Rest!

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Everything comes to a rest after being in motion.  Musicians learn to read the rest signs on musical scores.  Trains, cars and airplanes come to a stop to unload and reload passengers or perhaps they have come to the end of their destined routes.

Birds stop flying to eat, regather and get their directions.  They may need to confer with the leader who is flying the point and see the new plan.  But they still have to come down to the ground to have that communication.

Wise ones know that in order to make good choices, they must descend from the mountains of high activity.  Then, they can come to a low valley point and simply stop.  As they rest, they can reflect, reassess, analyze and decide on what needs to be done next.  They can then create a new blueprint or action plan.

When the mind, body and soul are in one accord and all of the right tools are in place, they can emerge from those resting places.  They are then fired up and ready to go on.  They may have had to put everything and everyone on hold but  now, they can have continued success.  Then they are recharged, replenished  and as all systems are set to go, they can assertively, dive in!

Lynn M.                                                                                 April 21, 2018

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Root-Bound No More

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The other day I was teaching a unit on New Plants to a group of first graders.  I thought of the many parables and parallels about life that were tucked in this lesson.  It basically said that plants need air, water and space.

I thought about my own fascination with gardens.  Those of us with a green thumb know that it all starts with a tiny seed that is deeply planted in fertilized soil. Yet, if properly nurtured, those tiny seeds grow into rows and rows of bountiful beauty.

Just like the plants, we also need plenty of air.  One of the first recommendations of our physicians and metaphysicians is, “Get plenty of fresh air!”  A breath of fresh air not only fills our lungs but it changes our thoughts.  A brisk walk in the elements whether sun, rain or wind is a sure-fired method of solving a problem.  A mental light bulb will invariably pop on and new perspectives are likely to emerge during a walk.

We need light too and the sun usually brings a smile to most of our faces.  It is a welcome source that inspires us to enjoy daily living.  If we have been sitting in the dark for too long, we realize what we have been missing once we open the blinds and pull back the curtains.  That emitted light speedily brings us closer to better health.  We can see that the glass is truly more full than empty.

And lastly, we definitely need space.  When plants stop growing we pull them out of their old pots and see that they have become root-bound.  The roots are all crowded together and there is no room for them to stretch their proverbial new wings.  So, we get a larger pot and make room for the new growth.

We may feel the walls of constriction are closing in on us but it is usually a sign that it is time to move on up higher. Like the  plants, we have been unconsciously growing.  There is a saying that says, “Your growing is showing!”  So, as the process dictates, we must move on to airy, light-filled, spacious places as we drink from even fresher fountains!

Lynn M.                                                                                       April 14, 2018

Happy April!

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In April umbrellas go up,
As frequent rainstorms do erupt!

Flower buds push forward with force,
Leaning on the sun for its source.

It’s Poetry Month for thirty days,
Poems lift us from that humdrum haze.

Birds chirp and celebrate the earth,
Setting the tone for widespread mirth!

Lynn M.                                                                  April 8, 2018

Chappaquiddick: A Movie Review

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I am so glad that I didn’t listen to the one of the film critics who gave the new movie Chappaquiddick a “D.”  As in most cases in life, we have to experience things for ourselves and then make a judgment call.  So, I followed my first mind and went on to see this movie.

Most of the people in the audience looked like they were baby boomers like me and were probably there to revisit their feelings about this indelible incident.  The year of 1969 was a highly sensitive time in our country after several assassinations of political figures and it was at the height of an unpopular war.  So, to my recollection, emotions were already running at an all-time high on so many levels and fronts.

When this story involving Ted Kennedy emerged, many did not know what to think.  This new movie, Chappaquiddick, reopens old wounds and yet it is done tastefully and handled with an air of sensitivity.  He was, after all, the youngest of the famous brothers and people wanted to hear what he had to say and give him a fair shake.

The highly polished and believable cast includes Jason Clark as Ted Kennedy; Ed Helms as Cousin Joe Gargan and Bruce Dern as Patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy.  We are allowed to take a walk back down memory lane hoping to get greater insight into one of the bigger political mysteries. We will never fully know what happened on that unfortunate night in July of 1969 so we can only speculate.  We certainly should thank Director John Curran and writers Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan for doing a fine job of recreating a grave and dark time in our history.

