry.
To go forward is to move toward
Perfection. March on and fear not
The thorns, or the sharp stones
On life’s path.”

{Kahlil Gibran}


Lynn M.
September 19, 2020

Ascending and Descending

Sometimes you climb the ladder of what some people might claim as success.  You get to the top rung of the ladder and you stop as you pause and catch your breath.  You cannot believe that you finally made it all the way up there.

Then, you look, stare for a while, and take in all the happenings and activity on the new summit.  As a wise one, you look before you take further leaps into limitless lineups of hoops. You should be feeling loads of exhilaration but after further study, dismay sets in to replace those good feelings.

You are not sure that you like nor approve of what is in your frontal view.  You might find yourself having a smh moment as you shake your head.  Your mind is screaming, “Noooooooo.”  You are saying, “Is this what I worked so hard for?  Do I want to be a part of this scene?  Could I ever fit in?  Do I even want to?

But you want to make sure that your feelings are on point, so you place both feet firmly on the surface of the new platform.  You walk around to become more certain of your feelings.  You walk and walk and over a period, the unsettled thoughts do not disappear.  They remain, hang, and linger as they swirl around over your head unlike a halo but more like a bad omen.

Again, the still small voice whispers, “Nope.” So, you quietly leave the scene and exit stage left.  When you get to the edge of the dramatic stage, you lean over hoping to see the ladder still propped there.  It is!  After letting out a “whew” sigh of relief, you calmly anchor your foot onto the top rung of the ladder. 

You slowly and assuredly descend the ladder as you hum a tune and think of Jacob’s ladder with angels ascending and descending like a slide ruler. You softly sing you own mantra and say over and over, “Not for me.  Not for me,” until you place your foot firmly back onto the sainted lower platform.  You think of Julius Caesar’s quote, “I came, I saw, I conquered.” You brush yourself off and give thanks that you ascended, made good choices, and descended with grace.

Lynn M.

September 5, 2020

After the Dance!

When we have climbed to the top of the mountain and successfully jumped through a series of hoops, the question arises, “What’s next?”   Robert Schuller spoke on this subject after he completed his envisioned glass cathedral.  It took years to complete it and yet, once it was beautifully standing, it gave him great satisfaction but only for a season.

He found himself asking that haunting question, “Now what?”  He discovered that the conquest pumped up his adrenaline and drove him throughout the completion of the project.  But what was to be done thereafter?

When we finish some long-withheld dream, we may be astonished to find that the inner fulfillment will last but for so long.  It is comparable to savoring a great gourmet meal.  It was great, but that chasing hunger will return over time.  The totem pole has been heightened but there is still more room at the top.

We check our calendars and our circadian clocks and realize that we have plenty of time and fuel in our personal tanks.  There are quite a few more miles to go. So, we pause and become still.   We then reach for a new draft book from our personal libraries and draw up a new plan.   Obviously, there is more to be done.

We change out of our old celebration clothes and put them neatly away into our closet of precious memories.  We put on our less formal attire such as some overalls and get busy working on that new thing.  We answer the new callings and proceed on, after the dance!

Lynn M.

August 22, 2020


 

 

Mountaintop Thoughts!

Mount Rainier
August 10, 2020

A close friend sent me a picture of Mount Rainier after she and her husband visited the site for their 41st Wedding Anniversary.  I have never seen it in person but looking at the snapshot was absolutely breathtaking!

I told her that it looked like a postcard because it was almost unbelievable that anything could be that beautiful without being photoshopped to some degree.  Only the majesty of Mother Nature could evoke this type of jaw-dropping awe!

But, when I saw the people walking in the picture of the mountain, I knew that it was indeed for real.  It is what painters attempt to replicate with their brushes and what writers try to recapture through their use of words with their pens.  They hope to have onlookers and readers see what they have viewed.

I looked at the picture for some time and thought, “Hope.  Possibilities. Scaling, Climbing.”  I even thought of the historic song, “Climb Every Mountain.”  I was immediately lifted higher from where I was in the prior moments.

I felt refreshed as I looked at the snow-capped mountain and was reminded of the coming change of seasons and the cold that will assuredly come soon. Too soon.   I also thought of the brave souls who scale mountains and risk their lives for either a personal rush or to prove some point to the world. 