What we do know is, for whatever reason, Ted Kennedy’s life was spared. He went on to live a full life – something that fate did not afford his tragic brothers.  Obviously, his mission was not complete in July of 1969 and he went on to become one of the longest serving US senators in American history. He was able to push through many legislative bills.

We are all flawed in some way and though it is easy to pass judgment, it is difficult to continually stay the course and forge ahead.  As someone in the movie said, “Only history will decide.” I personally think that he proved his father to be wrong.  He survived the hurt, the shame and the embarrassment as he went on to accomplish many great things!

Lynn M.                                                              April 7, 2018

Refreshing Newness!

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When I think of spring, I think of new beginnings.  The birds wake us up with early morning serenades as they sing celebratory lyrics.  They coax us to get out of bed and put on our happy feet and move to earth’s new rhythms.

Trees slowing blossom and the sun peeks from behind those hazy clouds.  We gently break into a smile as we realize that we have kissed by its rays from the heavens.  They bring us hope and as weary wanderers, we sigh knowing that everything is being born again.

We begin to feel inspired and we know that this is the perfect season to initiate that spring cleaning.  We create those ‘to do lists’ and strike off each completed task one at a time as we clean closets and fulfill those other long, anticipated chores. We throw out those items that are no longer needed or those things that simply weigh us down and hold us back.

We may put on some upbeat music as we synchronize our clearing away process with those indelible beats. A list of new, refreshing ideas may flow forth as we keep our hands moving and if we are wise, we will pause and write them down before we forget what they whispered to us.

Most importantly, we cleanse our minds of the old, decrepit ways of thinking and we flush away all that is no longer useful to us.  When painful, past scenes roll across the screens of our minds, we silently hit the delete button to erase or blot them out so that they never come up again.

We breathe and we consciously feel refreshed and renewed as we replace the old with the new.  We recall the words of Jesus, the Master Teacher who said, “You cannot pour new wine into old wine skins.” Thus, we are born again feeling brand new!

Lynn M.                                                           March 31, 2018

Painting Poetry

 

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As we approach National Poetry Month, I had the opportunity to teach the beauty of poems to a group of first graders.  They learned that poems are small, lyrical songs!

They each were given a miniature poetry book called I’m Glad I’m Me: Poems About You by Jack Prelutsky.  Every day, I would feel a tug on my clothes or hear someone whispering in my ear as each asked if he or she could go up to the document camera and read one of the poems to the class.

Their little voices filled the air as they learned to recite at an audible volume.  I had to often say, “Use your outdoor voice,” so that they would speak a tad louder and be heard by all of the students in the room.

They learned to locate rhyming words, saw poems written in shapes from other sources and understood that poems do not necessarily have to rhyme all of the time.  They saw  that poems can bring joy, laughter and thoughts of reflection.

I really enjoyed listening to their voices as they bravely charted the waters and advanced as future courageous orators. They were exuberant and will probably be looking forward to reading more poems to the class though the poetry unit has ended.

Plutarch said it best when he wrote, “Painting is silent poetry and poetry is painting that speaks!”

Lynn M.                                                                                             March 25, 2018

In Due Time!

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Have you ever walked through a maze feeling like you were in a haze? You felt that you were moving your feet, your Spirit was involved and your Soul was stretching but you felt as if it was just not making much sense.

Perhaps, you questioned yourself and wondered,” Will I ever understand this experience? Why is it so difficult?” But because you listen, read and observe life around you, you start  remembering the parable about the clam and how its deep aggravation and irritation produced a precious pearl.

Or, you may recall the stories of how gold is brandished after sustaining the hot sting of the fires. Then there is the Biblical story of Daniel surviving the lion’s den.  Other tales  and acts of perseverance may come to mind as you question your own ability to endure the tests of life.

You know that you must keep your feet moving forward. Some may mock and others offer shouts of encouragement.  You accept both as you resolve to keep going and imagine yourself doing a triple Lutz like the figure skaters as you continue onward.

So as you keep it moving, you may think of verses like “Precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little, there a little (Isaiah 28:13).  Each movement forward builds your confidence and fortitude as you jump over each hurdle and your mountains eventually become mole hills.

And one day, because you have remained mindful, diligent and resourceful through your suffering moments, you look up and see that you have made it.  As Donald Lawrence sang, “You have walked into your season.

You can look back over the rocks, hills and mountains that you have scaled and see all of the riches that you have gathered along the way.  A slight smile breaks out across your face as you realize that you have just entered your new season and it all came in due time!

Lynn M.                                                                                  March 18, 2018

Breezy March!

 

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Many shamrocks all around,
Pots of gold do abound.

Birds chirp of early spring,
Milder weather, it’ll bring.

Gusty winds clear the mind.
Loosening holds that bind.

Yes, enjoy the March breeze,
Glad winter’s gone, so sneeze!

 

Lynn M.                                                                           March 10, 2018

Thank A Teacher!

“If you can read this, thank a teacher.”

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How many times have you seen this phrase?  Did you stop and immediately remember one of your primary school teachers?  It is a catchy phrase that will make you pause and realize that without the patience and expertise of a teacher, your life would be much harder.   You would not be able to recognize those words that are printed everywhere you look!

If your life is decidedly improved and fruit is falling all around, again thank a teacher.  Probably the books that you have read have contributed to your glorious windfalls.  As you bend down to scoop up your bounty, think of terms that you have learned like the fruits of your labor or it works if you work it.

You can think of helpful words written by some guru or spiritual teacher.  Silently give thanks for all of the encouragement, anecdotes to negativity and upward leadings that helped you move closer to your movable feast.  Your first teachers taught you how to  decode, pronounce, comprehend, apply  and ultimately read those sainted words.

You moved on into adulthood and you read with greater ease.  You practiced and read, read and read.  Then, you began to search for some answers to life’s mysteries.  You leaned on your spiritual teachers for guidance.  Their words helped to straighten out your thinking like a newly pressed  dress lying on an ironing board.

You continually read, studied, highlighted and wrote notes in the margins. The creases in your brow became less crinkled. Your facial wrinkles evaporated as understanding increased and then bunches of grapes appeared representing light. New fruit and fresh greenery emerged as the harvest rolled into view.

You sighed and took a reflective pause. Then you counted your blessings.  As you gather your gold, you should graciously thank your teachers!

Lynn M.                                                                                       March 4, 2018

Graham’s Wisdom!

valleysWe lost a great Evangelist this week or shall I say that heaven just welcomed a new resident?  Yes, the formidable Billy Graham recently changed residences and gained a new address.   He wrote, “Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead.  Don’t believe a word of it.  I shall be more alive than I am now.  I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.”

We know that he could not live forever but after 99 years on this earth, it is still so hard to say goodbye. He said, “No matter how prepared you think you are for the death of a loved one, it still comes as a shock and it still hurts very deeply.”

We often think that people will always be around or somewhere in the backdrop, but when they are truly gone, we start to remember.  We recall what impact they had on our lives, what we learned and what we gained from their mere existences.

Upon hearing of his passing, I begin to scroll through some of his famous quotes.  It was somehow comforting and I felt closer to him as I read his thoughts.  Many of them touched me but this one held special meaning because it related to where I am on my current journey.

He said, “Mountaintops are for views, but fruit is grown in the valleys.”  I inaudibly said, “Wow, how perfect!”  I recounted my own valley experiences but after writing my gratitude pages, I realized that I am making progress.  Fruit is still ripening in the midst of my limited heightened views.

I can see that even when I felt as if time was standing still, I was still planting seeds, tilling the soil and seeing new growth bursting forth.  I gave a resounding thanks and thanked Billy Graham for helping me to see the fruits of my labor.

So, I say,” Enjoy your new address Mr. Graham.   I know that once Gabriel blew his trumpet and the gates of heaven opened , there was a warm reception party singing, “Well-done my good and faithful servant!”

Lynn M.                                                           February 25, 2018