But more importantly, I thought about being permeated by mountaintop thoughts where we feel encouraged to begin again and create a new reality.  Just as Mount Rainier stands there on a sure foundation, we too can optimistically rise up and do the same.  Despite what we are faced with in our daily lives, we can look at Mount Rainier and gain the courage to stare down the negativity until it moves and fades off of the scene!

Lynn M.

August 15, 2020

A Thousand Words!

In these times of limited movement due to the pandemic, it was so refreshing to see this lone boat out on Lake Michigan.  This picture gave me a sense of renewal and a reminder of what we perceive as snippets of our normalcy.

I chose to send it to a couple of friends who do not currently have access to the lakefront.  I knew that they both would enjoy it because we all have a shared history with this calm, beautiful body of water.

Each responded positively and immediately while expressing an appreciation for this early morning snapshot.  One friend called right away and wanted to know if I was still out by the lake.  I told her that I was, and we talked about a variety of things.

The other e-mailed me with a one-worder simply saying, “Beautiful!” as she wrote all the way from the Pacific Northwest.  The picture inspired her to write about her memories of spending time on the lake and the things she is currently doing to remain calm during these times.  She later added that seeing this picture inspired her to drive and sit by a local waterfront close to her home.

A picture is truly worth a thousand words and the sharing of this one picture opened the door to so many thoughts and personal stories.  One of these friends had just lost a loved one and the sky in the picture comforted her and helped her decide that that departed soul was at peace and now up there with the angels.

When we give what we can during these trying times, we help others feel less constricted and confined to smaller spaces.  We can open up and talk about our former experiences as we cling to those special memories from times gone by.

  If a quick click of the phone can capture an image that makes others recall the footsteps on their journeys, then, that is indeed a good thing. Remembering those savored times help us lift our heads up out of the seeming darkness as we happily continue on!

Lynn M.

August 8, 2020

Brighter!

I drove back to my old job the other day and revisited that area some seven years later. I had not returned simply because I was too busy moving forward. So, I paused and took a few pictures while enjoying moments of nostalgia. I had given what I had to give there, and I had abundantly received in return.

After speaking to a former co-worker who had shared that work history with me, I could really see how much I had gained from being there. Emerson wrote in Compensation, “If I lose any good, I gain some other…The world looks like a multiplication table which, turn it how you will, it balances itself.”

As I gently moved on from that closed door, I was able to see the heaps of valuable experience that I had gained but like a pair of beloved shoes, I had outgrown that place. I left armed with superfluous gifts. I was being graciously prepared for bigger shoes to fill further up the road.

Hindsight is indeed 20-20 and it all makes sense in time. I now see that the parting was for the best. Since then, I have been thrust into a new environment, meeting new colleagues, in new surroundings and using new energy with my head anointed with oil. The Scriptures remind me to, “Behold, I am doing a new thing” (Isaiah 43:19).

Thus, I am still growing and still going. As Mary Baker Eddy’s poem called Christ My Refuge says,

I kiss the cross, and wake to know
A world more bright.

Lynn M.
August 1, 2020

Refill!

Have you ever felt depleted or as if you just could not go on?  Did your cup fill empty with no reserve fuel in the tank?  Well, breathe and know that whatever appears to be exhausted can be refilled and refueled, so to speak.

It is like getting a free soft drink refill at a fast food place. You too can simply announce to “fill ‘er up!” Push the RE button and watch the words spew out and float all around in the air. You can be replenished, renewed, reinvigorated, and mostly reawakened to the real you.

If you had the substance to achieve it once, you can do it again.  Whatever stuff you had inside to get the other job, home, transportation, family, friends, spouse or whatever you feel you have lost, you can attract it all again. This time it will come in better and higher forms because this is the improved you that is rebuilding those dreams!

Thomas Edison reminds us, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”  So, while reinvesting in your hopes and dreams, remain inspired and know that you can do it!

As you reinvent yourself and reconfigure your outlook and ultimately your life, there will be no more moping.  Simply start coping with things as they are and before you know it, your cup will once again runneth’ over and be filled to the brim!

Lynn M.                                             July 4, 2020

Remnants!

Gleaming Strand of PearlsYears ago, there was a song called, Pick up the Pieces by AWB. As we walk through the scattered debris left from the current pandemic, we must follow suit and sort through what is left behind. In Biblical times, these remnants were known as spoils.

Some soldiers were designated to go through the heaps and mounds of carnage and look for the hidden treasures.  They were often abandoned by those that took flight.

Though life may never look, feel nor be the same for many of us, we must make the most of what is still available to us. We may be facing a new frontier, but we should gather up the essentials for our survival kits and play it forward.

It is much like collecting seashells by the seashore. We may initially overlook a few but after getting on our knees and taking a closer look, we might notice the beauty in a few cracked shells. So, we brush them off and put them in our keeper bin while having a silent, aha moment.

Now that we have been forced to curtail our busyness, our grasping at straws and our hoarding, we can pause and look through our personal collections. We can more clearly see what we have already acquired and find a few gems.  They can soothe us during those quiet feelings of brokenness.

As we wash our hands, spray down our counters and distance ourselves from others, we can mindfully rinse the dirt from those items what we have around us. And just perhaps, we may have enough remnants to create a new string of pearls!

Lynn M.                                                                 May 16, 2020

 

 

 

Mothers Breathe!

pink rosesOur maternal mothers breathe as Mother Earth breathes. On Earth Day, a beautiful rainbow appeared after the smog cleared from the skies while the stay-at-home order was in effect during the pandemic.

Mother Earth sighed, “Aha.  I can breathe freely again.”  She thought. No factory smoke, no car nor truck emissions are congesting my lungs.  There are no zillions of people’s feet stomping all over me and those fewer human breaths are not polluting my already toxic air.

“Ah,” she sighs again.  “A peak into normalcy.  I had forgotten what it felt like!  I feel calm, still and reflective as I slowly rotate on axis with a natural rhythm.”

And while Mother Earth breathes and sighs with relief, so do our maternal mothers. They have been coerced to be in the same quarters with their children. In many instances, it is for the first time and now they are taking a closer look at them.

They, too, are sighing, “A-ha or ah.”  They are thinking, I never knew he laughed that way or I did not realize that she did not like noise.  They are really seeing  their children for the first and some are slowly admitting that they do not really know their own children.

There’s no school, no babysitter, no nanny, no ballet classes, nor soccer practice.  No, nothing. Nada.  They now see that, yes, he does need more help with math and yes, her handwriting does need improvement.  Or, yes, he does tend to be a wise guy and yes, she does talk all of the time.  All of those irritating messages from those batty teachers now have some merit.

So, while Mother Earth relishes her break from the madness, the maternal mothers have been reunited or introduced to the quirks, idiosyncrasies and the loving touches from those that the Creator entrusted into their care.

           Happy Mother’s Day!

Lynn M.                                                               May 9, 2020

Fair-Weather Friends

FriendsAccording to the dictionary, a fair -weather friend is a person who stops being a friend in times of difficulty.

Difficulties come but difficulties always go. That is a promise that we can stand on if we are able to hold on and hold out. But sometimes, the storms may last longer and come down on our heads with a force that feels unbearable to us all.

However, if we rock steady, we will weather it if we are grounded in our faith. Deep adverse circumstances will make us latch on to something strong and well-rooted like the strength of a ship’s anchor.

During these times, we may feel exhausted and our bank of friends may deplete itself as well. They might simply leave or abandon us, go far away or call less frequently. Or they may behave like the Cheshire cat that vanishes slowly while still wearing a smile.

Those can easily be defined as fair-weather friends or as one elder-mentor called them- half-assed friends. He was blunt and a tad profane, but his description perfectly matched the one from the dictionary.

Those types of friends may be harder to contact during a crisis, but over time we will find that we can lean on our sure and steady rock of faith. It is always right there, waiting for our recognition. It will never leave us just as the sun still shines behind the clouds. We cannot see it, but it sees us.

When the sun does reveal itself again, we will see more clearly. We will understand that gaudy things, puffed-up egos and metallic nothings can all evaporate in the twinkling of an eye.  We will not only see the light, but we will walk in the light.

Once those fair-weather friends see that new glow, they might start crawling out of the woodwork from obscurity.  If we see them coming, we can just smile and say, “Hey there.” And after we have briefly fellow-shipped and parted ways, we can bravely head  in our new directions with a quiet knowing and a remembrance.

Lynn M.                                                  April 25, 2020